For about 18 years, I have relied on using primary sources to teach history. The Internet made it possible. It is, after all, the information super highway. But for teachers, the Internet is a portal to another world, a wormhole if you, please. Before the Internet, access to primary sources was rare unless you bought a book, traveled to a museum, historical site, or an educational institution. In fact, those sources were only accessed by historians and were often closed to the public. One could only see a document behind a glass cover/shield.
Beginning in the late 1990s, companies like Jackdaws and Discovery Enterprises, Ltd. began producing collections of primary source materials for teachers to use. Now, any Social Studies catalog is filled with primary source collections from events as far back as Ancient Greek. For US history, however, these collections can change how one teaches and how students learn.
Digressing back to the effect of the Internet, in recent years, libraries and other educational institutions are now putting these primary documents online for the public to peruse and use. The John F. Kennedy Library put an amazing amount of sources from the Cuban Missile Crisis online a few years ago. I have found collections from the McCarthy era, the Civil War, the Black Hawk War, the rise of Barbed Wire in DeKalb, Illinois, and a ton of sites with documents about Lincoln and the Civil War.
More recently, the John F. Kennedy Library has added a collection of materials regarding the admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi. This seminal event almost galvanized the nation and inspired thousands of young African-Americans to attend traditionally white southern schools like the University of Alabama.
The collection contains amazing documents from Meredith, the Kennedy administration, the courts, and the Mississippi establishment. It is quite expansive and quite in-depth. As a teacher, these documents can provide a plethora of activities and teachable moments through decision making and analysis. Using these documents makes history come alive. As a teacher, you could create a series of dilemmas to face from many different viewpoints – and that’s what teaching history is about is to understand that there often 3 or more sides to every story – not just two.
I am in the process of using the Meredith microsite to create a 3-4 day simulation lesson. It will be filled with decisions, cartoons, video, letters, court cases, and most importantly, critical thinking.
I also found several space race exhibits and documents online. Educational institutions across the country are creating the digital portals. Whether it is Eastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, or presidential libraries like George W. Bush or Dwight Eisenhower, digital primary source access is changing how history is taught, but more importantly, how history is actively learned.
Chicago has always been known to outsiders as the second city. In comparison to New York City, Chicago always fell second in every
aspect of modern living and culture. Incorporated a city in 1837, Chicago was the fastest growing city in the history of the world until a few years ago. After a fire in 1871, the city reemerged with steel buildings and the modern skyline was born. Chicago, after all, was an innovator in a great many things because of its location far from the eastern shores. By the 1970s, Chicago also saw a new innovative theater troupe emerge out of a church basement. Taking its name from the Herman Hesse novel, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company would reshape theater in Chicago and across the country.
What made Steppenwolf Theatre different at the time of its inception was its emphasis on ensemble acting. For many years on Broadway, the stars and directors drove the business. Big names meant big business. Even in regional theater, an actor could be lured to act in the middle of nowhere if enough money was involved. Chicago, on the other hand, was not in the middle of nowhere. However, Steppenwolf’s roots would be. Highland Park is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, north of Evanston. But it would not be Evanston and Northwestern’s long history of actors where Steppenwolf would draw its actors. Instead, Illinois State University (ISU) in Bloomington-Normal was the foundation.
Beginning in 1974, Rick Argosh and Leslie Wilson went to Gary Sinise, a high school classmate, about staging Paul Zindel’s And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little. Over the course of the next year, the troupe put on three plays in a basement of church in Deerfield, Illinois: Grease, The Glass Menagerie, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Argosh, who had been reading Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf, christened the name of the ensemble. Sinise brought in former classmates Jeff Perry and Terry Kinney, then students at ISU. Kinney, Perry, and Sinise enjoyed their group so much that they decided when Perry and Kinney finished college, the three would pursue the ensemble group full-time.
In February 1975, the three founded Steppenwolf as a non-profit organization. The group began its season in Immaculate Conception Church and School in Highland Park, Illinois. The 88 seat facility saw the ensemble grow from the three founders to include H.E. Baccus, Nancy Evans, Moira Harris, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf and Alan Wilder. Kevin Rigdon was hired as the set designer. 1976 saw the company put on six plays.
Early reviews were mixed. The company often put on two plays in one night. Some were good, and some were bad, often on the same twin bill. John Malkovich’s acting caught the early praise of local papers then the Chicago Tribune in 1976. In 1977, the company kept expanding its ensemble to include Joan Allen. The company tended to stage 6 productions a year and the ensemble slowly grew to include names like Glenne Headly, Rondi Reed, Amy Morton, and John Mahoney.
