This ragtag group of Northerners and Southerners made a slow advance out of Richmond, first doing a reconnaissance to the rear of our lines to inspect the statues for the Heroes of the Confederacy (clearly Robert E. Lee was the hero, and Jefferson Davis’s statue was pretty puny) and the one for hometown star Arthur Ashe, also on Monument Avenue but set apart from all those who fought for slavery.
We detoured around the state capital and the odd-looking George Washington on top of his monument and inspected the Confederates’ iron works. All this sightseeing put us in the rear of the East Coast Greenway troops even before we crossed the raging James River on a wavy bridge snuck in below the highway bridges.
The water is so high that they river is essentially closed to boats, and part of the East Coast Greenway trail on Belle Island (a notorious POW camp during the Civil War) is flooded out.
We searched for higher ground and moved on, pressing beyond Richmond. Our forces divided. As we headed down busy Iron Bridge Road, we skirmished with traffic and took on reinforcements in the form of some delicious super-thin pomodoro bianco pizza from Ledo’s pizza, a random choice at a random stop by a strip mall.
Strengthened, we renewed our journey. We crossed the Appomattox River as we chased the ghost of Robert E. Lee, eventually reaching the outskirts of Petersburg.
A 42.8-mile day. Tomorrow the generals are sending us another 70 miles and tell us it will be a particularly difficult journey.