Call me crazy, but why is this man collecting funds on the freeway?? Just because the freeway has a light don’t mean you have to panhandle. I have no idea as to what he collecting for. He must make pretty good to do this on the freeway! Your life is worth what???
We drove on to Gettysburg. OMG it was a zoo. Traffic was at a standstill. We turned the Hilton 4 around and headed back to Maryland to the Catoctin National Park. Talk about small worlds. The camp hosts are from Bakersfield, CA. So…o. of course we got a good RV site. Hey you youngins it is a pleasure to get to 62. We were able to stay for $10 a night with our National Park Senior Pass. Yahooo. It pays to get old. The RV sites in town were $60 to $125 a night.
July 1. Day 1 of the war. Did you know the battle of Gettysburg (GB) is 150 years old? Gettysburg was full of Civil War enthusiast. The battle lasted 3 days July1-3. GB reenacted each portion of the battle every day. They had authors who had written books on GB autographing copies. We started our day with a movie about GB voiced by Morgan Freeman. From there we went to Cyclorama. It is a giant mural in the round depicting the battle at GB. This mural was taken all over the world so more people could see how the battle was fought.
Infections were rampant because doctors and medics did not understand how infections worked. They worked on soldiers without cleaning their tools or their surgical aprons or even the table where they worked. The surgical tools were from the mechanical shops. Most of the doctors were not real. They were mostly barbers and drunkards with a little medical knowledge. Ya maybe can give a good hair cut but leave the real doctoring to the real doctors.
Did you know that the Confederate soldier had so many different color uniforms that it was hard to define which unit they were from. This was because each state issued their own uniform. Or the dye used faded because of the rains.
The Union soldier got 3 days worth of food to take along the trail. Confederate soldier got a piece of jerky and a Hard tack. Hard tack is made with water and flour. It looks like a teething biscuit. Excuse me, how is a grown made to survive on this for 3 days?
The visitor center has a wonder new museum. It has unbelievable amount items of Civil War items. It takes you from the beginning of the war until the end. It is understandable why Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the U.S. Army. He did not want to fight against his own people. Did you know that Mary Todd Lincoln had a brother Maj George Todd who was a doctor for the Confederates? I wonder if this was one of the reasons she had a breakdown. Many others had their father and husbands’ on different sides of the war. There was a wall that shows the pictures of soldiers.
It was good to see that museum included a man of color serving in the war. The picture is Sgt. Christian Fleetwood.
In and out of the visitors center there were people dressed and performing as if it was still 1863. In the evening, we were treated with a local choir singing war songs of the day and reenactment of letters about the war.
July 2. Day 2 of the war. We took a guided bus tour that took us all over the town and battlefield. We learned the history of why fight at Gettysburg. Did you know that R.E. Lee only wanted to fight in the north for 2 reasons? 1 - To give the farmers a break in the south to grow food for themselves and the army. 2 - He wanted to win a battle in the north to force the Union to negotiate peace. Boy was this a miscalculation.
After the bus tour we decided to tour the grounds on our bikes. What a grand idea. (The parking and driving was crazy. Once we got that parking spot no way were we going to give it up.) Taking a tourwas great but with the bikes we stopped any where we wanted to.
We got a chance to speak with several reenactment groups. This gave us a bird’s eye view of how the troops lived in the camps. How surgery was performed. How Christian groups were teaching about hygiene and cleaning techniques and how the “hospital” worked. One of the doctors at the hospital reminded me of Ally Emerson. He even talked like Ally. That was scary. I tell you some of these guys are really in to the characters of their reenactments.
Hey Campers. Remember the guy from last week that I met in the cemetery dressed like a Confederate soldier that almost had me seeing ghost? Well we saw him today. Now I know you are asking how we knew it was him. Don’t forget he had a very distinctive bike. Ya can’t miss that one.
July 3. Day 3 of the war. The reenactment troop told us to come early to get a good spot on the top of the Pennsylvania Monument for the battlefield cannon demonstration. We parked and got on our bikes again. They were right we had a great view. Only thing wrong was it started to rain and got windy. Bummer. We stuck it out for the first demo and went down. My Honey did everything he could to block the rain and wind from getting to me. I hear brownie points.!!!
