Ami's SOA Touring Virginia - On the trails of ANV and AOTP


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luinrina

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After breakfast, I headed to the visitor center to catch the first movie and Cyclorama show. And wow! Both are very well done and had me in tears. Afterwards I checked out the museum. The NPS says to allow 2 hours - I barely managed to get through until my 1 p.m. LBG tour appointment, and I was really rushing it at the end. I didn't even have time anymore for a quick dash into the museum book store. Had to do that after the tour.

Anyway, my tour. I thought I got Jim Miller, but instead John Krohn took the tour with me. We started in the visitor center with a brief overview, then headed out to Culp's Hill. He showed me from where the Confederate brigades attacked and which slopes they would eventually try to come up on. Because of the rich underbrush you could hardly appreciate the steepness of the hill, but standing at an edge and looking down into the forest let me get a glimpse of that.

Next we headed to the XI Corps' position on Day 1, including Barlow's Knoll. I could see why Barlow would have thought it to be a nice position, but also how terrible it really was.

We then drove over to McPherson's Ridge and Oak Ridge. When we came out of the Herbst Woods where he pointed out the Iron Brigade regiments' positions and then suddenly saw the Lutheran Seminary in a different position than I expected, I lost my sense of direction. I have an idea why but I'll have to check that part out again tomorrow in detail to get me realigned.

After that we headed down West Confederate Avenue on Seminary Ridge and talked about the Confederate position on Days 2 and 3, but with more focus on Pickett's Charge. We stopped at the Virginia monument where we had a look across the field toward Emmitsburg Road and that's where he about started his explanation on why Sickles moved out from Cemetery Ridge to the Peach Orchard. We therefore drove over to the Peach Orchard and circled it, before heading further down in the direction of Devil's Den and the Slaughter Pen.

Since about 3 and a half hours of my 4 hours tour were already up at that point, we skipped Devil's Den and instead swung around at Little Round Top. I had told him earlier that I had been up LTR this morning so we didn't stop and directly drove over to the Angle. On the way there he pointed out the terrain features that made Sickles decide to move forward to the Peach Orchard. He also pointed out the cannons that couldn't be seen from Seminary Ridge and which fired in the flank of Pickett's Charge.

We briefly stopped at the Angle but didn't get out, he showed me the Union side of Pickett's Charge from the car. After that we headed back to the visitor center and the tour was over.

After I parked my car, I went into the museum book store to check out the books, but I didn't get any. I then decided it was time for dinner and drove over to General Pickett's Buffet. :hungry: I didn't see Shad Bake on the menu, @Zella , but they had fish, baked and fried. I tried a fried white fish and it was quite good.

After dinner I circled back onto West Confederate Avenue with the aim to drive the auto tour we skipped, but because the time was ticking on I cut it short again and headed over to the National Cemetery for a short 7 p.m. program "100 Nights of Taps" at the Soldiers' National Monument. After it was over, I headed back to Little Round Top, checked out the position of the 20th Maine and then settled in to wait for the sunset.

I had Warren for myself this morning, but this evening, LRT was still crawling with tourists. I nonetheless managed to get quite a few pics in. With the sun fully set, I drove over to the Angle on my way back to the hotel and got a few pics in too.

Cyclorama
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Virginia monument
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View toward the Angle from the Virginia monument
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Taps bugler on Soldiers National Monument at National Cemetery
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20th Maine monument
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View from Ohio Light Artillery position toward the Slaughter Pen
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Warren at sunset
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The Angle, looking toward the Virginia monument on Seminary Ridge
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General George Gordon Meade
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bdtex

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luinrina

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For today I decided to more or less drive the auto tour by myself with lots of getting out and surveying the terrain - something we didn't really do in the LBG tour yesterday. In addition, I wanted to check out a couple of specific spots so I looked them up before breakfast to not having to look all over the place for them.

I started with Lee's HQ and a view from Seminary Ridge toward McPherson's Ridge.

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Next stop was with Generals Buford and Reynolds.

