On the evening of Friday May 13, 2011, an enthusiastic contingent of classmates, spouses,and guests mustered at the Herr Ridge Inn, just outside Gettysburg, Pa., for welcoming drinks and dinner,on the eve of our epic one-day, ten-hour survey of the battlefield, under the superlative leadership of our stalwart guide and mentor, Princeton Prof. Emeritus Jim McPherson (an honorary classmate) and his wife Pat. A handful of us had been on 1972's first visit to Gettysburg, in October 2004; others had joined one or several of our subsequent visits to Antietam/Harpers Ferry, Shiloh/Vicksburg, and Chattanooga/Atlanta.
This was our largest contingent ever: 42 classmates (plus two honoraries), comfortably and expertlychauffered in two buses.
We began our tour at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday the 14th, at the spot where the battle began on July 1, 1863, then traced the progress of the three days of conflict, from Seminary Ridge to Barlow's Knoll, the Peach Orchard, Wheatfield, Devil's Den, Little Round Top, Cemetery Ridge (photo taken at the monument to the heroic First Minnesota regiment), and Culp's Hill, finishing with a mile-longmarch along the route of Pickett's Charge, ending the day just after 6 p.m.
We enjoyed our box lunches at the impressive new Visitors Center, opened in 2008 (to which we had made a contribution in Prof. McPherson's honor), where a number of us returned on our own on Sunday morning.
Classmates reporting for duty at one time or other during the weekend, from as far away as Texas and California, were Russ Ayres, Dave Barkhausen, Sandy Bieber, Rock Brockman, George Carpinello, Freeman Craig, Owen Curtis, Bob Daniels, Jim Dougherty, Phil Douglas, Daryl English, Jim Fair, Alex Geiger, Miles Gilburne, Jim Green, Glenn Haas, Jesse Hackell, George Hager, Rick Hammitt, Randy Harris, Doug Harrison, Jim Hinton, Tom and Diana FosterJones, Barbara Julius, Grace Labatt, Steve Massad, Ed McConnell, Bruce McKay, Rod McNealy, Mike Merle, Nikos Monoyios, Augie Moretti, Dan Morris, Doug Noll, Jim Robinson, Mike Schneider, Dan Schwartz, John Solic, Ed Strauss, Randy Swenson, and Brad Walter, plus honorary classmates Chris Schade '83 and Prof. McPherson.