At Gettysburg With Superintendent Bob Kirby

Ron Coddington and Bob KirbySuperintendent J. Robert Kirby of the National Park Service, the man in charge at Gettysburg, and I talk about the importance of Devil’s Den and the iconic image of the dead Confederate photographed at this spot. Bob took time out of his busy schedule yesterday to be interviewed for an upcoming Gettysburg 150th story by writer and photographer Chuck Myers. (Chuck also interviewed me.) Bob is easygoing and friendly. I was impressed with his knowledge of park operations, especially rehabilitation efforts to restore the battlefield to its circa 1863 look, and his ideas for the future. He is a great guy, and you’l be seeing a lot of him during the commemoration events in July and again on November 19 when the park marks the 150th of President Lincoln’s address.

Devil's DenI came away with two big take-aways after visiting this historic spot.

First, that the body in the original image appears to be laying up against the wall. In reality, he must have lay diagonal to the wall with his feet almost touching it, as the space where the rocks are piled is quite narrow.

Second, that a Confederate sharpshooter standing behind this wall had a perfectly unobstructed view of Little Round Top. Union artillerists and infantrymen were easy targets.

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