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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Revisiting News Coverage Of The Battle Of Gettysburg

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July 2, 1863 was the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, in the fields around that small Pennsylvania town.

The Confederates attacked the Union troops at Culp’s Hill and Little Round Top but failed to move the Yankees from their positions.

The Saturday Evening Post, the oldest American magazine in publication, is running a special series on its website that features its coverage of the Civil War, including the Battle of Gettysburg.

They had a reporter there on the third and final day of fighting. Jeff Nilsson, the magazine’s historian, described what that reporter witnessed:

He reports shortly after Pickett’s Charge has been pushed back, and he said that there were still some cannons firing but at this point it’s obvious that the South has just pulled back its troops, and all along the line, and appear to have no sign of wanting to come back and try the contest again. And so he files and said in rather a far-sighted opinion that the battle is over and the decisive battle of the Civil War has just been fought and the North has won, indicating  that probably this is the outcome of the Civil War, give or take months. Now, of course, it turned out it was closer to years before the event was finally decided.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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