Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 28, 2007 Gettysburg, PA

Today we finished our "two hour tour" taking another four hours. We have seen most everything at least once, now, and some things more than once. We are still in awe at how tens of thousands of men could move through the mountains, valleys, farms, rivers, rocks, boulders - all the while being shot at by cannons, muskets, rifles, pistols, and stuck with bayonets and blinded by heavy smoke - and still be able to fight. General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army of 75,000 men and General George G. Meade with 97,000 Northern soldiers took part in this battle. Each army was made up of enough people to populate a good sized town. This battlefield is approximately 25 square miles. Pictured is a farm house with bullet holes still showing in the siding, a stone wall on Culp's Hill, a view from the top of Culp's Hill showing the town of Gettysburg in the background, one of many monuments erected to show where the Michigan units fought, in this case it was the 1st Brigade Michigan Horse Artillery Cavalry Corps, and Cemetary Hill. Culp's Hill was a tall, very steep hill originally held by the Federals. Parts of were overrun by the Confederates and retaken several times, each time with many casualties. We discovered that the Rebels only know which way to go in the thick smoke by moving uphill. They could not see until right in the faces of the Union troops. This hill is next to Cemetary Hill. These hills and Big and Little Round Tops were wooded, steep and rocky. When the Confederates were shoved back down Culp's Hill, it began the end for this battle. The entire battle lasted three days and two nights. On the third night, the confederates began their final retreat under cover of darkness, heading back to Virginia through Maryland. We leave for Gosdonsville, VA tomorrow morning. This is in the middle of the area including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness and Spotsylvania. We hope to tour the battlefields there, also.

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