November 6, 2012 – Gettysburg Day Two

This morning we went back to the Battlefield to see some areas in depth.

Devil’s Den:

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And the monuments – WOW!




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We went back to the top of Little Round Top:

The New York Monument – 44th Infantry – Impressive:

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Inside the monument – on the right is the list of all the men in the 44th NY Infantry.

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The view from the top of the monument:

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Touching Colonel O'Rorke's nose for courage – LOL:

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An original cannon:

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Those numbers/letters stamped on the outside is how we tell original from replica.  The reproductions do not have any numbers/letters.

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From there we went to the Pennsylvania Monument – IMPRESSIVE!

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The tablets contain the name of each Pennsylvania soldier who participated in the Battle of Gettysburg.  It is said that Maya Lin got her inspiration of the Vietnam Veteran Memorial from this Monument.

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The view from the top of the monument – this is where Day 3 of the Battle took place:

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Pickett’s Charge Monument across the Battlefield:

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From there we went to:

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“The Soldiers’ National Cemetery is famous throughout the world today as the site of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, delivered at the cemetery’s dedication four and a half months after the battle.

The recovery efforts began almost immediately following the battle.  While relief for the wounded began to trickle in, the dead were hastily buried in shallow graves across the battlefield within one week of the battle.  These crude graves were seen as a temporary solution for the disposal of the dead and were completed quickly for fear that an epidemic might spread in the hot, humid summer conditions.  The markings of these burials were also very rough and temporary, typically a wooden board with the solder’s name written in pencil, placed at the head of his grave.  Not surprisingly, many of these identifications were lost when exposed to the weather and other elements.  It would be the effort to give these men proper and permanent burials that eventually led to the creation of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

A committee was formed, consisting of representatives from all of the Northern states who lost soldiers here.  Headed by David Wills, a Gettysburg attorney and the Pennsylvania state agent, the committee decided upon a plan to create a common burial ground for the Union dead.  The natural eminence of this hill, coupled with its importance to the Union victory, led the committee to select this 17 acre site as the location for the new soldiers’ cemetery.  The land was purchased and the reburial of the Union soldiers began on October 27.”

Lincoln gave his famous address on November 19, 1863.  (It is still commemorated here every year – this year’s speaker will be Stephen Spielberg because of the new movie on Lincoln due to be released.)

There are three types of stones that make up the state sections and individual graves.

Larger grey stones serve as state section markers and indicate the number of fallen from each state:

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Long rectangular granite stones set at ground level serve as gravestones for the remains of soldiers buried in the state sections, and mostly are marked by names.

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This is one of three areas of the Unknown soldiers marked only by small marble squares bearing numbers:

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Since this is also a National Cemetery, these are the graves of our military from the Civil War thru the Vietnam War

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And what about the Confederate Soldiers? Well, “ A few Confederate soldiers were mistakenly interred in the cemetery alongside their former foes.  Although they fell under different flags, they now rest under one.  However, in the bitterness sown by the war, the remainder of the Confederate dead remained buried on the battlefield.  Between seven to ten years after the battle, these Southern remains, over 3200, were returned home to four primary locations – Richmond, VA; Raleigh, NC; Savannah, GA; and Charlestown, SC.”

On our bus tour of the Battlefield, we were told that they do find human remains every so often, the latest being in 2010 at the railroad cut.  How sad.

Next stop was a few places downtown.  We found out that if a house had this plaque on it, the house was standing during the Battle of Gettysburg.

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More Civil War houses:

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And some of those homes still have bullet holes:

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Our last stop was Lincoln Square to see the statues of Lincoln and David Wills.  President Lincoln stayed in Mr. Wills home where he finished the Gettysburg address.   (The locals think the statue of Mr. Wills looks like Perry Como or Andy Williams – :-))

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Since it was a nice sunny day, we decided to see some of the countryside and we came upon:

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The Thomas Brothers Historic Country Store in Biglerville where we met Marion who told us some really great stories about the store and her visitors, especially Ike and Mamie Eisenhower.

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More information at http://www.thomasbroscountrystore.com/Home.html 

What a Hoot – :-)))

Back home, we were entertained by this little guy who tormented the cats – LOL!

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What a wonderful day.  We have decided to stay put here for a few more days because of the storm coming in.  Gettysburg should be okay but our next stop is Washington DC and we really do not want to tour in the rain/snow. 

So stay tuned and enjoy today.

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