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Member Since 28 Dec 2019
Offline Last Active Today, 04:46 AM


06 May 2021 - 06:06 PM


What's for Lunch?

06 May 2021 - 06:04 PM


The Old Belfry

06 May 2021 - 05:58 PM


Four Score Abd Seven Years Ago...

04 May 2021 - 02:33 PM

...began the message President Abraham Lincoln would deliver at the dedication of the Soldier's National Cemetery at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863.  The speech was less than two minutes long, yet more was said that volumes written by others.  My generation of school children had to memorize it in the fourth grade.


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.


Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.


But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.



Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863



Soldier's National Cemetery at Gettysburg holds most of the Union dead from the battle.  Others were taken home and buried by relatives, some mortally wounded were buried near where they died, some are still buried in shallow graves on the battlefield where they fell.  A portion of Cemetery Hill was donated alongside Evergreen Cemetery for the burials


Inside the gate, a map and view of the cemetery








Evergreen Cemetery behind the guns.  On July 1 men lay the grave markers over so artillery could operate and shoot from there, despite a sign that strictly forbade shooting in the cemetery.




Here the known dead are buried, their names inscribed in the stone semi circles by state.




The small stone markers denote an grave of the unknown dead




The center piece of the cemetery, Soldiers National Monument, Liberty adorns the pedestal




The statues at the base represent, War, History, Plenty, and Peace




Mrs. Elizabeth Thorn, six months pregnant and the wife of a soldier lived in the gate house of Evergreen Cemetery.  When the war came to her doorstep she was ordered to leave.  When she came back she tended the wounded, buried the dead, drew water and made bread for the living.




The gatehouse after the battle



The Grand Assault, July 3, 1863

04 May 2021 - 10:17 AM

''Pickett's Charge'', ''High Water Mark of the Confederacy'', ''The Grand Assault''...call it what you will, it was a grand failure on the part of the Confederacy.  I can't imagine many who made the assault on the afternoon of July 3 thought it had much chance of success, yet on they went across nearly a mile of open fields, using precious minutes being shot up at the Emmitsburg road dismantling fences, and on to the gentle slope beyond where some would engage in hand to hand combat, but most never made it that close. 


Confederate General James Longstreet argued with Lee for hours against the assault, Longstreet's chief of artillery, a young Lt.Col. Edward Porter Alexander had no grand illusions for a Southern victory.  Alexander had directed the Confederate Artillery on the July 2 assault and predicted it's failure.  With a sense of foreboding, Longstreet ordered Alexander's guns to commence firing on the Union center from Seminary ridge at 1:00. 


The majority of the Confederate guns fired high, missing their targets.  Union Artillery answered with deadly accuracy, (Confederate General John B. Gordon once said, ''Give me Yankee Artillery and Confederate Infantry, and I'll beat the world!'')  Union artillery chief,  General Henry Hunt knew the assault was coming and went along the Union line on Cemetery Ridge ordering his guns to conserve ammunition, silencing some batteries, ordering some to cover for the moment, and slowing the fire of others, this not only assured the Yankee gunners ample ammunition to meet the infantry assault, but lulled the Southern gunners into thinking their bombardment was effective, encouraging them to expend their ammunition. 


With a mile of open fields to cross, Confederate Infantry began their assault after an hour bombardment.  Union artillery on the flanks chewed at the Rebel lines as soon as they stepped off, but the center held it's fire, awaiting sure targets and full effect from their guns.  Yankee infantry lay low behind whatever cover they could find with some having gathered several muskets, loaded them and waited.  Hunt had ordered his guns back to the line and open with shot and shell when the Southern line reached it's halfway point.  At 200 yards, double canister was poured into the assaulting troops and Union Infantry fired volley after volley into them.  Only on the left center of the Union line did Longstreet's men manage to pierce the Union line, but only briefly.  Those not killed were taken prisoner and the broken Rebel line began falling back to Seminary Ridge where their commander, Robert E. Lee greeted them, hat in hand, tears streaming down his cheeks saying, ''It's all my fault...It's all my fault my brave men...It's all my fault...''


Part of the union center looking south and what's left of the stone wall, Round Tops in the distance.




Copes of trees which guided the Confederate assault of July 3, also part of the ''High Water Mark'' of the assault




Southern flank of the Union line, again Round Tops in the distance




Union line near the center, fences along the Emmitsburg Road to the front.




Artillery on the Union right




Union guns and limbers in the center




Union caissons behind the above artillery position




Union left center looking across to Seminary Ridge where the grand assault started, South Mountain in the distance, fences  along Emmitsburg Road middle, Virginia Monument barely visible in front of the trees to the left