An October 2004 trip
to Gettysburg by Joekirr
Quote: Discovering my ancestors' place in history
Attraction | "Gettysburg National Battlefield"
Visit the battlefield on a hot day and one can see why it is called Devil's Den. It is on this spot where Matthew Brady's more famous picture of a Confederate soldier was taken. Brady actually staged the whole thing, dragging the dead man and posing him against a rock with rifle by his side. It is said that it can be difficult to take pictures at this site because of certain spirits interfering with cameras.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2005
Gettysburg National Military Park and Cemetery
1195 Baltimore Pike
My Great-Great Grandfather fought in the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Civil War. The 6th PA was a unique, distinguished regiment. They were known as Rush's Lancers. They were the only Union Cavalry unit in the Civil War to be outfitted with lances. The reasons for this are many but the main reasons were:
A)People had a romantic view of these massive cavalry charges as seen during the Napoleanic Wars
B)The lance was an intimidating and dangerous weapon in properly trained hands.
The lances were soon abandoned as impractical. There would be no great clashes of cavalry, as there would be no great clashes of battleships in WWII. The great weapon of the early 19th Century faltered in the muddy, haphazard woods and swamps and fields of the Southern states during the Penisular Campaign.
The 6th cut their teeth as couriers and message carriers for the Union generals during the early part of the war, they acted with well trained professionalism in all their campaigns and distinquished themselves in the Battle of Brandy Station in May of 1863.
Having read the annals of my great-great grandfather's regiment, the history of the Union Cavalry, the cavalry conflicts of Gettysburg, the actions on Culp's and Cemetery Hill, and the one-sided view of a soldier with Sheridan in the Shenandoah, I decided to find the relevant monuments of my ancestor in Gettysburg. These are the minor tales of my travels. I intend on going back and taking more pictures which will fit with in the parameters of the designated files size of this site. Most of my pix are over 200kb. Sorry.
I began by trudging through the undergrowth of deep grass and weeds. The slope of the hill was deceiving; it did not look that steep from the base, and it was not a gradual ascent as trees, logs, and rocks offered up resistance to the easiest path. I quickened my pace and tried to imagine being 18 years old, loaded with gear, with bullets, shrapnel, and hell around me, "running" at quick-step up this hill through the woods on a stifling hot summer's day. I tried to run, but the small trees and rocks made it more difficult than I thought it would be. I reached the summit, slightly winded and a little humbled. The terrain was certainly more treacherous than I thought, but also the slope of the hill was greater, and I had to take an indirect route up the hill. Mind you, this is no Everest, and certainly not the largest or steepest hill I have climbed, but to consider the conditions a young man from Kentucky or Tennessee had to endure to receive the orders to charge up this land mass while others were trying to kill him, it might as well have been Everest.
One caveat, I'm not too sure if one is actually ALLOWED to ascend Culp's Hill in this fashion - there is a road one can take, but I felt that it necessary to immerse myself in the subject.
NEW PROVIDENCE, New Jersey