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Then I headed into the Herbst Woods again to realign my sense of direction in regard to the Iron Brigade's position in relation to the Seminary. And I wanted a closer look at where Reynolds was shot.

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Willoughby Run
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Afterwards I headed to the Seminary with the intention to climb into the cupola.

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The museum was still closed, though, and wouldn't open for another hour and a half. I therefore continued on the auto tour south on Seminary Ridge.

Barksdale's view toward Sickle's position along the Emmitsburg Road
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But before trying to find Longstreet's right flank, I made a detour to Sachs Bridge.

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Afterward I climbed the Observation Tower on Seminary Ridge. Since the Confederates didn't have the advantage of the Observation Tower to view the Union position, it felt a little like cheating in viewing the terrain.

I then followed the tour via Warfield Ridge to Longstreet's left flank before swinging around and heading north. First stop was Big Round Top. Here I put on my mountain goat cap once more and hiked/climbed to the top.

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Next mission was finding the two adjacent markers for Vincent Strong. I only found the regimental one with his likeness but not his wounding marker.

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I bypassed Little Round Top and headed into Devil's Den.

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View from Smith's battery, of which the Confederates captured three pieces.
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View toward Little Round Top
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On my way toward the Wheatfield I discovered the Irish Brigade monument with the wolfshound. That's when I remembered which monument I had forgotten to look up - the 11th PA with Sallie! :dog: Mea culpa. Not certain whether I'd be able to see Sallie on this visit, I headed into the Wheatfield. I honestly have to say it would have been more realistic if there would have been actual wheat growing instead of it being a field with grass and brush.

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Next hit: Pennsylvania monument and Hancock's wounding marker. On my way there I briefly stopped at the Trostle farm.

Trostle barn with cannon hole
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View from Trostle farm in the directio of the Peach Orchard
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To be continued...
 

luinrina

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Part Two

I cut over to Culp's Hill and East Cemetery Hill for Hancock's equestrian statue as well as the view of the Confederates' attack on East Cemetery Hill.

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And since it's right across the street: Gate of Evergreen Cemetery and Elizabeth Thorne statue

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Next stop was Meade's HQ.

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At that point I felt I had seen it all - and it was just past 1 p.m. So, what's a Civil War tourist to do? Head out to the East Cavalry Field!

Union position
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Confederate position
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On my way back I went to Barlow's Knoll to survey his high ground more closely.

View toward Oak Ridge/Hill
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And then I headed to the Seminary Museum and got up into the cupola. :smile:

View toward Herbst Woods
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View north. On the left side is the wooded Oak Ridge and the green field poking through next to the glas structure in the right half of the picture is Barlow's Knoll.
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I then toured the museum for a while before deciding to head over to Oak Hill and survey the terrain as Rodes would have seen it. I stopped at the railroad cut on the way though.

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View from Oak Hill across the fields on which much of the Day 1 fighting happened. The wood on the left is Oak Ridge.
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View from Oak Hill in the direction where Howard's XI Corps' divisions were placed.
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At that point I was getting really hungry so I visited General Pickett's Buffet again (no, still no shad bake, @Zella :tongue:).

I was ready to call it a day there and then, but since it's my last evening in Gettysburg, I was debating with myself whether or not I'd like to see another sunset. The question was where to go? Considering my options, my decision fell on Lee's HQ. I stopped at the hotel beforehand though since I still had about two hours till sunset. I used the stop to look up Sallie's monument and voila! She's not that far away from Lee's HQ. Yay! So I headed back out a little bit earlier than I would have to visit her.

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And since I was already on top of the ridge: View from Oak Ridge west to from where the Confederates attacked.

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And then I headed to Lee's HQ to view the sunset.

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James N.

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… Then I headed into the Herbst Woods again to realign my sense of direction in regard to the Iron Brigade's position in relation to the Seminary. And I wanted a closer look at where Reynolds was shot...


Next mission was finding the two adjacent markers for Vincent Strong. I only found the regimental one with his likeness but not his wounding marker...

