View Full Version : 144 Years Ago Right Now

07-03-2007, 02:30 PM
"After enduring a heavy cannonade the command is given at last, 'Forward March!' That means a charge forward in order to capture the enemy's position. The brigade promptly responds and the attack on Cemetery Ridge is under way. On and on they move, the Yankee lines pouring in thier fire at every step, men falling on every side. But the line is never broken and their pace is not slackened until they reach the enemy's lines and here amid smoke and carnage the deadly work goes on until our men are forced by the overwhelming odds to fall back. The color bearer of the Fifth Alabama is shot down, the flag falls to the ground. Private Bullock of Co. 'C' raises it again. He is shot. Then Private Manning of Co.'B' lifts it again and as it floats out on the breeze Manning is killed. Then Private Gilbert of Co. 'A' seizes it and succeeds in bearing it to the rear where we were forced to retreat. This was a bloody charge. Many poor fellows were left stretched upon the field, dead or severely wounded. Four regimental flags were left in the hands of the enemy. Col. Fry was severely wounded. As our command rallied and reformed in the rear, Gen. Lee rode by and asked, 'What troops are these?' When informed that it was Archer's Brigade he ordered them to support a battery that had just opened near by on the enemy's line. His parting words were, 'Remember that adversity puts men to the test; in prosperity all are true.'"

- William Frierson Fulton
5th Alabama Battalion Co. "A"
Archer's Brigade
Hill's Corps
Army of Northern Virginia

Though I live in California, every year on this day I go back to Gettysburg in my mind. I see the field, I hear the guns, feel the humidity. I thank God that I have been there as many times as I have so that I can bridge the distance with a strange kind of clarity. It is dreamlike but so immediate. This day is one of those transcendant moments in history that, if you are tuned in, you can feel very deeply. My thoughts are with the old boys!

Long May They Wave,

07-03-2007, 04:26 PM
I went to college in Gettysburg, and so wasn't there during the anniversary of the battle. I finally spent a summer there after graduation, and it was a remarkable opportunity.

Our weather in the first week of July was perfect, typical Gettysburg weather-- hot and humid, with the distant rumble of heat lightning.

I lived on a corner of the First Day's battlefield, and it was extraordinary to walk there, lean against a monument and read an account of what happened on that exact spot on that exact day.

That was over 20 years ago, and I am 1200 miles away from Pennsylvania. I am spoiled now, living in an air-conditioned house with a pool instead of my scorching, unventilated Gettysburg row-house. Still, when July rolls around I can close my eyes and travel back, feeling the heat of the monument on my back and listening for the guns...

Dale Beasley
07-03-2007, 05:09 PM
Having just turned 17 yesterday 144 years ago, on the way to a town called Gettysburg, my GGGrandfather Dallas Crabtree, Private 28th North Carolina Infantry,and his three cousins made the march you are speaking of. Of the four Dallas and one of his cousins were captured during the retreat back to Virginia, one cousin was killed during the charge, another died of wounds several days later.