The thing I love most about Gettysburg’s iconic boulders is that they sprang up seemingly without rhyme or reason. Some are huge, some are small . . . some are speckled with moss, others are smooth. Some bear inscriptions and some were mentioned in soldiers’ memoirs. The boulders I’m studying most are those of Devil’s Den, which admittedly has always fascinated me and which is my favorite battlefield stop by far. Yet in looking at the large den, I often forget to pay much attention to the equally impressive boulders located across the road in what was aptly known as the “Slaughter Pen.”
Can’t you just picture men struggling here? The bottom boulder is even curved, making it a perfect place for soldiers to kneel and fire. These rocks would have provided much-needed cover. I don’t know exactly what occurred at these particular rocks, but it’s almost certain that something did, and such unchanged scenes make it a lot easier to picture the battle from a modern perspective. It’s also interesting to speculate on what may have been the purpose of the square rock in the foreground.
PVT. DAVID D. MUNN
Born October 28, 1841 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 21
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray