Today was a beautiful day here, sunny and almost 80 degrees, unlike what they predicted which was rain. So, we went for a few walks and I decided to make a post on one of the places we went.
Our walk was to Oak ridge, on the first days fighting field. The pic below shows the confederate view as they approached the ridge on the early afternoon of July 1st. It is undulating land up and down, which is hard to see in the photo. Behind the ridge it slopes down a hundred feet or so to an open field and into the town of Gettysburg, which the confederates did not know. Along the ridge line from left to right is a two foot high stone wall that goes to the tree line. The tree line at the time of the battle was very sparse and you could see through it. Behind that stone wall was about 2000 or so union infantrymen, lying in wait. If I was a confederate soldier I would be thinking not an issue let’s go. The issue is that in about five minutes I would most likely be dead.
This is the story of Iverson’s North Carolina brigade, who at the time had about 1400 men, they were all lined up in battle order ready to march forward at any time. The thing was that there were no confederates to there left and only a handful to his far right that were making an advance. In any event the order was given to march . As the union watched this lone brigade march forward they could hardly believe there eyes, when they got within about 100 yards, over 1000 union infantry stood up and poured a deadly fire into the ranks of the north Carolinians. Most went to there maker all at once.
Close to 750 were either killed outright or severely wounded. They lay as they fell, one man reported to still be clutching his musket, with five bullets driven in his head. One man shot in both eyes never to see again. Eventually the confederates took the ridge and most of the town
The confederates did not bury there dead at Gettysburg they had no time, it was up to the union or the citizens of town. Long low trenches were dug and the dead just rolled in with only a few inchs of soil on top. In the late 1870’s they were exhumed and sent home, what was left of them. Taking the bodies created a shallow depression, soon to be named “Iverson’s Pits” . For decades the farmer named Forney who owned the land, and all his workers refused to work near the pit’s, as a fog always seemed to be above it and when the sunset, strange noises came from the area, no one dared go near it. Today the exact location of the pits is not known, but for sure they were known at one time and created a myth that lasts to this day of “IVERSON’S PITS”
One thought on “GETTYSBURG DAY ONE”
Seems no matter the number of visits you make, there is always something new to learn about the civil war. I hated history in school, but you make it so fascinating! Good to remember the sacrifices made by our bravest. Glad you’ve still got warm weather, regardless of the threat of rain. Keep on enjoying!