Charles Sweeney. Not a name with whom most are familiar. I hiked the short trails around his cabin, more of a nature walk. As I dug a bit deeper into Charles and this cabin, I noticed a few things about how he is always close, but never quite in the inner circle, never in the main area.
- On the Appomattox Court House National Park, His cabin is one of the spots to stop and enjoy some history. But the cabin is not on the main grounds. It is just over a mile or so north of the place where Lee surrendered to Grant. Yes, there is a trail, but there is no parking lot, no main sign, and no direct connection to the surrender itself.
- Charles, though I am sure very important in his day, is more well known historically because of his cousin Joel Sweeney. Joel travelled the world and popularized the American Banjo.
- Some records show Lee stayed in the Sweeney Cabin the night before the surrender. But oh so close. Not Robert E Lee, it was General Fitzhugh Lee (a Calvary General and cousin to Robert E Lee).
- It officially, his residence was part of Clover Hill, a small community. But when Clover Hill was restored, and made a little village to visit just down the street … the Sweeney cabin remained on its original spot.
I don’t know everybody, for there are a lot of everybody out there (bad grammar, but you get it). But I know most don’t enjoy time and time again being left out, or getting close but still not getting on the inside.
We can’t all be A-listers, headliners, and talk of the town. And that’s okay. It has been said God must love ordinary people because He made so many of them. We can all make an impact, leave a mark, and connect with others. Joel may be the famous Sweeney, but Charles built a home that has lasted through the centuries.
Feeling on the outside? That’s okay. Maybe God has a reason for you to be there, a person you need to care for, and a blessing you need to be. And on the outside, look for me, cause I’m out there with you. And sometimes, I really like it.
The hike was enjoyable, and the small flowers were in bloom around the field. Combined with the Ferguson Wildlife Trail, was a short loop of under three miles. I parked at the Artillery Field and enjoyed the warm day.
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