Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Red Plum Run

I find this creek to be an interesting symbol of war, or rather, the aftereffects of battle.

This is Plum Run, located near Devil's Den, Slaughter Pen and Triangular Field on the Gettysburg Battleground. As history buffs may know, this area was the site of a brutal collision between Union and Confederate forces, with the former being trapped in the craggy boulders and catching their feet in the large fissures. The famous Dead Sharpshooter photo was posed on the rocks. Bodies lay decomposing in the hot sun for nearly a week after the clash.

According to legend, this creek, which was swollen beyond its banks when we visited one rainy early March week, ran red with blood after the fighting. While I'm not entirely convinced that is true, I think it's an interesting piece of legend that symbolizes not only the horrors of war, but also the symbolic cleansing powers of water with allusions to baptism.

Read more about this area of the battlefield here:

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