Tuesday, November 23, 2010

UDC National Convention (pt. 5)

Sunday night, November 7, following dinner at the United Daughters of the Confederacy National Convention in Richmond, I managed to contract a stomach virus, and paid for it all night. I learned later that the bug was going around, but at the time, I wasn't sure if it was food poisoning. After suffering for 72 hours, I realized that it wasn't food poisoning after all.

Monday was the final day of the convention, but I spent the entire time in bed while other members voted in new officers. Our Mississippi president was elected national vice president. Fortunately, one of the ladies had an extra bed to provide me before we departed the Omni Hotel on Monday evening and headed back to Charlottesville, spotting several white-tailed deer along the way.

In the morning, we went out for breakfast, departed Lake Monticello, and headed to Appomattox Courthouse. Wilmer McLean's house has been restored, as have several other outbuildings at the tavern, located at a crossroads intersection. The road where Confederate soldiers lined up to surrender their arms still exists. The buildings were in severe decay when restoration began. Mr. McLean lived at the home for five years after the war until his debt forced him to move back to Northern Virginia, where his wife owned a home. From that time until the 1970's, the house and surrounding buildings stood vacant. Restoration is still in process.

We reached Knoxville, where we spent the night, and continued on to Mississippi the following day. Hence, our big trip came to an end. Even though I fell sick, it was still the trip of a lifetime, and I'm glad I went! Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.

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