Gettysburg – McPherson’s Ridge: The Beginning

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It’s early in the morning on a hot and humid summer day. Two opposing sides of the American Civil War have been traveling towards Gettysburg and an inevitable confrontation. The soldiers, dressed in full uniform of heavy wool suits, sweated in the July 1, 18863 heat while marching to orders.

At 9:30 a.m. the Confederate Army under the command of General Henry Heth, clashed against the Union Cavalry division lead by Major General John Buford. Fighting along the farms and ridge at McPherson’s farm, the beginning of a three day long battle ensued.

One of the first major casualties was Major-General John Fulton Reynolds. While riding his strong steed along the east edge of the woods, to rally the Iron Brigade by shouting “Forward! Men, Forward! For God’s sake, and drive those fellows out of the woods” a bullet struck him in the head and killed him.

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The battle swept through the fields of McPherson’s farm of wheat and corn. Even with the tough fighting cavalry lead by General Buford, the Confederates out numbered the northern army. After a long day of battle, Buford and his northern army were forced to retreat through Gettysburg and regrouped on higher ground.

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There is one building that remains standing today on McPherson’s Farm. This white barn became a place of refuge for the wounded and remained a hospital long after the Gettysburg battle ended.

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In just two weeks, the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Battle will be reenacted.

Get an idea of what it is like to step back into history and walk among campgrounds and speak with reenactors that create living history. By clicking on these two posts of a visit to the Gettysburg Reenactment in 2012:

https://bellaremyphotography.com/2012/06/07/take-a-time-machine-to-the-civil-war/

https://bellaremyphotography.com/2012/06/10/gettysburg-civil-war-reenactment-part-two-the-cavalry-skirmish/

31 thoughts on “Gettysburg – McPherson’s Ridge: The Beginning

  1. Oh Emily..lovely photos and profound memories.

    “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
    ― Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address

    • I LOVE that you shared this quote with us, and on top of the comments as well. So very appropriate. I saw the reenactment will be replaying day one this year, so I’m hoping to follow up on this story line.

  2. Amazing photos and a very memorable place… 🙂

    Maybe the world have had only 4 real statesmen at all – Abe Lincoln was indeed one of those 4 – I believe his was right when Lincoln said these words – “America will never be destroyed from the outside – If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves”…

  3. Thank you for the history lesson, always fascinating. And trust that simple old barn to survive the battle and start a life all of its own by becoming a hospital. If buildings could talk…

  4. Excellent…for some obscure reason I have a fascination with the American Civil war…I really don’t know why…but I have. So it is nice to see some pictures of the battle site and learn a bit of the history.

    • All of this area is considered hallowed ground and is maintained by the park service. They do rent out the fields to farmers to grow wheat and corn though. The reenactments are held on a field not related to the battle.

  5. Great post! It seems like much of the country forgets this battle and the importance of it Could it be that it’s so far away, out of site – out of mind. Shame because a lot of American blood was shed in that small community. Fabulous photographs, the horse sculptures are incredible. Thank you for the reminder ~

  6. a good movie on Gettysburg – is the movie Gettysburg by Turner Pictures 1993 – major actors but the majority of the cast is re-enactors – based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book The Killer Angels – this movie was filmed on location at Gettysburg – and is a good account of what actually happened –
    such a beautiful place to be haunted by the spirits of so many brave men

    beautiful captures you have posted

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