Gettysburg - January 2008

I visited Gettysburg with Kristin back in January 2008 after a few days of snow. It was gorgeous out there, mainly because everyone else decided to stay at home rather than explore the battlefield in the freezing weather. It really gave us a chance to experience the land and think about what happened there back in 1863.

The visitor’s center is located in the center of the Union line, close to where Meade’s headquarters were located. George Meade assumed command of the Army of Potomac on June 28, 1863 just a few days before the battle began in earnest on July 1st. A statue of him is right behind the building:

General George Meade

General George Meade

Going further away from the center is what’s known as “The Bloody Angle.” This spot was the scene of some desperate hand-to-hand combat during the peak of Pickett’s Charge:

The Angle

The Angle

It is hard to envision such carnage in someone’s back yard, but in fact that’s exactly how it was - this shot gives a little perspective:

Farm near a memorial

Farm near a memorial

Given that Gettysburg is often called the turning point of the Civil War, and paired with the sheer amount of men lost there, you can imagine the large number of monuments and memorials there. Pennsylvania (in the background) has the largest monument on the battlefield:

PA memorial

PA memorial

On the second day of the battle Devil’s Den was a hotbed of activity as General Hood’s division charged up through it heading towards Little Round Top. This is the view facing Southwest:

Devil's Den

Devil's Den

People often see this photograph in books on the Civil War (it was staged, FYI):

The Confederate "sharpshooter"

The Confederate "sharpshooter"

Here is that same spot today:

The same spot today

The same spot today

Past Devil’s Den on the southern part of the battlefield is Little Round Top, where the 20th Maine made its famous charge to effectively end the Confederate attack on the second day. Here’s the view from the top of Little Round Top, with a statue of General Warren looking out to the West:

Summit of Little Round Top

Summit of Little Round Top

Here is the full gallery of pictures I took that day:

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