As we move up the Tennessee River, through the river towns, signs explain we are traveling the Tennessee River Trail and much of that trail has to do with the Civil War. We spent an hour at the Savannah Museum and it was very comprehensive and well done. Well worth a visit for anyone passing through. It is divided into prehistoric history and early Native American history. Both of which I skimmed through except to say that flat Tennessee was an alluvial plain and shells and fossils are only 15 to 30 feet deep in their soil. Also from Tennessee 450 Chickasaw families were rounded up and made to follow the infamous Trail of Tears to Oklahoma Territory along with 16,000 Cherokees.
the river, and nearby Savannah are some old Indian Mounds if you like
archaeology. They are just mounds of earth but once resembled the photo
above; ceremonial altars, honorable places for a chief to live.
river towns have a steamboat history which was pretty exciting.
Savannah has a steamboat logo for the town stamped in the sidewalks and
on every sign and letterhead.
C. Stoddard invented the Calliope and every steamboat on the river had
to have one. Made of from 8 to 56 graduated steam whistles the music
could be heard for miles in every direction. Children squealed and
screamed, dogs barked and grownups smiled and held their breath with
excitement as all made a mad dash to the river to meet passengers, pick
up their mail or goods.
graceful old paddle-wheelers like this one were made on the Ohio river.
It is obvious from this museum that rivers were the major roads of the
day, with danger, excitement, and goods traded up and down the river.
came before train bridges. They carried trains across the river to the
tracks on the opposite side. The displays explain the dangers and
disasters that happened to them, hitting snags, or boiler fires,
accidental rammings, and running aground on sandbars.
A steamboat needed a compass, whistle and a list indicator. I don't know why that amused me, it is so simple.
those speaking pipes we saw on the old movies with submarines? They
were first used on steamships. You can whisper down this tube and your
partner can hear it on the upper or lower deck.
there was war. The Iron Clads had six cannon per side and could guard
the banks, deliver men and supplies to the battle. Many forts were built
along rivers and the ships played a vital role in the Civil War.
Before the Iron Clads were built, regular steamers were outfitted with
rail road iron three-quarters inch thick above the water line and
special protection for her boilers.They were called Tinclads..
land, within 300 yards, cannon were very effective. They could shoot
two rounds per minute and a station of six cannon could pour about 9,700
balls at the enemy in two minutes. The balls could mow down small trees
and expose soldiers cover. The history of this area cannot be told
without the horrors of the Civil War.
A gruesome task made real.
Bedford was a hero. (Click to enlarge)
The City of Savannah has this to say about heroes posted on their war memorial near City Hall.
We visited City Hall, and drove by the River Park. More about that tomorrow.
asking three people about where to enjoy good food, we got the same
answer all three times: The Hickory Pit for barbeque and Hakes for
fish. Hakes wasn't open on Tuesday and since chicken was served at "The
Pit" we enjoyed a great lunch.
smoked chicken and green fried tomatoes for me. Fried potato skins
served with REAL bacon, green onions, cheese and ranch dressing or sour cream
and half a smoked chicken. Delicious. I asked was there a local
specialty in the area. The waitress said no, but the menu was definitely
a mine of specialties that may not seem special to her.
fried dill pickles, green beans, mushrooms, mozzarella sticks, and corn
nuggets. You can get chicky and pig frys, which are french frys with
pulled pork or chicken on top. And neon frys with cheese and meat on
top. They offered nine different vegetables with okra, slaw and just
about anything else you can think of. And, the tomatoes and potato
skins are nicely flavored, not over dependent on salt, home-made,
delicious and all given with excellent service. Stop in and enjoy this
very southern restaurant. (The southern accent is a bonus.)