Friday, April 15, 2011

Wolverines Visit Gettysburg

During Spring Break, Faculty members Mike Meserve and Tom Bishop, along with mini-Wolverine Cam Meserve, made their annual pilgrimage to Gettysburg, PA. This year they were joined by six highly motivated students: Marco Spisso, Ryan Dooley, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kulik, Christian Farkoury and Brendan Moore.

Arriving Saturday afternoon, the group began their tour by walking around Reynolds Woods, where General John Buford’s Calvary Brigade held off superior Confederate numbers until the arrival of Major General John Reynolds’s I Corp. The students walked all through Reynolds’s Woods, the Railroad Cut, Eternal Peace Memorial and Oak Ridge. Ryan Kulik commented about his visit to the site where Reynolds’s was shot and died. “It was pretty powerful seeing the monument on the battlefield where you know someone fell.” Brendan Fitzpatrick added, “It was unbelievable how we could see the area on Oak Ridge where Mr. Meserve’s 3rd great grandfather fought. It hits your pretty hard when to think if his grandfather was in another spot, and was killed, their whole family line ends.”

After a vigorous afternoon of site seeing and a great dinner, the boys were treated to a formal tour with “Ghost of Gettysburg”. Unknown too many people, Gettysburg is considered one of the top haunted locations in the United States. A few of the unnamed BA guys were a bit skeptical, but after the tour seemed very reluctant to visit the field after dark.

The boys awoke Sunday morning, had a great breakfast at the hotel and started the day with the same enthusiasm as Saturday. Unfortunately, Mother Nature proceeded to spoil their day with rain….I mean a lot of rain. The group bravely tackled the elements when they climbed Longstreet’s Tower on Seminary Ridge. The covered tower gives an eagle eyed view of the entire southern section of the battlefield. After leaving the tower, the group proceeded to Cemetery Hill and the National Cemetery. “The National Cemetery is a very inspiring place. To see all the graves of each Northern State represented, showed me how much these men sacrificed” said Marco Spisso.

On Sunday evening, the BA boys headed over to Culp’s Hill, Spangler’s Spring and Spangler’s Meadow. After dusk, Bishop and Meserve drove the boys off the battlefield and went to Sach’s Bridge. Sach’s Bridge is considered by many paranormal researchers as a top haunted spot. This dark, wet and rainy night produced a few “unknown” photographs. Cam Meserve, who bravely led the boys to the bridge, was surprised by the nervousness of some of the guys. “It was pretty funny when Ryan refused to get out of the van”.

The final full day started early, as the boys watch the sun rise over the battlefield. Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous as the guys covered all the major attractions: Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, High Water Mark and The Angle. Guys were climbing all over the rocks, taking in the view and really enjoying the environment. Mr. Tom Bishop, Cameron and the boys walked the 1 mile trek across the field where the famous Pickett’s Charge took place. “Standing on so many spots, where so many soldiers gave their all is humbling. We saw the rock carvings or markers where General Weed and Lt Hazlett were shot and killed, where Colonel Strong Vincent was mortally wounded and where Colonel Patrick O’Rorke was shot and killed. I especially liked the area where the 20th Maine made their stand” said Ryan Kulik. The Wolverines participated in a Gettysburg Tradition when they all took turn rubbing the nose on the Col. Patrick O’Rorke’s statue for good luck. The evening ended with the boys enjoying a fine cigar, while watching the sun set in front of Little Round Top.

“It was a great trip and a tremendous experience for everyone. The boys made us proud, but represented Bridgton with the maturity and sense of appreciation for what common men did at Gettysburg” said Mr. Mike Meserve.