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Visiting our Civil War battlefields

In recognition of the 160th Anniversary of several major battles in the American Civil War, Lake City residents Sam and Matilda Heartfelt traveled to Chancellorsville, Virginia; Vicksburg, Mississippi and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to view the once heavily contested terrain. Little did they know that we installed a secret listening device in the ash tray of their Flexible Fleet-wheel Lamsteed Kampkar so as to keep close tabs on their conversations for the three week trip.

Week One: Chancellorsville, Virginia. 

We pick up the action upon the arrival of the Heartfeldes:

Matilda—“If Union general Hooker would not have been so hesitant and had showed some calm under fire,  standing firm rather than  retreating to the confines of the town, he might have easily defeated Lee who had already split his undermanned army and could not have had the punch to knock out an overwhelming force,” 

Sam— “Nonsense. Hooker was simply being cautious and adopting a defensive position. Look at the Confederate casualties and you will see that he was right. The South may have won the day but at a terrible cost of men and supplies.”

Matilda—“You think that just because you caught a few History Channel segments you are some expert. It was my relatives who fought while yours bought their way out of inscription.”

Sam—”And that was probably the last honorable thing any of your worthless relatives accomplished since…

Matilda—My family fought a Celtic war for the glory of the South while yours hid behind mother’s apron just like you. I must have been out of my mind to marry a man who has no sense of history much less a sense of the present. I must have been mad to think I could spend three weeks on the road with an imbecile. You sleep on the pull out couch tonight.

Week Two: Vicksburg, Mississippi

Sam—”Sure is hot this morning.

Matilda—”No it isn’t. It’s balmy for this neck of the woods.

Sam—The thermometer on the camper says 95 and its not even noon.

Matilda—That thing isn’t accurate. I told you not to buy the cheap one. What’s up with the air-conditioning? It doesn’t seem to be functioning.

Sam—Oh I forgot to refill the freon. I figured we could rough it for a few days in honor of the men who fought here.

Matilda—What a stupid idea. Don’t ever do that without asking me first.

Sam—According to this map the siege began in May and six weeks later the Rebels surrendered giving the Yankees control of the Mississippi and effectively splitting the South in two.

Matilda—History always looks simple to simple minds. You just love to hear yourself talk, don’t you. Your knowledge of this battle could fit inside a bottle cap and your choice of campsites is particularly annoying. Look how far we are from the bathrooms.

Sam—But we’re self-contained

Matilda—In your dreams. You forgot to flush the system and it’s backed up, moron. I’m spending the night in a hotel and far away from you. 

Sam—Good. I won’t be here when you come back.

Week Three: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Matilda— If Lee would have adopted a more defensive position from day one he might have won a victory instead of having to high-tail it back home.


Matilda—What do you mean Maybe? It’s clear that charging into a fortified position with fewer troops is a recipe for military disaster.

Sam―Not always.

Matilda: Oh, I see you’re still pouting from Vicksburg. 

Sam—I am not pouting. II’ve never pouted in my life. If I did it wouldn’t be over the likes of you. I’m just tired of listening to you go on about things you don’t understand. I’m sick of the way you dress. Your food stinks, you wear too much makeup and you snore.

Matilda—You’re one to talk. You scurry around in those bib overalls with that stupid Rockies’ hat, with chew spilling out the side of your mouth. You never had the least bit of ambition and your dog is worthless.

Sam—Your dog ran away.

Matilda—No she didn’t. You purposely ran her over with the car.

Sam―That’s not true. I was watching out for your mother in the driveway when that dog started yapping…

Matilda—Don’t blame my mother for this. She was right about you. No backbone. No integrity. The poor woman has been depressed ever since I married you.

Sam—Why don’t you just shut up and watch the battle reenactment. Maybe a stray bullet will find you and I can enjoy the rest of my life in peace.

Matilda—Why must you be so hateful. Oh no…look at the gas gauge. You forgot to get gas! We’ll be stranded.

Sam—There’s enough gas to get back to town. If not, you can walk in for fuel. Maybe you’ll shed a few pounds in the process.

Sam and Matilda will present a slide show of their wonderful trip at the Lake City Armory this fall.

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”  – W.C. Fields