In 1980, the company moved to 134-seat theater at the Jane Addams Hull House Center on North Broadway in Chicago. The move brought with it more spotlights, a bigger audience, more press, and more plays. With Gary Sinise named artistic director, the ensemble produced True West in 1982. The production would wind up in New York and Malkovich would wind up a star who drew attention to himself and the ensemble.
Throughout the 1980s, word of mouth spread about the intensity of the acting, the stark set design, and the unique nature of the plays. In 1982, the company moved to a theater on North Halstead, creeping closer and closer to downtown. In 1985, the company won a Tony Award for Regional Theatre Excellence. In 1988, the company broke open the doors and made itself a nationally recognized company for its production of Grapes of Wrath. Reinterpreting Steinbeck made a national name out of Sinise and brought name recognition for the entire ensemble.
In 1991, the company built its current theater, also on North Halstead. Sinise and Malkovich began to do movies and became stars in their own right on the big screen but they never left the ensemble. Joan Allen, Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne), and John Mahoney (Frasier) saw steady work as well in the movies and on TV. In 1998, President Clinton awarded the company the 1998 National Medal of Arts.
Here founding member Jeff Perry and Ensemble Members Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton and Rondi Reed talk about the early years. It is a very interesting and funny interview and gives a lot of details of what it took to get the company off the ground.
Here is the team photo of the 1920 Decatur Staley football team. At the end of the season, they would move to Chicago and become the Chicago Bears. Notice who is sitting in the center of the front row….George S. Halas.
“General, I have been a soldier all my life. I have been with soldiers engaged in fights by couples, by squads, companies, regiments and armies, and I should know . . what soldiers can do. It is my opinion that no 15,000 men ever arrayed for battle can take that position.” – James Longstreet
I do not think the thought of leaving the battlefield after July 2 ever occurred to Robert E. Lee. It should have. Had Lee left, his men could have lived to fight another battle at full strength. That could have been the battle. Instead, Lee, partly guided by hubris, his own self-confidence, and his own distaste for his opponent, never thought he could be beaten. Lee never imagined that Meade, only 5 days on the job could best him on a field of battle. Time and again throughout two year old war, Lee had put on one of the greatest military displays in history. Many historians, including myself, consider him America’s greatest general. That distinction, however, does not mean he was without fault. He was. And on July 3, 1863, one error to stand and fight ultimately marked the high water mark for his army and the Confederacy.
For Abraham Lincoln, the Battle of Gettysburg was different than most previous battles. Throughout the war, Lincoln was kept abreast of the day’s events through telegraph communiques. Ironically, the President had used the telegraph to issue orders to commanders in the field. This time, it would not be so.
Lee’s plan for battle had three parts. Part one included an assault on Culp’s Hill in the morning. It was hoped the Army of Northern Virginia could take the hill and the control the battlefield. If it failed, Lee had two additional parts. The second part was made possible the arrival the day before of the cavalry under the command of J.E.B. Stuart. Stuart was to swing wide and attack the Union from the rear on the east. The third part of the plan was to be an afternoon assault on the Union center near Cemetery Ridge. An artillery barrage would commence aimed at two points. The center would be targeted as well the woods behind where Lee believed Meade would hold his reserves to reinforce positions up and down the line. The brigades of Pickett and Heth then would converge on the point (Called The Angle) like a funnel, break through the Union lines, and divide the Union in two with Stuart attacking the same point from the east. Some of Lee’s generals did not like the plan but James Longstreet was the most vocal. Longstreet felt that the Union had two whole days to reinforce those heights. It is what Longstreet would have done had he been in command of Union forces.
Meade’s plan was based on the Council of War held the night before. Up to this point, what had allowed the Union to hold the lines was that Meade had used his reserves to reinforce key positions depending on the point of attack. For the third day, Meade would have no reserves other than cavalry. So, rather keep them in the woods behind the lines, Meade shifted them east to reinforce the right flank. In addition, Meade reinforced Culp’s Hill with units from two divisions.
Part 1 – Culp’s Hill
The attack on Culp’s Hill began early in the morning on July 3. It did not go well for the Confederates. With the extra men, the Union held position on the hill. By 11 a.m. the fighting on the hill ceased. The failures to take the Hill lead Lee to implement the final two parts to win.
