“Over and over, I keep going over the world we knew once when you walked beside me. That inconceivable, that unbelievable world we knew when we two were in love, and every bright neon sign turned into stars and the sun and the moon seemed to be ours; each road that we took turned into gold, but the dream was too much for you to hold. Now over and over I keep going over the world we knew— days when you used to love me….” –The World We Knew (Over and Over), Frank Sinatra
Three full-length musical soundtracks and an absurdly long bus ride later, I finally arrived in a rainy Gettysburg. Richmond and Petersburg were absolutely amazing, but I’m certainly glad to be back!
When it comes to history, we certainly do go over and over (and over and over….), not that I’m complaining. The past few days were perfect examples of this, in the best possible way!
Since I’ve last shared my TO&E, I’ve learned the nutshell version of The Petersburg Campaign with NPS’s Emmanuel Dabney (of this blog, as well!), explored Pamplin Historical Park, and toured Capital Square with tour supervisor Mark Greenough.
Stereotypically, the Crater was the highlight of Petersburg. For me though, it was more than the fascinating (though not particularly striking strategically) tale of the “hell hole.” After spending most of my childhood in Pottsville, PA, I visited the grave of Henry Pleasants (commander of the 48th Penn.) countless times, but never fully explored the battle—or the campaign. It was fascinating to see the (replication of) the mine built by these Coal Region boys, and see the mark left to this day.
Despite a catering screw-up (a sad, sad, lack of vegan food), Pamplin was fantastic. The replicated breastworks are intense, and my partner and I did pretty darn well on the automated quiz, considering we neglected to tour the museum first!
The next day, the Capital and its grounds were spectacular. I admit, I’ve taken Pennsylvania’s for granted all of these years, but I’ve also never had quite so thorough an introduction….
As always, CWI was an amazing experience. I’m already counting the days until next year!