You Are There: The Battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863

You Are There was a 1940s radio program that “blended history with modern technology, taking an entire network newsroom on a figurative time warp each week reporting the great events of the past“.

This episode was first broadcast in February of 1948, but imagine that radio existed in 1863.

This is what you would have heard as you were sitting in the front parlor with friends and family, listening in awe to a first person play by play account of the battle action at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.

Sources: wikipedia, internet archive.

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Published in: on July 2, 2010 at 2:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Let me tell you something about North Carolina

A few weeks ago, I went with my friend over to Berkeley, CA to a sort-of thrift shop/craft store, and while looking through the old black and white photos they had I leafed past one and stopped quick and backed up in disbelief…

Here I am in 2010 California, holding in my hand a photo taken in 1937 at Gettysburg National Monument in Pennsylvania of North Carolina’s Civil War monument.

I bought it for .65 cents, all the while wondering how it made it’s way out to a thrift shop on the west coast 73 years later.  (If I had a scanner, I’d post it.  But here’s what I am referring to…

However, mine is so old there is no wrought iron gate around it.  At the time my photo was taken you could walk right up to the monument and give those soldiers a hug.)


I am telling you about this today, because it was on this day 149 years ago, that North Carolina passed its Secession Ordinance.


North Carolina’s Secession Ordinance Passed: May 20, 1861


AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of North Carolina and the other States united with her, under the compact of government entitled "The Constitution of the United States."

We, the people of the State of North Carolina in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the ordinance adopted by the State of North Carolina in the convention of 1789, whereby the Constitution of the United States was ratified and adopted, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly ratifying and adopting amendments to the said Constitution, are hereby repealed, rescinded, and abrogated.

We do further declare and ordain, That the union now subsisting between the State of North Carolina and the other States, under the title of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of North Carolina is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.

Done in convention at the city of Raleigh, this the 20th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1861, and in the eighty-fifth year of the independence of said State.


North Carolina has always held a special place in my heart since 1992.  Not for any particular reason other than I once spent a spring vacation in the mountains of western North Carolina (Franklin) and LITERALLY, not figuratively- had just the best time ever.

I had never been anywhere so plain-damn beautiful before (even though I grew up in a very similar mountainous area north of the Mason-Dixon Line), the food was top-notch and everyone I met could NOT have been any nicer to me and this is most important – they even knew I was a Yankee and still treated me well.  And still to this day, some 20 years later, tell myself – someday when you retire you are doing it in the western mountains of North Carolina on the fringes of the Nantahala Forest near Franklin.


So, you can imagine how surprised I was to learn just now, today, this minute as I was searching for a nice picture of Franklin to show you where I spent time – that –


The last formal surrender of Confederate forces east of the Mississippi River took place in Franklin on May 12, 1865. …… The Confederate troops located in these hills were the last to hear of Lee’s surrender …"  SOURCE: Franklin Chamber of Commerce.

Freaky.  Deaky.  My dream place is steeped in Civil War history and I had no idea, although admittedly I should have known better.  I mean I figured they probably saw some skirmish action but I had no idea something as important as that happened in my favorite place.

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