A Northern Belle on Confederate Ave.

The second day in Gettysburg dawns gray, cloudy and cool. As close as Michaela and I are, we don't have sleepovers often enough to remember that we're not super talkative in the morning and that it's okay. *smile* We went over that over breakfast before we packed lunches and headed out through town with the aid of the auto tour map, to the first stop.
The first stop was where General Reynolds fell, McPherson Ridge. 
Since we were raring to go, the first leg of the battlefield tour we looked at pretty much each and every monument and marker honoring those who served and where during the bloodiest three days in America's history.
Quick sidenote: I struggled with whether or not to post this picture. It's not super flattering--in short--but I've grown to swallow my pride and cringing at this picture. I've moved to embracing my full figure, pale Irish skin and even the {many} extra pounds slowly but surely coming off.
Not so long sidenote later...
The barn behind me is the McPherson family farm. The barn was a field hospital through the battle and for many days afterward.

An anonymous flag placed at the base of a regimental monument on McPherson Ridge. Perhaps it was to honor the memory of the men from that particular state, or perhaps a relative served in the regiment.
I'll never know.

Just get a load of how the weather turned out. These were the most clouds we saw all day. Once the gray, damp and coolness were whisked away by the sun coming out at around 10:30am, my sunburn and sweat feminine glow began in earnest. All day. Lucky Michaela already had a decent tan and didn't get burned.
Another view of the McPherson Barn. We ventured through the open gate on the mowed path but I was too afraid we'd get yelled at by a nearby field guide so we scurried back to the car in short order.
The second stop on the tour was the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, commissioned and built in the 1930's and dedicated by President Roosevelt. I hadn't even known this was here! It was so, SO neat to see such a noble pillar raised to the sky with an ever-flaming fire.
Made of Alabama limestone and Maine granite, the Eternal Light Peace Memorial was dedicated in 1938 with a tremendous crowd of Civil War veterans and their descendants. A flag was unfurled above it, and at the end of the ceremony, a Confederate veteran and a Union veteran retired the flag.
I so wish I could time travel back to the day this was dedicated!
For those that know me best, this next part of the post is incredibly ironic. I'm a true-blue Yankee, Northern "sympathizer" when it comes to the Civil War. When I visit Rachelle and Sarah and Fort Sumter in the fall, I'll have to hold my tongue. *smile* 
My heart has "softened" towards the Southern side of the Civil War, to the glee of my Southern heart-sisters who conspired against me to fall in love with the South last fall when I visited for Sarah's wedding. Mark my words, I will one day set a novel somewhere, or multiple places, in the South. 
Just maybe not in the Civil War. 
More artillery beauty on Confederate Ave where most/the biggest Southern monuments were. I believe this picture was snapped in McMillan woods. Everywhere we turned it seemed as if we were in a different world. The hush of the woods and stir of the trees was breathtaking for this history nerd.
The monument in memory of all the Virginian sons who fought and died during the Civil War. General Robert E. Lee is atop his horse Traveler at the top of the monument, and the group of bronze soldiers represent the various types of men who came from across the state to serve in upholding Virginia's honor.
"The group represents various types who left civil occupations to join the Confederate Army. Left to right: a professional man, a mechanic, an artist, a boy, a business man, a farmer, a youth."

The Florida monument for my transplanted Southern sister, Gabrielle.
To my chagrin, Confederate Ave. was a one way street and by this time on Saturday we were getting hungry and needed a respite. Therefore, we missed the North Carolina monument which was just before the Virginia Memorial. Next time I shall snap a picture for Sarah Elizabeth.

The South Carolina Monument!
I blend in with the monument but for my bright pink sunburn. Wow.
I had to get a picture here in honor of Rachelle, who I'm visiting for ten days in October! We'll also make a trip to see Sarah Elizabeth and her newlywed nest! 
A beautiful, heart-rending quote on the base of the SC monument:
"There is no holier spot of ground than where defeated valor lies by mourning beauty crowned."
--Henry Timrod--
This was after the SC monument when we both agreed we were starving.
We're such catches, aren't we? *smile*
After lunch in Pitzer Woods where a lovely picnic area was set up beneath lovely shady trees.
We were feeling human again and ready to go.
Stay tuned Wednesday for a special post of the rest of Saturday's battlefield tour where we were "on location" at Little Round Top and the Wheatfield where something crucial happens near the end of my Civil War novel.
Meghan M. Gorecki
Meghan M. Gorecki

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.