Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Missionary Ridge conditions

One thing that is amazing, especially for a first time visitor, is that there are monuments and markers among a community. A marker in a front yard is not unusual. Most dot the side of the road and because of the slope sometimes that means sometimes the marker is on the edge of a steep slope and sometimes it is in a yard. Viewing them all at first seems like a daunting task but I can assure you that you can walk the ridge. I did it and I didn't get run over once. I did though do it during the week and stayed away from times when people were likely to be coming or going from work.

One of my favorite oddities is this house. The two markers on either side of the driveway are for the right of Hindman's Division and the left of Cheatham's Division. I'd love to live here, then I'd tell people that I live at the junction of Hindman's and Cheatham's Divisions. Non Civil War people might never find the house but my friends would know in an instant, or at least need to consult a book before, finding my house.
The best (or worst) though is Mebane's Tennessee Battery. "Just drive Missionary Ridge until you see a cannon pointed at a front door, that's my house." I would have loved to see the ridge 100 years ago when it had very few houses and great views of the valley. Understanding the battle would have been tons easier. Some might question how I can call the battle here complex but there are some oddities in markers. For instance it appears that Hooker's column contributed a lot more to the ultimate failure of the line than is normally credited to them, (which will be the topic of a future post.) Plus along the face of the ridge open vistas might better enable us to figure out who may have been first on the crest or that might be a riddle that will never be solved.
Just an example of how markers are blended into the housing along the ridge. This is a brick wall bordering the property instead of a wood fence. Instead of the marker being on a post, since there is very little room, the marker has been built into the wall, or the wall has been built around the marker. In any respect it is a little odd.
Like at the Sherman Reservation many Ohio plaques have been removed, whether it was due to theft, theft prevention or a car hitting it. In this case I'd guess that its missing because of a car, or was removed because the park service figured it wouldn't last long this close to a driveway.
And here is an Ohio marker so that you can see that some do exist.
The homes on Missionary Ridge are mostly pretty impressive. This is a high priced neighborhood. Considering how close they are to the horrible neighborhoods near Orchard Knob and Glass Reservation I'm not sure I'd actually want to live here, but that's just me. Considering how nice these homes are it is especially sad the conditions I found along the road. Generally if the ground between the street and the front door was sloped enough that you could not see each other there was a ton of trash along the road, including on the house's property. There are areas where the ground slopes up abruptly 4-6 feet along the road and then appears to be flat going back to the house, it was in these areas that the roadside area was the worst. In other areas where the road and the front door were nearly level with each other the roadside was immaculate. And I'm not just talking leaves and newspapers, I saw nasty trash; broken bottles and diapers. Its amazing how if the homeowner couldn't see the trash from their door they didn't seem to bother to clean it up, they had to drive right past it everyday but that didn't bother them enough. To be fair there were areas that were kept up very nicely even if the trash wasn't visible from the house, all just a matter of who lives there. But generally if the curb couldn't be seen from the house it would be filled with trash.

FYI, this post was meant for Monday, March 10th, but blogger wouldn't let me download pictures yesterday so today you'll end up getting a double shot with a second post coming in the afternoon.

1 comment:

larrykean@gmail.com said...

I own the house with the two cannons pointing towards the porch. It's a unique experience, and I have nothing but humble respect for the history that took place all around me. I had to sign an agreement from the National Park Service when I purchased it not to bother the monuments. The vacant lot next door has yielded horseshoes, hardware, and an ice cream churn handle stamped "Arctic" and the date "1862". I've gotten used to finding people on my front yard reading the plaque, and the annual neighborhood block party takes place around the house.