Palmetto Hills

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Battle of Palmetto Ranch

This week’s photograph may not look like a stunning landscape, but the story behind it is really something.

Just a few miles strait East out of Brownsville is Palmetto Hill. Not much of a hill really, but the road does rise a little. It was here on May 12 and 13, 1865, that regiments of the Confederate and Union armies met in battle: the last battle of the Civil War.

It was especially unfortunate for those who fought and died here since the war was already over. Lee had surrendered several months prior to this battle.

According to the informative plaque that is here on site, what you see in this picture is almost exactly the way it looked in 1865.

As I stand here at the northernmost corner of where the battle took place and make this panoramic view of the battlefield I get goose bumps. Just imagine yourself out in this wide open plain, with no cover, looking directly into the eyes of your enemy, cannon fire all around you and the whoosh of musket balls whizzing by you. And the screams of the men who were hit. It really took some major cajones to be able to do that.

This is one of the things I love about photography: it’s a time machine. It allows us to travel backward in time to see from whence we came. Then with a little use of our imagination, we can see the whole picture.

Now… if we could only go back to pre-historic I would love to get a first hand look at the landscape and the great lizards that once inhabited the planet. Wouldn’t you?

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