Terry---Farm_1667

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and the surrounding region has plenty for the tourist to see and do. In addition to the three attractions I told you about last week, the Guinness World Records Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium and Ripley's Aquarium, there is Cades Cove, which I wrote about two weeks ago.

There is also a plethora of other attractions designed to grab the tourist dollar, including the Dollywood Amusement Park in nearby Pigeon Forge. And, of course, Gatlinburg is nestled at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has a wealth of activities in store for the outdoor enthusiast.

However, on the second full day of my trip last August to Gatlinburg, I was able to break free from the allure of the town and took a side trip several miles north to see some other sites.

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Terry---Most-Best-Largest

For the past two weeks I have related to you my experiences while touring Cades Cove during a visit I paid last August to the Gatlinburg area. After exiting the 11-mile Cades Cove loop road, disappointed in my lack of an ursine encounter, I returned to Gatlinburg.

I found a reasonably-priced parking space on the top level of a parking deck behind the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and rode the elevator down to street level. As I walked by some parked city buses that were collecting tourists for the next run through town, I considered buying a bus pass and riding one of them to the various attractions I planned to visit. I decided instead to walk since my destinations were not too far away and because I could use the exercise.

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Terry---Stonewall-Jackson-Grave

Lee and Jackson. These two names struck terror into the hearts of many a Union soldier and gave confidence and hope to thousands of Confederates during the War Between the States. Together they, along with their fellow gray-clad generals and the armies that they led, were quite the match for the larger armies of the North.

Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee had much in common. They were both native-born Virginians, although Jackson was born in a part of Virginia that would later become West Virginia. Both of them graduated from West Point Military Academy. Both were also educators of military cadets. They also shared a fervent faith in and reliance upon Jesus Christ as their Savior.

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Terry---Ten-Commandments
In the first installment of this new travel series I told you about the first leg of my trip to Chattanooga. We got as far as the Nantahala Outdoor Center on US 74, which is several miles south of Bryson City.

I continued south along 74 towards my next destination, the town of Murphy. A few miles past the Outdoor Center the two-lane highway ceased to hug the Nantahala River and began to straighten out into gently rolling country.

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Terry-Travel---Ladies
As I left the Petersburg National Battlefield, about which I wrote last week, I turned right onto Crater Road. I did not have far to go before I found another site of historic interest – Blandford Church.

I pulled right onto the grounds of the extensive cemetery, drove around a bit, then parked near the church in order to get a photo. Unfortunately the photo turned out rather dark. (I am definitely getting a digital camera before my next trip.) It was evening time and the building was closed for tours for the day, but I later looked up the church on the internet and found some information.

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TerryTravel--Dictator

For four years in the 1980’s I lived within a few miles of the Petersburg National Battlefield Park in Petersburg, Virginia. Being a Civil War enthusiast, I naturally visited it many times during that period. Or so one would think.

Actually, I visited the battlefield only once during all that time, and even on that one occasion I visited only the visitor center.

I decided to remedy that deficiency in my Civil War touring this past February when I took a trip to Baltimore to help my mother celebrate her 90th birthday.

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Terry---Hiedenburg
“Oh, the humanity!” exclaimed news correspondent Herbert Morrison as he watched the conflagration that consumed the airship Hindenburg on May 6, 1937, at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Morrison was recording a radio broadcast of the landing of the Hindenburg for WLS, a radio station in Chicago. Other news organizations were filming the landing for newsreels. While those who were in attendance anticipated viewing a very rare event, the landing of an airship, no one could have in the least expected that they would be witness to one of the most shocking and dramatic news stories of the 20th century.

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Terry-Travel---Emerald-Village-Gen-Mine

Yes, it is true. I know it is hard to believe, especially since just a few short weeks ago I wrapped up a series of travel articles telling you about my adventures on a trip to Missouri and Tennessee. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “There I go again.”

Yes, I am “on the road again,” to quote still another well-known individual. And yes, my gas tank is full and my coffee mug is brimming, and I am raring to hit the road. So let’s go, shall we?

It was back in late September that I started out on my yearly week’s vacation. My destination was Maryland to visit with family, but, as many of you already know, I don’t always take the shortest route to my eventual destination. This time around I decided to amble up the Blue Ridge Parkway and take it as far north as I could before nightfall.

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Terry---Anchor
Over the years as I have traveled to many states and driven thousands of miles, I have visited so many interesting sites that I have even seen fit to pay a second and even a third visit to some of them – places such as the battlefields of Shiloh and Spotsylvania Courthouse.

In the last several travel articles I have been recounting a trip I took this past August to southern Tennessee and southeastern Missouri. As I began heading back toward South Carolina I decided to revisit a few places that I first visited 12 years earlier, on a trip I took in 1997.

One of those places was the small town of Cairo (pronounced Kay-ro), Illinois, which is located at the southernmost tip of the long state of Illinois.

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The graves of Buford Pusser and his wife, Pauline. He walked tall. ~ Photo by Terry M. Thacker
On April 6-7, 1862, tens of thousands of soldiers, both Union and Confederate, fought bravely on the field of battle at a place called Pittsburg Landing, a point on the Tennessee River in southwestern Tennessee. That altercation came to be known as the battle of Shiloh.

In the last installment of this travel series I told you of my most recent visit to Shiloh. This week I would like to tell you about another conflict that took place in the same vicinity a century later.

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General Albert Sidney Johnston, leader of the Confederate forces at the battle of Shiloh, died at this spot on the afternoon of April 6, 1862. - Photo by Terry M. Thacker
If asked to name a Civil War battle off the top of their heads, most people would probably say Gettysburg. Some people might respond with Antietam (aka Sharpsburg), or Bull Run (Manassas) or perhaps even Vicksburg or Atlanta.

The battle of Shiloh would probably not be the first one to come to mind, but it was still one of the most important battles of the war, especially in the western theater. The fighting produced over 23,000 casualties and was the largest battle in the Mississippi River region during the war.

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