Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Getting to Know Gettysburg, One Trail at a Time

Note:  I'm reprinting a post I made last year (about this time) to one of my other blogs--26 Years to Live.  Lucky for me I had this post in reserve; you see, the week flew by too quickly, and I didn't get out and about to bring you a new post.  But next week, I promise to be current. Ha!

When moving to Gettysburg in October, I also moved to a national park, which during the tourism season poses certain challenges, from heavy traffic to overcrowded restaurants and more. But I suspect the advantages of living among preserved battlefields, their histories revealed in countless monuments, will far outnumber the disadvantages. The picturesque landscapes alone are worth whatever inconvenience a "tourist town" entails. Add to this an infrastructure (visitor centers, museums, tours, towers, trails, etc) specifically designed to educate and enhance the visitor's experience and you'll begin to understand my mounting enthusiasm for living in Gettysburg.

Just recently I took my dog Bridget (a black lab mix) for a walk along one of the many horse trails giving access to woodlands and battlefields and, in this instance, past grazing pastures of a large farm where a pair of braying donkeys chased two llamas far afield--not something you typically see or hear. Ha! Following the trail was an adventure, full of beauty and surprises. Who knows, maybe next time, I'll actually go by horse, though I don't think Bridget would appreciate that idea.

Till next time . . . you can walk the trail Bridget and I followed through a pictorial story on my FB page, Of the Wing:


Georgia Anne

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Evergreen Cemetery

The Evergreen Cemetery (established in 1854) for the community of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, derives its place in American history as the headquarters of General Oliver O. Howard of the Union Army (XI Corps).  Howard is credited with the foresight to occupy Culp's Hill, high ground east of the cemetery, where Union forces retreated before advancing Confederate troops (see my last post "123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment").

Above you see the Evergreen Cemetery Gatehouse, which looks much the same as in photographs taken only days after the Battle of Gettysburg. I took this image from a side road (parallel to Baltimore Street).  The other image (zoom) I captured from the observation tower atop Culp's Hill, looking due west.  You may also find it interesting to know that Evergreen Cemetery is the resting place of "Jennie" Wade (Mary Virginia Wade), the only civilian casualty of the Battle of Gettysburg. Likewise, the cemetery holds the remains of John Burns, a 70-year-old "citizen soldier" of the battle.

So until next time . . . Here's hoping that you Get with Gettysburg!

Georgia Anne

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Today we go atop Culp's Hill, location of significant battles during the evening and early morning hours of July 2 and 3rd. 

The end of the first day of battle saw General Lee's Confederate forces in control, chasing a retreating Northern army. Says William A. Frassanito in his book Gettysburg: A Journey in Time:

"Approximately twenty-five hundred Northern soldiers were captured during the chaotic Union retreat through the streets of Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 1" (98). Luckily, those not captured had some place to run--to Culp's Hill, southeast of Gettysburg, a "defensive position" selected and occupied earlier "under orders from General O. O. Howard" (98). 

Well fortified, though undermanned, the Union troops were well positioned for the Confederate assault to begin around 7:30 pm on July 2. One of the regiment's protecting that hill (ultimately the North held it) was the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Driving along a winding, scenic road, heading to the hill's crest and its observation tower, I passed this striking monument. I learned from the Web site Stone Sentinels that the woman represents the history muse Clio, writing of the heroic deeds of the 123rd. But there's much more to be learned from this site about the regiment and its battles.


While atop the observation tower, I took a photo (zoom shot) looking northwest over Gettysburg and beyond. At the time I didn't notice, but captured in this image is the Eternal Light Peace Memorial (which I posted about on January 29). See if you can locate it!

Until next time . . . Get with Gettysburg!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Place for Poets in Gettysburg

 Thus far I've been presenting monuments of the Gettysburg Battlefield, but periodically we'll venture in town to investigate what local businesses have to offer the visitor. This week, let's take a quick look at The Ragged Edge Coffee House.

Located at 110 Chambersburg Street, this coffee house is convenient to the town center and offers a variety of pastries and sweets to enjoy with your coffee. And a quick visit to its FB page says that in addition to lunch, the Ragged Edge is now serving breakfast.  Good to know.


I must admit, however, that I've yet to partake of the menu items, having recently been introduced to the establishment for an entirely different purpose:  a meeting place for poets and poetry reading.

I am not a poet but I attended to listen to a poet friend read from her developing collection.  In fact, anyone interested in listening to poetry,  reading their own poems, or reading the poems of others are welcome on the first Friday of each month. Just follow your nose up to the second floor. 

My first visit was earlier this month. The group was small but I was told that attendance varies month to month.  Things get started (general announcements and the like) at 6:00 p.m. and the program continues until 8:00.  Typically, after the readings, attendees are treated to musical entertainment from a local artist. And then the group adjourns to a neighboring tavern, Gary Owen Irish Pub (at 126 Chambersburg Street). And this is exactly what we did.  What a great time I had that evening!  Look for more on the Irish Pub in an upcoming post.

Till next time . . . Get with Gettysburg!

Georgia Anne