Gettysburg, 154 Years Later

July 10, 2017

BW photograph of Devil's Den at Gettysburg.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This year marked the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, which was fought July 1-3, 1863.  Yesterday morning, I circumnavigated the area encompassed on the second day of the battle.  This walk included the Round Tops, Devil’s Den, the Wheat Field, and a view of the Peach Orchard.  It was still cool, yet the sun was warm and bright in the early morn (a bit before 7:00) when the trek began.   A century-and-a-half ago, it was quite hot on July 2nd when the fighting started around 4:00 in the afternoon.

BW photograph of a rail fence in the early morn at Gettysburg.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a rail fence near the Wheat Field in Gettysburg.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a boulder and some leaves near Little Round Top in Gettysburg.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Episode Five, “The Universe of Battle”, from Ken Burns’ The Civil War, discusses Gettysburg.  By the end of the day on July 3rd, the Union and Confederate armies together had sustained a total of 51,000 casualties:  23,000 for the North and 28,000 for the South.  That is around one-third of all the men who participated in the fighting.  Despite that amount of carnage, this battle, while pivotal, did not end the Civil War.  In fact, the battles worsened.

BW photograph overlooking the battlefield from Little Round Top at Gettysburg.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There is an aura of solemnity that envelopes when visiting Gettysburg.  When standing on the high ground, which was occupied by the Union soldiers, and looking out and down over the area crossed and climbed by the Confederate soldiers, it is possible to visualize the fighting as the battle raged-who did what, where, and when.  It is much more difficult to imagine what it was like to be fighting there.  One of the great values of Mr. Burns’ documentary is hearing the words of those who did.

Take care.

 

 

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