My troops are tired and only Little Joe wakes to my revelry call at 5:15. A quick breakfast of hotel coffee, juice box and granola bar and he and I head to the park for its 6AM opening on Saturday. Again the guide is right and NO ONE is on the battleground but Joe and I . joe is the reason we came here this summer, I don’t doubt he is recreated from a soldier laid to rest here. He never tired of being here, sun up to sundown he pressed on to see as much as possible.
At 6AM we entered the park as the sun rose..
And we headed right to Devil’s Den , the Slaughter Pen and Little Round top and those areas we liked the most during mid-day before.
Joe drew his sword where the confederates did from the rocks of Devils den
The sunlight caught a union soldier monument in the valley know as the Slaughter Pen so we snaked thru the pathways to find a union infantry soldier from NY hiding amongst the many rocks.
Then up to the top where General Weed got shot from a believed LONG distance from a Confederate sharpshooter from Devils Den way down below, only to have a second General, Hazlett, fall on top of him after he was shot in the head as he came to his aid, a bullet believed to be from the very same sharpshooter.
The sun coming up over Little Round top.
We walked down to where Union Gen. Chamberlain from Maine held his famous charge as his troops fixed bayonets running out of ammo…this charge was a gamble but with little options….luckily it paid off. A favorite part for us in the Gettysburg movie so we needed to see the monument and woods surrounding it, and we did a little…but then a tick was found crawling on my leg so we did not proceed in as far as we wanted. Joey did read about it though as we retreated back to little round top.
Back on top we read more about all that was there including General Warren whose observations and high ground advantage gained from the perch were key to a Union victory here on Day 2. General Warren took a grazing shot in the neck but continued on , the same sharpshooting just missing this time perhaps?
Then on our return trip to the hotel to get the rest of our family, we stopped at the PA monument, which is the biggest there because of Pennsylvania having the largest involvement there. We climbed up it, with not a soul around….later in the day people are all over it.
It offered a great view of the battlefield
And of a small re-enactor encampment waking up in one of its side fields.
We went back to the hotel, relayed our great morning to the others, took a dip in the pool and then got the rest of the gang and hit the town of Gettysburg itself…it was in full Saturday charge when we got back.
At one of the displays Joe got to wear a wool jacket and cap like the soldiers wore in the July 1863 heat and felt the real weight of the Springfield they carried. I want one of these guns or eve a replica, I came close to buying one there but I did not as it would of hit into my deep sea fishing funds for later in the summer.
Then to O’Rourke’s Irish Pub for lunch and refreshments…picked it because of the outside dining, and it was a great pick.
Then to the Soldiers section of the Cemetery..
Then back over to Little Round top…what a difference a few hours makes, Huh?? Gen Warren does not look quite as peaceful or perhaps lonely now does he? We did not stay long…just no magic there then.
Then over to the new visitors center…but was not really our thing either with the crowds , and never got into camera mode there. So it was back to the hotel til Joey’s 7PM enlistment back at the Civil War Museum where he would learn the basics of being a Civil War soldier in an hour long boot camp. He was BY FAR the most serious in the troop while being barked orders. As a Dad in today’s world it worries me how much he likes being a soldier , however I even teared up with pride watching him here so the choice will always be his with my full undivided support, he will be a darn good soldier as he is a son and loves his country more than most I know. I just hope he never has to prove it with his life.
He did let loose of the seriousness during the charge towards all the onlookers at the end!!!
He did so well at this, we did some gear shopping in the museum afterwards to celebrate his 8th birthday coming this Wed. We wanted him to be well prepared for what would be his final day on this battlefield tomorrow, well til next year anyway…wanna see him decked out for battle? Please Go to Day 4’s post.