Independence Day Weekend – This Date in History, July 2nd

Robert R. Livingston

Image via Wikipedia

Brave men chose liberty and freedom on this day once at the start of this nation and again 87 years later.

It took great courage. Please consider:

Notes on the Declaration of Independence
July 1-4

During these four days in 1776 Congress worked to draft the declaration. It was revised and debated over this period.

Did you know, what happened on July 2nd? The the Second Continental Congress made the declaration, the United Colonies to be independent of the British Empire. It took two more days for the formal Declaration to be ratified.

1863 Battle of Gettysburg Day 2

Late in the afternoon Col. Joshua Chamberlain, a seminary graduate and school teacher, is in command of the 20th Main Infantry, V Corps of the Union Army. He has ordered his troops to take a position on Little Round Top at the south end of the Gettysburg Battlefield.

Confederate Gen. Longstreet’s troops had attacked and fought for over three hours as they approached Chamberlain’s position. So far the battle had raged across Rose farm, the Peach Orchard, the Wheatfield, Trostle farm and Devil’s Den.
Col. Chamberlain’s troops now anchor the extreme left of the Union line; his 20th Maine defending their position against Col. William C. Oates and forces from Alabama. His 20th Main has already held off one assault from the 15th Alabama.

Chamberlain’s troops are short on ammunition. Chamberlain orders “fix bayonets.” In his own words:
“At that crises, I ordered the bayonet. The word was enough. It ran like fire along the line, from man to man, and rose into a shout, with which they sprang forward on the enemy, now not 30 yards away. The effect was surprising; many of the enemy’s first line threw down their arms and surrendered. An officer fired his pistol at my head with one hand, while he handed me his sword with the other. Holding fast by our right, and swinging forward our left, we made an extended “right wheel,” before which the enemy’s second line broke and fell back, fighting from tree to tree, many being captured, until we had swept the valley and cleared the front of nearly our entire brigade.”
For his bravery and leadership in this engagement, Joshua Chamberlain was awarded the Medal of Honor.

11 Comments

July 2, 2011 · 3:14 pm

11 responses to “Independence Day Weekend – This Date in History, July 2nd

  1. Reblogged this on welcome to my place and commented:

    As we in the US celebrate Independence Day, let’s step back in time to our First Independence Day and look at another memorable day in 1863. We have much to be thankful for. So many have sacrificed. May we never forget!

  2. What brave men and I did not know that about Chamberlain. Happy 4th of July Rich!

  3. Thank you, Susie. There’s a book and movie, “Killer Angels” about the defense of Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. Great story!

  4. Thanks for reminding us how quickly something can be written when there is passion and necessity. 🙂 Happy July 4th!

  5. Well said, Kourtney! Great comment! Happy July 4th to you 🙂

  6. Any nation with a long history has episodes that, when remembered, bring with them as sense of shame rather than glory, and the imperial era of the United Kingdom has more than a few.

    When approached by a delegation from the yet-to-be USA, requesting a lessening of taxes and democratic representation in the UK Parliament, the UK government refused. Because of their stubborn pride tens-of-thousands of men died, on both sides.Deaths that could have been avoided.

    There are many things I love about living in the UK, but parts of our history leave me with a sense of regret, not patriotism. My hope is that by remembering our past, we won’t repeat its mistakes.

  7. Thank you T.James for reminding us of important lessons from history. I agree that if we do not learn our lessons from history, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. In many ways history can give us a map to our future. The choices we make affect our ultimate destination.
    On Independence Day, we celebrate our successes and the sacrifices of those who have made freedom a reality.

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