Gettysburg

photo-34-1000x600.jpg

I have vague memories of being a kid and going to Gettysburg with my parents to attend a Civil War reenactment. That was probably 20 years ago, when they were commemorating the 130th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address as it's currently the 150th anniversary. If what I remember is correct, it was hot, loud and terrifying. Hundreds of men, horses, reproduction cannons and flags lined the fields and "shot" at one another in what must be one of the most insane American pastimes - historical reenactments. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but probably not for the same reasons as the reenactors do. Gettysburg is an odd place to be as a member of modern civilization. Being unable to imagine caring much about anything enough to risk my life for it. The picture below of a 819-pound cannon against two Honda Civics that weigh nearly 2.8 times as much as it. Taking photos of nascent wildflower blooms in the same spot where one of nearly 51,000 men likely died. They're all really obvious things that I think fuel my interest with the Civil War because it all seems like such a foreign endeavor.

I've been reading a lot more about it as a semi-official southerner, as I recently bought a house in Atlanta that is on or at least on the outskirts of another Civil War battlefield - The Battle of Atlanta. The area where my backyard lays apparently used to be a pine grove in which a Confederate line snuck up on Union troops and engaged in a bloody fight that resulted in 12,000 deaths. So, putting the thought aside that my house is almost definitely haunted by Civil War ghosts, my favorite book so far has been The Fall of the House of Dixie as it focuses heavily on the economic factors wrapped up in wartime politics and reconstruction.

Anyway, back to Gettysburg. We actually didn't stay long as I was in town for two days to attend a wedding and only had a few hours of free time. We were lucky that we got there on a humid, rainy weekday and there weren't too many people around.

I love National Parks typography - from the retro signs that the forest service and parks systems use to the rough typefaces used on metal signs.

A friend told me that for the statues at Gettysburg that involve a horse, the horses' hooves denote how the rider fared in battle. I researched it a little bit and it appears to mostly hold true in Gettysburg but not necessarily for all military monuments, and not for 100% of Gettysburg monuments. So, now I'm interested to see where the myth came from - especially after reading an article in my Preservation Nation magazine about the folks who preserve these statues.