Sunday, June 24, 2012

When You've Gotta Go.... should consider your sectional loyalties carefully.

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

You probably all know by now that I am an avid runner. Yesterday I ran the battlefield at Gettysburg - the College to Cemetery Hill, along the Union line on Cemetery Ridge to Little Round Top, down the hill to the extreme right flank of the Confederate line, the entire Rebel line along Seminary Ridge to the Lutheran Seminary, then I turned around and reversed the route. Suffice it to say, I really got to see the battlefield.

On foot, you begin to notice things you might otherwise miss touring this ground by car. Here is my observation from yesterday. The Union line has three separate restroom areas - two portable and one permanent - and running water with a drinking fountain. The Confederate line has nothing.

This could mean a number of things. In a practical sense one could dismiss any sectional implications simply because the facilities are located in high-traffic areas - on either slope of LRT and smack in the middle of Cemetery Ridge by the Pennsylvania Memorial. Also, for those partaking in the guided tour by car, all three restrooms appear closer to the end of the tour...when people might need them most. But I am not convinced that practicality is at work here. Plenty of people stop and spend a good deal of time at the Virginia Memorial and other spots on the Confederate side...and there are picnic areas and other gathering places as well. And still - no facilities.

From a Confederate perspective - maybe northerners are of a weaker constitution and would need access to fancy-schmancy restrooms and running water that a southerner could do just fine without. On the other hand, if you are of the Federal persuasion, perhaps such luxuries are a way to entice misguided Lost Causers over to the universe of righteous triumph...where they could see the error in their ways while enjoying indoor plumbing. But I wonder if this is just a proverbial middle finger gestured in the southerly direction at a national (read: United States) park. Still rallying behind treason? On board with a slaveholders' war? You can use the woods, Johnnie Reb. Watch out for ticks and have a nice day.




  1. Actually there are plenty of port-a-potties at the Pitzer Woods stop on Confederate Avenue for all the Johnny Rebs. It's just a ways down from the Virginia monument. I've done a living history camp there and used them myself.

  2. Thanks for the comment and the correction. Yes indeed...a number of other people alerted me to the restrooms in Pitzers woods. Still...they are hard to find - perhaps I need to revise my theories slightly :)
    I found another as well - on the hike following the 15th Alabama advance on LRT, there is a portable toilet near the US Sharpshooters monument...about halfway across the field. Sure, it is next to a Federal unit's position - but I suppose either side could claim it.