Monday, August 27, 2007

August 27, 2007 Gettysburg, PA

We started the auto tour today of the Gettysburg Battlefield. I say started because, after we left the Visitors Center at about noon, we started the tour with the assistance of a CD that explained the tour. At about 8:00PM we decided to stop because it was getting too dark to see the monuments or the lay of the land. We will finish it tomorrow. We took our time so that we could visit the various Michigan monuments that we came across and also get the lay of the land so that we could understand what took place here. It is awe inspiring to see and feel what occurred here. There were 51,000 casualties in this battle alone. We can see the mountains, high, steep hills, rocks, boulders, ridges, creeks or runs, large copses of trees, great open fields and the strategy becomes more apparent, once explained by the CD and having read extensively about before arriving here. Of course, the "best laid plans of mice and men" can be tripped up because of the spirit and courage of simple men who refuse to quit. That was done here. We saw where tactical edges were not able to be taken advantage of because the opponents said "No more." There were buildings that still bear the holes of musket and cannon fire. Carol found a piece of iron in a boulder on Little Round Top. The first gentleman that you see here is Abner Doubleday, who later invented baseball. He was a hero in this war. Next is the iron in the boulder on Little Round Top. Next is The Devils Den as seen from Little Round Top. Next is Little Round Top from Devils Den. Next is Devils Den. We shot over 60 photos today and will try to get some more into this blog later. Little Round Top had the high ground over much of the battlefield and thus was a jewel of a position for the Federals to hold. From here, they were able to fire upon Devils Den, a large mass of gigantic boulders that the north and south traded possession of over the course of the battle. We are in information overload now and, after finishing the tour tomorrow and returning to several spots, we will try to sort out what we learned.

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