Visiting Gettysburg for the First Time
Doc - I had those same emotions when I visited the first time. I was attending the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn reunion in Philly about 1992. I had just finished Foote's trilogy. During the reunion a buddy and I drove to G'burg and arrived about dusk. The place was silent and eery in the dying light. We drove to the spots we wanted to see. It was shocking because the slaughter was so easily imagined. As pilots we witnessed plenty of firefights, but nothing on such a terrible scale as Gettysburg.
It was another 10 years before I visited any battlefields. In 2002 I was assigned to a project in DC for a year. I brought my MZ Street Moto and visited my friends on the 'wall' at dawn on Sundays for a few weeks. After getting used to that, I started reading Foote again. Eventually I set about visiting all the battlefields around there. I started with the earlier battles in Northern Virginia, but eventually went back to G'burg. I felt better about it then and was able to study it some. I did my big battlefield tour of the South in 2007. Still... I was upset by Shiloh even then.
Looking forward to your visit with your buddy in SC.
Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
"There I was..." -Griffin Niner Three Hotel
"One day closer to a parade..." Jonny Gomes, spring training 2013