It was very moving to learn how, on President Lincoln's express orders, the defeated rebels were treated with politeness and respect. The process of healing the rift began with the printing of over 30,000 paroles on a hand press in the village tavern - one for each rebel solder. In return for promising never to take up arms against the Union again, he was promised that the United States would take no action against him for his rebellion and allowed to go home with (if he had one) his horse. As one of the park rangers delicately put it, the "united" part of "United States" only began to be true on that day,
I have not blogged for a while. The political situation in the UK cannot please a sensible person of any persuasion and I have really had nothing to add to the mix of bitterness, fake news and witch-hunting that characterises the Brexit interregnum.
Life goes on and I am both happy and well. This weekend I have the pleasure to attend the wedding of an old friend from my Warsaw days who is getting married in South Carolina, where she now lives. It seemed foolish just to fly in and out without getting full value from the investment in expensive aviation so I hired a Ford Mustang and have embarked on a 10 day road trip.
I arrived on Monday. Having picked up the car (christened, for obvious reasons, "Sally") I drove to the house of some other old friends in Georgetown and spent a couple of nights with them, I also took the opportunity to have coffee with a third friend (this time from my Moscow days) who now lives in DC.
This morning I hit the road properly and spent 6 hours and 8 minutes driving 366 miles. I headed south from Washington and then struck out Westwards to visit the Appomattox Court House State Historical Park which contains (in original or reconstructed form) almost all the village of that name (including the courthouse it's named for). This is where the last battle of the American Civil War was fought and where General Lee surrendered to General Grant when it was clear that the South's cause was lost.
I then drove down to Winston Salem where I will stay tonight. Tomorrow I am meeting another old friend from my days in Eastern Europe who now lives in Charlotte NC, before heading on into South Carolina to stay with yet more friends from my Moscow days.
As usual, you can track my tour here.