Saturday, July 4, 2009

Some Sunset Shots

As you can well imagine, we all at the park have been incredibly busy this Fourth of July week. Tens of thousands of visitors, both novice and expert, are visiting this great place to experience the great ranger programs and historic activities taking place within the park and the town. Given the flurry of activity here, I thought I would take this opportunity to show you some photos of more serene instances I have taken. All of the following were taken at sunset near the Pennsylvania Memorial.

A view looking eastward of the 8th PA Cavalry monument. The soldier on this monument was originally holding a carbine, but it was lost to vandals many years ago. Incidentally, this is the only monument with a tree stump going up a horse's stomach. It was not originally designed as such, but they needed some way to support all that weight on the horse!

A close-up view of the 8th PA rider.

This view looks west towards the sunset. The tall monument in the foreground is one of the Vermont monuments. The figure atop of it is Gen. George Stannard, who commanded a Union brigade which helped repulse Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863. Stannard lost an arm later in the war, and is depicted as such on the monument to represent the loss Vermonters suffered in this awful war. The large barn in the background is the Codori Farm running along the Emmitsburg Road.

This is a silhouette view of the 1st Minnesota Monument adjacent from the PA Memorial. I was able to get the moon in the background to make it appear as if the soldier is firing his weapon. From this spot, the Minnesotans waged a desperate charge into advancing Confederates. Needless to say, these guys put up one heck of a fight. Here, there monument reads:

On the afternoon of July 2, 1863 Sickles' Third Corps, having advanced from this line to the Emmitsburg Road, eight companies of the First Minnesota Regiment, numbering 262 men were sent to this place to support a battery upon Sickles repulse.

As his men were passing here in confused retreat, two Confederate brigades in pursuit were crossing the swale. To gain time to bring up the reserves & save this position, Gen Hancock in person ordered the eight companies to charge the rapidly advancing enemy.

The order was instantly repeated by Col. Wm. Colvill. And the charge as instantly made down the slope at full speed through the concentrated fire of the two brigades breaking with the bayonet the enemy's front line as it was crossing the small brook in the low ground there the remnant of the eight companies, nearly surrounded by the enemy held its entire force at bay for a considerable time & till it retired on the approach of the reserve the charge successfully accomplished its object. It saved this position & probably the battlefield. The loss of the eight companies in the charge was 215 killed & wounded. More than 83% percent. 47 men were still in line & no man missing. In self sacrificing desperate valor this charge has no parallel in any war. Among the severely wounded were Col Wm Colvill, Lt Col Chas P Adams & Maj Mark W. Downie. Among the killed Capt Joseph Periam, Capt Louis Muller & Lt Waldo Farrar. The next day the regiment participated in repelling Pickett's charge losing 17 more men killed & wounded.

Happy Fourth of July!

1 comment: