One hundred years ago today, General Joshua L. Chamberlain - the "lion of the union" - linguist, professor, mason, soldier, Medal of Honor winner, public servant, and author -- died at the age of 85, from the lingering wounds he had suffered at the Siege of Petersburg, fifty years earlier.
In a week which also marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, the Gettysburg Address was delivered by Abraham Lincoln, 16th President, 150 years ago today. Mitch Rapoport narrates an animated version. [more inside]
A heroic leader of a cavalry charge at Gettysburg, a legendary newspaperman, twice famed co-inventor of the Wagon Lit train compartment --- and a real bastard’s bastard, a con man, a swindler, a quite-nearly-convicted blackmailer: all of these are one man. William d'Alton Mann. The pseudononymous writer of "The Saunterer" (and editor-in-chef Town Topics, the New York paper in which it was published from the 1880s until the 1930s) William d’Alton Mann was a pioneer of gossip who invented the blind item and --- entirely inadvertently --- gave the world Emily Post. [more inside]
Miniature Gettysburg is "photographed on a 250 square foot diorama accurately representing portions of the terrain of the Gettysburg Battlefield as it appeared on July 2, 1863." The portfolio section has some very intriguing looking photos, unfortunately they cannot be viewed large. Some info on the artist's techniques here. [via] [more inside]
Gettysburg Daily features every day (and I mean every day) large photos and discussion of some minutiae of the Gettysburg battlefield. Topics covered include: Dinosaur footprints on the battlefield, artillery shells lodged in local buildings, battlefield panoramas, witness trees, and rampant development. Whoever does the site recently started an award program: "The Sickles," awarded for the dumbest thing done on the battlefield in the past year. The award is named after General Daniel Sickles. Previous Metafilter discussion of Sickles and his day at Gettysburg.
2 July 1863, second day of Gettysburg. Sickles has pulled his III Corps -- without orders -- off of Cemetery Ridge and positioned it a half mile in front of the rest of the Union lines. Longstreet smashes the hapless III Corps and its men are in full flight. Hancock rides back and forth inside the gaping hole left by Sickles. Below him, almost 2000 men of Wilcox's brigade are charging up the slope. They will gain a foothold on the ridge and be reinforced by Lee. As Longstreet pins down the Union left, Lee will roll up the center and right of the Northern army and chase them from the field. He will then march on and take Washington before turning north along the eastern seaboard. Lee will capture and burn Philadelphia and Boston in his March Along the Sea, chasing the Northern government from city to city until Lincoln finally sues for peace and the union is no more. Suddenly, a line of blue-coated soldiers comes into Hancock's view. "My God, is this all the men here? Who are you?" "1st Minnesota, sir." "See those colors?", says Hancock, pointing at the flags of the oncoming Confederates, "Take them." [more inside]
The Battle of Gettysburg started on this day in 1863. Here are some essays on Gettysburg from MilitaryHistoryOnline. Here is a virtual tour with photos and maps.
The Battle of Gettysburg in Lego, done by 7th Graders: Day 1; Day 2; Day 3. [youtube links] Lots of blood and flying bodies. Complete with Matrix references. Soundtrack by The Eagles, Queen, and Richard Strauss. [via]
On this day in 1863, George Meade replaced Joseph Hooker as commanding General of the 100,000 strong Army of the Potomac, confirming what Meade himself had complained as “the ridiculous appearance we present of changing our generals after each battle.” Earlier in the day, J.E.B. Stuart and 5000 Confederate cavalry crossed the Potomac entering Maryland at Rowser’s ford. Stuart's lengthy absence had made him desperate to execute the order given to him by General Robert E. Lee to “take position on General Ewell’s right, place yourself in communication with him, guard his flank, and keep him informed of the enemy’s movements.” Stuart, whose cavalry was the “eyes and ears” of the 80,000 strong Army of Northern Virginia (warning: awful music), had been out of touch for several days, leaving General Lee ignorant of the enemy’s movement and position. When Stuart finally caught up with his army at Gettysburg, he had missed the first day and most of the second of one of the greatest battles in American history. There are those who say that Stuart violated Lee's orders to him concerning his role for the proposed campaign. Others think that those orders gave him leave to operate as he did. In either case there can be little doubt that his absence from his accustomed place, screening the Army's movements, and scouting its routes, was keenly felt by Lee during the campaign, and played a major part in bringing on the meeting engagement at Gettysburg.
A copy of the Gettysburg Cyclorama is for sale if anyone has the $2-$3 million it is expected to cost, and more importantly, somewhere to put it. It is one of four copies originally painted. This copy was found in a burned-out Chicago Warehouse in 1965 so maybe there is still hope to find the Second Battle of Manassas cyclorama. One other copy of the Gettysburg Cyclorama exists and is being restored at the Gettysburg National Military Park. [mi]
The Gettysburg Cyclorama was my first exposure to the type of art known as cyclorama, when I saw it as a child. Imagine my pleasure to discover that in addition to several other cycloramas that still exist worldwide, there is a society to preserve them.
The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation The best illustration ever of why friends don't let friends use Powerpoint. Some blame a decline in oratory and rhetoric on the television. I blame the temptation to lean on decorative visual crutches.