Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Road to the Death Strewn Slope: Part Five

The fifth 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.

Some time after midnight on July 2, a halt was called and the men got two or three hours of sleep before the sun rose red around 4:30. Frank and Lew got up stiff and bone weary and fell into line to cover the last few remaining miles. Arriving southeast of Gettysburg at 11, the regiment stacked arms in a peach orchard and the men passed the afternoon dozing or talking quietly. Behind them, from beyond the hills and woods, the booming of cannon and rising rattle of musketry roused them. Bugles sounded and the Fifth Corps, with their brigade leading the way, marched off-road through a swamp and over stonewalls while the earth shook beneath*. Ahead and to their left was the western face of a bare, boulder strewn hill, its other half covered in thick woods. It was known locally as Little Round Top. * Thomas A. Desjardin Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine pg. 35 

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