A walk with the pup

Normally towards the end of the year as the days grow shorter I spend some time contemplating the year gone by, and friends I will not see again. With this year and COVID, I am find my life changing in ways I could have never expected. With current health concerns, finding a safe way to conduct face-to-face games has been difficult for most. Outside of painting, which in truth I have gotten a great deal done this year, my hobby has taken a back seat. Only my study and research of history has continued, but reading and working in front of a computer will make Jon a dull boy. Where I study is also my workspace. Right now my commute to work is measured in feet.

So I need to get out and get some exercise for Asta, our puppy, and myself. With COVID we cannot head to the bark-park, like normal, and many of the trails are too crowded for my tastes during the epidemic. In the spirit of my personal love of history and looking for future ideas for articles we are off to walk, and romp, OK Asta romps, through local cemeteries. We are lucky to have so many within a short walk or drive.

I live in the western suburbs of Philadelphia where there are many historic attractions. Unfortunately, most are currently not open. For the cemeteries, the closest is Montgomery Cemetery which is run by the county historical society. It is blessed with a wealth of Victorian structures and military history with five American Civil War generals buried there including Generals Hancock and Zook of Gettysburg fame.

A walk through this Victorian marvel can easily distract a dedicated dog walk when a headstone catches your eye. One such stone was the final resting place for a Private John Buzby. John joined up in the summer of 1863 to help defend Pennsylvania from the Army of Northern Virginia during the Gettysburg Campaign. As I already have an interest in these Emergency Militia Regiments I can tell you I will be researching their part in the campaign. While I know most were used to defend Harrisburg, the capital or in other garrison duties, it is interesting to have a name to be placed with the regimental history.

In my nearby hometown of Phoenixville is the Morris Cemetery. When initially designed in the 1870s it was thought that the town would grow around it, so there were a number of community monuments added including one for Civil War veterans. This large expanse is a favorite for dog walks and contemplation. This small town sent off ten companies in ten different regiments in the war. The town’s ironworks also produced the 3” Ordnance Rifle that most Civil War gamers are aware of. So between the Victorian designed structures and the monuments to the men that went off to war, there is a great deal of history close by.

Now I hope this talk of walks with my dog through cemeteries has not offended. I am just offering another way to get out and exercise and be around history. While the United States is not old compared to the countries of my friends in Europe, we have a history that is still exciting and we can all find new topics to interest us. I hope you will share your local walking spots and how it intersects with our hobby. I know Asta is up for a road trip.

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