The Aftermath…

….no one ever talks about it but as a writer I like to imagine the days that followed….

Three days of bloody battle…

7,363 men lost their lives….

17,224 were wounded….

but what happened to the quiet town of Gettysburg when the armies cleared out?

On July 1st, 1863 The Civil War made its way to the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where the battle lasted until July 3.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Battle of Gettysburg – the men involved – Chamberlain, Lee, Pickett, and Buford.

Chamberlain’s defense of Little Round Top, Pickett’s charge.

I am reminded on this anniversary that these weren’t the only men in town…the town was occupied, there were people left behind when the armies rolled out…what about them? Who is telling their stories?

Well, the history buff/writer in me has decided to answer this question that I’m always asking myself, so tonight as I sit down to work on my first historical novel, I’m asking myself this question (again) and trying to put myself into the shoes of the townspeople:

What would I have done on June 30th if I saw the cavalry ride into town and set up camp?

Or on July 1st when the battle started on the fields outside of town, or out behind my orchard?

What would I have done on July 4th if I woke up and in my backyard was the aftermath of a bloody battle?

What happened to the dead and wounded? Did life go on as usual in town in the days that followed?

These are the questions (and believe me there are more where these came from) that I’m asking myself as I work on this new project and I have to say it’s been very interesting to really explore Gettysburg’s history a little more in depth than I have before and sort of put myself in the shoes of an inhabitant of the town.

I’m enjoying working on this project so far even though it’s sort of taken a turn from my original plan but that’s okay…I’m going to go with the flow and see what happens from here!!


One thought on “The Aftermath…

  1. Erin says:

    It’s one of the things that is the hardest parts of being a writer-putting ourselves in others’ shoes and seeing what life was like through their eyes. It sounds like your story is on the right track, though, and you’re learning a lot about the history of Gettysburg in the process. Can’t wait to read your story!


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