Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Little Bit of Grant

We're on our annual trip out to the Mississippi River to see the bald eagles.

The three main Civil War connections are driving the U.S. Grant Memorial Highway (US-20), Grant's "Hometown" of Galena, Illinois, and Freeport, where one of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates took place in 1858.

We picked up US-20 in Marengo and drove it the rest of the first day. This is one of the most beautiful drives anywhere, especially once you get past Freeport and gets even jaw-dropping west of Stockton all the way to Dubuque, Iowa.

Always enjoy seeing all those U.S. Grant Memorial Highway signs. Of course, US-20 goes right through Galena, which was where Grant was living at the outset of the Civil War, working as a relative's store. After the war, a grateful town gave Grant a house which can today be toured. He used downtown Galena's DeSoto House as his headquarters when running for president in the 1868 election.

There are even some folks in Galena who think Grant's Tomb in New York City should be moved to Galena. They don't believe New Yorkers appreciate Grant as much as Galeneans would.

The VFW in Galena has a bust of Grant behind the bar.

It's a Grant Thing. --Old Secesh

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