Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 27

Battle of Gettysburg July 1 - 3, 1863 / American Civil War: Veterans begin arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913

Battle of Gettysburg ends on July 3, 1863.

Battle of Gettysburg: On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in disastrous failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.

In June 1863, following his masterful victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville, General Lee launched his second invasion of the Union in less than a year. He led his 75,000-man Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River, through Maryland and into Pennsylvania, seeking to win a major battle on Northern soil that would further dispirit the Union war effort and induce Britain or France to intervene on the Confederacy's behalf.

The 90,000-strong Army of the Potomac pursued the Confederates into Maryland, but its commander General, Joseph Hooker, was still stinging from his defeat at Chancellorsville and seemed reluctant to chase Lee further. Meanwhile, the Confederates divided their forces and investigated various targets, such as Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania capital.

On June 28, President Abraham Lincoln replaced Hooker with General George Meade, and Lee learned of the presence of the Army of the Potomac in Maryland. Lee ordered his army to concentrate in the vicinity of the crossroads town of Gettysburg and prepare to meet the Federal army. At the same time, Meade sent ahead part of his force into Pennsylvania but intended to make a stand at Pipe Creek in Maryland.

On July 1, a Confederate division under General Henry Heth marched into Gettysburg hoping to seize supplies but finding instead three brigades of Union cavalry. Thus began the Battle of Gettysburg, and Lee and Meade ordered their massive armies to converge on the impromptu battle site. The Union cavalrymen defiantly held the field against overwhelming numbers until the arrival of Federal reinforcements. Later, the Confederates were reinforced, and by mid-afternoon some 19,000 Federals faced 24,000 Confederates. Lee arrived to the battlefield soon afterward and ordered a general advance that forced the Union line back to Cemetery Hill, just south of the town.

During the night, the rest of Meade's force arrived, and by the morning Union General Winfield Hancock had formed a strong Union line. On July 2, against the Union left, General James Longstreet led the main Confederate attack, but it was not carried out until about 4 p.m., and the Federals had time to consolidate their positions. Thus began some of the heaviest fighting of the battle, and Union forces retained control of their strategic positions at heavy cost. After three hours, the battle ended, and the total number of dead at Gettysburg stood at 35,000.

On July 3, Lee, having failed on the right and the left, planned an assault on Meade's center. A 15,000-man strong column under General George Pickett was organized, and Lee ordered a massive bombardment of the Union positions. The 10,000 Federals answered the Confederate artillery onslaught, and for more than an hour the guns raged in the heaviest cannonade of the Civil War. At 3 p.m., Pickett led his force into no-man's-land and found that Lee's bombardment had failed. As Pickett's force attempted to cross the mile distance to Cemetery Ridge , Union artillery blew great holes in their lines. Meanwhile, Yankee infantry flanked the main body of “Pickett's charge” and began cutting down the Confederates. Only a few hundred Virginians reached the Union line, and within minutes they all were dead, dying, or captured. In less than an hour, more than 7,000 Confederate troops had been killed or wounded.

Both armies, exhausted, held their positions until the night of July 4, when Lee withdrew. The Army of the Potomac was too weak to pursue the Confederates, and Lee led his army out of the North, never to invade it again. The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War, costing the Union 23,000 killed, wounded, or missing in action. The Confederates suffered some 25,000 casualties. On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address during the dedication of a new national cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Civil War effectively ended with the surrender of General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia in April 1865.History Channel / Wikipedia video

More References  ● Lincoln Memorial an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln - located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument.
Battle of Antietam / Stone Bridge at Antietam Battlefield - Sharpsburg, Maryland
● First Battle Between Ironclads: CSS Virginia/Merrimac (left) vs. USS Monitor, in 1862 at the Battle of Hampton Roads.
Although photography was still in its infancy, war correspondents produced thousands of images, bringing the harsh realities of the frontlines to those on the home front in a new and visceral way. The Atlantic.

Wikipedia  Image: Battle of Gettysburg (July 1–3, 1863) by Thure de Thulstrup American Civil War: 1913 - Veterans begin arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Dissemination and Integration

(DOD) Dissemination and Integration: In intelligence usage, the delivery of intelligence to users in a suitable form and the application of the intelligence to appropriate missions, tasks, and functions. See also intelligence process (United States Navy)

The Old Salt’s Corner

Well dock: In modern amphibious warfare usage, a well dock or well dock, officially termed a wet well in U.S. Navy instructions when the well deck is flooded for operations, it is a hangar-like deck located at the waterline in the stern of some amphibious warfare ships. By taking on water the ship can lower its stern, flooding the well deck and allowing boats, amphibious vehicles and landing craft to dock within the ship.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

Those who say “there is no such thing as a stupid question” have never worked in customer service.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”

~ Swedish proverb

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: In the old movies, why do the military always say “Roger” then “Wilco” to confirm a radio message?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: In the old movies, why do the military always say “Roger” then “Wilco” to confirm a radio message?

During the Second World War, the U.S. Navy used a phonetic alphabet to clarify radio messages. It began Alpha, Baker, Charlie, Dog, and went on to include Roger for R. Because R, or “Roger” is the first letter in received, it confirmed that the message was understood. On the other hand, “Wilco” is a standard military abbreviation for “Will Comply”.The Guardian / Wikipedia

Image: No Time For Sergeants (Google Image Search, Warner Bros. Pictures)

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Father: the navigational aid (TACAN) on the Aircraft Carrier (a.k.a. Mother)

Poopie Pants: A versatile pair of pants made by cutting off the top half of a Poopie Suit and moving the zipper stop down like a normal pair of pants.

