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on this day 150 years ago


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Jul 1, 2011
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... the Battle of Gettysburg began.


The Battle of Gettysburg - 150 years later*Pictures - CBS News

if you haven't ever been there, it's worth the trip. we used to go often when i was a kid. i will say that the place has a vibe; a historical event that large leaves echoes, though i'm generally not a big believer in stuff like that. i felt it as a kid, though.

My great great grandfather was there, and was wounded in the leg. he survived, and was able to keep his leg, though the surgeon wanted to amputate.

the museum there is one of the best i've ever seen. what struck me most was a display of mini balls which had hit each other in the air. there were so many shots being fired that the bullets were colliding with each other. i also remember a belt buckle with a bullet hole in it. i can't imagine how awful it must have been to fight there.
There is also a free Gettysburg Battle App for smartphones, which will use GPS to identify where you are on the battlefield and tell you the history that happened in that spot.

Very cool.
There is also a free Gettysburg Battle App for smartphones, which will use GPS to identify where you are on the battlefield and tell you the history that happened in that spot.

Very cool.

thanks, i didn't know about that. i need to take another trip there; haven't done so since i was a teenager.
One of my favorite parts of a vacation as a kid was to Gettysburg. Spent 3 whole days wandering the battlefield, with maps and history books. Bought some awesome Civil War books at the bookshop that I still read today... 30 years after buying them.
Probably the most important accident in American history.
Longstreet's corps has arrived and fighting begins shortly to contest The Devil's Den, The Peach Orchard, The Wheatfield, Rose Farm and Trosle Farm. Confederates launch multiple up Little Round Top. In a few hours Colonel Chamberlain will order a bayonet charge down rhe slope of Little Round Top.

Buster Kilrain is mortally wounded on Luttle Round Top. General Hood is severely wounded at The Devil's Den.
Interesting to note that Brig. General James Archer was captured by the Union Army on Day 1... the first of Lee's general officers to ever be captured.

Other important Day 1 notes:

Calvary General John Buford, massively outnumbered, but with guile and some misdirection, held off two full Confederate brigades until the I Corps (specifically the Iron Brigade) arrived on the battlefield.

Major General John Reynolds, Commander of the I Corps, considered by some to be the finest general in the US Army, one who was presumably asked by Lincoln to command the Army of the Potomac after the Chancelorsville debacle (turning it down, obviously) is killed, most likely by a Confederate sharpshooter, at around 10:30 AM while organizing the placement of the first Union infantry to arrive on the field.

After some command confusion (Doubleday was initially in command, then the poorly skilled Howard), Hancock arrives on the field, and, directed by Meade, takes command. Union troops had retreated to Cemetery Ridge. Hancock told Meade that this was a strong position from where to fight the battle.

Lee recognized the defensive position that the Union held, and gave Lieutenant General Richard Ewell discretionary orders in regards to taking Culp's Hill. Ewell opted to not advance, leading to many a historical debate around how this was a missed opportunity, how Stonewall Jackson, if still alive, probably would have attempted this maneuver, and questions over whether Ewell's Corps was too tired, whether Lee's orders had been contradictory, or whether Ewell was too conservative. Many consider Ewell's decision to not attack a decision that changed the course of the battle.
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