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Old 06-28-2013, 03:46 PM
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Battle of Gettysburg 150th Anniversary

I've done some browsing over the last week on events leading up to the main battle. I enjoy learning the ironies, coincidences and what if's of historical events.

On June 26th, 1863, Gen. Jubal Early took Gettysburg on his way to York, PA and the Susquehanna River which he reached on June 28th. Along his way, Early came upon an iron works owned by Thaddeus Stevens, a noted Union abolitioinist. Early, who, like most Confederate troops, did not pillage, loot or burn property. But he made an exception in the case of Steven's forge and burned it to the ground.
June 26 is also the date the first casualty of the battle occurred. A Union soldier ironically named George Washington Sandoe, a member of the Adams County cavalry unit, killed trying to escape capture.
The American Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg: Private George Sandoe 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry

On June 27th, Joe Hooker resigned as commanding General of the Army of the Potomac under heavy criticism after Chancellorsville. George Meade was named commander on this date, June 28th.

One individual can make a difference and shape events. Here's a story I stumbled across and find interesting. It occurred on Day 3 at the Angle, the center of the Union line and the point of Lee's attack.

Battle of Gettysburg: A key individual makes a difference - YouTube

Gettysburg overshadows the fall of Vicksburg on July 4th 1863.
This really was the week that was for the Confederate Army

Grant took Vicksburg and Lincoln brought him east in 1864 to take command of all Union forces, in effect becoming Meade's superior officer during the 1864campaign.

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Old 06-28-2013, 07:17 PM
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IIRC, Hooker did not resign; He was replaced. Hooker had offered to resign, but this decision came from Lincoln's war room.
Another irony--the "north" was on the south side of the battlefield, while the southerns attacked from the north.


As per the video--Haskell has long been a favorite of mine. His ( longest letter ever written) account of the battle is great reading because he helps you to see , hear, and feel the passion of the battle. Fortunately, his work is available on line:Haskell's Account of the Battle of Gettysburg. Paras. 1-25. 1909-14. American Historical Documents, 1000-1904. The Harvard Classics

It also interesting to know "the rest of the story". He desired to be a Brigadier General. He was recognized by many union officers as meriting the position. Even Robert E Lee paid him compliments for his work that day. He was the only mounted union officer on that part of the field. However, politics being what they are, and were then, he couldn't get the appointment. He did go back home and raise a regiment, and at Cold Harbor was one of two regiments assigned to attack--ironically, a perfect role reversal--now HE was the attacker against well entrenched foe. The other officer fell to enemy fire, and for a brief moment Haskell operated as the Brigade Commander, until he, too was mortally wounded.
Still, his work on July 3, 1863 was glory enough.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:10 PM
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I was to the Gettysburg Museum; but way back in Gettysburg. I still have one of the original Bullets that there are must be Millions of dug up in the Farmers Fields.

In the Museum at that time there was a big display Bones from cut off Limbs, Bones where the Bullet entered endwise into the Bone and is still there and Bullets that collided with each other in mid Air.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:42 PM
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If you are in the area, Frederick, MD ( less than an hour south of Gettysburg), has the Medical Museum of the Civil War. If shattered bones are your thing, its a great place to visit.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
If you are in the area, Frederick, MD ( less than an hour south of Gettysburg), has the Medical Museum of the Civil War. If shattered bones are your thing, its a great place to visit.
I read a book about Clara Barton and there is a lot of other general medical information there.

If you were wounded on the Battle Field and could not get to the rear because you could not walk there Yourself or no one took you back there you simply laid were you were alone and undiscovered and died of not having your wounds treated, thirst or exposure or some combination of that.

With typical Military Thinking because the Medical Supplies were considered valuable and they might be 20 miles away from the head of the Colum or where the Battle was fought and take days to get up to the Front.

If it was a large Battle and you were wounded and managed to make it to the rear you could still die from your Wounds not getting treated, Thirst, nothing to eat or exposure.
When the Hospital commission was formed they did not believe any extensive Medical Treatment in the Field but transporting the Wounded to Hospitals that might take several days to reach. Again you could die from no one to Wounds not getting treated, Thirst, nothing to eat or exposure plus from the rough ride that was often just a Freight Wagon.

Entirely on Her own Clara Barton started and got People to volunteer themselves and Money and headed out to the Battle Fields with Her own Wagons and supplies.
And, was rejected at first.
Even after being accepted they wanted He back with the Medical Supplies perhaps days from the actual Battle Field.
She had Her crew get up extremely early packed and ready to go and got up near the head of the Colum often about where the Artillery was in the Colum.
Since the Military Colum entirely coked the Road once She was in place there was no way to turn Her back without stopping the Colum.

Once on the Battle Field She immediately set up Her stuff and starting rendering aid to the Soldiers and giving Medical Supplies to the Doctors when they did not have them.

The above stuff only scratches the surface as to the aid She gave.

It is amazing that anyone wounded survived; what little Medical Help their was swamped by literally thousands of casualties.