Hot Racking: Also a term for a sailor climbing into his rack to sleep, without showering.

Working Party: When there is loading of supplies, the Quarter Deck will call for a “working party” to be manned by each division of the ship, the number depending on the task.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines

Just for MARINES

Cadillac: Marine Corps issued boots. The predominant form of transportation for recruits and infantry Marines.

Call Out: To challenge another to a fight. Formalized by the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program it is supervised by a martial arts trainer. The rules are complex.

Call Sign: (Commtalk) The word identifier for a unit, aircraft or pilot.

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

SOF - Statement of Functionality

SOO - Statement of Objectives

SOW - Statement of Work

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAQ-136 - Electronic Attack Squadron 136: “Gauntlets” NAF Atsugi, Japan

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Edward Carmichael (1896-1978), The Doctor Who Stacked Weights on His Testicles

Edward Carmichael (1896-1978), The Doctor Who Stacked Weights on His Testicles: In 1933, either Herbert Woollard or Edward Carmichael had weights stacked on his testicles for the sake of science. It's not possible to say exactly which one of these London-based doctors bore the unusual burden, because while both participated in the experiment, only one of them lay on a table and suffered the scrotal compression. The other one did the stacking. They never revealed who served in which capacity — nor how they chose who was to be the unlucky one.

Their motive for this self-experiment was to better understand referred pain — the mysterious phenomenon in which injury to an internal organ causes pain to be felt elsewhere in the body. For instance, a heart attack may cause the sensation of pain in the arm. The two doctors noted that, of all the internal organs, the testicles were the most "accessible to investigation" and therefore seemed ideal for a study of referred pain.

During the experiment, the subject lay spread-eagled on a table, exposing his genitals. His colleague stooped over him and gripped the other man's scrotal sac, drawing it forward and gently cradling it in his hand. He then rested a scale pan on a single testis, and carefully piled weights onto the pan, recording the reaction of the subject with each increase of weight.

Their results, which appeared in the journal Brain, were rather spare on colorful details. They described the agony of the victim only in dry, clinical details. For instance, they reported that 300 grams of weight produced slight discomfort in the right groin, while 650 grams caused severe pain on the right side of the body. However, they did confirm that injury to the testicles does cause pain to be referred throughout the body. For instance, as the weight on the testicle increased to over two pounds, the subject reported pain "of a sickening character" not only in his groin but also spreading across his back.

Woollard and Carmichael conducted a number of variations of the experiment, in which they numbed nerves leading to the testes in order to determine how this would alter the sensation. This produced the interesting finding that, even though they eventually numbed what they believed to be every nerve leading to the testes, they couldn't entirely abolish the pain of compression. The testes are highly sensitive organs!

Their results remain the definitive word on this subject since no other scientists have ever repeated the experiment. (Mad Science Museum)

Photo: Jekyll and Hyde / Frankenstein laboratory


1948: (April 11, 1945 – August 8, 1970) was the eighth American Triple Crown winner

Sports 1948 Wikipedia

World Series Champions: The Cleveland Indians win four games to two over the Boston Braves

NFL Champions: Philadelphia Eagles win 7-0 over the Chicago Cardinals

All-America Football Conference Champions: Cleveland Browns win 49–7 over the Buffalo Bills

NBA Champions: Minneapolis Lakers win three games to one over the Rochester Royals

Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs win 4 games to none over the Detroit Red Wings

U.S. Open Golf: Ben Hogan

U.S. Open Tennis (Men/Ladies): Richard A. Gonzales / Margaret Osborne duPont

Wimbledon (Men/Women): Bob Falkenburg / Louise Brough Clapp

NCAA Football Champions: Michigan Wolverines win 49-0 over the USC Trojans

NCAA Basketball Champions: Kentucky win 58-42 over Baylor

Kentucky Derby: Citation becomes the 8th horse to win the U.S. Triple Crown

Image: 1948 - Citation win the U.S. Triple Crown

Famous Quotes 1948: “Tonight, we have a really big show (pronounced shoe)” ~ Ed Sullivan

Famous Quotes 1948 Wikipedia

● “Tonight, we have a really big show (pronounced shoe)”

~ Ed Sullivan”

● “Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”

~ lfonso Bedoya, as Gold Hat, in “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”

● “A diamond is forever”

~ DeBeers Time

● ““The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

~ Gandhi

● ““Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.”

~ Sir Fred Hoyle

Image: Ed Sullivan



● The very first bomb that the Allies dropped on Berlin in World War Two hit an elephant

● Months that begin with a Sunday will always have a “Friday the 13th”.

● Before Prohibition, Schlitz Brewery owned more property in Chicago than anyone else, except The Catholic Church.

Answer to Last Week's Test

Which U.S. president once lost White House china in a poker game?

Answer: Warren G. Harding hosted regular poker games at the White House and on one occasion lost a set of White House china from Benjamin Harrison’s Administration during one hand of poker.Wikipedia

Joke of the Day

Two bacteria walk into a bar.

The bartender says, “We don't serve bacteria here.”

And the bacteria says, “But we work here. We're staph.”