Clippity-clop. Clippity-clop. During our recent trip to eastern Pennsylvania, we spent a few days in Gettysburg. On our second day, we toured the Civil War battlefields in the back of a buggy, pulled by a beautiful pair of dappled grey Percheron horses named Lu and Tory who work for the Victorian Carriage Company. Over the course of two hours, a licensed battlefield guide retold the story of this epic battle and the three days that changed America’s history.
The route we took traveled through areas of the battlefield not frequented much by automobiles. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War in general. Seeing the battlefield this way allowed us to cover a lot of ground and learn things we never would have learned on our own.
What I found to be the most fascinating, was hearing what happened to the people of Gettysburg who lived near the battlefield at that time. Frequently, when their houses were commandeered by soldiers, they would return home to find clothing, food–or their house– gone. These images stuck with me and stick with me still: the human side of battle. Looking out at the pastoral landscape, I found it difficult to envision that over a span of merely three days, these rolling hills, fields and farms were stained with the blood of nearly 50,000 men who lost their lives, the countless more who were injured, and the women and children they left behind.
The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863
Take the road less traveled, Beth