Total Pageviews

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Gettysburg Diorama Provides an Overview of the Three Day Battle

Eric, Adam & I visited the
the entire battlefield at

The recorded Diorama program highlights portions of the battlefield as the engagements unfold.  The results of loss of commanders, poor communications, command errors, good decisions and delays are clearly seen as the program progresses.

The Battle of Gettysburg started west of town in the right corner.
Over three days, it would rage through the town & spread
across the farms & hills to the left of the photo.

The Civil War had been grinding on for two years.  Virginia, the site of many battles, had been ravaged by the foraging of two armies, Confederate and Union.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia marched north from Virginia into Pennsylvania in May and June, 1863.  General Lee needed to equip his Army.  His men needed everything from salt to horses, mules and clothing.  Untouched by war, Maryland and Pennsylvania were rich with everything Lee needed to re-provision his Army.  A victory on Northern soil would rally the South and demoralize the North.

Lee's Army's movement was detected and General George G. Meade, newly appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac, rushed troops northward to meet the Confederates.  Among his orders from President Lincoln were to defeat Lee and his Army.

Troops are massing
near Gettysburg.

The clump of trees on
Culp's Hill is where
Union troops rally
at the end of the
first day.
After fierce fighting on the northern and southern ends of the Union lines, Confederate General Lee decides on a massive attack on the middle of General Meade's Union lines.

After hours of cannon fire,
across one mile of fields to

My few photos do not do this
amazing display justice.

After Confederate soldiers crossed the Emmitsburg Road, they were cut down by canister shot (Cannon shells filled with metal balls that explode.  The encased balls hit the charging troops, shredding the men as they charged up the hill.)  As Confederate troops closed in on the stone wall at the top of the hill, they were cut down by rifle fire.  A  number of Confederate soldiers, commanded by General Lewis Armisteadclimb over the stone wall at the ridge line.  Fighting was hand to hand. Rifles were used as clubs.  Stones from the wall were hurled at the enemy and used to bash opponents.  Union troops pushed the Confederate attackers back over the stone wall.

Exhausted soldiers began to disengage.  Confederate soldiers started to fall back.  General Lee, and the Army of Northern Virginia, were denied victory in Gettysburg.  General Meade and the Army of the Potomac was badly beaten up by the three days of fighting.  The Union Army would follow Lee's Army, in heavy rains, south to Virginia in the following days and weeks.

Adam, Eric and I viewed the National Military Park's Electronic Map that showed the progress of the grueling battle during Adam's visit 23 years ago.  He feels this Diorama, with trees, fence lines, stone walls, troops, horses, canons and caissons  does a much better job of providing information on the fighting that occurred here.

No comments: