the blue and the gray

Last Saturday we took a field trip to Gettysburg and Harper's Ferry. First though, is the story of getting on the bus. We stayed up until one or two (am) and set the alarm, optimistically for 5:30--yeah, right. I woke up to a door slamming at 6:44. We were leaving at 7 sharp. I text emily "code blue. can you get us some bagels"...then we scrambled to get dressed, throw random stuff in the backpack, brush our teeth and run downstairs. I guess most people got up around that time, but at least they had planned on it, you know? I also figured I should save the "code blue" for something more serious. From my medical show watching, it means someone died. Anyway.

We stopped at the museum and didn't get enough time to go through, but it was still cool. After we watched a great movie and saw the cyclorama. (I had no idea what it was. I thought it was a modern painting and that in 2000 something we made up the word cyclorama. No, they made up that word in the 1800s. brilliant).

Then we were off for the tour! Most of the tour was on the bus, so most of our pictures have weird reflections. The government owns most of the battlefield and is working to have it look as it did back in 1863. They are doing a great job (I think that is one area of the government that is usually does its job) and it was a beautiful day. (cloudy). Our tour guide was awesome and we learned a lot. It was an awe-striking experience to learn about that horrible battle.

Anyway, here are a few stops on our tour with some explanations.

fun fact: the position of the horse's legs tell you a bit about the guy on the horse.
2 legs up: he died
1 leg up: wounded
both on ground: he made it

this is little round top and there was pretty big clash between the yanks and 'feds. Apparently, if the confederation had been five minutes earlier, they probably would have won the battle because they would have taken this hill. dang. timing is crazy.

peace eternal in a nation united flame.

this is atop a steel staircase that they build in the 1800s (or 1900s) to see the battle field. It was really tall. It made my poor calves shake all day and about made me pee my pants.

This is on little round top overlooking the valley of death. we probably should have looked more sad. they found a lot of bodies behind us.

this is a cannon. did you know that you can be concussion-ed to death? A lot of young guys died from the air pressure on their heads.

some of the field. the government rents it out for growing crops.

this home was there during the war and has authentic battle damage! (the black dot on the left side of the very top window is shrapnel from a cannon)

We also learned about Pickett's charge, which, according to our tour guide, is arguably the greatest offensive in history. (note: not the biggest nor the brightest. the confederates lost horribly)

"Approximately 12,500 men in nine infantry brigades advanced over open fields for three-quarters of a mile under heavy Union artillery and rifle fire. Although some Confederates were able to breach the low stone wall that shielded many of the Union defenders, they could not maintain their hold and were repulsed with over 50% casualties, a decisive defeat that ended the three-day battle..."

and yes, I have like three t-shirts and wear them alternatively on our outings. I also am in love with my new hat, hence the last two week and the next few look like I'm wearing the same thing everyday.


Katya said...

oh my gosh, i loved visiting gettysburg. such a beautiful landscape for such a tragic event! glad you guys got to go see it!

BenchWarmer said...

Ha nice hand placement on the staircase picture...
Isn't it crazy how big the battlefields are? I never knew that before I visited them!