morning the weather has turned bad for the first time on my trip. Instead of
the usual warm sunshine it is actually pretty cold and raining. Hence my idea
of going back to the Blue Ridge
Parkway doesn't look all that appealing anymore. Instead
I go on the interstate to save some time on my travels towards Charlottesville. But I am not all that good
at sticking with my original plan - hence I end up making a detour.
I go to Lexington which is an old
town - but that is not the real reason I go there. No the reason the main hero
of the Confederate Army from the war - possibly the main hero from any of the
armies of the Civil War. General Robert E. Lee. His final resting spot is in
the very town of Lexington.
pretty much as close as you will ever get to royalty in the States.
The main building taken from just in front of Lee's chapel
from some of the oldest and wealthiest families in Virginia and his wife's
great grandmother was Martha Washington. His success came in the army which he
left as a colonel to manage his new estate Arlington which his wife inherited. When the
war between the Union and the southern states seemed inevitable Lincoln offered him the
post as commander of the Union army. Lee was not really a big fan of the idea
of secession but he ended up following his state of Virginia and became a general in the
His time as
an army general had its ups and downs with some impressive victories and the
most notable defeat at Gettysburg.
The war had great cost for Lee - he lost many of his friends in the army when
he resigned and joined the Confederates. He lost all rights to a military
pension - he lost his citizenship until he got it reinstated in 1975 - more than
100 years after his death. He also lost his fortune including his personal
estate Arlington which was turned into a cemetery
for Union troops and later to the national cemetery of Arlington
But in Virginia Lee is a hero - and after the war he became the
President of the WashingtonUniversity in Lexington.
The grave of Traveller - Lee's horse
After his death the name of the university has been change to the Lee & WashingtonUniversity. His final resting place is
in a church build just in front of the main building of the University. You can
go in and look at his tomb which includes a magnificent marble sculpture of Lee
sleeping at the battlefield. You are not allowed to take pictures inside but
the sculpture is a truly impressive piece of craftsmanship. Just outside the chapel
you will find a grave - this is not an ordinary grave - but the grave of Traveller.
Lee horse during the war which lived along with Lee in Lexington after the war.
After I had
seen the chapel I went out to see the grounds of the University. You can see
the main building which is an old and very impressive building. Unfortunately
some of the newer buildings have been constructed during times when the
university was lacking some the former funds and they do not quite live up to
the standards set by the main building. Most of the surrounding buildings are
quite impressive though.
further down the road is a military campus which house the museum of Marshall
but the buildings down there have been cleared away and new buildings put up as
replacement hence you don't get the feel of former glory - just modern
visit to the university it is time to head down through the town of Lexington - and here I get
to see the final home of Traveller - which today has been turned into an
ordinary garage. The city itself is quite nice with the traditional style of
the south - hence even without the attraction of the legend of Lee the town
could make an interesting short visit to see.
On my way
out of town I just have to do one more stop - another southern legend is buried
on the cemetery in town - Stonewall Jackson. Hence out to see the final resting
spot of Stonewall before I can get going.