Thursday, July 28, 2022

I love 'witness trees.' Plus, a true story about one in Nashville!

Sid Champion V, a great dude, at Champion Hill (Miss.) battlefield

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Mrs. B loves Civil War "witness" trees. So if you'd like to send me a hunk to add to my collection in the garage … 😁

True story: After a violent storm in Nashville, I noticed limbs from the witness tree scattered about. So, I called a friend, a lawyer and longtime relic hunter. My friend called the property owner, who let us inspect fallen limbs during a tree trimming.

“You get this one,” my friend told me. Several waves of his metal detector had determined no wartime metal embedded in my hunk.

Then he had five or six other large hunks of witness tree hauled away. A few waves of his magic wand over them indicated the presence of… well… something inside each.

Weeks later, he had the hunks X-rayed at his veterinarian, expecting the things to “light up like a Christmas tree” with battle relics. The result: Zip. My friend looked like his dog had just died. One of my hunks, probably filled with wartime lead, still rests in my garage.

In this post are a few of my favorite witness trees.

Let’s keep history alive. 👊

Nashville: Granny White Pike, on old Lea Farm
Antietam: Burnside Bridge
Antietam: West Woods. This one is probably gone.
Fisher's Hill (Va.) battlefield. Magnificent.
Nashville: Secret location
Nashville; This one toppled in storm. My brother-in-law Nels gives perspective.

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