A Day In The Life of …
… A Gettysburg Battlefield Visitor
Gettysburg National Military Park
This website has so much information about what to do and see at Gettysburg, I am not even going to try to match it with information in this blog. Check it out and you’ll see it will give you information on Education classes, Ranger Programs, Then and Now pictures, Civil War timeline and much more.
In this blog, I’m just going to post and talk and describe a few of our pictures.
Also, I wanted to bring up the story about the placement of the horse’s feet on statues.
We’ve always been told that if two feet of the horse in the statue is in the air, the rider died in battle. If one leg is in the air, the rider died of wounds from battle. And if all four legs are on the ground, the rider died of natural causes.
But, from www.civilwartalk.com there’s this other take on the horse statue feet.
“Does the position of the horses’ hooves on the equestrian statues at Gettysburg correlate to the rider’s condition after the battle? The answer is “yes” and “no”. Supporting the “yes” contention, Meade, Sedgwick, Slocum, Howard, and Lee, none of which were wounded or killed, are displayed on horses with all four hooves on the ground. Hancock, who was wounded, but survived, is shown on a horse with one hoof in the air, while General Reynolds, killed early on Day One, is riding a… horse with two hooves up. Based on these facts, the myth arose that the position of the horses’ hooves is a code intentionally used by the sculptors to pass on the condition of the riders after the battle. However, that is where it becomes a myth. The sculptor of both the Reynolds and Meade monuments, Henry Kirke Bush-Brown, clearly stated there was no intentional code to the position of the hooves. His intention was to show a horse in motion, Reynolds, and others at rest, Meade and Sedgwick. Interestingly, the Hancock statue, one hoof up, was modeled after one of the first equestrian statues known, that of Marcus Aurelius, shown with Hancock below. One last point, the myth was also dispelled a few years ago when the Longstreet equestrian monument was unveiled having one foot in the air even though Longstreet was unhurt during the battle. The belief in the myth is so commonly accepted that some Battlefield Guides pass it on during their tours.”
One of the biggest battles and possibly the most well known is the Battle of Little Round Top. Little Round Top is the smaller of two rocky hills south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—the companion to the adjacent, a taller hill named Big Round Top. It was the site of an unsuccessful assault by Confederate troops against the Union left flank on July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Above are photos of the statue of Gouverneur Kemble Warren overlooking Devils Den at the Little Round Top battlefield
Below are pictures of Little Round Top battlefield and close-ups of the Devils Den. The rocks were very close together but there may have been enough room for one or two men to squeeze in between them. Warren used his engineering and geographical skills in his reconnaissance of the area when choosing Little Round Top as the best location for the union army to meet the advances of the Confederate forces. Union soldiers from the State of Maine were largely responsible for the victory at the battle of Little Round Top and you’ll find several monuments to them in this area of the Gettysburg National Park.
There’s no way I could do justice to writing accurately about the details of the Gettysburg battles. There are so many websites that do that and you could always make a visit. But, if you’re really interested in the history of the battles, I suggest that before your visit do some research and sign up for one or more of their many guided tours.
Here are pictures of just a few of the statues around the battlefield.
This is the last post I’m going to do about Gettysburg. I found our visit to be very interesting. I hope you get the chance to visit there sometime too.