Welcome to The Roaming Roan blog. TRR is a new monthly column I write for The Law News which spotlights interesting overnight and day trips near Lexington. This blog provides a venue to include multiple pictures and weblinks with the column. I hope you enjoy it.
When I considered what to name a travel column for the school where Robert E. Lee served as President, naturally I thought of naming it after Lee's horse Traveller who happens to be buried in Lee Chapel on campus. However, that seemed too obvious, not to mention that the name was already taken by the campus transportation system that does not actually travel anywhere outside of Lexington.
Instead, the column’s title plays upon the name of one of General Robert E. Lee’s “other” Civil War horses. The Roan, also known as the Brown-Roan, was purchased by Lee in West Virginia during the first summer of the war (1861). When Lee went to the coast of Carolina and Georgia that winter, he took only 'The Roan' with him to the South. Lee would purchase Traveller in February 1962 and when he returned to Richmond in the Spring, he brought back with him 'The Roan' and 'Traveller.'
During the battles around Richmond, that summer, 'The Roan' who had been gradually going blind, became unserviceable, and was retired to a Virginian farmer. It was later that point that Lee began to ride 'Traveller' regularly.
When I read this, I pictured the retired war horse The Roan roaming the hills of Virginia. That is when I decided to name the column of my roaming the sights of southwestern Virginia after the The Roan.