Eyewitness to Gettysburg (National Geographic Shorts)
Author James Robertson, one of America's most respected Civil War scholars and storytellers whose weekly talks about little-known people and events of the Civil War aired for 15 years on National Public Radio, brings history to life here in a collection of unexpected and true stories revealing the events that took place as great events unfolded. He explores such gripping subjects as the post-battle horrors of the wounded, the destruction of Robert E. Lee's aura of invincibility, and the invention of a new way to remove the wounded from the battlefield. In addition, an introductory overview of the Civil War traces the major events of the conflict year by year.
Painstakingly researched and deeply personal, this ebook offers a unique reading experience for the millions of Civil War buffs and all those interested in the previously untold stories behind this great chapter in America's past.
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sergeant from Massachusetts. But doubts lingered among troops who had seen their hopes dashed repeatedly and regiments shot to pieces. “Our culinary condition has been much improved,” observed a lieutenant from Indiana, adding, “like a herd of poor oxen they are fattening us for the slaughter.” Hooker was grooming his men for a purpose, and no one doubted what that was. “We are to have hard marching and hard fighting,” one captain from Wisconsin concluded, and the stakes were sure to be high,
Seddon had won his point. Seddon was a Virginian, but after Chancellorsville he proposed detaching Maj. Gen. George Pickett’s division of Virginians from Lee’s army and sending it to relieve Vicksburg, which was under mounting pressure from Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Lee strongly objected, arguing that the division might arrive too late to save Vicksburg and warning that unless he retained all his forces and received reinforcements, he might have to fall back to the defenses around Richmond.
By 7 p.m., the fighting had spread northward to Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill, where General Ewell belatedly launched attacks on Federals who were now firmly entrenched. Between those two hills and Little Round Top to the south, meanwhile, Meade’s forces faced one furious attack after another. Hardest hit were the exposed men of Sickles’s corps in the Peach Orchard and the nearby Wheat Field, which came to resemble the Cornfield at Antietam as bodies piled up amid the stalks. Before entering that
killing ground, troops of the Irish Brigade received absolution from their chaplain, who warned them there would be no Christian burial for “the soldier who turns his back upon the foe.” They went in faithfully and gained ground, but the struggle for the Wheat Field was soon overshadowed by a blistering assault launched across the Peach Orchard by Mississippians under Brig. Gen. William Barksdale. Advancing toward a farm where General Sickles was headquartered, they “sped swiftly across the field