Another trip. My last one this summer. Tonight I'm holed up in a Days Inn in Lexington, Tennessee. Lexington is about 30 miles north of Shiloh, my first stop on my week-long exploration of Civil War battlefields. As far as I can tell, there is precious little to recommend this town. It took me all of 30 minutes to scope out the entire town while strolling around and looking for a place to eat dinner. Not even a local watering hole in the downtown. Wow. For a little while I thought I might have stumbled on to a dry town. Thank goodness, no. I consulted the proprieter of the hotel and he directed me to "Carolines", just down the road, across from the Wal-Mart Super Center. So that's where I headed. A fried-chicken dinner and two Sam Adams later, I'm back at the Days Inn.

So, is it the fate of every small town to be swallowed up, or more accurately sucked dry, by Wal-Mart and a strip of fast food joints? Maybe it's better this way, more jobs, some vitality. But there must be a cost, too.

While walking around the deserted downtown, I was wondering what this place was like 50 or 100 years ago. Probably very sleepy, a bit dusty. Hot. Gee, not so different from today, minus the dust.

With luck, I'll be at Shiloh early in the morning and the rain will have stopped. I'm hoping to get some decent photos.

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