Part Two – Stuart and the Cavalry
J.E.B. Stuart and his cavalry swung wide east of Gettysburg to swing around and flank the Union forces. Unable to reconnoiter the day before, Stuart found himself staring face to face with the 3rd Division commanded by 23 year old George Armstrong Custer and the 2nd Division commanded by David Greeg. Though neither side had a tactical advantage, the Union despite having fewer forces was able to thwart and repel Stuart. When the Union forces slammed into the Confederate Cavalry line, the line stopped creating a traffic jam of Confederate cavalry.
Part Three – Pickett’s Charge
At 1:07 p.m., 150 Confederate guns opened up on what Lee thought were Union positions at Union artillery in the center along with troops positioned there, and at positions behind the front line where Lee thought Meade held his reinforcements. After two hours, the barrage ceased. Emerging from the woods along Seminary Ridge, 13,000 – 15,000 Confederate soldiers lined up to begin their march toward the Union Center. Led by General George Pickett, the line stretched almost a mile long.
Silently, on an 81 degree summer afternoon, the march began across open field in the face of the enemy. The Union held their artillery to make the Confederates think the barrage had taken out the guns. Without sound, the Confederates made their way across the field until a fence line appeared near the Emmitsburg Road. The soldiers increased in height to near 10 feet while climbing the fence. The Union opened fire on soldiers crossing the field. At this point, Union artillery opened fire at point blank range decimating Pickett’s and Pettigrew’s forces as they neared the wall. But it did not stop the Confederates from coming.
Some Confederates breached the wall near the Angle. Some Union forces retreated in fear only to be rounded up and returned to fight the Confederates. When artillery used at short range began pummeling Confederates at short range, a full on retreat began. No one is sure to this day who ordered the retreat. When the Confederates reached Seminary Ridge, Lee tried to reform his lines for another attack. When Pickett appeared in front of Lee, Lee told him to reform his brigade. He told Lee his division was gone. Only 5,000 – 6,000 of the assault force returned to Seminary Ridge. Pickett’s Charge had been a disaster.
For most, this is where the fighting ended. Lee would reform for an attack from Meade that never came. On July 4, 1863, the rains come. And with that rain, Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia began the long sulk back to Virginia. The invasion was over. The Union had won the battle. Combined with the victory at Victory at Vicksburg, it was a great day. But not for President Lincoln. When informed of the victory, Lincoln was ecstatic. When informed that Meade let Lee limp away, Lincoln was furious with the decision. Meade, according to Lincoln had a chance to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia, wipe it out, and this end the war in the Eastern Theater. It was not to be. Like previous commanders of the Army of Potomac, Meade erred on the side of caution. In other words, he erred. It would soon cost him command.
Soon after the battle, photographers made their way to Gettysburg and images from the conflict made their way into newspapers. These images shocked the nation to the ultimate price both sides paid. Later, the ground would be consecrated with a national cemetery for it was truly hallowed ground.
It easy to sit here 150 years later and second guess Lee and Meade and their decisions. At the time, reports by both generals conveyed their own assessments of the battle and their determination that their efforts were right. Lee, for example, still was throwing J.E.B. Stuart under the proverbial bus.
About 1 p.m., at a given signal, a heavy cannonade was opened, and continued for about two hours with marked effect upon the enemy. His batteries replied vigorously at first, but toward the close their fire slackened perceptibly, and General Longstreet ordered forward the column of attack, consisting of Pickett’s and Heth’s divisions, in two lines, Pickett on the right. Wilcox’s brigade, marched in rear of Pickett’s right, to guard that flank, and Heth’s was supported by Lane’s and Scales’ brigades’ under General Trimble. The troops moved steadily on, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, the main attack being directed against the enemy’s left center. His batteries reopened as soon as they appeared. Our own having nearly exhausted their ammunition in the protracted cannonade that preceded the advance of the infantry, were unable to reply, or render the necessary support to the attacking party. Owing to this fact, which was unknown to me when the assault took place, the enemy was enabled to throw a strong force of infantry against our left, already wavering under a concentrated fire of artillery from the ridge in front, and from Cemetery Hill, on the left. It finally gave way, and the right, after penetrating the enemy’s lines, entering his advanced works, and capturing some of his artillery was attacked simultaneously in front and on both flanks, and driven back with heavy loss. The troops were rallied and reformed, but the enemy did not pursue. A large number of brave officers and men fell or were captured on this occasion. Of Pickett’s three brigade commanders, Generals Armistead and [R.B.] Garnett were killed, and General Kemper dangerously wounded. Major-General Trimble and Brigadier-General Pettigrew were also wounded, the former severely.
