Monday, July 4, 2011

How I Won the Civil War, Or At Least A Small Part of It

By Barry Rubin

“Saddle up,” said the colonel. For those with horses that was a literal order but for my Third U.S. Regiment, we marched across the Gettysburg hills. It’s July 3, 2011, but feels like July 3, 1863.

A Union army uniform, dark blue heavy wool jacket, light blue wool pants, forage cap, and heavy Springfield musket, is not the best garb for a humid 90 degree heat, especially accompanied by heavy shoes, cartridge bag, full canteen (in my case, ice tea), huge bayonet, and haversack for personal possessions, .

The artillery opened up on both sides with a deafening roar and pre-placed explosions blew up as “shells” hit. Thousands of spectators watched from the grandstands. Up to our detail rode a captain with orders to join dismounted cavalry skirmishers between the lines, hold off the Confederates as long as possible, then fall back to the reserves. If the Confederates broke through, we’d charge and push them back.

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