Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Barn that Wouldn't Die

Perryville Cleanup Weekend
Perryville Kentucky

April 5, 2014

More and more the 1st Tennessee is progressing into battlefield preservation.  This weekend the Perryville Battlefield held a cleanup day where we assisted.
Over coffee and donuts we discussed the plan for the day where we would work on cleaning out an old barn and tearing it down.  The barn was built some time after the battle and tearing it down was part of the efforts to restore the battlefield to its condition at the time of the battle.
The other groups were to take out fencing that was never part of the original battlefield.

We drove to the barn and started hauling out garbage to the dumpster and tearing out boards.  At one point a tractor was used to help us haul things us.  We also discovered a rather fantastic smell that chased us out of the building on a regular basis.
After lunch the plan was to have the tractor pull the building down.  But unfortunately the bobcat that was used to pull apart the fencing fell backwards and got stuck, so occupied the tractor trying to straighten it out.
We did finally get the tractor back to the barn.  We strapped a chain to a support post and had the tractor pull it.  We had hoped that it would quickly pull down the entire barn—but it was not to be.  The first post broke in half, dragged out by the chain, and the building stood otherwise untouched.  We proceeded to the next post, with the same result.  After pulling out about half the support posts with the barn still standing, the tractor driver resorted to trying to push it over.
He made some progress, but it was still unsatisfactory.  We worked on more posts, eventually breaking all support beams in half before it finally crumbled down.

Next time we’re likely to bring some blackpowder.  The consensus was it would have both more successful, and more desirable, effects.
At the end of the work day, JR Sharp took us on a walk of the battlefield, discussing what he had learned of the original 1st Tennessee’s experience at Battle of Perryville.

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