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Gettysburg battlefield


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#1    jjphere

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

I am a life long Civil War buff and for many years have visited the battlefields and read
the acconts of the battles. I never experienced anything at all strange or out of the ordinary until
just a few years ago when I was there with a friend who shared my interest in history.

It was early morning and there were yet no noisy tourists present except for us and neither
of us were talkative or noisy that morning. In the quiet it was beautiful there on top of Little Round Top
in Gettysburg near where so many thousands lost their lives in 1863. For the first time for me it
was quiet enough to feel something... a touch of pain, and panic and shock from so very long ago.
I later told my freind what I felt there and he said that he felt nothing but the quiet. So, I told him that
it was too quiet to be real and that it started the feelings that I had expereinced and he said that he
understood.

Later I felt the same way at the battlefields of Malvern Hill, and especially Bloody Angle at
Spottsylvania battlefield, both in Virginia.

Since then I was also at an old bank holdup site in Missouri, I think, and there had been several people shot and killed
at that. I felt something there also. Something blowing by in a twirl of wind.

I don't know exactly what...but I felt something.


#2    Eldorado

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:32 PM

Empathy?


#3    Ashotep

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:03 PM

I have to agree with Eldorado.  Some people have a way of feeling the pain of others.  Were you thinking about the tragedies when this happened.

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#4    Rafterman

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

I don't think your experience is that unusual frankly.  I know any time I visit such a location I can't help but put myself in the minds of those who experienced the event.

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#5    Jeremiah65

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:28 PM

I have been to Gettysburg.  Somber place.  The place that had the most unusual feeling to me was Antietam.  I have been to Antietam many-many times as I used to live very close.  The best way to describe the feeling I get at Antietam is profound sadness and melancholy.  I have been to a few other battlefields including Bull Run but none of them has the feeling, to me, that Antietam does.

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#6    jjphere

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:46 PM

Did I have empathy for them? I admire them on both sides, but it has been quite a long time ago,
and I do not usually feel empathy for them. Surely they are beyond that.

I used to hunt relics from the war in a deep (to me) forrest, called the Wilderness.
I found with a metal detector some 300 bullets and a few fine buckles and small items. One day I was sleeping back
home and I had a dream of a dead man, I guess he used to be a soldier. He told me
not to take the relics, because they were now all that they had left. From that dream, I
did have empathy for them if it was really the way things were.

Edited by jjphere, 07 February 2013 - 07:49 PM.


#7    Jeremiah65

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:09 PM

That's pretty amazing to have a dream like that.  I suppose if the relics is all those ole boys have left, some kind spirit needs to tell them poor souls that the war is over and it's time to go home.  Never experienced anything like that, just the feeling I described.

I have been considering getting a detector for myself.  Antietam is protected and metal detecting is illegal there but I always had the idea of tracking their path to the battlefield and look for campsites.  You can't move tens of thousands of men very far in a day so I would guess there are many campsites along the routes to and from the major battlefields.

I live in Winchester, Virginia now.  There were a couple of small battle's here.  The locals say that Winchester changed hands from north to south control more times than any other city during the war.  Dozens of times I have been told.  It would be interesting to find some of the sites and camps.

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#8    jjphere

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

Yes, you must be much younger than I am and can hunt in the woods and wherever.
What is left now are mostly bullets, because they are small and usually 3-4" deep and there
must have been millions of them made. I once found a number of items on the athletic field of
a small high school. All you need is a small shovel and a detector, but don't dig on US park property!
If they catch you, you are into big trouble!


#9    OrdinaryClay

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:22 PM

I've never had any feeling like you say, but I like history too. Make sure you go to the battle of Sharpsburg too. I had relatives living within a couple miles and spent many, many an hour wandering every inch of that one. It's amazing to think of what took place at those places.


#10    Jeremiah65

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:04 PM

View PostOrdinaryClay, on 07 February 2013 - 10:22 PM, said:

I've never had any feeling like you say, but I like history too. Make sure you go to the battle of Sharpsburg too. I had relatives living within a couple miles and spent many, many an hour wandering every inch of that one. It's amazing to think of what took place at those places.

You must be from the deep south as they still refer to the Battlefield as the Battle of Sharpsburg...It is officially down in the history books as "The battle of Antietam"...same place.  Sharpsburg is the town a few miles down the road and is where the battlefield cemetery is...but the battlefield is named after the creek...Antietam.

"Liberty means responsibility.  That is why most men dread it."  George Bernard Shaw
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."  Thomas Jefferson

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