Hello. Saturday was our last day at the Gilder Lehrman Institute on Lincoln located on the campus of Gettysburg College. Basically all we had to do on Saturday is eat breakfast and check out of the dorm rooms that had been our home for the past week. Earlier in the week Terry had mentioned that he wanted to get up early one morning and walk the location of Pickett’s Charge on the Gettysburg Battlefield – this was our last chance. Four of us – Terry, Chris, Steve and I – rustled ourselves out of bed early to reach the start of Pickett’s Charge at 6:00 AM. On the way to the battlefield Steve read the famous passage from Faulkner and it set the perfect mood.
The sun was just starting the rise of the eastern horizon as we looked out over the open plain before us. It was perfect. The sun was poking through the top of the trees, a light and misty fog hung close to the ground. The only sound to break the pristine morning was that of songbirds in the trees, and that was a welcome interruption. Chris noted that if you listened carefully you could hear the morning drums of a nearby reenactment camp preparing for the large activity later in the later outside of Gettysburg. It was the kind of moment that you knew you would carry with you for a long time. After taking some pictures we set out to walk up the field before us just as the confederates had on that afternoon 144 years ago. We talked about what it must have been like on that hot afternoon and the placement of regiments and cannons.
It’s almost as if there were no winners or losers here. The sacrifice for both sides was heavy and yet the outcome helped forge a nation dedicated to democracy we all benefit from today. It was a spiritual morning, my farewell to Gettysburg.
You can comment to this podcast by posting a comment to this blog or by e-mailing me directly at email@example.com
Direct link to Podcast #105 – Gettysburg Day 5 – Walking Pickett’s Charge at Dawn – MP3 Format – 7:41 minutes
You can subscribe directly to the Speaking of History podcast on i-Tunes here
Podcast #105 Show Notes: