Roosevelt, Muir, Clio and Me: A Novel of Loss and Discovery by David Matthew Wilcox
Excerpt from Chapter Seven – “At Gettysburg: Vision Place of the Soul”:
The road opening onto the Gettysburg National Battlefield began almost
at the center of the old town. It was lined with souvenir shops, a wax
museum, motels and restaurants. But once on hallowed ground, it seemed as
though all the distractive signs of American free enterprise abruptly ended and the
focus of the morning’s journey became clear. Lying before them was a portion of
a twenty-five square mile battlefield, the site that marked the turning point in the
costliest, deadliest war in American history. Winston thought about the details.
From purely a human perspective, over 7,000 men were killed at Gettysburg,
33,000 were wounded and nearly 11,000 went missing. But hundreds of dead
horses, cows and oxen also dotted the battlefield after its three days of fighting,
adding to the stench of death. And as a quirk of fate, the casualty lists also
included a Miss Jennie Wade, a twenty-year-old woman who was kneading bread
in the kitchen of her mother’s home when a bullet passed through the door and
into her back. The young woman died instantly.