A circular to the Army of the Potomac, issued this day (June 30) in 1863 read:
Headquarters Army of the Potomac,
June 30, 1863.
The commanding general requests that previous to the engagement soon expected with the enemy, corps and all other commanding officers address their troops, explaining to them briefly the immense issues involved in the struggle. The enemy are on our soil. The whole country now looks anxiously to this army to deliver it from the presence of the foe. Our failure to do so will leave us no such welcome as the swelling of millions of hearts with pride and joy at our success would give to every soldier of this army. Homes, firesides, and domestic altars are involved. The army has fought well heretofore; it is believed that it will fight more desperately and bravely than ever if it is addressed in fitting terms.
Corps and other commanders are authorized to order the instant death of any soldier who fails in his duty at this hour.
By command of Major-General Meade:
One-hundred and fifty years later, might we say the whole country looks on again? Television, newspapers, and magazines are once again featuring Gettysburg and the Civil War. And it seems as if the entire Sesquicentennial is drawing into Gettysburg where all the roads and storylines meet.
I’m off to Gettysburg myself. To experience the 150th of the Civil War, one actually has to get out there and be part of it. Or at least that’s the way I see it. I’ll keep this post open for additions today. And as usual I’ll put up tweets and Facebook page updates where I can.
The hash tag is #Gburg150. Let’s see if that reaches the “trending” list sometime over the next four days.