GDG- skirmish line vs line of battle

Charles T. Joyce CTJoyce at spearwilderman.com
Wed Jan 11 13:09:46 CST 2012


Keith,
No way of knowing for sure regarding the "former loyalties" of the background bodies.  But, having been at that spot, and looked at an original stereoview (well, an 1880s reprint) thru a vintage stereoviewer, the ground really seems to match up.  I will have to show you when it gets a little warmer.

I get to Gettysburg at least 1 or 2x a month starting in March, so if you let me know when you're available, I'll meet you there.  We could try to go to Biddle's line and to the Spangler Farm.

I'm re-reading WF's books on these images and will try to post some more detailed points this weekend.  Long story short, I think a case can be made that Gardner spent sometime on the first day's field.  He clearly was in the town itself, having photographed the Fahnestock (Sp?) Building.

Charles

-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com] On Behalf Of keith mackenzie
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 2:00 PM
To: GDG
Subject: Re: GDG- skirmish line vs line of battle

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
Good points. I'm not having a hard time picturing it, haveing just been there. Are we sure that those in the background are Union casualties? My eyes aren't what they used to be, and they were never that good. I'm not overjoyed with these new glasses either, truth be told. 
K.

"Hello! I'm The Doctor."
(Dr. Who)


________________________________
From: Charles T. Joyce <CTJoyce at spearwilderman.com>
To: GDG <gettysburg at arthes.com> 
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 1:39 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- skirmish line vs line of battle

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
According to Hartwig's series, Major Biddle of the 121st PA reported
that his regiment received "a crushing fire" from the 52d NC of
Pettigrew's Brigade, and lost 14 KIA on July 1 on East McPherson Ridge.
The 20th NYSM, on the immediate left, lost 24 KIA, most, again, in the
fight on the Ridge.

I would submit that description and those numbers are consistent with
what we see in these photographs.

Note also that 121st "changed front to the left", and it also appears
that the bodies in the far distance are facing in that direction.

-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com
[mailto:gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com] On Behalf Of John Lawrence
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 10:19 AM
To: GDG
Subject: Re: GDG- skirmish line vs line of battle

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
Given the concentration of the bodies, it could have been shell also,
perhaps among stragglers.
Regards,
Jack

cameron2 at optimum.net wrote:

>Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
><<  OK, I understood the principle, a little dim on the mechanics but
both explanations cannot fail to help achieve a greater understanding.
Now, In (both)you're considered opinion, are the bodies in the "Harvest
of Death" (HoD, for future ref) more likely indicative of a line of
battle, or a skirmish line? the spacing between the bodies may not prove
anything, but does it disprove anything?  >>
>
>
>I'm inclined to think that the number and concentration of bodies is
more indicative of casualties sustained by a heavily engaged line of
battle.  But there are so many unknowns that it's difficult to say with
any certainty.
>
>
>Jim Cameron
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