With the coming of the New Year, we at The Gettysburg Experience enjoy commemorating it by looking back – way back – as well as looking forward. For this issue, we offer more historical articles, delicious winter-time recipes, and our updated Calendar of Events – beginning, as always, on page 11.
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In all of history, there are few years that could have been as tumultuous as the year 1917. In that year a century ago, the Great War, which we now call World War I, had been raging for three full years, having started in the fall of 1914. Although the 11-month long Battle of Verdun had finally ended, the extreme losses from that long campaign had cost the lives of nearly one million men, mainly from Germany and France. Farther west, the Battle of the Somme was no better. It is estimated that, with the two battles in the previous year, that 6,600 men were killed each day, 277 per hour, 5 men per minute. With no end yet in sight from the horrific conflict, the new year promised only more of the same – and it delivered with millions more deaths, wounded, maimed, and suffering. According to one combatant in France: “Death and decomposition strew the ground.”
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Throughout our nation’s history, two Presidents have always seemed to stand out from the others – Washington and Lincoln. Though these men were generations apart and raised in completely different worlds, it is interesting to note that the lives of the two were amazingly similar. Here are a few comparisons between two of America’s most revered Commanders-in-Chief:
Washington and Lincoln were both men of tall stature.It is as anachronistic as it is theoretical to suppose Washington and Lincoln standing side by side. Lincoln, at 6 feet 4 inches, is known to most as the nation’s tallest President. What is not usually realized, however, is that George Washington, at 6 foot 3 and ½ inches, was the next tallest, and, since he was a man of athletic proportions, would actually appear to be the larger man – since he was almost as tall as Abraham Lincoln, without the stovepipe hat of course. Read More>
On the western fringe of the town of Gettysburg, a stone house situated on historic Route 30 is modest yet dignified. Known to us historically as the Thompson House, the simple home played a significant role in the Battle of Gettysburg as the place chosen by Robert E. Lee for his headquarters during the conflict in the summer of 1863.
The Thompson House is named for the widow who lived there during the years of Civil War, but the home was built three decades before the battle. In 1833, Adams County resident and entrepreneur Michael Clarkson purchased the land; and the following year built the stone house that still stands on the Chambersburg Pike. In the 1840s a large family rented the home – Joshua Thompson, his wife Mary, and their eight children lived there for many years. Read More >