You might not believe this.
After-all, you’d think a place where 10,000+ American men had died would always be hallowed ground. Not so in the late 19th Century. There were train tracks across Gettysburg Battlefield, and one of the stops near the end of the line was Round Top Park.
Yes, there was an amusement park at Gettysburg…
A writer is suppose to explain things. But I didn’t fully explain something important in Blue, Gray & Crimson. Before you send me to “bad writer’s prison”, let me explain. The story is from an 1863 point of view, and the Westmore family can’t see into the future. Don’t remember the section I’m referring to? Here it is:
“What about Confederate soldiers’ graves?” Mother wondered aloud.
“Someone told me the Confederate graves are left untouched,” Father admitted. “If a Confederate soldier is exhumed by mistake, they rebury him there, not in the new cemetery. I don’t know what will happen to their graves.” (Blue, Gray & Crimson: A Story of Civilian Courage at Gettysburg, page 298)
So what actually happened to the graves of Confederate soldiers buried at Gettysburg? Now, since I’m writing blog posts in modern times, I can tell you. Continue reading
When my family went to Gettysburg, we had an awesome tour guide who took us all over the battlefield, told us history stories, and pointed out important landmarks and monuments. After the tour, it was time to hunt through the gift-shop for a new book! (I got my copy of Bayonet Forward by Joshua L. Chamberlain there.)
Sarah Kay Bierle at Gettysburg National Battlefield (2008)
I suppose our experience at Gettysburg was similar to what many families and tourists do, but imagine my surprise to learn that people were doing this just days after the battle ended. Today, I’d like to introduce you to the Relic Hunters and Tour Guides of 1863. Continue reading
Loud noise travels a long way, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this in some situation. Fireworks and artillery practice on military bases are some of the best examples I can think of.
Okay, so what’s this got to do with Back To Gettysburg on Tuesday? Well, I thought it’d be interesting to share some of the long range reports of the fighting at Gettysburg. Just how far away were those cannon blasts heard? Continue reading
Rock Creek is a stream to the east of the town of Gettysburg. Reading historical accounts sometimes leaves a researcher with the impression that Rock Creek was omnipresent. (It’s not, it just happens to meander all over the east part of the battlefield zone.)
A tributary to the larger Monocacy River, Rock Creek became a semi-important landmark and high-dangerous enemy during July 1863. From peaceful stream to battlefield landmark to dangerous floodwaters, let’s explore some historical details of Rock Creek and how it was incorporated into my recent historical novel. Continue reading
What was the weather like in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania during July 1863? Good question. And I found that – much like time – there are different reports in primary sources.
A good rule to keep in mind is that it can be dark and stormy in one place and just a few miles away the sun may be shining. (Also, a person’s written thoughts on the weather may be effected by their positive or negative feelings.)
So how did I interpret a variety of recorded weather conditions when I was writing my historical novel? Continue reading