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A Gettysburg Vacation Stirs The Soul

10/01/2016
by

gettysburg-2As soon as you drive into Gettysburg and on the vast National Park, you have a sense of “hallowed” ground.

The rolling farm lands, ridges and thickets that abound with the sound of nature, all hide the carnage that was July 1st through July 3rd, 1863 and what would become known as the Battle of Gettysburg and the famous Gettysburg Address given by President Lincoln on November 19th, 1863.

We have a friend who with her family goes and visits Gettysburg once a year and I can see why, for in our two-day vacation stay, we only touched the surface of what is a truly a memorable, historic and soul-searching site.

As we toured the museum, I found a quote that caught my eye. It was on a wall, stuck in a corner that could be easily missed if one was rushing by.

It was a simple quote from the New York Times, written in October 1867.14468750_10208271937649360_1856133955139387798_o

 The contest touches everything and leaves nothing as it found it. Great rights, great interests, great systems of habit and of thought disappear during its progress. It leaves us a different people in everything.

My thoughts were many after reading that quote.

I thought about what my distant 3 times removed Great Uncle David Gregg and his family felt and suffered during this bloody time of American history.

David was an immigrant Englishman who with his wife and family lived in Mercer Pennsylvania when he enlisted.

He was a Pvt in the 148th Pennsylvania Regiment and died 15 August 1864, age 28 at Andersonville Prison, Georgia. He left a wife and four children.

The contest touches everything and leaves nothing as it found it.

As we toured the many sites and viewed the historical markers, I found myself at sunset in the very spot that the Confederates made their finally charge on July 3, 1863. Commonly known as Pickett’s Charge, it signaled the defeat of this great “Civil War” even tho the war would continue two more years.

A visit to Gettysburg is a tour of the worst of humanity and to the best of humanity.

After a visit to this sacred spot, one truly knows

It leaves us a different people in everything.

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