This past autumn, I realized that I have plenty of pictures of the right side of the Railroad Cut (if going along Reynolds Avenue toward Oak Ridge and the Peace Memorial) but none of the left side. Time to remedy that. I wasn’t brave enough to hike over the bridge past the shouldn’t-be-speeding speeders, so I contented myself with this view through the bars of the bridge, which I think gives an interesting effect. One can easily imagine the energy of that long-ago July battlefield being “captured” “behind bars.”
The fields are the same ones crossed by Gen. Joseph Davis’s North Carolina and Mississippi men as they sought out the railroad cut for shelter. In their eyes, it doubled as a fine sniping position . . . but it turned out to be more advantageous for the boys in blue than for the boys in gray. The McPherson barn is just to the left on the other side of Chambersburg Pike / Route 30. Davis’s 55TH North Carolina was deployed to the area underneath the modern bridge, but the 2ND Mississippi and 42ND Mississippi positions are front-and-center in this photo.The 11TH Mississippi was also part of this brigade.
I believe the left-distant white structure with a gray roof and four dormer windows is the Herr Tavern complex, though I’m not certain. The buildings to the right seem to house school-buses. (Confirmed by a quick and nifty check with Google Earth). And of course, South Mountain stretches gracefully in the background. (Trivia: Many Confederate troops were forced to cross the mountain in order to reach Gettysburg).
PVT. FRANKLIN GEIGER
Co. K, 151ST Pennsylvania Infantry
Born 1838--- Died July 01, 1863 at age 25
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray