Gettysburg

By an accident of direction a motorcycle show I have to be at in six hours is located just fifteen miles away from the Pennsylvania village of Gettysburg.  Which just so happens to be the site of the largest intercenine battle in U.S. history.  Normally I associate myself with naval history but at heart I am a soldier so decided to take a brief look at the battlefield.

The way that the road map displays it, one would assume that the battlefield park would be off road.  How wrong I was.  United States Route 30, the Lincoln Highway of old, passes right down the middle of the battlefield site.  One minute you’re in countryside, and the next you are in countryside littered with stone and marble memorials, with the cupolas of the Lutheran seminary rising above the tree tops in the distance.

The sun was setting on the battlefield, so I had only time to visit the area closest to Gettysburg itself where the initial fighting took place, between Union cavalry and the vanguard of the Confederate army under Robert E. Lee.  Twilight always seems to paint landscapes in a sad blurry way, and Gettysburg is no exception.  There was a monument topped by an eternal flame, dedicated by Franklin D. Roosevelt on the 75th Anniversary of the battle in 1938.  Despite the stillness of the evening sky, one could barely see the light flickering atop it.  And to the west, the sun sank out of sight at an unusual height above the horizon.  And then the wind picked up.  How strange…

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