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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  NCOWS (Moderator: Will Ketchum)  |  Topic: 154 Years Ago Today... 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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St. George
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« on: July 03, 2017, 10:48:19 pm »

Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was on the move near a small Pennsylvania town called 'Gettysburg'...

What they 'wanted' at that precise moment in time - was shoes.

Then - in a classic meeting engagement - they met Buford's Cavalry where he held the best ground and in essence - it all went downhill from there.

Gettysburg is a very easy battle to 'what if' - since it was so pivotal.

What if the South had had better Logistics and hadn't been suffering from the Blockade?

What if Lee wasn't smarting from the Defense of Richmond and felt the need to 'prove' himself?

What if Lee didn't somewhat believe his own press about the invincibility of the Army of Northern Virginia?

What if Lee hadn't been ill?

What if Stuart had done his job as opposed to grandstanding by riding once again - around Federal forces - as opposed to providing the battlefield intelligence so badly needed by Lee?

What if Lee had listened to Longstreet - probably the most pragmatic and 'modern' warrior he had - about the distance to cover in the stifling July heat, the emplaced Artillery - the massed troops able to reinforce at will, the stone wall and the lessons they'd learned at Fredericksburg?

What if Buford's scouts had turned their horses and followed a different path that morning?

What if Buford hadn't been an experienced, Indian-fighting Regular with an instinctive grasp of terrain?

What if Chamberlain - the quintessential citizen-soldier - hadn't read his Tactics and didn't 'see' the battle unfold and didn't have a blooded, hard Maine Infantry outfit under his command?

All these 'what ifs' are rehashed over and over at the Service Schools a few times a year by enthusiastic young Officers - and though 'some' scenarios can be built - most don't hold up due to the variables.

On that day - at that moment - due to Fate or to Serendipity - the cards fell on the Federal side.

Unfortunately for the Confederacy - with an over-confident leadership and full of itself - they met the exactly 'wrong' men in opposition - men who knew their jobs and could fight and were well-supplied and even better positioned.

Too many good men died that didn't have to - many on this day - during the abortive uphill charge across open terrain.

One day - should you ever get the chance - either find and attach yourself to a group doing a 'Staff Ride' - or find (and pay)  a really 'good' Battlefield Guide to lead you across the battlefield step-by-step.

He can stop and point out otherwise-unseen terrain features and explain who made decisions 'where' and how they unfolded during the fight.

You'll really come away with a feel for the engagement and a new-found respect for the soldiers of both sides.

As for the battle 'continuing' - 'Shenandoah' had this to say in their song - 'Sunday in the South'.

A ragged rebel flag flies high above it all
popping in the wind like an angry cannon ball
The holes of history are cold and still,
but they smell the powder burnin' and they probably always will...

Sure would be nice if folks all accepted what happened as being a rich and formative part of our collective history and they didn't try to re-write, disparage it, over-explain it or downplay the valor of our forebears on either side.

Happy Independence Day.

"It Wasn't Cowboys and Ponies - It Was Horses and Men.
It Wasn't Schoolboys and Ladies - It Was Cowtowns and Sin..."
Major 2
"Still running against the wind"
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 12:00:58 am »

Kudo's  Sir ,  well written ....simply poetic & beautiful .

I have spent a great deal of time at Gettysburg , walked & ridden Horse over it ....
took the tour(s)  lived there.

If you haven't been , go !  or go again , be warned one day , one week is not enough....


when planets the deal !
Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 12:08:47 am »

Being 2783 miles away (I just checked) I've had to settle for watching the 1993 movie on the anniversary again this year.  Thanks for the post.

CC Griff

Manager, WT Ranch--Coal Creek Division

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Cash Creek
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In GOD we trust..all others cash only..

« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 07:14:29 am »

St. George

Great post.


Hiram Ranger #100, Westside Sportsmen Club, NCOWS 3395, SASS 90169, NRA, Col. Bishop's Renegades... Cowgirls are like barbed wire…handle with care.
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 10:54:41 am »


Happy Independence Day to ALL!!

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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 11:33:05 am »

Very good post St. George. Thank you. Tj

Texas Jack Stephens:   NRA, NCOWS #2312,  SASS # 12303, Hiram's Ranger #22,  GAF #641, USFA-CSS # 185, BOSS# 174,  Hartford Lodge 675, Johnson County Rangers,  Green River Gunslingers, Col. Bishop's Renegades, Kentucky Col.
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 12:23:43 pm »

Great post Sir. Thank you.
Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 04:00:36 pm »

Very good post St George. I got over to Gettysburg while shooting the NE Regional in Thurmont, MD some years ago. Knowing the heroism and tragedy that happened 154 years ago on that hollowed ground tore me up then and still does. I hope as a nation we never forget.

"Give'em hell, Pike"
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