View toward Little Round Top
View attachment 315550
You have covered an extraordinary amount of ground! I wanted to comment on a very few things: If it really matters, according to what I have heard, there is a controversy about EXACTLY where Reynolds was shot; I was told it was actually near one of the small flank markers for one of the Iron Brigade regiments rather than where the monument was placed.

In your photo taken from Devil's Den the famous Alexander Gardner photos showing dead Confederates in the Slaughter Pen were taken among the rocks at the extreme right. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/fo...ner-at-devils-den-graphic.127728/post-1399306

Strong Vincent's marker is just downslope from the New York regimental monument in this photo:

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infomanpa

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You have covered an extraordinary amount of ground! I wanted to comment on a very few things: If it really matters, according to what I have heard, there is a controversy about EXACTLY where Reynolds was shot; I was told it was actually near one of the small flank markers for one of the Iron Brigade regiments rather than where the monument was placed.

In your photo taken from Devil's Den the famous Alexander Gardner photos showing dead Confederates in the Slaughter Pen were taken among the rocks at the extreme right. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/fo...ner-at-devils-den-graphic.127728/post-1399306

Strong Vincent's marker is just downslope from the New York regimental monument in this photo:
Very right you are, James. I also wanted to note a couple of things: There are 2 Vincent wounding markers in different locations! The other one is carved into a rock on the LRT summit. Also, most historians believe that the location of Smith's cannons at Devil's Den are down slope from where they should be.

I just learned that Lee's HQ building is open to the public on Fridays this summer, so I hope to head up there this Friday to check it out.
 

dlavin

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Very right you are, James. I also wanted to note a couple of things: There are 2 Vincent wounding markers in different locations! The other one is carved into a rock on the LRT summit. Also, most historians believe that the location of Smith's cannons at Devil's Den are down slope from where they should be.

I just learned that Lee's HQ building is open to the public on Fridays this summer, so I hope to head up there this Friday to check it out.
Do you mean that The NPS cannons are in the wrong place? Is that what you meant? Sorry I can be dense sometimes...I could be wrong but I thought i recalled A ranger saying they thought the actual location of them was closer to the top of the hill by the 99th pa monument. Maybe that’s what you meant all along lol.
 

infomanpa

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Do you mean that The NPS cannons are in the wrong place? Is that what you meant? Sorry I can be dense sometimes...I could be wrong but I thought i recalled A ranger saying they thought the actual location of them was closer to the top of the hill by the 99th pa monument. Maybe that’s what you meant all along lol.
Yes, You got the story right. The cannons were placed there by veterans of Smith's battery.
 

luinrina

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By the way are you on Facebook?
I used to be, years ago, but am no longer.

Strong Vincent's marker is just downslope from the New York regimental monument in this photo:
Ha! I didn't climb up far enough then. Harrumph. Reason to come back! :D And I had been wondering why he was so far down-slope when his troops were farther up - my mistake.

The other one is carved into a rock on the LRT summit.
Do you know which one or even have a picture? I crawled/climbed all around the rocks around Warren's statue the other day but didn't notice anything else other than the plaque on Warren's rock (and take this picture from down there).

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there is a controversy about EXACTLY where Reynolds was shot; I was told it was actually near one of the small flank markers for one of the Iron Brigade regiments rather than where the monument was placed.
Oh, that's news to me. I always thought there was only a controversy about Hancock's wounding marker; he himself said it's not in the right spot and he would show the right spot with his next visit which never happened because he soon after died. But that's the first time I hear that the marker to Reynolds being shot is in the wrong spot.

In your photo taken from Devil's Den the famous Alexander Gardner photos showing dead Confederates in the Slaughter Pen were taken among the rocks at the extreme right. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/fo...ner-at-devils-den-graphic.127728/post-1399306
I had been looking for that, though not too earnestly. I had found a "dent" in the rocks that I thought might have been it and that was it. I never even read that Gardner photograph marker. I didn't see it from when I walked across Devil's Den to Smith's battery. Only when I drove by I saw there was a marker but didn't stop again. *sigh* Will check it out the next time I'm in Gettysburg. :smile:
 



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