Thursday, February 12, 2009

These honored dead - Gettysburg

Work on the National Cemetery was still in progress when President Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg for its dedication. The fresh graves before him, Lincoln's words took on an importance rivaling that of the battle as he reaffirmed the task facing the Union: "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." (Click image for larger view).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Minnesota in the National Cemetery - Gettysburg

A memorial urn to the First Minnesota Infantry, the first permanent monument on the battlefield, stands among graves in the National Cemetery at Gettysburg. 52 dead of the First Minnesota rest nearby, part of the 82 percent casualty rate suffered by the regiment in the three days of fighting. (Click image for larger view).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Firepower in the Cemetery - Gettysburg

What is today the peaceful National Cemetery at Gettysburg was crowded with artillery during the battle. Cemetery Hill, prominently situated overlooking Gettysburg, became home to dozens of artillery pieces that anchored the center of the Union line and were splayed in nearly all directions. Among them was Taft's New York battery, outfitted with 20-pounder Parrots, the largest artillery carried in the army. A diminutive rendering of one of the large guns now tops the monument to Taft's men and their Cemetery Hill position. (Click image for larger view).