Though some of us Gettysburg-lovers like to think we know just about all there is to know about the battlefield, once in awhile a new discovery plunks us soundly back down to earth. That was the case with me and the bleeding tree. A few weeks before my August trip, I read that there is supposedly a witness tree along Reynolds Avenue near General Reynolds’ wounding site (it’s the only woodlot directly along the avenue, and you can’t miss the general’s small white monument high up on a mound) that has a strange feature.
On the first of July 1863, a multitude of bullets from both blue and gray plunked into this hearty witness tree, and they remain there to this day. No one would ever know that fact if not for the stream of rust that actually “bleeds” from the tree bark. I actually thought this was one of the neatest things I saw during this last trip. It really put history into perspective. Sometimes, with all the monuments, renovated farms, and modern roads, we forget that there really are living things on the field that stood there during the battle.
PVT. SILAS GORE
Co. I, 141ST Pennsylvania Infantry
Born May 03, 1829 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 34
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray