Monday, April 5, 2010

Gettysburg National Military Park

Since it was only about 50 miles away, after I was done at Antietam, I decided to head up to Gettysburg. I'd been there before about 15 years ago although in both cases I wish I had spend more time there. I think I saw about half of the park (I didn't go where some of the intial cavalry actions were nor did I go to the part to the east. I did see the main part of the park though.

Gettysburg was kind of a accidental meeting of the two Armies. Lee decided that he needed a decisive victory into the North so he decided to head up into Pennsylvania. The Union chased him up there. Lee had no idea what he was getting into because he calvary was off doing other things (one of the functions of Cavalry was to scout the battlefield).

On July 1, 1863, the two Armies met to the Northwest of Gettysburg near the Lutheran Seminary. The Confederates defeated the Union troops but the Union troops were able to rally near cemetary hill.

On July 2, the Union forces were reinforced and took up postions on Cemetary Hill and Little Round Top. The Confederates tried to break but the Union was able to hold.

On July 3, the Confederates tried one more time. This time proceeded by a massive artillery barrage. Then they led what was later known as Pickett's Charge. The Confederates failed. Lee unable to sustain more casualties retreated back to Virginia. It was a bloody battle for both sides but the South ended up on the short end of the stick. Lee was hoping for a decisive battle and he got one but not what he was looking for.

Gettysburg has many memorials to the units that fought there. This was a memorial to the Missisippi soldiers. These memorials are on the Confederate side of the battlefield.

This is a close up of a statue dedicated to soldiers from North Carolina.

This is a memorial to soldiers from Tennessee.

This is a far out shot of the North Carolina statue.

This is a statue for the soldiers from Virginia.

This is of course Lee.

A closeup.

This is a statue to General Longstreet.

This is another statue for soldiers from Mississippi.

This is for soldiers from Louisiana.

Some cannons.

This is looking from the Confederate lines towards Little Round Top. The statues at the top of the hill would have been where the Union Troops would have been.

A statue for Alabama.

A statue for the Confederacy.

This is a statue to one of the Union Soldiers.

A Pennsylvania statue.

This is a monument for the soldiers from the 20th Maine who were under the command of Colonel Chamberlain. He was responsible for the end of the Union Lines and did a fine job of defending them. At the last moment, he ordered a bayonet charge which caused the Confederates to give up. For his valor he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Later he became Governor of Maine. In the movie he was well portrayed by Jeff Daniels.

Looking from Little Round Top, as you can see the Union had a pretty commanding view of the battlefield.

This is a memorial to one of the Michigan units there. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of the other Michigan memorials. Looking on the web, there is actually a very nice memorial. Next time I go there, I'll have to look for it.

One of the Zouave units.

Looking towards the Confederate Lines.

This is a memorial for Pennsylvania.

This is what's known as the Copse of Trees and sometimes the high water mark of the Confederacy. This was the spot where the Confederate advance broke.

Looking from the Union Lines towards the Confederate lines.

Another view of the Confederate Lines, this would have been where Pickett's Charge would have happened.

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