The result of the campaign may be briefly stated in the defeat of the enemy at Gettysburg, his compulsory evacuation of Pennsylvania and Maryland, and withdrawal from the upper valley of the Shenandoah, and in the capture of 3 guns, 41 standards, and 13,621 prisoners; 24,978 small-arms were collected on the battle-field. Our own losses were very severe, amounting, as will be seen, by the accompanying return, to 2,834 killed, 13,709 [13,713] wounded, and 6,643 missing; in all, 23,186 [23,190]. It is impossible in a report of this nature to enumerate all the instances of gallantry and good conduct which distinguished such a hard-fought field as Gettysburg. The reports of corps commanders and their subordinates, herewith submitted, will furnish all information upon this subject. I will only add my tribute to the heroic bravery of the whole army, officers and men, which, under the blessing of Divine Providence, enabled a crowning victory to be obtained, which I feel confident the country will never cease to bear in grateful remembrance.
Regardless of their opinions in their reports, the fact remains that the Battle of Gettysburg extremely weakened Lee’s future attempts to attack. He would now fight a war of defense while the Union was still up in the air as to what it would do. Meade would stay in command for the fall. No other major battle was fought in the eastern theater that fall. Come spring of 1864, a new Union general would be given the charge of destroying the Army of Northern Virginia.
In the end, Henry Kaiser’s diary entry for July 4, 1863 says it all:
“All is quiet along the line this morning.”
When the fighting of the first day ended, the Confederates were ready for a great victory on Union soil. If Lee could whip Meade, there would be little to stand between Lee and the capital. When the first day of battle ended, the Confederates had taken the town while the Union army had scattered to the hills south of town. Lee, who had arrived at 1 p.m. on the first day of battle tried to convince Richard Ewell to take Culp’s Hill, “if practicable.” To Ewell, those last two words deemed it an option. Lee did not mean it that way. Robert E. Lee knew if he did not have the high ground, victory could be elusive.
Arriving to aid Lee was General James Longstreet and his division. J.E.B. Stuart was still missing but he would arrive later in the day. The Union began to reinforce its positions as well. The fighting would not begin in earnest until noon. Reconnaissance had to take place. The next 6 hours would give hope to a Confederacy, while Union tried to find hope in any form. By the end of the day, names like Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, Culp’s Hill, Cemetery Ridge, the Peach Orchard and the Wheatfield became part of the American Lexicon.
The weather was mild on July 2, 1863. The sun shone and there were no overcast skies. Temperatures were in the middle 70s. Meade really had no plan other than to defend the high points. Meade planned to use the roads between the hills to shift reinforcements back and forth. Lee, on the other hand, was going to try and take three hills, Culp’s Hill, Round Top and Little Round Top. From his vantage point on Seminary Ridge Lee knew if controlled those hills, the battle would be won. Much of the fighting on day two would take place on the Union’s northern flank, closest to town.
The fighting that afternoon was fierce. The Union line ebbed and flowed after each Confederate wave from Longstreet, Ewell, and AP Hill. Meade, however, kept the Union line in attack through by reinforcing weak points in the line. IF Hill of Longstreet had broken through, the Union army would have split in two. But the “bend but don’t break” strategy succeeded for the Union that day. But, it did not feel like a victory. In fact, Lee thought that one more attack on July 3 fighting would win the day. Lee’s subordinates did not. Most notably, Longstreet was not in favor of attacking the high ground.
Action on Little Round resulted in the Union solidifying its position thanks to a downhill bayonet charge by the 20th Maine led by Joshua Chamberlain. The result was the capture of many in the 15th Alabama. The result was a southern flank that could not be taken. Attacks on Culp’s Hill failed. Dan Sickles tried to take on Confederate troops near the Emmitsburg Road by leaving his position in the hills. Meade, furious, filled the lines and Sickle would later retreat back to his origin. The Confederates had taken much of the low ground at Devil’s Den, the Wheatfield, and The Peach Orchard.
