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January 2015, Jeff Stike releases "Color Bearer", the memoirs of John A. Stikeleather of the 4th North Carolina, set to narrated by Jeff Stike (co-edited with Matt Kineke, MattKineke.com).

READ MORE HERE: http://www.yorkblog.com/cannonball/2015/01/25/york-county-guitarist-set-ancestors-civil-war-diary-to-music/

by Jeff Stike

A Civil War tribute based on the Memoirs of John A. Stikeleather, 4th North Carolina Infantry. This is the eyewitness account of the American Civil War from the memoirs of one of the few surviving members of the infamous "Stonewall Brigade"

Go to https://jeffstike.com/color-bearer to BUY Color Bearer

In Words and Music by Jeff Stike

Jeff Stike recorded his 'Gettysburg' album in the living room of his Peach Bottom Township home. Stike, who has ancestors who fought in the Civil War, scoured books for accounts of the battle from soldiers who lived through it. He used those to create his song lyrics. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS--JASON PLOTKIN)



Brandy Station

June 8th, 1863, General Lee arrived at Brandy Station to meet with his Chief of Cavalry J.E.B Stuart. Today Stuart would put his fine force on display. As 3 bands played, Stuart’s troopers paraded and charged their horses past General Lee causing an enormous dust cloud. The cloud could be seen for miles, giving away General Lee’s position. That evening Stuart’s men had no idea that 11,000 Union soldier’s were moving quietly on the opposite side of the river. At dawn they would attack, beginning the largest cavalry battle to ever take place on American soil, crippling Stuart’s Cavalry for almost a week. On June 10th, Lee headed north into Pennsylvania, without his Cavalry. Stuart’s troopers would not catch back up in time to be of help to General Lee at Gettysburg.

Wrightsville Bridge
Sunday, June 28, 6000 Confederate soldiers march through York, Pa. Twelve miles to the East, General Gordon will Bombard Wrightsville in an attempt to capture and control the Wrightsville Bridge. If successful, elements of the Confederate Army would have nothing between them and the State Capitol. After an hour and a half battle, Union General Frick gave the order to destroy the bridge. The heroic stand and burning of the Wrightsville Bridge effectively ended Robert E. Lees plan to capture Harrisburg.

Hold This Ground
July 1st, General Buford’s dismounted cavalry meet’s Heth’s Confederate Division on the Chambersburg Pike near Herr’s Ridge. Buford’s badly outnumbered men hold long enough for reinforcement’s to arrive. Commanding Union General Reynolds would be killed just as the battle was starting. The morning stand-off is broken at 3pm when Confederate troops pour in from Carlisle and York. Totally out-flanked, the Union Army retreats back to Cemetery Hill, where they regroup and prepare defenses.

Go Around
July 2nd: Lee had not planned on fighting at Gettysburg, but without Stuart and his cavalry, Lee was blind in enemy territory and decided to stand and fight. Gen. Longstreet would plead with Lee not to fight here or attack the ‘high ground’ of Cemetery Hill.

Strong, Lucky or Dead

July 2nd: It was after 4 pm when Longstreet finally attacked. By that time, Union General Sickle’s had disobeyed orders and moved his men into the areas between the Peach Orchard and the Devil’s Den, directly in the path of Longstreet’s attack. Some of the most savage hand to hand fighting of the war would happen this day on this line.

The Round Tops
July 2nd: The Confederate Army began to swarm up the slopes of Little Round Top. Their attempt to capture the ‘high-ground’ and flank the Union army was stopped by the heroic charges of the 140th New York and Joshua Chamberlain’s 20th Maine.

Musket Balls & Blade’s
July 3rd: Lee’s new plan was to cut the Union line in half. At 1pm Lee would unleash 150 cannons in an attempt to clear the guns off Cemetery Ridge. For 2 hours cannoneers dueled until neither side could see anything for the smoke. About 3 o’clock, 15,000 Confederates would begin the 1 mile march toward the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.

Soldier’s Prayer
As the Confederates crossed the field, shells began bursting in the midst of them, taking down whole rows of men. Still the confederates pushed forward across the field, still out of range they couldn’t fire back. There was little more they could do but pray.

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