Profiles

The Call to Duty

Many pages have been penned about the Battle of Gettysburg — the exploits of General Lee, General Meade, and their lieutenants, what went “right” and what didn't on either side — more than a few volumes have been published about weapons and tactics as well as the successes and failures of battle strategies.

But the battle is mainly about the troops — the privates, the horse soldiers, the buglers, the color-bearers, the families left behind. Before the war, some were farmers, students, or craftsmen. Each of them heeded a particular call to duty to march forth into battle for values and ideas embedded in their daily lives. Many survived the three-day bloodbath at Gettysburg. Other did not.

Some of their storids survive in the form of letters or dairies, and many more yet will never be known because no written record exists. Here at Getysburg are just a few snapshots from those fateful three days in July 1863.

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