Have you ever wondered about walking somewhere only to find yourself in an entirely different dimension, sort of like a portal in time or the “space time continuum”? There have been numerous examples of it in movies or books: the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia tales, the movie Contact, or the movie/TV show Stargate. Of course, it happened in Star Trek all the time as they got sucked through a wormhole or some other space phenomenon to wind up in a bizarre place with even stranger life forms (any one remember tribbles?)
As I took this picture the other morning in the early morning with the dew and frost on the grass, I could see the footsteps of other early morning visitors that had walked across this grassy path and into the mist at the other end and I wondered: did they disappear? Were they able to find their way back? What became of them? What was lurking behind the tree line in the distance? Were the sea monsters in the water on either or both sides?
I didn’t take this walk. I had to get back home to eat breakfast, so that’s probably why I’m still here tonight writing this post!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1864 at the Battle of Johnsonville, Tennessee, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest subjects a Union supply base to a devastating artillery barrage that destroys millions of dollars in materiel.
This action was part of a continuing effort by the Confederates to disrupt the Federal lines that supplied Union General William T. Sherman’s army in Georgia. In the summer of 1864, Sherman captured Atlanta, and by November he was planning his march across Georgia. Meanwhile, the defeated Confederates hoped that destroying his line would draw Sherman out of the Deep South. Nobody was better at raiding than Forrest, but Union pursuit had kept him in Mississippi during the Atlanta campaign.
In the fall, Forrest mounted an ambitious raid on Union supply routes in western Tennessee and Kentucky. Johnsonville was an important transfer point from boats on the Tennessee River to a rail line that connected with Nashville to the east. When Sherman sent part of his army back to Nashville to protect his supply lines, Forrest hoped to apply pressure to that force. Forrest began moving part of his force to Johnsonville in mid-October, but most of his men were not in place until early November. Incredibly, the Union forces, which numbered about 2,000, seem to have been unaware of the Confederates just across the river. Forrest brought up artillery and began a barrage on November 4. The attack was devastating. One observer noted, “The wharf for nearly one mile up and down the river presented one solid sheet of flame.” More than $6 million worth of supplies were destroyed, along with four gunboats, 14 transports, and 20 barges. General George Thomas, commander of the Union force at Nashville, had to divert troops to protect Johnsonville.
After the raid, Forrest’s reputation grew, but the raid did not deter Sherman from embarking on the March to the Sea, his devastating expedition across Georgia.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: A vampire bat drinks about 2 tablespoons of blood, which is more than half of its body weight. However, two minutes after the bat starts drinking, it starts to urinate, keeping the nutritious parts of the blood while unloading the watery part, slimming it down for takeoff. (Now, aren’t you glad you read this?)