As a history buff, I like to visit places with historical significance. Since I'm specifically an American history buff, those places are often battlefields - because, let's face it, many of the key events in American history involved fighting -- with either somebody else, or ourselves.
That "fightin' amongst ourselves" (as Charlie Daniels once put it) refers, of course, to the Civil War.
If you know me, you know that Gettysburg has a special place in my heart. So much so that I have a special collection of photos dedicated to it. Since this past week marked the 155th anniversary of the battle, I thought I'd share a photo from that collection that's never been published on this blog.
It's titled "A Clear Shot". It depicts a Confederate cannon aimed directly at the Union lines at Gettysburg. The clump of trees on the horizon represents the focal point of Pickett's Charge on Cemetery Ridge.
I rendered the image with a sepia tone, to give it a 19th century kind of feel.
You can imagine that a cannon (probably not this one) may have been positioned right here and used prior to Pickett's Charge (July 3, 1863). At around 1:00pm that day, an artillery bombardment ("cannonade") of about 150 guns began firing on the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge. The barrage continued for 1 or 2 hours, and it's been called the largest in the history of the western hemisphere. (It could be heard from many miles away.)
It was largely ineffective, with most shots sailing over the Union lines. Pickett's Charge (which followed) failed too, and the Union won the battle, and later the war.
You could argue that this image doesn't really show a "clear shot", since there are tree limbs hanging in front of the gun. I'm no artillery expert, but I'm fairly certain this bad boy would blow right though those without any problem at all.
The title is, of course, a play on words - the "shot" I'm referring to is the photo itself.