Hundreds hike in footsteps of Confederate captain - abc27 WHTM

Hundreds hike in footsteps of Confederate captain

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Hundreds of Gettysburg visitors got a chance to walk with history today, on perhaps the same ground that Confederate Captain Samuel Johnston walked 150 years ago.

Johnston was sent out on an intelligence mission in the early morning hours of July 2.

"A battle that turned out to be a major point of the war was based on Captain Samuel Johnston's reconnaissance," historian Troy Harmon said.

A walk through the battlefields this morning continued to key locations where Johnston may have stopped. Harmon believes Johnston told his superiors that he made it to Little Roundtop and saw that there were several thousand Union soldiers there who were not prepared to fight -- but this wasn't the case.

Historians say this is where the controversy begins.

"When General Lee heard that report later in the morning, he was not so concerned because what he was looking for is if the Union army was ready for the attack," said Harmon.

Harmon said there are many theories about Johnston's mission, including one that Confederate General James Longstreet sabotaged the battle.

But Patti Shultz, who took part in the walking tour this morning, said her experience was surreal.

"You walk the walk and you feel the pain and you think about it, and it puts you back in the moment and that is what I like," she said.

Terrance Walsh is from Georgia, but after this walk he has Gettysburg on his mind.

There was "just a lot of information and kind of hard to take it all in, but it's extremely enjoyable," he said.

Rob Jeffries said being able to get a history lesson on the battlefield was special.

"You read about it and see it in the books, but you get to touch it and ask questions," he said.


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