Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Road to the Death Strewn Slope: Part One

The first of a nine-part series about the journey of Benjamin Franklin Heald and Llewellyn Heald to Gettysburg with the Twentieth Maine Regiment, June 29-July 2, 1863.

For some time now they had known that a large battle was brewing to the north. There were signs of heightened tension in camp and in the Fifth Corps. In the last three days, they had trudged nearly sixty miles in intense summer heat. On June 29, with colors unfurled, they marched through Frederick, Maryland. Flags were flying from nearly every window and the weary men were welcomed with food and water. Among the soldiers of the Twentieth Maine were Benjamin Franklin Heald and his cousin Llewellyn, both farmers from Sumner, a town in the foothills of the western mountains. Later that day, toward evening, a heavy rain began to fall. Without tents, they hunkered down as best they could and awaited the dawn.

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