Friday, June 22, 2012

Family Reunion & Gettysburg

The main objective of our trip to Washington DC was to have a family reunion with our Shaklee relatives - and Saturday was the day!  Our Dad's brother Harold and his wife Helyn had 3 sons, Steve, Mark & Scott - and their kids are now having families and here they are!  The reunion was held in Aunt Helyn's community Lodge and grounds in Annapolis, Maryland.  Our Aunt MaryAnn and Uncle Fred joined us from Oklahoma.  Photo credit for this wonderful image to Erin Shaklee, professional photographer!
Cousin Mark and his wonderful wife Dale helped Aunt Helyn organize the catering and party.  What fun we had getting to spend time with our cousins and their families!
On the left is Aunt Mary Ann, the only living sibling of my Dads, out of 6.  Helyn is the wife of Dad's brother.  These two women are absolutely dear, having spent their lives being kind and giving to their friends and family.  I could only wish to be as good as they are. 
I was too busy chatting with everyone and didn't take more photos!  But it was a memorable day.  We headed back to our hotel and got a good nights rest, and in the morning EARLY we headed off to Gettysburg. 

On Sunday morning we drove to the Visitor Center at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - and enjoyed the wonderful museum full of historical artifacts.  This battle was a pivotal point in the American Civil War which pitted the North and South over the issue of slavery.  This was the most costly battle in human lives over the course of 3 days, July 1, 2 & 3, 1863. The estimated casualties were app. 51,000 out of 158,000 who fought.
A belt buckle saves the life of a soldier. 
A great selection of firearms from this battle. 
A Southern Confederate uniform.   
A Union Army Soldier's uniform. 
I just loved the drums and bugles on display. 
Artillery projectiles shot from cannons during the Civil War. 
There was an amazing circular painting done called a "cyclorama" in the center. It is the largest painting in the country, done in the 1880s by a French painter, Paul Philippoteaux.  377 feet in circumfrence, 42 feet high. It depicts the fury of "Pickett's Charge" against the Union lines.  It was narrated and the lighting would spotlight certain battles.. it was awesome!  
It made you almost feel as if you were there. 
Beautiful drums! 
Period battle flag, cannon ball, trunk, rifle, etc. 
After enjoying the museum, film and cyclorama we got into our van and began a long afternoon of driving around the battlefield, our tour guide, Steve (my BIL) did an excellent job of interpreting and telling us stories of how the events transpired in each place we saw.  I won't be able to identify all of these photos, there are monuments and statues literally covering the miles of the battlefield.
I was amazed that almost all the cannons on display on the battlefield have original cannon barrels from the battle! There were 653 cannons assigned to the 2 armies, 370 cannons are on the battlefield today.
Also amazing is how the church and seminary are still there.  The place is absolutely beautiful. 
Seminary Ridge Museum is under restoration. 
I snapped this photo of a group of people touring the battlefield on horseback. 
 A beautiful monument.
Wonderful to me was the fact that barns that were there during the war are still standing, and people still live in these fabulous historic homes! 
Here is a private home which has a cannon and monument in the yard. :-) 
This is the "High Water Mark" - which is as far as the Confederate lines penetrated the Union Army during Pickett's Charge across one mile of open ground. The tree line in the distance is where the Confederate line was and they had to cross about a mile of this open ground under intense fire the whole time.
This is "Little Round Top" - this was at one end of the Union lines which was held by a small number of Union soldiers until reinforcements arrived.  Down below on the far left is "Devil's Den".
This is "Devil's Den" around which saw intense fighting on the 2nd day of the battle.
A beautiful pastoral scene amongst the historic battlefields. 
This original barn has cannonball holes in the brick side! 
 This is the biggest monument there.
 Just another scene from the day.
After a nice warm day of touring, we went back to the B&B, freshened up, and then went to a fun dinner at J's at the Village - where I continued my adventures in Mac & Cheese with this dish - Lobster Mac & Cheese! :-)  Yum!  
We then retired to our rooms in the B&B - our family had all 3 bedrooms which was neat.  My next post will finish up this trip.  Next will be a few more war memorials and one of my favorite things, George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon.  Then we'll go back to the regularly scheduled postings of things.. such as our cruise on the Sternwheeler yesterday and the crochet project I'm working on.. and flowers and grandkids.. LOL!  Thanks for enjoying the history I've been sharing with you.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. What an amazing trip this has been, not just for you and your husband but for me and the many others who have thoroughly enjoyed reading this fascinating glimpse into your country's history. Thank you very much for sharing in a such a beautiful and comprehensive way. I think the image which touched me most was the one which you took at Arlington of the flag-draped coffin. I think that image will stay with me forever.

