A montage of archival footage taken during the 75th Anniversary of Gettysburg. How wonderful it would have been to know one of these heroes?!
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"What we all need on both sides is to mingle more with each other, so that we shall learn to know and appreciate each other. Now here's my brigade—I wish you knew them as I do. They are such a hospitable, wholehearted, fascinating lot of gentlemen. Why, just think of it—this part of Pennsylvania is ours today; we can do what we please with it. Yet we sincerely and heartily invite you to stay! Are we not a fine set of fellows?"Meanwhile, down the line on the Columbia-Wrightsville Railway, Union troops are hurriedly burning and exploding bridges and rails to keep the Rebels from progressing. Two days from now, Rebels and Yanks run into each other in the "sleepy" town of Gettysburg while buying shoes. It is during the next two days that our future is forever changed. Union casualties estimate 23,000 out of 88,000 troops and Confederate casualties reach 20,000 out of 75,000. A definitive moment in the battle, the famous Pickett's Charge, becomes a definitive moment in the Civil War. From this point on all is changed.
My sister birds, you owe much to God, and you must always and in everyplace give praise to Him; for He has given you freedom to wing through the sky and He has clothed you...you neither sow nor reap, and God feeds you and gives you rivers and fountains for your thirst, and mountains and valleys for shelter, and tall trees for your nests. And although you neither know how to spin or weave, God dresses you and your children, for the Creator loves you greatly and He blesses you abundantly.The presence of God is still evident despite its human abandonment. Bails of hay still act as makeshift pews, yet the congregation has long since departed. On a metal sign beside the doorway tells the only history of this forlorn church.The sign left me wondering, what happened to the town and the church? Who was M.A. Van Gilder? Using all the databases available through my affiliated university and through Oregon Historical Society. Again and again my searches returned empty. Finally I decided to simply Google M.A. Van Gilder and I was able to find a biographical sketch about him and his family written in 1905. Milon A. Van Gilder was born in New York in November 1854 and married Miss Jennie Porter in 1864. As a farmer and carpenter, Van Gilder moved him and his family to Sherman County, Oregon in 1889, purchasing four hundred acres of land. By 1897 he built a two-story home and large barn. I am not certain if Van Gilder built the Locust Grove church on his own property or not, but by the time he built his home and barn, the church was erected. By 1904, Van Gilder's property increased to six hundred acres. Still the mystery of what happened to the town and Van Gilder remains...