Another McClellan-at-Gettysburg report

The excellent new Gettysburg Union pursuit study, One Continuous Fight, contains one new (to this blog) McClellan report from a Sergeant Charles T. Bowen of the 12th U.S. Infantry. Bowen hears that McClellan is advancing at the head of 40,000 Pennsylvania militia: "If this is true, I rather think the rebs will find a warm spot somewhere around here," he notes.

Bowen's writing, Dear Friends at Home, was published by Butternut & Blue seven years ago and adds to our GBM-at-Gettysburg stockpile (see here, here, here, and here).

The point of the blogging thread, McClellan-at-Gettysburg, was to emphasize the difference between history as received and history as experienced. For many veterans, McClellan was part of their Gettysburg experience. The "fact" of his presence being "false" makes their experience worthless to many historians who produce an account of the battle outside of the experience of its participants.

And we reward them for this.

One Continuous Fight by Wittenberg, Petruzzi, and Nugent, is very much about the same problem. It sets history experienced by the AoP after Gettysburg against the reader's naive beliefs about the battle's aftermath. The reader's views, based as they are on sanitized historical "truths" tend to show up as "false" in matters of experience, memory, and activity.

It must be embarassing to the many dead on both sides to have been killed in the midst of a pursuit that never took place.

More on Continuous in a future post. Meanwhile, keep searching for anomalies.