Today We Go Home

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“May we all grow up to be strong like her.”

-Kelli Estes

West Virginia

Cheat Mountain

Emily and Ben’s first union army encampment, Cheat Mountain. Also, Emily and Ben’s first battle, The Battle of Cheat Mountain. This is the beginning of their journey with the 9th Indiana Infantry, the same infantry their brother David and father were in before their death.

It is not an easy mountain to get to, but today there is a very unique way to get some glimpses of it from the luxury of a Diesel train tour taking you through the mountains along old logging routes. Take a Mountain Rail Adventure through Cheat Mountain, while looking for the endangered creature, the Cheat Mountain Salamander. Maybe you’ll see the spot where Emily and Ben camped while looking out the train window. For $83 you can get a ticket for this 3.5 hour experience with lunch included!


Tolt Pipeline Trail

Follow Larking to the Tolt Pipeline Trail in Woodinville, Washington, where she tries to escape her house and her memories for a little while with her grandmother’s dog , Bowie. This is also where she and her cousins used to play when they were little. You can even start your hike at Heart Attack Hill, where they used to race as children.

If you find yourself in Woodinville, Washington head to the Tolt Pipeline Trail, where you will find yourself amongst bikers, horseback riders, and other folks just enjoying their walks. Take a look at some of the beautiful Woodland birds as well!


Camp Alleghany

The Battle of Camp Alleghany, where Emily killed her first Reb. Also, the camp where Emily first started noticing the relationship flourishing between Ben and Willie.

If you want to walk on the same lands where this happened you can find the Camp Alleghany marker near Hightown, Virginia.


Tennessee State Capitol Building

“To Emily’s surprise, her company was billeted in one of the finest buildings in all of Nashville – the Tennessee State Capitol Building. It was certainly the grandest building Emily had ever set foot in. The Capitol building loomed over the city on a high hill, its Grecian columns visible for miles.”

Go visit the “grand” Tennessee Capitol Building where Emily, Ben and Willie were quartered after their long march to Nashville. Today, you can take a tour of the Capitol Building or visit the Tennessee State Museum nearby to see an exhibit about the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Shiloh National Military Park

The Battle of Shiloh, Emily, Ben and Willie’s last battle. Ben and Willie’s last battle, because they were killed here. Emily’s last battle because she was captured here by Rebs. Over 150 years later, this is the park where Larkin and Zach met with the Willie’s descendants, and the park where they donated Emily’s diary.

You can also visit the Shiloh National Military Park , where you can take a tour of the Shiloh battlefield, visit the exhibits, and enjoy some special events. Maybe you’ll even run into the ghost of Willie and Ben like Larkin did.

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