Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Gettysburg (II)

Here is the second batch of photos my wife and I took at Gettysburg battlefield. These will cover the Union side of the battle, beginning with the Round Tops and ending at the High Water Mark. We took so many photos even a limited selection would be too much for any one blog posting, so the third and final post will be in a few days.

The human cost of battle
Silent and peaceful now, but back then...
This pleasant meadow lies to the west of Little Round Top. It was the site of a casualty clearing station for a while during the battle and later, when the fighting was done. 

One of those tragedies which featured in the battle occurred near here, when Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick ordered his subordinate Brig. Gen. Farnsworth to charge through the woods with his cavalry to clear Confederate skirmishers. Farnsworth protested the order, pointing out the tangled nature of the terrain, but failed to have it rescinded. Kilpatrick was a cavalry general, and boasted cavalry could fight anywhere except at sea. Farnsworth charged with 300 of his troopers. He and many of his men died in this fruitless attack.

On now to the slopes of Little Round Top, and the famed 20th Maine led by their commander the redoubtable Col. Lawrence Chamberlain.

The lower, southern slopes of the hill formed the 20th Maine's post in battle. Here they fought against repeated attacks by an Alabama regiment which climbed the hill in an attempt to turn the Union flank. 

Looking down the slope up which the Alabamans attacked. The plinth marks where the 20th Maine's right flank rested.
The level ground atop the slope. My Better Half wears appropriate Union colors.

The site of the 'swinging gate' flank attack by the 20th Maine which broke the final charge of the Alabamans.

Little Round Top proved pivotal to the Union defence, a fact recognized by General Gouverneur Warren when he surveyed the area on the second day. To his horror the hill was undefended, and he urged Meade to send troops down to occupy it right away. They made it scant minutes before the first Confederates arrived.

The opening onto the top of Little Round Top, looking west toward the rebel lines.
Longstreet marched his divisions out of sight of the Union watchers on the hill, keeping them behind the woods and hills shown in the distance above. 

Looking North.
Some of the cannon representing those dragged up here by the Union artillerymen.
Union artillerymen managed to drag guns up to the height in spite of the slope and difficult terrain. They served to defend Little Round Top, but at a price in killed and wounded.

The Devil's Den, the tumble of rocks and outcrops that made a formidable obstacle for the Confederate attacks on this end of the line.

The statue of Gouverneur K. Warren stands on the rock he himself surveyed the battlefield from.

Another view of Devil's Den in the middle distance.
That's all for now. I hope to post the remaining photos from the battlefield in due course. They'll feature the Wheatfield, Peach Orchard, the site of Pickett's Charge and the Angle.

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