And it started about 7:30 in the morning, as our friends over at the blog of the Gettysburg National Military Park tell us:
It is described in the 2004 Gettysburg National Military Park National Register of Historic Places listing this way: “The building’s location on the crest of a ridge overlooking the Chambersburg Pike and Marsh Creek west of Gettysburg made it an excellent point of observation for Union pickets in the early morning hours of July 1, 1863. It was from the yard of the house that some of the opening shots of the battle were fired against advancing artillery and infantry of Heth’s Confederate Division. In 1886, Lieutenant Marcellus Jones and two other members of the 8th Illinois Cavalry came back to Gettysburg and placed the first shot marker in the front yard of the old Wisler house.”
I will be in Gettysburg this July 4th weekend and will bringing you lots of pictures and event information from the Battlefield. But to mark this special occasion, while we remember the fallen brave, I would like to pose this statement from noted journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates:
It should always be remembered that America did not “go to war” in 1860. America was attacked in 1860 by a formidable rebel faction seeking to protect the expansion of slavery. That faction did not simply want slavery to continue in America; they dreamed of a tropical empire of slavery encompassing Cuba, Nicaragua, and perhaps the whole of South America. This faction was not only explicitly pro-slavery but explicitly anti-democratic. The newly declared Confederacy attacked America not because it was being persecuted, but because it was unable to win a democratic election.
And with that in mind, these are some of the pictures I took when I went down to Gettysburg in 2011.
In addition, here are some event details for the coming week.
Video highlighting the Re-Enactment anchored by the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee. Some 12,000 Re-Enactors are expected. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with getting around the battlefield and other events–with upwards of 200,000 visitors to the park this week (expected), getting around will be tougher than normal.
Hope to see some of you there and I hope you can take something away with you when you leave. Gettysburg has always been a place I call a home away from home, and I always leave with a little more knowledge than when I arrived.
- The 150th Anniversary of Gettysburg Re-enactment is Going to be AWESOME
- Lewis Armistead and Arthur Fremantle in the Movie Gettysburg
- Understanding Gettysburg’s Contemporary History: Park Planning and Rejuvenation of the Battlefield