As you know, I love looking at Civil War era photographs and I have discussed the site Virtual Civil War before. Mike Lynaugh is a professional photographer who has created a collection of photographs of Civil War battlefields and reenactments know as Virtual Civil War.
And on this the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, I’d like to share one of my favorite collections. Mike’s Gettysburg Gallery contains some incredible photographs of the battlefield as it looks today. What a great way for you to tour the battlefield with your students. Or art teachers can use the photographs to discuss some of the techniques the Mike uses to create these terrific photographs.
Here are two of my favorites:
This is a close up of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (PVI) monument on Oak Ridge. This is Sallie Ann Jarrett, the mascot of the the 11th PVI who was present at Gettysburg and got left behind when the 11th fell back through the town. Sallie stayed on the field, behind enemy lives with the dead and wounded of the 11th. More on her for another post.
My other favorite is this one of an extreme close up of the Virginia Monument showing the details that go into creating such a magnificent monument.
Be sure to check out Mike’s other galleries such as Antietam, Harper’s Ferry and Manassas.
PS: I also have a special photo of the 11th PVI monument as my desktop wallpaper.
The Gettysburg Discussion Group (GDG) has some great articles on the opening day of the Battle of Gettysburg. I’m particularly fond of the discussion on the area known as Oak Ridge because the 11th PVI and Sallie their mascot fought there before retreating through town to the safety of Cemetery Hill.
Check out the GDG discussion on day one at : http://www.gdg.org/Research/Authored%20Items/july1.html
Ever read stories of how Civil War soldiers and color bearers would defend their regimental flags at all costs. Stories of heroism and bravery that is beyond belief because these color bearers knew that they were the target for enemy fire. Tales of men tearing up a flag and hiding it in their coats to avoid it being captured to 5 or 6 color bearers being killed in a single battle. There are monuments these brave men on Civil War battlefields across the US.
Now you can view the flags of Civil War units from Pennsylvania thanks to the Pennsylvania state archives. The Pennsylvania Civil War Flag Collection website allows you to search for individual unit flags, flags by unit type or even by the type of flag. In addition to this, you can read about some of the history of battlefield flags, battlefield stories, conservation and post war history of the flags. I also highly recommend the book Advance the Colors by Richard Sauers for learning more about Civil War Flags of Pennsylvania.
National flags were American flags usually with the unit name painted on one of the strips. The American flag went from having 33 stars in 1859 to 36 stars in 1865. Do you know which states were added to theUnion during the Civil War? State flags were the state flags ofPennsylvania again with the unit designation painted or sewn into the material or an American flag with the Pennsylvania state seal painted into the canton.
Some of my favorites are the 11th PVI and 83rd PVI flags. The 11thPVI’s national color was given to them by the ladies of Martinsburg,Virginia (now W. Virginia) in 1861. I wonder if the 83rd’s flag was with them on Little Round Top in Gettysburg.
Which ones are your favorites?