150 Years Ago Today

Guess how I’m going to spend my evening;

Yep, one of the best war movies ever made, period.

I assume that ever American here has toured the Gettysburg battlefield, a great day well spent.

About a year after Ken Burns’ magnum opus ( I assume everyone has seen that as well) I talked my wife into travelling back east for a civil tour battlefield tour, yeah, she was on board ( I knew she was a keeper). Manassas, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, all good stuff, and Gettysburg was the finale.

We all have our own Gettysburg heroes, mine was John Buford .

On June 30, Buford’s command rode into the small town of Gettysburg. Very soon, Buford realized that he was facing a superior force of rebels to his front and set about creating a defense against the Confederate advance. He was acutely aware of the importance of holding the tactically important high ground about Gettysburg and so he did, beginning one of the most iconic battles in American military history. His skillful defensive troop dispositions, coupled with the bravery and tenacity of his dismounted men, allowed the I Corps, under Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds, time to come up in support and thus maintain a Union foothold at tactically important positions. Despite Lee’s barrage attack of 140 cannons and a final infantry attack on the third day of the battle, the Union army won a strategic victory. The importance of Buford’s leadership and tactical foresight on July 1 cannot be overstated in its contribution to this victory.

I’ll leave you with this;

Comments are closed.

  1. Hal_10000

    I’ve been following the timeline here in PA and having some fun debates. You’re right about Gettysburg. A truly great movie. And the book is excellent too. It’s a unique war movie that can make you empathize with and pull for both sides.

    Today’s argument was about who was responsible for the South’s loss at Gettysburg. I still maintain it was Lee. Brilliant as he was, ordering Pickett’s division to charge was the decisive blunder of the war. He may not have had a choice. And he wouldn’t have been Robert E. Lee had he not taken the gamble. But it was his battle to lose.

    Thumb up 2

  2. Technomad

    That line—“I have no division!” is one of the biggest tearjerkers in that whole movie.

    And the contrast to Pickett’s earlier fun-loving persona couldn’t be more marked.

    In RL, he never forgave Lee.

    Thumb up 2

  3. Hal_10000

    I think the line is also from RL, Techno. For me, the other tearjerker is the death of Armistead. Also taken from RL.

    Thumb up 1