The Road Wars

The undisputed king of the worst roads traveled thus far is…..


Crossing the Mighty Mississippi into Louisiana.

Suffice it to say John can’t see much improvement in Louisiana roads since 1959 when he was journeying west with his parents as a boy. Bumpety…bump…bump…all across the state. All the way to Shreveport which is where I sit writing this entry as my traveling partner attends a local Rotary Club meeting.

We started out this morning in a steady rain at Vicksburg where 20,000 Americans were casualties in the War Between the States as my grandmother called it. History comes alive for my husband at Vicksburg as his maternal great-grandfather, John S. Rollins, fought and was captured at Vicksburg with the Georgia 39th.

Pvt.  Rollins  was one of 29,500 Confederate soldiers who was paroled after the Battle of Vicksburg. Don’t quite understand the logic behind the paroles because Pvt. Rollins along with thousands of other Confederate parolees simply rejoined the Confederate army as the Georgia 39th.  Pvt. Rollins went on to fight at Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Resaca and on to the Battle of Atlanta where he threw his rifle in Peachtree Creek and went home to Spring Place, Ga.

John assumed his great-grandfather had simply known when it was time to quit, but has since learned – and Ranger Will Wilson at Vicksburg confirmed – that there was some snafu with the  parole papers for many of the soldiers in the Georgia 39thwho, as a result, risked execution as deserters if captured. So it seems  Pvt. Rollins threw in the towel – or a rifle, in this case! – and went home rather than risk being captured during the fall of Atlanta to Sherman as he had been during the fall of Vicksburg to Grant.

John gets the scoop on the Georgia 39th from Ranger Will Wilson.

Our original plan was to make a 400-mile side trip to New Orleans, but  we decided that it might be easier to return to the Big Easy when it was, well, easier to get there! Bouncing down the road with 4000 pounds of stuff and then trying to navigate it through a busy city – well, not my idea of fun. So, we’re headed to the open – and hopefully, better – roads of Texas!

John read from a Texas travel guide as we jostled along I-20 this afternoon as yours truly was at the wheel. Those Texans look for any excuse to party…seems as if there’s a festival in every town. Our favorite was The Fire Ant Festival in Uncertain, Texas  which is going to be held in October.  We might just have to brave Louisiana’s roads to return to the great state of Texas and check out the fire ants. They must be extraordinary in some way if they warrant a festival in their honor!  I bet if I ask a Texan, he/she will tell me that the fire ants in Texas are bigger than the ones in Georgia  ‘cause everything is bigger (and better) in Texas!


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2 Responses to The Road Wars

  1. Lisa says:

    Life is small. Looks like John’s greats and my greats fought along sided each other in battle in North Georgia. The kicker is that my ex’s greats, Judson Mason, fought all those battles on the side of the Union. A further kicker was that a friend and fellow historian’s greats who is mentioned on all those historical markers from Resasca to the battle of Peachtree Creek also fought on the side of the Union. That we should cross each other’s paths to me seems amazing.

  2. hikenwrite says:

    There’s always a reason…

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