Thursday, September 25, 2008

Road Trip

(Sioux Falls, SD)- I'm on the road with my buddy Steve Wainstead, doing a circle tour of Iowa. Yes, I know how that sounds, but Steve's a New Yorker, and farm country is a great foil for him, a great un-city, and I just like it anyhow. Ame told me, back in April, "Get in one last trip. There won't be one for a while". I love being urged to take a road trip by my wife!

Highlight so far- The drive north along the Mississippi River, beginning at the Quad Cities, at Rock Island, up to Winona, MN. Here are some pics from Rock Island:

Lock & Dam #15. There is a packet of barges in the lock, as the water fills to bring it up to level. Rock Island is wholly a military installation. You stop at the gate and show ID. We got there at 4:50, and the tourist items close at 5pm. The guard looked at Steve's ID, saw his real Polish last name, commented on it and told us that he was German. Steve told him that he is one-quarter German. The man's eyes lit up, he crouched towards the car and told us to go right through, but don't tell anyone he said we could!

There is a Confederate cemetery on Rock Island, with more than 2,000 graves, almost all of which were low-ranking men.

This one was most intriguing. "Freeman"? Does this indicate a former slave who fought on the side of the Confederacy?


varangianguard said...

Many CSA units tended to take on either the name of their originating locality or the name of their organizing officer.

In this case, a Colonel Freeman organized this unit, which is a little odd because it's an Arkansas regiment raised from men in southern Missouri.

There were several units comprised of black soldiers raised in Arkansas, but they were all Union troops.

Mike Kole said...

Ah. The name 'Freeman' certainly threw me there.