  2. Teresa, this all just fascinates me!!! Oh to have been there to see it all first hand! That painting is unreal!!! The drums, the firearms, the buckle with the bullet imprint!! Amazing! And that lobster mac and cheese...HELLO!!!
    Boy, I am enjoying this!!
    XO Kris

  3. Gettysburg is an amazing place for it's history! I might have mentioned that when our youngest son was born, about a year after we visited Gettysburg, we named him Joshua Lawrence Jones after Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. I would love to return to Gettysburg. If you found this place and it's history fascinating, read the book by Michael Shara, The Killer Angels. It is a great book about the battle of Gettysburg.

  4. Hi Teresa, what a brilliant family photo! I've just read through the last few posts of your trip. What an amazing trip you have had and thank you for sharing the all the history and great photos with us. ((hugs)) Joanna xx

  5. It amazes me to realize all the conflict that happens to promote freedom...all the lives lost or damaged so that I can enjoy the wonderful freedom that I do today. Thanks for the continued travelogue, Teresa! Your appreciation of your family and our nation is contagious...filled with love :)
    Gracie <3

  6. You just had the most fantastic time didn't you? We went to the Cyclorama in Atlanta a few years ago it was so fascinating, the painting was so tall and viewed in the round with the lighting behind it was just amazing. Glad your family reunion was so great, you are so lucky to have such a wonderful, extended family.
    Hugs to you,

  7. What a nice looking family you have...So glad you had a wonderful time with your family. The lobster mac and cheese is by far my favorite!!! Now I am hungry!!!!

  8. What a wonderful trip this was. Thanks for sharing. I would love to see these things in person. That lobster Mac n Cheese looks pretty yummy too.

  9. Gettysburg is such an interesting place. I was there years ago and really enjoyed it. So great that your family was able to get together!

  10. What an amazing trip! Your family reunion must have been amazing & all the places you visited? Wow! xxx

  11. Such an interesting post, Teresa, and what a lovely reunion with so many family members at once. I must go back now and read your other posts about your trip that I missed while I was away.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Helen x

  12. Hi Teresa, I have enjoyed catching up with your holiday posts. What a wonderful reunion, these times are so precious as they are so rare. Great photos too. Have a lovely weekend,
    Jane x

  13. Oh my goodness Teresa, you have such a large family! How lovely for you all to be able at have such a happy family reunion.
    I have really enjoyed this post. Your photographs are wonderful.How lucky you are too, to be visiting the house of George Washington!
    Hope you have a great week,
    Susan x

  14. Hi Teresa, Boy, have I missed a lot with all your going ons! You know more about it all then I do and I'm from Pennsylvania! What an amazing time you are having. So many interesting photos. The reunion, wow, so wonderful to be able to arrange it all and to carry it out. Bravo to all of you!!!!!
    Can't way to see and hear more!!!

  15. Pure joy....your family is lovely.
    We have a reunion this summer and I just can't wait!!!
    What fun..hugs to you dear one. xo

  16. As a true Southerner, I must point out that it was not the Civil War, but the war of Northern Aggression ;) You must come visit south of the Mason Dixon line sometime....On a more serious note, I'm so glad you had such a wonderful trip and reunion! I've enjoyed the photos so much!

  17. I'm from Singapore and I stumbled upon your blog while "blog-hopping". Your photos are amazing and you have such a wonderful family! God bless and you made me excited for my own family gathering in September, xx


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