Friday, February 6, 2009

Dilger on Day One - Gettysburg

Guns mark one of the positions held by Capt. Hubert Dilger's battery of Ohio men on the first day at Gettysburg. Dilger's efforts were one of the few success stories for the Union army fighting north of the town. He held several positions, taking on both enemy artillery and infantry with great effect. His opening shots against a Confederate battery provided a memorable, if unlikely, sequence of events as reported by one witness:

"The first shot from the Ohio Battery flew over the Confederate Battery. At this time the rebels yelled in derision. Capt. Dilger now sighted the gun himself and fired it. The shot dismounted a rebel gun and killed the horses. Capt. Dilger tried it a second time, sighting and firing the gun. No effect being visible with the naked eye, Col. Brown who was near, asked, 'what effect, Capt. Dilger?' Capt. Dilger, after looking through his glass, replied. 'I have spiked a gun for them plugging it at the muzzle.' "

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Guns of the Wheatfield Road - Gettysburg

Union artillery lines the Wheatfield Road at the Peach Orchard, scene of massed Union cannon the second day at Gettysburg. The Confederates won the day on this ground, but not before the artillerists exacted a cost, according to one witness: "Masses of Kershaw's and Wofford's brigades had been swept from the muzzles of the guns, which had been loaded either with double-shotted, or spherical case, with fuses cut to one second, to explode near the muzzles. They were literally blown to atoms. Corpses strewed the ground at every step." (Click image for larger view).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Citizen Soldiers - Gettysburg

The grouping of soldiers on the base of the Virginia State Monument at Gettysburg represents the various walks of life that contributed to the Confederate cause from the Old Dominion-a professional man, mechanic, artist, a boy, a business man, farmer, and a youth. The Seminary Ridge monument, better known for its depiction of Lee and Traveller at its top, is the largest grouping of figures on the battlefield. (Click image for larger view).