Day 826: Prince William Forest Park, National Museum of the Marine Corps, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP

After a rather noisy night at Walmart, we drove north a few miles to visit Prince William Forest Park.  Like Catoctin Mountain Park, which we visited on Day 810, Prince William Forest Park started out as a Recreational Demonstration Area.  The area was later used for military training, and was eventually given to the NPS to operate as a park:

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While the kids were working on their Junior Ranger workbooks, I reattached one of the truck mudflaps that had stripped out of the sheet metal it was screwed into by using a fragment of one of our leveling blocks to stop the screw from pulling out of the sheet metal:

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We did a letterboxing activity on the Piedmont Forest Trail:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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Our next stop was the National Museum of the Marine Corps:

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A Harrier hangs from the ceiling in the atrium:

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An early American UAV, created after the Israeli Military’s success with UAVs in Lebanon in 1981:

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A Vought F4U Corsair:

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We walked through all of the galleries in the museum, each dedicated to a period of Marine history from the birth of the nation through Vietnam.  A second section of the museum is being built to contain galleries dedicated to the post-Vietnam history of the Marines:

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“Is that a Blunderbuss?” you might be asking.  Yes, indeed it is:

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A sledgehammer head used by marines to attempt to break down the doors of the firehouse in which John Brown was holed up (see Day 811):

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Ready for duty:

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Back in day, pilots would pick up messages by flying low over a pair of soldiers holding poles with a rope across the pole tops holding a small bag.  A hook on the plane would grab the bag:

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Galleries had immersive experience areas which used lighting and sound effects to simulate combat situations:

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The flag raised over Iwo Jima:

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Our last stop of the day was the Fredericksburg unit of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, site of the Battle of Fredericksburg:

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Confederate troops crouched behind this wall four men deep and slaughtered Union troops trying to charge across the open field to the left of the wall. The Union suffered nearly 13,000 casualties, never reaching the wall:

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Bullet holes in the interior wall of this building caught between the two armies:

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A monument to Richard Rowland Kirkland:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their patches:

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We continued south to overnight at a Walmart in the northern suburbs of Richmond, Virginia.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 825: National Cryptologic Museum
Day 827: Richmond NBP, Maggie Walker NHS, Petersburg NB

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