Friday 10/5: Riding Around the Gettysburg Military Park "Auto Tour" Route...
What a day...
I better apologize in advance for the tone of this day's report. Riding around the Gettysburg battlefields affected me in a way that I DID NOT
expect. I guess that's why we travel, right? To broaden our horizons...
The Gettysburg "Auto Tour" route is a 24-mile self-guided road that passes thru the significant points in the area. It is FREE
(yay!) and---while there are bus tours, which may have been a better idea---I rode the entire thing on Milledue. Being "alone" while experiencing this may actually have intensified the experience.
I have the map of the route; I'll try to comment as best I can. Plus I'll plagiarize from the National Park Service documentation.
McPherson Ridge---Where it all Started...
The Battle of Gettysburg began about 8 a.m. to the west beyond McPherson barn as Union cavalry confronted Confederate infantry advancing east along Chambersburg Pike. Here are a few pics from McPherson Ridge:
(there are more monuments than you can shake a stick at...)
Hey, whaddya think of the "naked bike" look? Honestly, I could not tell a bit of difference in the way the bike handled/performed...
The "Eternal Light" Peace Memorial...
Pardon my cynicism, but whenever I hear the word eternal, I recall an old movie ("Forest Lawn" or something like that) in which the Funeral Director is discussing the virtues of "standard eternal" vs
"perpetual eternal." Well, here's the Eternal Light
Here's a rundown on another of the ARTILLERY GROUPS
And here's their artillery:
this is the field that hosted "Pickett's Charge." Imagine a group of guys a mile long, standing side-by-side...poor guys!
Here's the plaque for Pickett's Charge:
And here's another view of the associated battlefield:
General Lee took the blame:
Omigosh, I'm not sure what "monument" this is...sorry!
I'm getting tired...gonna quit with the headings. Here's the "Virginia Memorial" plaque:
And here's the memorial itself:
This "Alabama Memorial" kinda caught my eye:
"Little Round Top"---What an AWFUL Place!
Here's a view from Little Round Top
"Valley of Death"---can you imagine being there?
The Pennsylvania Memorial
is the largest in the Park: here are two views...
This "Spangler's Spring"...one side caught the other side (honestly, I forget which!) filling their canteens, and ended up surprising them (I think; I may have this completely wrong)
I came across this big observation tower near Culp's Hill...
So naturally I had to climb it.
So let's end this day on a HIGH note (pun intended)...
My Reaction to All This...
My title to this RR was "making sense out of the Civil War." And my feeling today (especially during mid-day) was that "I never wanna see any more Civil War stuff as long as I live." I've calmed down a little now, but I honestly don't think I may visit any more Civil War sites during this trip.
War is SO HORRIBLE
that I'm NOT
sure it should be "glorified," studied, "monumented," etc.
. Now, I would not have predicted that reaction to it on my part. But I was SO PROFOUNDLY
affected by what I saw today (interestingly, Vicksburg didn't have the same effect) that right now I DO NOT
wanna visit Antietam, Harper's Ferry, Shiloh, etc.
Maybe I'll change my mind.
All I really wanna do now is visit my ol' buddy John, in South Carolina, then ride home to Mrs. Greg. I honestly DID NOT
expect to have this reaction.
It's been a hard day. The weather for the next couple days doesn't look too good, but it is what it is. I'll try to keep up with the report as best I can.