The Confederate side seem to be a little poorer that the Union side. They did not have as many things going on. We did meet a man who made a lot of the uniforms. (The tall one on the right). He gave me a good history lesson on what the clothing was like at that time. Of course, Lo was interested in how the cannons worked. You really need to hold your ears when the cannons go off. They can make your ears ring.
At the end of the day, there was the Pickett’s charged. This is where the Confederate sent Pickett’s unit to charge the Union. If there was any hope for Lee, he lost it with the bad communication with General Longstreet and General Pickett. Longstreet unit failed to cover the battle ground because Lee’s instructions were vague. Pickett’s unit marched in a tight line and got mowed down. Read (ok, I really meant Google) this account on what happened. So GB had a reenactment. They used the public to do the charge. There were thousands on both sides. The group charged through the meadow to reenact. We thought “Ticks or not to Ticks”. We decided we would wait this one out and take our bikes on the path.
Here are some of the locals and reenactment people.
What a great way to end the day.
July 4.We went to the sweetest place in the World. Hershey PA. We took the tour of where and how chocolate came from and how it is made. The ride is cute. You get in little chocolate cars. We had to take the tour twice because we had a 10 year old screaming meany in our ear and could not enjoy the ride the first time. 3 cows tell the story. We then proceeded to the chocolate town. Trust me Disney or Great America have no threat here.
Decided our time would best be spent at the museum. For all you history buffs, this is the place to go. It tells how Milton Hershey started out and how many times he failed until he got it right. Did you know he uses bath tubs on wheel to move raw materials? This company uses all of the byproduct materials that come from processing the Cacao nut. They use the coco shell as mulch around the plant. They use coco butter to roll into the chocolate bars to make them creamy and to make lotion. Hershey was philanthropist. He not only built his factory, he built a community. His friend Harry Reese started the peanut butter cup. Hershey sold him chocolate because he did not have the resources to get chocolate like Hershey. Years late Reese was bought by the Hershey Company. Upon his death Hershey donated almost all of his money to an orphanage that he and his wife started.
(He was strong believer in education even though he only had a 4th grade education. He also had several churches built. This one sits in front of the museum.
Here is a question for you. Why did Hershey have his factory built in what was formerly know a Dairy, PA?
We took a chocolate lab class to make our own chocolate bars. OK. You know you are loved when your Honey takes this class with you. Even though Lo likes (I mean LOVE) sweets, chocolate has never been is favorite. Thanks Honey!
African Americans have been a part of Harpers Ferry since before the American Revolution. In 1864 Julia Mann established a freedman’s school. Her group acquired several vacant armories building on camp hill and started Storers College. It was opened to all races and genders.
Even though the school was progressive for the time, it still had to deal with race issues. The great debate was even among blacks. What is more important work or education? Equality or separate but equal. Where do you stand?
We had one more stop to make. Antietam. This was really a non victory for both sides. It is called “the bloodiest one day battle of the Civil War.” Lee’s war plans had been found and the Union was advancing. Luckily for Lee midday General A.P. Hill came with his troops to help. 100,000 soldiers in battle, 23,000 killed, wounded or missing. The Union Army held the field.
It is interesting that these same Generals are seen at most battle fields. As the war progress many would lose their lives. War gains what??
Awoke to a beautiful Sabbath day. On our way to Gettysburg every day we saw this church. We decided to go there since it was only 8 miles from where we are staying. This is a church of 60 people. The pastor looked like he was a teenager. Boy does he have a testimony. He was a troubled teenager and got with the wrong crowd. He was sent to an Adventist home for troubled kids. He was dealing dope etc. When he was almost sent to jail it finally hit home about changing is life for God. He is only 31 years old and working on this Phd in theology. He comes from a good family. Dad is a pediatric surgeon, mom is a physician assistant. He has a lot to offer this church. We also met the James family from India. It was good to spend the afternoon with them and their 5 kids. Serena what is the name of the program for Family with kids??? I told them about it and how to use some of the techniques.
Well campers, you are now caught up with our week. We are on to New York for the week.
See ya soon.
Lorenzo & Bren
P.S. Sorry the pictures are not always lined up. They had a mind of their own!
P.S. Sorry the pictures are not always lined up. They had a mind of their own!