10 October 2014

A TEWT at Gettysburg

A TEWT is a Tactical Exercise Without Troops! Generally these are exercises for officers to learn from battles of the past. Today we did our own TEWT at Gettysburg today in brilliant sunshine, perhaps the sort that they had on 1-3 July 1863.

You are a Union Soldier and have taken up a position by this fence line. The Confederate Army are coming at you from the barn you can see and from your left.

This is the view from your right on McPherson Ridge, down to where the Confederates are. By the end of the first day you have been driven off this ridge.

This is the view the Confederates now have on the start of the second day looking over Seminary Ridge towards the Union positions on Cemetery Ridge in front of you.

The whole of the 6000 acres of battlefield is strewn with monuments to the various regiments that fought there. Some are very impressive, others merely a stone marking the spot where they fought.

The Virginia Memorial

General Robert E. Lee atop the Virginia Memorial on Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg

The Union General Warren on Little Round Top

The view,  into the killing fields below, from Little Round Top where the Union Soldiers were waiting.

The last two views are of the Cemetery where the fallen of the Union Army lie and where President Lincoln made his famous, but short Gettysburg Address.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honoured dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

We had lunch and bought lots of books at the Information Centre, before making our way to Washington.

At our first attempt we were given a room over which the electric cables providing electricity to our complex went and in the room was a horrid hum. Alan and George went back to Reception to complain and there met the Manageress who, as luck would have it, was German and came from Bamberg, and she speaks with a very strong Frankish accent. She showed them to a new room, which thankfully was much quieter.

So here we are with lots to read and see and do over the next few days. Perhaps we'll see Obama?

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