|Originally owned by Sgt. C. B. Tirrell,|
and worn on this day in 1863.
This morning, on a very hot and muggy July day south of the obscure little Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg, the First Minnesota Regiment of Volunteer Infantry mustered 262 men. In the course of the day, all those years ago, a gap opened up in the middle of the line of the Federal Army of the Potomac. General Cadmus Wilcox, leading a brigade of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, saw the gap open up and realized that he could - with immediate and resolute action - break through the Union line and quite possibly win the war for the Confederate States of America.
The most senior Federal on the spot, General Winfield Hancock, looked around him and saw that there was only one regiment of soldiers to hand; the attacking Confederate brigade had five such regiments. Horrified, Hancock cried out: "My God, are these all the men we have here?!?"
Hancock was called "The Superb" because of his justly-won reputation for skill and leadership on the battlefield, and he made the only decision that he could; he ordered the First Minnesota to charge into the on-rushing enemy and buy time for the Union command with their lives. Their counter-attack, spoiling attack, call it what you will, would buy precious minutes that would allow reinforcements to arrive and plug the gap in the line.
The First Minnesota fixed bayonets, and bought General Hancock and the Army of the Potomic those minutes - at, it has to be said, a terrible cost. At the regiment's muster call in the evening, at the end of the day's fighting, 47 men were all that were left to answer the roll call.
There's more of their story here:
The Missus got the pathology report back from her biopsy; it was not good news. The tissue sample was malignant.
She will be seeing the surgeon tomorrow, and they'll schedule the surgery then. Luckily, I have enough time off 'banked' so that I can be there for her; she was there for me when I had the surgery for my brain bleed, so I figure that I can be there for hers.
We've always been there for each other; we've been together now for some twenty-five years - half her entire life, actually, and almost half of mine. We will fight this. We will never, ever, give in, and we will prevail.
As we go forward, I may be a little slow in answering your e-mails and posts; I am sorry for that, but I can only plead that I have a finite limit to what I can do. I will keep this blog going, and try to tell you all the stories that I have to tell about Phil and his creation; it my just take a little longer then I had thought.
We will still be here. We just may not be as active as we formerly were.
Thanks again for your time and patience!