Our Country's Fiery Ordeal

A blog about the American Civil War, written and maintained by historian Daniel J. Vermilya, author of The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (History Press, 2014) and James Garfield and the Civil War (History Press, 2015)

Dedicated to my great-great-great grandfather, Private Ellwood Rodebaugh, Company D, 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, killed at the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.

"And may an Overuling Providence continue to cause good to come out of evil, justice to be done to all men where injustice has long prevailed, and finally, peace, quiet, and harmony to come out of this terrible confrontation and our country's fiery ordeal." -- Albert Champlin, 105th Ohio, Diary entry of June 19, 1864 (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The advantages of being 30 miles away from Gettysburg...

Working at Antietam and living in Frederick, Maryland has many, many perks. Not only do I get to stay with good friends Brian and Michelle, and not only do I get to work at one of the coolest places in the country, but in addition...

I am only a short drive away from Gettysburg!!

This morning, I headed out quite early to meet good friend, colleague, and fellow Civil War blogger John Hoptak for a morning hike of the first day's action at Gettysburg. John is working on a new book regarding Gettysburg, and he is beginning the process of walking and hiking the ground to sort out the action for his project. Because John is as knowledgeable as they come about Gettysburg, I of course jumped at the chance to spend some time out on the field with him. We met at around 8 on McPherson's Ridge and proceeded to hike over at least 2 miles or more of the first day's action. We followed the positions of the Iron Brigade, as well as the positions of 1st Corps troops of Doubleday and Wadsworth's divisions on Oak Hill. It was a productive hike and a very enjoyable morning, despite the oppresive heat.

Afterwards, I took the time to stop by Little Round Top, one of my all time favorite places. I snapped a few photos for those who are not fortunate enough to make it out to Gettysburg, just to show what it looks like on a 95 degree day.

Of course, I had to venture back to the 20th Maine monument, one of my favorite places on the field. I know the story is discussed all the time and very commercialized now, but I still find myself moved every time I walk back into the woods on the southern side of Little Roud Top. Chamberlain is a hero of mine, and I always love seeing this monument. 

I plan on doing quite a few entries on Gettysburg, as I hope to make frequent trips to the battlefield in the upcoming weeks and months. As busy, commercialized, and congested as it has become, there is something special on that battlefield that keeps me captivated, and I will never tire of going there to drive, hike, and visit. 

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