Friday, January 9, 2009

'The Only Position' - Howard at Gettysburg

The monument to Union Major General Oliver Otis Howard stands atop Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg, on the location where Howard placed his reserve during the first day of fighting. Howard understood the hill, which commanded the landscape south of Gettysburg, would be a critical fall back position should the hard-pressed First and Eleventh Corps need to retreat. "This looks like a good position," Howard, speaking of Cemetery Hill, told an aide. "It is the only position, general," was the t0-the-point reply. Obvious or not, the hill became an anchor of the Union line for the next two days of fighting along Cemetery Ridge. (Click image for larger view).

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