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

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 04, 2013

On my most recent trip to Gettysburg I followed an intrepid travel buddy to the top of the small observation tower on Oak Ridge, and it was well worth the windy, 90 degree climb. One thing that surprised me was the ease of climbing; it’s only two flights of stairs which are actually pretty sturdy. Having a new perspective on the first day’s battlefield was one of the highlights of the afternoon.

The top photo shows one of the first views I enjoyed, the Moses McLean farm at the base of Oak Hill. The middle photo gives a fascinating perspective of Oak Hill and shows the iconic 90TH Pennsylvania Infantry “tree” monument at lower left. The road running toward the top of the photo is an extension of Confederate Avenue and leads to the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. A larger view will show a little green and black speck to the right of that road. That “speck” is a Confederate cannon representing Morris Artillery of Fry’s Battery.

The bottom photo shows Doubleday Avenue and the line of battle for Baxter’s Union men. In the foreground is the 12TH Massachusetts Infantry. From closest to farthest, the monuments on the right of the road represent the following regiments: The 88TH Pennsylvania; the 83
RD New York; the 97TH New York; the 11TH Pennsylvania; the 107TH Pennsylvania; the 16TH Maine; and the 94TH New York. If you look closely you can see the bronze statue of loyal mascot Sallie at the back of the 11TH Pennsylvania monument. 


Co. B, 7TH Michigan Infantry

Born 1834 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 29

Lt. Steele had a lot on his shoulders during the third day of battle. As lieutenant he carried a wide range of responsibilities that were about to become an even heavier --- and deadlier --- burden. He bravely led his men into action opposite the Confederates surging across Cemetery Ridge on the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge, but he soon met his fate in the face of the enemy. Lt. Steele was first buried at the Peter Frey farm along Taneytown Road. Though he’d wanted to be buried with his comrades who would later be re-interred in the Gettysburg National Cemetery, he was brought home to Michigan and reburied at Maple Grove Cemetery in the town of Mason.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

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