In a modern War there is 10-20 Wounded Soldiers for ever KIA. When you see a Civil War Death toll from a major Civil War Battle that is the Thousands multiply that by 10-20 to see how many might have been wounded. If there was less wounded than the 10-20 per KIA it is likely because more of the Soldiers Died of their Wounds due to the type of Medical care the received.
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:33 PM
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Add to all that the state of medical art was not too high. For starters, it was not uncommon to have a bowl of water, and a towel to was the puss out of weeping wounds. Not bad, but then they went to the next patient, and did the same thing--with the same water and towel, and the next, and the next... Can you say ugh?
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:39 PM
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It disturbs me how many pictures of the Gettysburg re-enactment show massed cavalry charges. Now, I admit, that makes a pretty picture, but, except for an engagement a few miles east of Gettysburg, there was little cavalry action. To be sure, Buford's cavalry initiated the conflict early on the morning of July 1, but they fought as dismounted infantry--except they had greater fire power. The cavalry action on July 3rd was supposed to be the second arm of a pincer--Pickett's charge was aimed at the federal front, and the cavalry was to hit them in the rear at the same time, but they were forced to abandon the effort when union cavalry drove them off.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
IIRC, Hooker did not resign; He was replaced. Hooker had offered to resign, but this decision came from Lincoln's war room.
Another irony--the "north" was on the south side of the battlefield, while the southerns attacked from the north.


As per the video--Haskell has long been a favorite of mine. His ( longest letter ever written) account of the battle is great reading because he helps you to see , hear, and feel the passion of the battle. Fortunately, his work is available on line:Haskell's Account of the Battle of Gettysburg. Paras. 1-25. 1909-14. American Historical Documents, 1000-1904. The Harvard Classics

It also interesting to know "the rest of the story". He desired to be a Brigadier General. He was recognized by many union officers as meriting the position. Even Robert E Lee paid him compliments for his work that day. He was the only mounted union officer on that part of the field. However, politics being what they are, and were then, he couldn't get the appointment. He did go back home and raise a regiment, and at Cold Harbor was one of two regiments assigned to attack--ironically, a perfect role reversal--now HE was the attacker against well entrenched foe. The other officer fell to enemy fire, and for a brief moment Haskell operated as the Brigade Commander, until he, too was mortally wounded.
Still, his work on July 3, 1863 was glory enough.
Good read that letter of Haskells. I just read up to the end of Day 1 and Meade's council that night. Then I find this, which the narrator quotes Haskell's letter verbatim.
Council of War at Gettysburg - YouTube

You sure about Hooker? His and Meade's Wiki page mention him resigning.
If Lincoln had fired him, would he been inclined to restore him to command in the south after a few months?
Then there's this. Video.
Gettysburg 150th anniversary: June 27, 1863, Union Gen. Joseph Hooker resigns, only days before the Battle of Gettysburg - The Macomb Daily

In any event, It would have been a much different battle had Hooker been in charge.

Last edited by dynalow; 06-29-2013 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:59 PM
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It was an extremely brutal war for the soldiers.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:22 AM
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From " Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" Vol 3
Duplicate copies of the President's order, changing the command, were made, authenticated by the signature of the adjutant-general, and addressed, severally, to Generals Hooker and Meade. General James A. Hardie, chief of staff of Sec of War, and a personal friend of both of the officers concerned, was then called into the conference room and directed to start at once for Frederick City and, without disclosing his presence or business, make his way to General Meade and give him to understand that the order for him to assume command of the army was intended to be as unquestionable and peremptory as any that a soldier could receive. He was then, as representative of the President, to take General Meade to the headquarters of General Hooker and transfer the command from the later to the former......Hardie undertook to break the news to Hooker, who did not need to be told anything after seeing who his visitors were. It was a bitter moment for all, for Hooker had construed favorably the delay in responding to his tender of resignation, and could not wholly mask the revulsion of feeling."

Yes, Hooker had tendered his resignation- he wanted the troops at Harper's Ferry put under his command- but he never expected it to be accepted. Lincoln and Seward had been looking to replace Hooker, and his tender provided the occasion. That, and Lee's troops north of the Potomac, assembling for battle.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:10 AM
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The History Channel is broadcasting a live show about Gettysburg tonight.

They will also broadcast this film about the battle I think.

Gettysburg Full Episode - Gettysburg - History.com

(complete with commercials )
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:13 PM
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Remember, as Haskel writes somewhere in his account, that --this is my account of what I saw, and what I did. When I said so-and so happened, it doesn't mean that something else didn't happen. Someday, someone who did not participate in the battle will write what will be called 'the history', and we, if we are still alive, must be content with that. ( not an exact quote, but pretty close).

The battlefield was so vast, and so much was going on at the same time, it is difficult to have any movie accurately portray "the battle as it was".
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:24 AM
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Doris kearns Goodwin fouls up keynote address at the ceremony...idiot

Doris Kearns Goodwin at Gettysburg: A Few Inappropriate Remarks

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