On Sunday I set out in Stuart with one goal. To find Stonewall Jackson's arm. His left arm.
I'd been suffering since Thursday evening with food poisoning from sushi I'd eaten that lunchtime, and I was really itching to get out of the house. But I was feeling extremely weak, still not able to keep food in my stomach, and having dropped 7lbs as a result. But I thought a short drive accompanied by a exploratory saunter in the fresh air would do me the world of good, so I set off for Locust Grove, VA, a mere hour from my house. With a concoction of water and a banana for sustenance, my poor tummy jostled and jumbled about with the vibration of the engine, which was a little disconcerting, but my focus was soon diverted when I came across a huge flock of large black birds squawking noisily on the grass in front of some houses. I stopped the car and watched in amazement as they pecked the grass feverishly with loud chattering, lifting and rolling across the grass like a cloud at any disturbance.
I continued driving and was soon on Rte 3, noticing how the road surface was gradually being resurfaced. I always called this the 'singing road' as there's a patch heading south where the road surface issues a pitchy whine as you drive over it. I wondered if complaints were the result of the resurfacing. Probably not, but I'll miss that little quirkiness when I next travel this road.
Ellwood Manor was shuttered tightly for the season but I walked all around reading the information boards outside and admiring the views. There was an old herb garden that would be revitalized in the spring and between tall evergreen box hedges, a gravel path led to the open fields. Beyond another corn field, on the brow of a hill, was a small copse of trees and a boundary fence. And I guessed that would be where I'd find Stonewall's arm.
The full story of that left arm is here.