Charles Potts of the 115th Pennsylvania briefly summed up the day’s events:
Placed in field about one mile northwest of town. Rebs held in check, but think they will be able to drive our men on the morrow. Guarded by the 17th Va. Infantry, commanded by Col. French. Well treated, and find an old Colonel a gentleman, but no provisions
Lee, however, saw this point of view:
The result of this day’s operations induced the belief that, with proper concert of action, and with the increased support that the positions gained on the right would enable the artillery to render the assaulting columns, we should ultimately succeed, and it was accordingly determined to continue the attack. The general plan was unchanged. Longstreet, re-enforced by Pickett’s three brigades, which arrived near the battle-field during the afternoon of the 2d, was ordered to attack the next morning, and General Ewell was directed to assail the enemy’s right at the same time. The latter, during the night, re- enforced General Johnson with two brigades from Rodes’ and one from Early ‘s division.
As confident as Lee was, Meade, on the other hand, came across differently. The night of July 2 saw Meade hold his infamous Council of War. In this council, Meade met with his corps commanders to determine the course of action for the next day. The choices were to stay and defend, or to leave the field and regroup at another position. The unanimous decision was to stay and fight. Meade has been criticized for holding the council. It could be viewed as a sign of weakness. Then again, consensus was built and the fortitude inherent in the unanimous declaration may have swayed the next day.
This was certain – July 3, 1863 would decide the battle. What was not known was whether it would decide the war.
The Battle of Gettysburg is one topic in which students are rapt and engaged. However, it is also one in which students can get easily lost and disengage. I learned several years ago in my early teaching that kids want to learn about the Civil War in great detail. They do not want to sit and watch three hours of Gettysburg or watch 2 hours of some History Channel documentary replete with GCI special effects.
The Battle of Gettysburg is a transformative event in American history. To try to cover it in one day would be inefficient. I do several things to engage students when it comes to Day Two. I use two strategy simulations (one from each side), some map work, and a few journals.
There is more to being a soldier than just shooting weapons. There are the hours spent not fighting – which tend to drastically outnumber the hours spent in combat. My most favorite part of the whole Civil War Unit is I give students pictures of 20 objects and the students have to figure out what they were used for in camp. The artifact pictures come from the Gettysburg National Military Park:
It is interesting to hear what students think the soldiers used the items for in camp. The website has a variety of topic and sub topic pages. Click on each picture and you get an in-depth description of the artifact.
When the fighting began at 6 a.m. in the largest battle ever fought in the western hemisphere, it would be the first of three days of the most horrific carnage the world knew at the time. When it was over on July 3, there would be piles of arms, legs, and horses stinking in the hot, Pennsylvania summer sun. Almost 8,000 soldiers lay dead and another 27,000 injured. In addition, 11,000 were captured or missing. The battle that began on July 1, 1863 was a long time in the making and would redefine a nation. To hear historian David McCullough tell the story in Ken Burns Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was about shoes. 1 out of 5 Confederate soldiers needed them and Gettysburg had a shoe factory there. Shoes were only a minor part of the why 165,000 Americans fought it out in the wheat fields, forests, and rocky facades around this sleepy, seminary town of 2500. It was more about roads.
When shots rang out at 6 a.m. on July 1, the Battle of Gettysburg had been months in the making. The summer before (1862) saw the Union army invade Virginia and create havoc on the civilian population in northern and eastern Virginia. While the Confederate’s won most engagements in their home state in 1862 and early 1863, victory came at a high price. By the beginning of 1863, the farmers in Virginia needed time to grow crops and raise livestock to feed themselves and the Army of Northern Virginia. By invading the North, Confederate General Robert E. Lee hoped to take pressure of the Virginia farmer and place the onus back on the Union to defend its own.
When Lee began making invasion plans, Gettsyburg was on the map. However, it was not the target. Lee hoped to capture a major northern city like Harrisburg. Harrisburg was not only the capital, but it was also a major rail center and additionally had a training center for the US Army. Lee thought if he could capture the city along the Susquehanna River, he could curry favor from Europe in either money, loans, weapons, troops, or recognition. The closest the Confederates came to Harrisburg that summer was two miles away. Additionally, the time for invasion was ripe. The siege at Vicksburg was not going well for the Confederacy. Lee felt by invading the North, he might draw some troops away for the last Confederate bastion on the Mississippi River. On all counts, Lee would be wrong. Vicksburg was doomed and recognition would not be coming, victory or not.
