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Posted By: on: 07/22/2000 14:00:28 EDT
Subject: RE: THe Great Charge.... Was it Stupidity or Raw Courage or????

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I was browsing through the pictures that I took that are now on the web. (Thanks Bill!!).... It took me back to that Saturday.. I remeber when I took those, thinking, you have got to be kidding!.. They marched in formation across of a mile in spots of rolling country side, maintaining formation as much as possible... I am out of shape, but I kept thinking, ok they are under fire at this point and at this point they had the presence of mind to dress lines and go back at it. They kept going despite friends, brothers, fathers uncles, family! getting hit, falling, the carnage, and horror. But they KEPT GOING!.. They get to the fence at the Pike, at this point catching the first solid volley fire of the troops on the ridge line, push over through, the fence and now at the double quick get to the wall........ What was it that drove them? what kept them going? Dedication to cause? such fear of dishonor and disgrace that they would rather die then turn back? WOuld we have been of such medal? Could you, I or any of our friends done that??? Was it stupidity on the average soldiers part to keep going? Or was it Raw courage?

I wonder, I wonder......


Hi Jim,
Good question! I thought about that, too, as we walked across. I was in the group walking Pettigrew's route and we had no swales to occasionally hide us from the guns behind the wall. Like you, I couldn't help but marvel at their courage. Shelby Foote once said that if he'd been there and looked across that field at the wall, he might have said "no sir, marse Robert, I ain't going." Then he said, "but I wouldn't have had that much nerve. Nobody would have." I guess maybe it was not only courage that drove them on, but trust in Lee as well as their sense of honor.

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