July 22, 2016 by Jamie
So our last full day at Gettysburg was doing our own “Pickett’s Charge”. Well unlike Pickett, we actually succeeded….eventually after 5 hours and on push bikes. YES we actually were on push bikes.
We decided that we would first head out towards Plum Run and then on to the Peach Orchard. This is the furthest point forward where Sickles corps instead of obeying his order to Cemetery Ridge and Little Round Top, he advanced his Corps to what he thought was higher ground. This left holes in the Union line. Most of this was on the trail roads but some was on main roads.
From there we went on to the Wheatfield and then on to Devil’s Den. We took a bit of a break here to catch our breath and take in the mass of the rocks through Devil’s Den. Again this is all part of Sickles Corps defence.
After this was a climb with the bikes up to Little Round Top. We took a longer break here and walked along the trail which followed the line taken by 20th Maine led by Chamberlain. It was quite shocking to see the terrain that both forces had to fight through. Col Chamberlain and the 20th Maine who were the last regiment in the line of the whole union defence. It was a moving moment to see where the monument was of the 20th Maine. This is where, in the battle , Col Chamberlain anchored colours and refused the left flank with half his men. This was hard fighting where the Confederates pushed hard from Big Round Top to the south face of Little Round Top facing the 20th Maine. Running low of ammunition Col Chamberlain decided for his men to do bayonets and charge headlong down Little Round Top capturing many confederates in the process.
The position was never lost to the Confederates.
Finally we rode along Warfield Ridge. We confess at this point we had done 4 hours on the bikes and really wanted some food and so we headed back to the Visitor Centre which took another hour passing by General Meade’s Headquarters. We were all sore and sunburnt by the time we got back but it was a fabulous final day at Gettysburg.
All things considered, Gettysburg was probably the most important part of our holiday and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The people are really friendly (especially the bus driver who ferried us about throughout our stay). It is obvious that Gettysburg is a big tourist attraction however you definately don’t feel crowded, there is so much open space it is amazing. For anyone considering a holiday to Gettysburg we can definately recommend it. Hire a bike ($30 for the whole day) and explore the battlefield, just remember to take plenty of water, it is really hot this time of year.
Finally for today,just a quick shout out for Ian Spice, we couldn’t be bothered to go far for dinner and so went across the road for KFC. This is certainly not like it is a home. You don’t get fries, instead you get mash potato in gravy and the choice of how you have your chicken cooked is original recipe, extra crispy or grilled with spices and you can have a mixture of all three. You can choose if you want brown meat, white meat or mixture of both and the chicken pieces are huge!!! As for the drinks, like everywhere we have been to so far, you pay for your cup and the refills are free…..
Tomorrow is another travelling day into Washington DC and so the blog may be a little light tomorrow.