23 October 2014

Across the U.S., Day 17 - Nashville (TN) to Knoxville (TN)

As the Civil War (1861 - 1865) plays a significant role in the history of the United States, I decided to learn some more about it. Several battle fields are located in Tennessee. On my way to Knoxville (TN) I stopped by the Carnton Plantation, located in the small community of Franklin, south of Nashville.

This area is known today for the Battle of Franklin, which took place Nov 30, 1864. Confederate General John Bell Hood launched a massive assault on the Federal troops, commanded by General John Schofield. The combat went on for five hours and left ~ 10,000 dead, wounded or missing. The above plantation, inhabited by John and Carrie McGavock and their children at that time, was turned into a devision field hospital after the battle. It sheltered up to 300 Confederate soldiers who were brought to the house for surgeries and medical care.

About 48 km east of Franklin is the city of Murfreesboro, site of the battle of Stones River. Union troops under General Rosecrans claimed victory in this battle, which cost the life of more than 23,000 soldiers.

After reading and hearing about all these depressing facts on the Civil War, I needed to stick my head out into the sun again. The countryside of eastern Tennessee is very beautiful. I came by lots of large mansions surrounded by acres and acres of land. (If I had such a property, I would grow a whole lot of veggies!!)

Got mail?

People driving past me probably wonder what the heck is so fascinating about such an ordinary farm in the middle of nowhere. :-)

Here is a funny thing I noticed since I got to the central states: Whenever people ask me where I am from, I tell them "California." Someone had even asked, which part of Canada I am from after he saw the Canadian tag attached to my backpack. Trust me, I have spoken to many people and given them all the same answer and none of them has ever queried it so far! Are people too polite to scrutinize my answer or is it lack of interest? Or does my English sound just so different from theirs, that "California" seems close enough?

More to come.


  1. Andrea, by our experience people are not too polite to scrutinize answers. I think your English is just accent-free. No more questions needed.
    If we told people that we are from Virginia we always got as second question: "But you are originally from . . ."? That is why I mostly say that I come from Germany.

    1. Ingrid, I would love if you were right. But realistically it's probably more what Sonja suggested. 'Cali' is just so far. Thus, how ever I sound could well come from there. ;-)

    2. I stick to my opinion (because it is not really an opinion, it is our experience). If people would recognize an European accent, they would like to know your story behind your accent.
      It is hard to believe that all the people you talked to were disinterested in where you are originally from. Apart from this that you cannot go by that all the people have never been to California, everybody know that the people here move more often than we know it from Germany, and they often move cross-country.
      Andrea, I know it is hard. But you have to face the truth: You must be good!

    3. Here we go, at least one example of people I talked in the morning: they don't ask but suspect that I'm from Europe. Their guess was Sweden. Could have been worse.

  2. It might just be a polite question for small talk, since your accent likely shows off that you don't belong (there). Most of the people you met quite possibly never left home, hence California or Canada, it might just be another "foreign country" to them.