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

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 07, 2012

Gettysburg’s “Triangular Field” is inundated with the memory of the Southerners who crossed this open ground on Houck’s Ridge just past Devil’s Den. For battlefield visualization, Triangular Field is located just past and to the left of Devil’s Den along Sickles Avenue. Like the ill-fated Confederates of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge, which would occur the next day, soldiers from Texas, Georgia, and Arkansas marched out over open ground and were raked with gunfire. Opposing units included the 99th Pennsylvania, the 124th New York, and the 4th Maine, and artillery from Smith’s 4th New York Independent Battery.

Deforestation in the past few years has helped return Triangular Field to its 1863 appearance. The photo at the top of the post shows how it looked in 2008, while the photo (left) from 2004 demonstrates how many trees were removed. Though the previous appearance seemed somehow more “haunted,” playing into the declaration that Triangular Field is one of the creepiest places on the battlefield, the new look helps visitors better visualize the battle. The stone wall shown on the older photos is still there and is partially visible on the bottom right of the top photo. It is quite likely that this is the original wall. If not, it was certainly painstakingly recreated to look as it did in 1863.


1st Louisiana Infantry

Born 1821 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 42

Col. Nolan emigrated from Ireland and led a perhaps average life before the war, enjoying the American dream by working as a grocer in the colorful city of New Orleans. By the Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg) in September 1862 he had risen to the rank of colonel and was already commanding the 1st Louisiana. He suffered a wound in that battle but later recovered. At Gettysburg Col. Nolan and his Louisianans found themselves at Culp’s Hill, and it was here that he fell. Some believe he was laid to rest near Rock Creek. A photograph of Col. Nolan can be found here.

(c) 2012 Skies of Blue and Gray

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