Posted by graywacke on August 25, 2010
First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a two-or-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.
Dan - Oh boy. All the way up to 3/10 (for the first time in 15 landings) with a landing in the solid SE . . . GA; 33/37; 3/10; 20; 155.7. Here’s my landing map:
Here’s a broader view:
I landed in the Sturgeon Ck watershed; on to the Ocmulgee R (2nd hit); to the Altamaha (6th hit). I have to suppose that at least at one time, there were sturgeon in Sturgeon Creek. Here’s a picture of a couple of sturgeon. I don’t know where this was shot, but I certainly assume it was not from Sturgeon Creek or the Ocmulgee river:
Big fish, eh? Anyway, it turns out that years ago there were, in fact, sturgeon in the Ocmulgee River. From the Altamaha River Keeper website:
State and Federal agencies are embarked on an effort to restore fish spawning migrations on the Altamaha River and its tributaries. As part of this effort, the focus is on the Ocmulgee River and diadromous fish (fish that live part of their lives in salt water and part of their lives in fresh water, including sturgeon).
The Ocmulgee, like other Altamaha tributaries, once had huge annual migrations of diadromous fish that moved up to spawn as far upriver as the Alcovy and Yellow Rivers. Native Americans and early settlers depended on the large migrations of fish for food, and there were large fisheries until over-fishing and construction of dams nearly eliminated the fish runs by the late 19th century. Since then, the fish, the fisheries, and the people that survived on them have largely been forgotten.
Here’s a shot of the Ocmulgee just north of my landing:
Here’s my GE shot, showing a rural, generally wooded area:
The peninsula in the lake looks intriguingly landscaped. Here’s a close-up:
There might be some nice properties here in the lake! Here’s a StreetView shot of the dirt road that heads down towards my landing (my landing would be down the road and to the left):
Before moving along to Fitzgerald, check out the name of the County I in which I landed:
Pretty cool, eh, Dan? For those of you who don’t know me, I have a son Ben (and our last name is Hill). Here’s a picture of Ben, from his blog “Ben’s Biz Blog,” which is a light-hearted look at the business end of Minor League Baseball (Ben is a writer for MLB.com).
Here’s another shot, where Ben’s with some goofy Minor League mascot:
Click here to go to Ben’s blog.
Here’s some info about Ben Hill County and the other Ben Hill:
Here’s a picture of the other Ben Hill. I doubt we’re related . . .
Moving along to Fitzgerald. From Wiki:
Fitzgerald is the County Seat of Ben Hill County, Georgia. The population was 8,758 at the 2000 census. It was created in 1895, as a community for Civil War veterans by Indianapolis newspaper editor Philander H. Fitzgerald, a former drummer boy in the Union army. The citizens of Fitzgerald, pledging unity with their former enemies, named streets after leaders of both armies.
I just checked it out. In fact, the north-south streets in town are named after both Union & Confederate generals. Here’s just the west side of town, which features Confederate generals (Hill, Bragg, Gordon, Longstreet, Jackson, Johnston & Lee):
And here’s the east side of town, featuring Union generals (Sheridan, Thomas, Logan & Meade). Although not labeled, the street west of Sheridan is Sherman, who was honored in spite of his infamous “March to the Sea” through Georgia . . .
Also of interest, Monitor St. (named after the northern ironclad ship) flanks the northern Generals’ streets, and Merrimac St. (named after the southern ironclad ship) flanks the southern Generals streets. Back to Wiki:
The town is located less than 15 miles from the site of the capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis on May 10, 1865.
In recent years, the unofficial, and sometimes controversial mascot of the city has become the Red Junglefowl, a wild chicken native to the Indian subcontinent. In the late 1960s, a small number were released into the woods surrounding the city and have thrived to this day.
Red Junglefowl, eh? From Wiki:
The Red Junglefowl is a tropical member of the Pheasant family, and is widely believed to be a direct ancestor of the domestic chicken. It was first raised in captivity at least several thousand years ago in the Indian subcontinent, and the domesticated form has been used all around the world as a very productive food source for both meat and eggs.
Here’s a picture of an absolutely splendid Red Junglefowl (from India):
Here’s a picture of the Georgia variety right in Fitzgerald:
Since I landed so close to the location of Jefferson Davis’ surrender, I thought I’d check it out. From Wiki:
In April 3, 1865, with Union troops under Ulysses S. Grant poised to capture Richmond, Davis escaped for Danville, Virginia, together with the Confederate Cabinet. He issued his last official proclamation as president of the Confederacy, and then went south to Greensboro, North Carolina. Circa April 12, he received Robert E. Lee’s letter announcing surrender.
After Lee’s surrender, there was a public meeting in Shreveport, Louisiana, at which many speakers urged that the war still continue. Historian John D. Winters in The Civil War in Louisiana (1963) writes that plans were developed for the Davis government to flee to Havana, Cuba. There, the leaders would regroup and head to the still Confederate-controlled Trans-Mississippi area by way of the Rio Grande. None of these plans developed [obviously!].
President Jefferson Davis met with his Confederate Cabinet for the last time on May 5, 1865, in Washington, Georgia, and the Confederate government was officially dissolved. He was captured on May 10, 1865, at Irwinville, [just southwest of Fitzgerald]. In the confusion, Davis put his wife’s overcoat over his shoulders and attempted to flee the Union soldiers, leading to caricatures of him being captured disguised as a woman. After being captured he was held as a prisoner for two years in Fort Monroe, Virginia.
I’ll close with this sunset shot of Fitzgerald:
That’ll do it. . .
© 2010 A Landing A Day