Though only the very adventurous (and tick-resistant) among us Gettysburg lovers may want to explore the overgrown Slaughter Pen these days, this photo belies that fact: despite being rather neglected, the bridge over Plum Run is still charming in its own right. The stream was, as usual, muddy when I took this photo in May. Take note of the redbuds and one of the aforementioned adventurous souls in the center right background. No, it’s not a Civil War soldier. Soldiers didn’t wear blue t-shirts. At least I don’t think so! :-)
Except during flooding, Plum Run isn’t much to look at, yet knowing what happened here --- why it was so aptly named “Bloody Run” during the battle --- makes up for its humble appearance. In this photo there are no modern additions, nothing but brush and rocks and water. You can imagine soldiers of both sides kneeling here to get a drink, recoiling at the reddish surface for obvious reasons. It really puts things into perspective.
PVT. EDWIN LEWIS JESSUP
Co. A, 111TH New York Infantry
Born December 23, 1845 --- July 24, 1863 at age 17
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