03 July 2013

Humpday Happenings...
Welcome to the middle of the week, the eve of our nation's birthday, and another soggy day here in the Heartland of America.
The weather will be more of the SAME, as in the past few days, but the temps will be a bit higher, topping out in the low 80s.
We've even a bit a fog outside this AM, so drive accordingly if you need to be someplace else.
In the meantime, we've plenty on the plate today, so let's get started.
*** First off the bench is our Motto of the Week aka WHO SAID THAT?
"We have to go in places no body would ever think of going into were it not for the necessities of war."
Now, if you've been following my posts since Monday, you'll be on the right track to figure out WHO said this.
The answer at the top of tomorrow's post.
*** Next up, you just had to figure that the local f$ckhead thugs could NOT go a week without doing something harmful to human life.
Seems we had a double shooting on the city's...(all together, gang...)...SOUTHEAST side last evening.
Here's the story link:
This is about 1/4 mile from our 'Fortress" (aren't they all these days?)
It happened at 4401 Smith St near Congress around 1650 hrs. Yes, that's a DAYTIME shooting.
A man and a 15-year old girl were shot in their FRONT YARD by a black male who was standing in the street along Senate, wearing gray clothing.
He then fled southbound down a nearby alley.
Both victims were transported in serious condition and five shell casings were found on scene by police.
No one is in custody yet, and police have no suspects or motive.
A doctor at the hospital later downgraded the man to critical but the girl remained in stable condition.
Here's an update from WANE:
A neighbor, who asked that his name not be used for safety reasons, spoke to the recent violence in this part of the city.
"Fort Wayne is a good city, but lately, it's been going downhill for some reason."
I can tell you ALL straight away it's been going downhill (here) NOT "lately", but for a LONG time...no one seems to speak up about it much...except ME and a very few others...all of whom have been wonderfully ignored by city leaders (where the hell is Councilman Glynn Hines and why isn't HE involved in solving this?), even when articles are written about conditions around the SE.
And some of those articles go back a DECADE or more, because I was featured in one of them that long ago...when things were already starting to tank around here.
So, tell me, Mayor Henry...HOW THE HELL am I (along with an increasing number of other people) supposed to believe that THIS IS"SAFE" CITY when person after person is coming forward and decries the FACT that it simply...IS NOT.
Maybe those rose colored glasses ONLY apply to areas where people like YOU and Chief York live in?
It would seem so.
Moving on (thankfully)...
*** We come to the THIRD and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
And what an ending it was...for both sides.
Now, although the "battle" ended on this day 150 years ago, you have to realize that the fallout FROM the battle lasted MONTHS afterwards.
Here is the Civil War WIKI for the third and fateful day:
Meade's forces had held the "fish hook" along Cemetery Ridge and repelled Lee's forces on the 2nd day.
Lee formulated a plan for an attack that would be aimed at what Lee believed to be the weakest point along the union lines...the CENTER.
Having thought that both FLANKS of the union line were shored up with reserves pulled from the center of the union line, the most vulnerable area HAD to be the center. Lee was nothing but audacious in his attacks upon union forces, and past victories against superior numbers bore that out.
Lee was basically unaware than union forces continued to arrive from the south, and his cavalry general was dressed down as a result of the inability to allow Lee this knowledge.
Stuart tried to resign his commission on the spot, but Lee would have none of that. It was a mistake and we learn from them was his advice to Stuart...and that was that.
It would fall upon General Longstreet to charge the union center after an all-out barrage by Confederate artillery.
The task of that barrage fell to a 28 year old E. Porter Alexander, a colonel in the artillery.
And since ALL of Longstreet's forces had now arrived upon the battlefield, they were the freshest troops to engage the union lines.
Generals A.P. Hill and Ewell simply could not field their entire forces due to fighting over the past 2 days, but General Pickett's forces had not yet engaged the enemy and would lead the charge after the artillery barrage.
What Lee also did not know is how ineffective that barrage would be, and that would prove fatal to many.
The barrage began around 1300 hours when close to 140 Confederate cannon sounded...the noise of which could be heard 120 miles away in Philadelphia.
Alexander struggled to see what the results of the cannon fire was to the union line, and unfortunately, the timed fuses in the cannonballs were not always functional, plus the smoke from such fire did not help Alexander to SEE what was happening to the union lines.
Too many of the cannonballs sailed OVER the union line, striking into the union rear, where little damage was evident.
Meade had moved his troops ON the line, along with his artillery. The commander of the Confederate batteries had moved the shell caissons further back to prevent them from coming under fire, and reloading the cannon proved problematic, as Alexander struggled to keep the fire hot on the Yankees.
Eventually, the powder charges were being depleted and it was then that
