Thursday, October 17, 2013

Little Round Top, summer morning, 2013

Little Round Top, summer morning, 2013. My wife Monique's painted this after our Gettysburg trip for the 150th.
Summer is gone in New Hampshire, but along with the changing of the leaves, October has delivered several warm bright days. This month, as I sat reading and writing, my wife Monique often set up her easel on the porch overlooking the pond and Mount Sunapee. Every year she makes beautiful paintings of the pond in fall, but this year she also painted a scene from Gettysburg.

She and I walked the battlefield every day we were in town late last June. It had rained often early in the month, and the grass was lush, the foliage thick. Twice we walked from the Peach Orchard on Emmitsburg Road to the Wheatfield.

In an earlier blog post, one of a series called "A Gettysburg Journal," I remarked on how this walk had deepened my perspective on the battle. In my book Our War, I wrote about the actions of the 2nd, 5th and 12th New Hampshire regiments on July 2, 1863, but not until this walk did I see how the key locales of the fighting on that day lined up west to east along the Wheatfield Road: Peach Orchard, Wheatfield, Rose's Woods, with Little Round Top farther east to complete the foursome.

We took many photos all around the battlefield that week, but the ones Monique found most art-worthy were the ones from the Wheatfield Road walk. In the foreground of her painting is the Wheatfield, where Col. Edward E. Cross's brigade fought. Just beyond it are trees from Rose's Woods, where Cross was shot while conferring with the lieutenant colonel of the 5th New Hampshire. Little Round Top looms in the background.

This was Monique's second foray into battlefield painting. You can see her picture of two of our grandchildren at Bull Run here. I hope there will be more to come.

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