If you’re an American history buff, this is the place for you to visit! Hands down, Gettysburg is amazing. It’s a little town in the mid-south section on the boarder of Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The Battle of Gettysburg was fought between the 1st and 4th of July, 1863. It has been deemed the bloodiest battle in the Civil War with at least 46,286 killed, wounded or missing on both the Confederate and Union sides.
There’s a lot of history about how the Union won the war and there’s a fantastic series produced by Ken Burns! He’s legendary in my eyes by bringing pictures and personal letters to life though voice artists and sounds of war.
On the fields of Gettysburg, marching and formations was practised by many regiments before the battle, but target practice for the majority overlooked. The soldiers relied on the sheer quantity of shots fired rather than accurate shots to take down the walls of troops advancing. What’s fascinating is during the heat of the battles, many a novice soldiers were probably scared out of their minds being confronted by death in such a gruesome manner, concentrating more on re-loading when told, than where their shot had gone.
Like, here’s what we’re talking about:
After the battle 37,574 rifles left laying on the battlefield were collected.
- 24,000 were still loaded
- 6,000 had one round in the barrel
- 12,000 had two rounds in the barrel
- 6,000 had three to ten rounds in the barrel
What’s even more interesting is that there were so many bullets that did make it out of the gun barrels, some bullets fired by both the Union and Confederates fused when they met in the sky!
The museum is incredible. There’s everything from interpretation rooms and movies, to historic documentations to the actual camps used – just so you have a true and meaningful feel of how people lived and fought in such conditions.
Or how they even had a chance to survive using a primitive medical kit. Surely, we cant judge them. The technology wasn’t there and they did the best they could with what they had – which usually was ether (of if they were out whiskey), a saw, a poking needle to find buried bullets and shrapnel, a hand bone drill, a ligament hook and a bloodletter.
50 years after the war a ‘reunion’ was held at Gettysburg to bring the old fellas who fought on both sides together. Tents and facilities were provided for the veterans. But after a while, the old fellas fell back into their fighting spirit – luckily, whoever organised this shindig was a smart cookie, because they provided enough Boy Scouts to escort the veterans and to keep the peace between them. It seems that their beliefs in what they were fighting for were alive and kicking even at the ripe old age of 90!
If you’re interested in checking out some additional Gettysburg info:
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!