150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War
As the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg approaches, it's time for America to question the popular account of a war that tore apart the nation.
Tony Horwitz Jun 19 2013, 2:10 PM ET
The Battle of Gettysburg, lithograph (Currier and Ives/Wikimedia Commons)
In early July, on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, pilgrims will crowd Little Round Top and the High Water Mark of Pickett's Charge. But venture beyond these famous shrines to battlefield valor and you'll find quiet sites like Iverson's Pits, which recall the inglorious reality of Civil War combat.
On July 1st, 1863, Alfred Iverson ordered his brigade of North Carolinians across an open field. The soldiers marched in tight formation until Union riflemen suddenly rose from behind a stone wall and opened fire. Five hundred rebels fell dead or wounded "on a line as straight as a dress parade," Iverson reported. "They nobly fought and died without a man running to the rear. No greater gallantry and heroism has been displayed during this war."
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