Monday, August 07, 2006

Photo Obsessed

Ever since I started reading Ann Althouse and The Other Side of the Ocean, two of my favorite blogs, I have been photo obsessed. Ann and Nina post such beautiful photographs of the places they have been and the foods that they eat, that they have inspired me to try my hand at photography. I started by purchasing a digital camera when my sister Jeri and her husband Ron came to visit at the end of July. I'm gradually getting the hang of using the camera in a technical sense, aesthetics are developing more slowly. The thing I dislike the most about my particular camera is that it doesn't have a viewfinder separate from the screen on the back of the camera. When taking pictures in sun, out of doors, it's difficult to see what I'm shooting and I can't really see to review whether I got the shot I was going for...if that makes sense.

Monday our little sightseeing posse set out for Gettysburg. I can almost hear the groans of my two readers. "Gettysburg again? You just went there!" It is true that I did just go there, in fact, Monday's visit made it my fourth in the last year. What can I say? It is a very interesting place with fabulous views and historical significance. There is a lot to see and do and with familiarity the enjoyment just increases.

For Allison, my fifteen year old niece, it was her third visit. She wasn't terribly excited about the site on her first visit, but then she watched the dvd of the movie, Gettysburg and she became a Gettysburg buff. Watching Buford look out from the cupola of the Seminary toward McPherson's Ridge while he talked passionately, almost desperately about the lovely ground. Seeing the men of the 20th Maine when they realize they must stand to the last man or the army will be flanked. Experiencing the frustration of Longstreet as he tries to convince Lee to withdraw and then the futile agony of Pickett's Charge. Movies have distorted and ruined history in many cases, but sometimes--it can make the abstract seem real and reconnect us with past events. I highly recommend seeing the movie Gettysburg before a visit to Gettysburg. It managed to inspire a teenager--she's the reason we went back again this week.

At her request, we visited the Jennie Wade Museum for the first time. Jennie Wade was the only civilian killed during the battle of Gettysburg. She was in the kitchen preparing biscuits for the Union soliders when a bullet came through the door and killed her instantly. Amazingly, her mother finished fixing the biscuits for the soldiers after they helped the family evacuate to the cellar.

Jennie Wade's statue holding bread and water which she provided to the Union soldiers.

After touring the museum, we traced the last two-thirds of the battleground tour. Karen and Allison, in their previous visit, didn't get to spend much time at the end of the tour so we wanted to hit the spots they had missed. Allison was determined to get up close and personal with Devil's Den--a huge collection of rocks which was a focal point of the battle and a hideout for sharpshooters.

Then we drove through the Spangler's Spring section of the battlefield. We discovered the Indiana Memorial. Most of my family is from Indiana and we looked and looked for Indiana's Memorial while Ron and Jeri were here. with no success. I'm happy to say the two Memorials we found were well-done.

The Indiana Memorials on Culp's Hill

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