A special edition just for the Oregon State University football fans!!
For those of you that have already been coming to this site, you may or may not like today’s post. It is a special one just for the OSU football fans, but I think you will see that it is very interesting too.
This post will be about my travels to Pennsylvania to see the Beavers play Penn. State in football. It was a grueling time watching the game. We got beat by a big score. BUT! The side trips that Eola Hills Winery in Rickreall, Oregon put on added up to a trip full of history, and fun times. If you want to check out prices for some of their Blue Ribbon/Gold Medal awarded wines, or want to know more about the trips, go to www.eolahillswinery.com . They have a great site with lots of information about their products. They do ship the bottles also.
Day one of trip:
Our first stop was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A beautiful town that was in the middle of the history from the Civil War. That would be our “base camp,” before going to the Penn State game.
Tom Huggins, owner of Eola Hills Winery, went to the area ahead of time and set up some fantastic side trips.
The side trip I went on was to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Sound familiar? You got it! It was the spot of the deciding battle during the Civil War.
We got to the town right at lunch time. We had made plans to eat at the Dobbin House Tavern. We were sent to the Abigail Adams Ballroom. It was a large eating area, and we was able to get all sixty of us in quite easily.
It was buffet style, and there was enough food for an army. By the way the armies did eat there during the Civil War. Did you understand what I just said? There were Union soldiers there and then the Confederates were there after they chased the Union soldiers down the streets, and out into the main battle field. Right in the room I was eating had soldiers eating there.
There is one other little bit of history about the Dobbin House Tavern, There is a balcony there, and someone gave the famous Gettysburg Address, right across the street from the Tavern. The people who stood on the balcony could see none other than Abraham Lincoln giving one of the most famous speeches of all times. I was right at the spot where they think he stood. What an awesome feeling to know that Abraham Lincoln stood on the same spot I was!! You can learn more about Dobbin House Tavern by do a Google search writing in its name.
Then we drove through Gettsyburg to the battle field. What we saw as we drove through was absolutely amazing. The brick buildings that were open for business the day we went through, were the same exact brick buildings that were there during the Civil War. Need prove??? There were still the original bullet holes in the buildings from the battle as the two sides fought going down through the street. There was even one house that had a cannon shell stuck way up near the roof. The owner didn’t want it removed, because it was a tourist attraction!! You could almost hear the noise of the guns going off, and the non-fighters screaming in fear.
On the way to the battle field, we went by several churches. Our personal guide, Erin Haynes, told us that those churches were all full during the battle with wounded soldiers from both sides.
As we reached the actual battle field I was in shock as to how peaceful the battle field looked. It was just like any farm land with fences, tall grass, and homes with barns scattered through out the field. The barns, and the homes were used by the Generals to plan their attacks.
I got out of the van, and lined up along a fence were cannons that were used during the battle. We were on the confederate side. We were told that the cannons balls could go for hundreds of feet, and cause heavy damage to the other side.
There was even an elderly man dressed in a full confederate uniform sitting by a tree and telling some big tales about the war. He of course thought the south won.
Before we left the Confederate side, I saw a wreath placed at the foot of a statue of a general from the war. It brought a swelling of tears to my eyes. On it was a memorial to the deaths three men. It was a father and two of his sons. They all died in the same battle. All the men from one family gone!
We then drove to the union side. As I looked back at the confederate side, it didn’t look that far away, and it wasn’t. It was about 10 football field lengths away. (I know the length of the football fields, because of thirty years of officiating.) That is about ¾ of a mile give or take a few feet.
The three day war was fought within that small space! Thousands of men from each side battled with guns, cannons, bayonets, and fists. One spot I was standing the guide said according to diaries, and stories from the elders, there was a hand to hand bayonet battle going on!! Right where I was standing!! Again, can’t you hear the clanging of the metal of the bayonets, and the screams of the wounded?
We were then taken to the top on one of the mountains/hills called Little Round Top. It was controlled by the North. They thought they could win the war by controlling that spot and shoot down on the enemy. There was one problem. it was called, Devil’s Den. All you could see were a pile of rocks, some about the height of a tall man. The confederate got control of it and caused havoc with the Unions soldiers. They were able to “Hunker,” down and not be seen behind the rocks, and they could raise up long enough to get a shot off, and usually killed a soldier. That was where the first snipers were used. They were called “sharpshooters,” in those days. To read about the whole battle at Devil’s Den, Google in Devil’s Den, in the Google search area, and click on Devil’s Den Gettsyburg. It goes into complete detail there.
Like I said, the battle lasted three days with over 20,000 men either wounded or killed. That was in three days!! Can you imagine that happening with our wars today? War is not a picnic, and I wish they never had to happen. Especially battling against your own brothers, which actually happened in the Civil War. Families had relatives on both sides. They were so set on their beliefs that they would kill members of their own family.
To cut to the chase, the Union army gained control and drove the Confederates out of Pennsylvania.
It is hard for me to continue to tell how the battle went each day, but it was several mistakes by the Confederate Generals that turned the tide.
That was just one day!!!
I will have this be the first stop on the trip, and I will post this. I will have new adventures in future posts.
I will talk about the trip to visit the home where President Eisenhower lived in his retirement days.
There is the drive on the way to Boston that was very interesting. I will also talk about all the history that I saw such as:
The USS Constitution (Old Iron Sides)
Cooperstown, New York, where the baseball hall of fame is.
Fenway Park where the Boston Red Sox play.
The excitement of staying in the very hotel that Babe Ruth and Ted Williams lived during the season. This same hotel is where Shoeless Joe Jackson took the bribe to throw the World Series.
There will be my observations of the places is saw where women were hung for being (so called) witches.
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A section with photography from my trips.
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I have been there in that muck and mire. I have had all those afflictions and more. I was on the brink of suicide at one time, but God intervened, and saved my life. He wanted me to write the book to help others that have been in the trenches with me.
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