General George Pickett went to Longstreet for permission to advance his infantry.
Longstreet was against this whole plan from the start, and told Lee as much, but when Lee had his mind made up, there was no deviating from it.
As Pickett pressed Longstreet, he could not answer, but only nodded to Pickett that the attack should proceed, to which a mile long swath of gray and butternut emerged from the woods of Seminary Ridge.
Slow and steady over 12,000 men marched forward, shoulder to shoulder...and no reports from union artillery.
The rebels had to cross a slight gully and then proceed up a small incline in order to reach the union lines, but the DISTANCE involved was almost a mile.
When the Confederates reached about 400 yards, all hell literally broke loose.
Every cannon on Cemetery Ridge opened fire on the rebel ranks, creating gaping holes, which were fast filled by other soldiers.
Still, the rebels pressed on at common step...to a copse of trees which was to be the focal point of the attack...one decisive area to launch the charge.
When the Confederates arrived at the Emmittsburg Road, they had to cross a fence along the road, and that made them targets for everyone with a weapon in blue. And still they came forward.
The union center was commanded by Generals Gibbon and Webb, under the command of General Hancock, and it was he who told his artillery to load with "double canister"...a very deadly round of iron balls that acted like a huge shotgun at closer ranges.
When the rebs got to within a hundred yards, this line of blue rose up and fired a massive volley that dropped the closes rebels like a falling curtain.
Then the cannon fired, tearing huge holes in the ranks of gray.
It was then the Confederates stared to charge in earnest...right into the maelstrom of flying lead and iron.
Confederate General Armisted led a small band THROUGH the union line at a place called the "angle" - a stone fence along the property line of a farm.
General Webb brought up reserves to shore up that area, and it was then the union flanks began to send enfilade fire down along the rebel lines.
Fired up by THREE sides was not what was supposed to happen, and after a time, the Confederate forces began to withdraw back across that mile-long field to Seminary Ridge.
Lee went out to meet his troops, exclaiming "It is all my fault",and when he came upion General Pickett, he advised to "Please regroup your division for when the union troops launch a counter-attack", to which Pickett replied: "General...I HAVE no division".
Longstreet's concern was proved correct...15,000 men could not take that hill...not even 30,000 could take it the way the Yankees were dug in on such beautiful high ground.
The WIKI goes into much more detail, but suffice it to say, Lee made this one mistake is wanting to face the union forces on ground of THEIR choosing...not his, and it cost dearly.
Lee took to resting back at Seminary Ridge with the remainder of his forces, and as thunderstorms came to Gettysburg the night of July 3rd to break the oppressive heat of the last few days, it served as the cover needed to withdraw from the field of battle, back to Virginia...back to relative safety.
But that's not the whole story, as I mentioned...the aftermath of the battle took it's toll, and we;ll explore that a bit further the rest of the week.
*** Last back to the barn today, is how one battle can determine the course of an entire war.
Many contend that THIS battle WAS indeed the pivotal point on our Civil War, and I have to agree.
There would be many battles within the five years of that conflict, but NONE of them alone could compare to the sheer boldness by Lee, the cautiousness of Meade, the Inspiration of Chamberlain, the valor of Hancock and Armisted, and all the generals who died and who survived long after the battle was waged.
SO many men determined to do what they believed to be the right thing, and so many lives lost to those beliefs.
Can we say we have half the determination in our lives when faced with the ups and down of the daily grind?
And do we rely (as they did at Gettysburg) in a "divine guidance" to show us the way?
I think there is much to learn about our nation from reading historical accounts from as many participants of such conflicts on both sides.
I also think there is much we can learn about ourselves in that same process.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


CWMartin said...

First, I hope last night's post didn't steal yer thunder, buddy!

Second, the thing that sticks out in my mind is what Pickett said years later: "That old man butchered my division at Gettysburg."

Bob G. said...

Nah, no thunder stolen at all.
(never heard a rumble...lol)

I did enjoy your take on the 4th 150 years ago...you took in a lot more, as I was focusing purely on Gettysburg.
Vicksburg was a HUGE victory for Grant AND the union forces.
(talk about a 1-2 punch)

Davis permitted Lee to travel NORTH, thereby "sacrificing" Vicksburg as a result. The people of that city SHOULD have seen as much.

Pickett wasn't the ONLY one that held Lee responsible and harbored ill feelings...
Longstreet ALSO blamed Lee for sending his men (of which Pickett's division accounted for a THIRD of those involved) to a virtual slaughter.
If Lee had taken Longstreet's advice, it would have ended a LOT differently.

Hope you found the posts about this event as intriguing and eye-opening as I have (over the years).

Thanks for stopping by today and commenting.
Much appreciated.

Stay safe up there.