|a little portion of the massive oil painting at the Cyclorama|
|Stone Mountain from across the other side of the lake in the Park|
The ‘Battle of Atlanta’ Cyclorama
|the entrance facade of the Cyclorama|
The painting brings to life the fierce fighting as Confederate defenders of Atlanta staged an unsuccessful counterattack on the Union army on July 22, 1864. Commissioned after the end of the war, it opened to display in Detroit, Michigan, in 1887, going around until the circus that owned it went bankrupt. Finally, the Atlanta Civil War Museum was built in 1921 to house it and, after a period of neglect, the painting and building were restored in the 1980s. In the end, I was glad that my frugality did not stand in the way of this unique experience! We had already missed the smaller one in Gettysburg!
Just 45 minutes east of Atlanta is the Stone Mountain in the town of the same name. Much like Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, it is an igneous intrusion. A dome of quartz monzonite, 1,686 feet at its summit and more than five miles in circumference at its base, it has been erroneously dubbed as “the largest exposed piece of granite in the world". It is well-known not only for its geology, but also for the largest bas-relief (3 acres, 3 football fields) in the world depicting the three pillars of the Confederate States of America: Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis.
|the 732-bell Carillon at Stone Mountain Park|
And we didn’t have enough time to meander around its museums, plantations, playgrounds, and marina, camp at its campground, and dine at its hotels, all imprinted with Confederate memories.
The Underground Atlanta
Bill did business in Atlanta before. He was nostalgic about a historic downtown area of about 6 blocks where he had many a good evening of entertainment (wonder with whom?)!
|Underground Atlanta today|
Underground Atlanta grew from the Zero Milepost of the railroad built to connect Atlanta and Chattanooga in 1836. Many significant architectural features survived from original storefronts, including ornate marble, granite archways, cast iron pilasters, decorative brickwork, and hand-carved wood posts and panels. The construction of the MARTA rapid transit line in 1980 led to its closing. 21 years later, at a cost of $142 million, through a joint venture between the City of Atlanta and private industry, it reopened.
|the stairs going down to the first level of the Underground|
It is sad that their investment has not brought back the bustling area it once probably was. Today it is largely a gathering area for African-Americans. But Bill treated me to dinner there, a fine way to end our day. He was the only Caucasian and I was the only Asian in the Georgia Peaches Restaurant at the bottom level, the entertainment level.
Andersonville National Historic Site
|Andersonville National Cemetery|
I am so glad we travel. Little by little, we see that remaining vestiges of prejudice is being erased all around, even within, us.
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