2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
72nd Pennsylvania at Gettysburg
Battle of Gettysburg
Fields of slaughter, deeds of valor

On Tuesday, June 30 1863, some one hundred and sixty-five thousand men marched towards a mammoth collision on the fields in and around the unremarkable town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Within three days, about 10,000 formerly whole men with families and futures would be dead. Three times that amount would be wounded, with another 10,000 captured or missing. This level of carnage surpassed all to that date but had ceased to be surprising. The men had seen and knew what was to come. Yet, for complex motives perhaps now difficult for us to grasp, they fought on.

As part of the search for the reasons men fought, a visit to the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Battlefield in south central Pennsylvania leaves you deeply immersed in thought. You feel a growing sense of wonder as you seek what led the tens of thousands to act as they did during those three hot, humid days in July of 1863. The almost reverent awe which consumes you as you stand in the shadow of such enormity and among the ghosts of staggering courage mingles with a sadness for the lives lost, bodies shattered, families broken, and futures sacrificed.

This site attempts to capture a portion of the essence of Gettysburg. To add context, we include the many other battles, fields, and events which led up to this historic clash, helping to make the American Civil War a signal event in American history and a subject that fascinates even to this day. Indeed, included within this site is a large collection of pictures, descriptions, thoughts, letters, and quotes should you choose to reflect on the monumental events of some 140 or more years past.

14th Brooklyn at GettysburgOn the fields you will see within, on this soil, these grounds, the participants of the War Between the States, the War of the Rebellion, the Brothers War, drilled, marched, longed for home, tempered their resolve, thought, fought, fled, bled, survived and died. And some, over all obstacles and against all odds, triumphed.

When viewing this site, please take into consideration that many of the fields pictured within are in the process of change. The United States National Park Service is engaged in an ambitious multi-year project to restore the Gettysburg Battlefield to its 1863 condition. Trees are being culled, orchards planted, and fences re-built. Their astounding progress greatly adds to the visitor's ability to interpret the actions of Southern and Northern men from over a century ago.

The web site's author offers a heartfelt thanks to all of those whose research, publications, and knowledge have made this site possible.

Parental Notice:
This site may not be suitable for young children. While American Civil War literature can exhibit the tendency to focus on the valorous and inspiring actions of the men who fought in this conflict, this web author believes that no web site should seek to disguise the raw, brutal nature of war. Included within you will find an occasional 19th century battlefield photograph which may include disturbing images of soldiers killed in action. Therefore, some of the pictures, descriptions, or quotes may require parental supervision and guidance. This site does not seek to glorify war, but to honor the men and women who, under exceptionally trying, sometimes terrifying circumstances, helped to shape a young nation during a tragic time in our shared history.
This site was originally created September 2000.
Revised & reformatted October 2003.
Content last updated December 2, 2012.
Copyright 2003 - 2013.
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