Friday, August 15, 2008
Guns of the Cannonade - Gettysburg
Union cannon on Cemetery Ridge near The Angle at Gettysburg rest under lifting fog and a blazing sun. Smoke from the dozens of batteries lining the North's main battle line and the South's Seminary Ridge position quickly veiled both lines after the Rebel guns opened fire preceding Pickett's Charge, limiting the effectiveness of efforts to soften up the Union position. Despite the smokescreen, neither position was a safe place in the hour or more before the Charge. "Nothing you have ever heard or read of can give you an idea of the terrific fire Lee opened on their heights," recalled one Confederate. Near where the fire was focused, the display was less admired. "My God it was terrible," Colonel Richard Penn Smith of the 71st Pa. said. "The field was a grave. Such a sight you never saw."