Monday, May 30, 2011

A Trip to Gettysburg

Yesterday we took a spur of the moment trip to Gettysburg, PA.  I think I have been there as a child but really don't remember much of that trip...except driving around in the car and maybe stopping and having a picnic lunch.  My brother, an avid history lover, was an excellent tour guide and provided me with a lot of  information of the battle and interesting stories.  I won't try to retell all of these, I'd probably get the facts messed up anyway, but wanted to share with you some of the pictures from our day (I took over 400 pictures but don't worry.....will only post a few)

We stopped at the site of Pickett's Charge first.  This was the site of the battle on the third day.  When we pulled up and I saw the battlefield I must admit, I got chill bumps and teary eyed. 

So as I understand it, the Union Army would have been stationed about where we were standing and the Confederate Army, 15,000 soldiers attacked from that range of trees in the distance.  They crossed the field under heavy artillery fire and met to battle.....

This spot of trees is where the two armies converged.  The Union Army, in desperation loaded the canons with double canister charge and blasted the Confederate Army from a distance of 10 yards.  My brother, Mike, described this as a shotgun effect of many smaller balls shooting into the approaching army.
Again, sorry if my explanation is oversimplified or incorrect.....I had to absorb a lot :)
High Water Mark
Lt. A.H. Cushing has had a marker placed near the spot where he fell during the battle.  His is an interesting story....(again, probably oversimplified by yours truly).  He was seriously wounded (my brother says in the groin) and was in immense pain but refused to be removed from the line of battle.  He asked to be supported by a comrade and that his orders be relayed to the troops.  He continued to lead until a bullet entered through his mouth....(I did read somewhere that this part may not be true but I haven't done enough research to say).

General Armistead was also killed in Gettysburg, not far from where Cushing was killed.  General Armistead's uncle defended Ft. McHenry in the War of 1812,......I remembered that tidbit from our field trip to Ft. McHenry....I think my brother was proud :)
Anyway, this is a marker to commemorate the place where Armistead fell....more on him later.

This is the Maryland Monument at Gettysburg.   Read the caption below the picture for more was taken from the back of the monument.
A Final Tribute
More than 3,000 Marylanders served on both sides of the conflict at the Battle of Gettysburg. They could be found in all branches of the army from the rank of private to major general and on all parts of the battlefield. Brother against brother would be their legacy, particularly on the slopes of Culp's Hill. This memorial symbolizes the aftermath of that battle and the war. Brothers again, Marylanders all.
The State of Maryland proudly honors its sons who fought at Gettysburg in defense of the causes they held so dear.

The Visitors Center
The visitors center was amazing and offers a museum, movies, etc. 
This is Jake at the visitors center with a statue of Abe Lincoln
We didn't view the movie but did go into the museum.  It was very interesting and reasonably priced.  I will have to go back again without my kids though so I can read more of the information.
These next two pictures show the damage of a canon ball going through a house.....

Entrance point of the cannon ball
Progression through the floor boards

The Gettysburg Address room is amazing.  You can sit in this peaceful room and listen to the speech.  Jake sat through the speech in its entirety and said "Wow, that was a good speech"  Better than good though even though at the time Lincoln was criticized and some said his remarks in the speech were silly.  (That was something else new that I learned)

Well, this post is getting long and I am not even to the halfway point so I think I will do this trip in at least 2 parts.  Hope you enjoyed my pictures and descriptions so far...

Have a Wonderful Memorial Day all and lets remember those who so dearly sacrificed their lives for our country.   God Bless America!!!


1 comment:

  1. That is awesome Bronwyn, What a great way to spend Memorial day weekend. My husband is like your brother.. I knows everything about it. I would love to take another trip up up there. Ever go to the nearby Boyd's Bear Country in Gettisburg ~ that's a fun place for the kids.