Friday, June 21, 2013

Gettysburg / McPherson's Ridge / July 1, 1863

  One of the ironies of the battle of Gettysburg is that the Union Army approached the town from the south and the Confederate Army approached from the north. Confederate Major General Henry Heth sent two brigades toward Gettysburg at about 5:00 AM. Three miles west of Gettysburg they ran into the dismounted cavalry of General John Buford. He was outnumbered two to one but managed to hold on until Reynolds I Corps arrived later in the day. The fighting along Herr's ridge and McPherson's Ridge was brutal. The first picture is General Buford and staff. The second is a Timothy O'Sullivan picture called the "Harvest of Death" which is of dead Union soldiers. Notice that the shoes are missing because Confederates were in need of shoes. This is one reason that the Confederates were going into Gettysburg, to look for shoes. For many years historians could not identify the exact location of this picture. A couple of years ago I read an article that said that a historian had finally identified the spot and camera angle of the picture. The picture was taken on McPhersons ridge and I realized that when I was there in 2003 I had taken a picture from O'Sullivan's camera angle.

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