After the Battle of Chancellorsville, Lee had to restructure his command in the wake of Stonewall Jackson’s death. Lee would have to rely on men who were not fit to walk in Jackson’s boots. For Lee and Jackson, they had been tied together at the hip. Lee always counted on Jackson to succeed in the most improbable conditions, and Jackson had until his own men shot him. Without his right-hand man, Lee had to find new ways of winning wars. Lee divided up Jackson’s army into 2 parts. One part of the crops went to AP Hill, and the other to Richard Ewell. J.E.B. Stuart would again be in charge of the Calvary, or as Lee often referred to the unit, his eyes and ears.Lee felt confident he could win against any Union force.
In early June of 1863, Lee began his move northward through Virginia. Calvary skirmishes at Brandywine Station, Aldie, Upperville, Aldie, and Middleburg showed the movement to Union leaders. Union General Hooker began to set up a defensive position, Hooker, rather than attack. Hooker felt he had to keep Washington, D.C. at his back at all times. Lincoln again, wanted an attack. Up to this point, the Union command structure held true to form that summer as Lincoln kept firing the Generals who lost to Lee. For almost two years straight, Lincoln kept changing what he thought were inept men, incapable of attacking but capable of coming up with excuses not to attack. When Lee and his forces skirmished with the Union in the middle of June, the new man in charge would not give Lincoln the satisfaction of firing him, Joseph Hooker would resign. He was replaced with George Meade on June 28. There was no way Meade would attack only days into his new role. Like Hooker, Meade felt he first duty was to defend Baltimore and D.C. Meade thought it better to fight the battle he wanted to rather than the one Lee or Lincoln wanted. It would be prophetic and sad at the same time.
For the city of 2500, Gettysburg held no great military advantage, arsenal, training center, supply dept, railroad junction or camp. It was a seminary school. Sure, it had some shoes, but it was not world renown for its footwear. Within three days, it would have another distinction. But what Gettysburg did have were roads – lots of them. Lee, having scattered his armies to the four winds in Pennsylvania to avoid to being destroyed in whole, decided the town would be the perfect place to reconvene his forces and use the roads to march out in new directions.
On June 30, 1863, Confederate General Henry Heth sent some of James Pettigrew’s men into Gettysburg to commandeer some shoes and other supplies. What the rebels found were Union Calvary in the town. The Confederates quickly retreated from the town and informed Heth. The next morning around sunrise, Heth began his assault on the town.
Dismounted and waiting for the advance was the 1st Division Calvary Corps (dismounted) under the command of John Buford. Though outnumbered, Buford mustered his troops to fight back Heth’s forces throughout the morning while awaiting reinforcements. His help came with John Reynolds later that day. Reynolds, himself, would not make it through the day. In one flanking movement along McPherson’s ridge, Reynolds was shot and died instantly. Abner Doubleday took over for Reynolds and helped to hold the line Reynolds started.
However, the rest of the day saw the Confederates slowly advance into Gettysburg. The Union had to retreat from the town. At first glance, one would think the Confederates had a great victory. Technically, they did. They had driven the 1st Calvary Division from the town, killed its General, and they now occupied the town. Confederate General John Gordon described one scene in which a Union commander
“was surrounded by Union dead, and his own life seemed to be quickly ebbing out. Quickly dismounting and lifting his head, I gave him water from my canteen, asked his name and the character of his wounds. He was Major General Francis C. Barlow, of New York, and of Howard’s corps. The ball had entered his body in front and passed out near the spinal cord, paralyzing him in legs and arms. Neither of us had the remotest thought that he could possibly survive many hours. I summoned several soldiers who were looking after the wounded, and directed
them to place him upon a litter and carry him to the shade in the rear. Before parting, he asked me to take from his pocket a package of letters and destroy them. They were from his wife. He had but one request to make of me. That request was that if I should live to the end of the war and should ever meet Mrs. Barlow, I would tell her of our meeting on the field of Gettysburg and of his thoughts of her in his last moments. He wished me to assure her that he died doing his duty at the front, that he was willing to give his life for his country, and that his deepest regret was that he must die without looking upon her face again.”
Barlow miraculously survived the battle and the war.
When Union General Winfield Scott Hancock arrived at the battle around 4 p.m., the Union army was in full retreat south towards Cemetery Hill, one of many high points surrounding the town. It was on these high areas that the Union would make their stand. The only consolation of losing the town was now having advantageous positions for day two. However, for the Union, it looked grim. Little did the Union know that all roads lead to Gettysburg. On day two, those roads, combined with the high ground, would create a catastrophe for the Confederacy.