** Please check out my tribute page to two of my Civil War relatives who never made it home **

Friday, November 30, 2012

November 30, 2012

Upon reaching the top slope of Little Round Top, visitors usually gravitate toward the left, where Hazlett’s Battery, Colonel O’Rorke’s monument, and the beautiful “castle monument” to the 12th and 44th New York can be found. The path to the right is steeper, rockier, and less picturesque, but it has its charms, as can be seen here. The monument in the middle left of the photo is the 146th New York Infantry, and the statue-topped monument to the right belongs to the 155th Pennsylvania Infantry. Barely visible in the distance, in the top left of the shot, is the white form of the Pennsylvania State Memorial, the largest state memorial on the Gettysburg battlefield.



157th New York Infantry

Born April 18, 1839 --- Died July 01, 1863 at age 24

Though Lt. Col. Arrowsmith began his day in poor health, he decided to join his men on the field. This proved fatal.  A Confederate bullet found its mark and pierced his head, and this brave soldier succumbed a short time later. He was mourned in his hometown of Hamilton, New York and was buried at Fair View Cemetery in Middletown, New Jersey. A photograph of Lt. Col. Arrowsmith can be found here.

(c) 2012 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 28, 2012

***Welcome to “Skies of Blue and Gray”***
This Gettysburg blog has three purposes: To share my favorite personal photos, to tell a story, and to commemorate the boys in blue and gray whose blood consecrated this hallowed ground “far above our poor power to add or detract,” as President Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address. I intend to post at least three times a week. 

Anyone who has been coming to Gettysburg for the past few decades will note that the scenery at Oak Hill and Oak Ridge has changed extensively. About six years ago or so, this section of the battlefield was much more heavily forested. Yet with the extra trees or without, I’ve always loved this particular cannon sitting down over the slope by itself.

This is a Confederate piece, a 12-pound Napoleon representing Carter’s Battery. According to the Confederate order of battle, the string of command was Carter’s Battery (under Col. Thomas H. Carter) ---> Rodes’ Division (Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes---> Second Corps (Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell) ---> Army of Northern Virginia (Gen. Robert E. Lee).


The white farmhouse and red barn in the distance are part of the Moses McLean Farm. As McLean had enlisted in the 165th Pennsylvania prior to the battle of Gettysburg, his family was forced to abandon their home when Confederate forces arrived on the 1st of July 1863. When they cautiously stepped foot inside the house days later, they discovered that few of their belongings were intact. If you’re lucky enough, you might catch a train coming the tracks just in front of the McLean farm. Here’s a photo of Carter’s Battery getting ready to “fire!” at a train.


Co. G, 20th North Carolina Infantry

Born 1841 --- Died July 01, 1863 at age 22

Thomas enlisted in the 20th North Carolina on May 25, 1861, and served until his death at what is now known as “Iverson’s Pits.” This ominously-named place is located across the road from Carter’s Battery along Oak Ridge and was the site of a horrendous ambush. General Iverson’s brigade, sent ahead blind and without proper reconnaissance, found themselves at the mercy of Union riflemen hiding behind the low stone wall that can still be seen today. Staggering casualties occurred, and those who were not immediately killed were captured. Thomas was numbered among the dead. Though he was likely buried on the battlefield, he was later reinterred at Northwood Cemetery in Southport, North Carolina.

(c) 2012 Skies of Blue and Gray

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20, 2012

Love never dies. It might hibernate; it might take on different forms, but it's always there, occupying an undeniable place in the heart. In this case, the love I'm talking about involves places that you just can't get out of your mind. They might be historic landmarks; religious sites; little-known locales where childhood memories were made. For me, one of these places is Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It's impossible to come to Gettysburg and not sense the incredible amount of history, the overwhelming aura of grief and sorrow and pride and courage and valor. There were over 50,000 casualties strewn across these hallowed fields on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863. It's possibly the best-known battle of the American Civil War. And I'm excited to share my thoughts on this amazing place.

This blog isn't quite ready. I'm working on other projects currently, and I can't give a definite time when I'll put up my first "real" post here. But when I do finally "cut the ribbon," I plan for "Skies of Blue and Gray" to have three distinct purposes: To honor the dead with names, stories, and photographs; to share my favorite personal travel photos of Gettysburg; and to tell human interest stories and whatever might cross my mind.

I'll see you then!

(c) 2012 Skies of Blue and Gray