I am back from a weekend trip to Pennsylvania to attend the Columbia Railroad Day. My itinerary took me to Gettysburg, PA on Friday and to Columbia, PA on Saturday.
|View of the Round Tops from the jump off position of Longstreet's Corps|
The weather was warm and sunny when I left Virginia. When I arrived in Gettysburg, the skys were clear, but the wind was steady with gusts up to 60 mph and the temperature in the 50s. My plan was to ride my bike around the part of the battlefield that saw action on the second day of the battle. So I parked on the saddle between the Round Tops. From there I rode my bike to the top of Little Round Top, then down the hill and west to the Peach Orchid and back. I was clever enough to plan my route so that my return climb to Little Round Top had a tail wind, but the otherwise the wind was brutal. Unfortunately, I did not pack clothes that were warm enough, so I was thoroughly chilled, despite the climb. I then jumped in my car and decided to tour the rest of the battlefield by auto.I wanted to stop at the Gettysburg Train station, but those plans were literally short circuited. I was driving north on Stratton Street near the railroad tracks, when I heard a strange humming noise. I thought something was wrong with my car. I looked up and noticed that there was a large orange-blue flame above my car. I drove forward another 100 yards and I saw it again in my rear view mirror. So I stopped and got out and it happened a third time. A pedestrian said to me that a tree was swaying into a power line. Apparently the last time the tree swayed it caused the power line to snap, or a breaker to trigger, so the flames stopped. I did not get closer to investigate. Instead, I decided to head to the north side of the battlefield to check out the scenes of the first day of combat.
|View from Oak Hill to the east where XI Corps was |
pushed back by Ewell's attack on the first day
|Larry Hoover shows a local police |
officer a civil war era weapon