Tuesday, April 1, 2014


On Sunday March 9, 2014, I threw Linda Lewis head first into my car and carted her through the southern PA countryside to Gettysburg.  She'd never been there, and I love the place.

If you don't know what happened there, well just wow.  (If you're an American that is.)  Here's a quick synopsis.  

Here are some of the pictures I took.

Our first stop was to "The Pub" for lunch.  We were quite the attraction.  Literally the whole staff came out and gawked at us.  Glad we could entertain you, folks!

Like my outfit?  Apparently it was amusing

The food was great, though!

After touring the first day portion of the battlefield, where I showed her the tube of the cannon that fired the first shot of the battle, we went to the southern tip of the field.

Linda standing by the marker for General Reynolds of Pennsylvania, killed on the first day

Virginia monument

There Linda and I trudged through snow and ice up the steep slope of Big Round Top.  And WOW was it cold up there in the wind!

Linda:  "I'm doing this!"

The Summit, looking southeast

From there it was Little Round Top.

At the southern side of Little Round Top is where the battle, and arguably the war turned.  Here a few hundred men from Maine fought a few thousand men from Alabama to a standstill, eventually besting them.

There's something about the story of the 20th Maine that irresistibly draws me.  If you're interested, I suggest you read either THIS by their commander, the quiet college professor Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, THIS which puts things in perspective , or THIS which tells the story from the perspective of the commander of the 15th Alabama, Colonel William C. Oates.  (Both commanders went on to become governors of their respective home states.)

From there, we crossed the "Valley of Death" to Devil's Den.  Linda knows more than a little about geology, and was fascinated by this rock outcropping.

Devil's Den

Linda looks at Little Round Top from Devils Den

From there, we drove past the Wheatfield and Peach Orchard while we defrosted.  We then stopped at the "High Water mark."  This is where the Union Center held against Pickett's Charge.

Looking from the Union position across the mile wide field the Confederates crossed.

We FINALLY got back in the car, and, frozen and full of history, headed back to the boarding house.

I love going to Gettysburg.  I love taking people there.  53,000 people died there in three days.  Wrap your head around that.  That's a staggering number.  And they were all Americans, separated by geography and ideology.  Now the fields are quiet and people come here to see a place where American history really took shape.

I'm going to take Linda back there in the summer, when it is warmer.  We'll linger about more.  And go to a different restaurant.

 Little Round Top, position of the 83rd Pennsylvania

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