View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 01:40 am
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Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352

Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065

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Gettysburg didn't do it for me. Shiloh and Chickamauga though were positively stunning in comparison. The rampant commercialism hasn't invaded either place and they look very similar to how they looked when all hell was breaking loose.

Standing at the edge of Kelly field was both invigorating and sobering. It really isn't that big of a place. And walking to the top of Snodgrass hill, it's easy to understand the why & how Thomas became the Rock. And the tradition of American soldiers (taking or holding)saying "My Hill!"

I remember reading that one of Longstreets Colonels, a man who had been in the thick of it at Gettysburg, said: "Chickamauga made Gettysburg look like a church social." Of course my favorite: "What the hell kind of yanks are these; they don't break worth a damn!"

Shiloh... the size of it baffles me, so many men in an area so small, the Hornests nest, bloody pond and the peach orchard. All places I had read about but to walk them was to bring them to life... to the point that there is a set of letters in my Historical Society I cannot read. I've walked the ground the young man watched his battery get torn up on.

Vicksburg... I was reminded of a Bill Mauldin Willie & Joe cartoon. "My God we was down there and they was up here!" The NPS does a superb job w/ their Living Historians on site and the Park Rangers know their stuff. Even w/ what's left it's easy to see just how brutal that seige was.

All the battlefields I have visited gave me an appreciation of the soldiers maxim: Our job is to chase em till we ketch em then whup em till they run again.

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