Friday, June 28, 2013

Gettysburg 150 Years Ago Today Continnued.

Tonight Robert E Lee, leading the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia of 75,000 men into Pennsylvania, at his headquarters in Chambersburg, Pa.,  received reports from a Confederate spy by the name of "Harrison" that Hooker's Union Army of the Potomac of 100,000 men, was moving north to engage Lee and that he had followed two Federal Corps to Frederick, Maryland. With Lee's cavalry under the command of Jeb Stewart out of contact with Lee he had to rely on the spy's report. As the spy was leaving he almost incidentally tells Lee that the Army of the Potomac is now under the command of General George Mead.

Since Lee's army is spread-out all over southern Pennsylvania and knowing that a  battle is near, Lee based upon the spy's report, tonight  orderes that his army concentrate at a small town intersected by 10 road like the spokes of a wheel named...... Gettysburg!

It is 6 days till the 4th of July,1863, the 67 anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's DECLORATION  OF INDEPENDANCE.  Thomas Jefferson and John Adams have been dead for 37 years and the country they founded is fighting a terrible Civil War over the words:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This same night a collage professor from a small college in Maine is camped out with the unit he leads, named the 20th Maine. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain gave up his professorship in Maine to fight for the Union and to end slavery.  He wrote to the Governor of Maine:

"I fear, this war, so costly of blood and treasure, will not cease until men of the North are willing to leave good positions, and sacrifice the dearest personal interests, to rescue our country from desolation, and defend the national existence against treachery." 

He has read 'Uncle Tom's Cabin" written by the wife of a fellow professor at Bowdoin Collage and hates slavery and wants to make the words of the Declaration of Independence true. In the days to come he will get his chance! More about him later.