The Public Interest

Dulce et decorum est ....

David Brooks

Fall 1997

ON the second day of the battle of Gettysburg, three Confederate brigades launched an attack on a gap in the Union line on Cemetary Ridge. Union General Winfield Scott Hancock rode up to the spot and saw to his horror that the Southern soldiers would be able to pour right through and flood into the Union rear. He called upon the only Northern regiment at hand, the First Minnesota, to fill the soft spot in the line and hold off the enemy troops until more substantial reinforcements could be put in place. Hancock shouted over to the Minnesota commander William Colvill, and motioned to the Alabama flag advancing at the head of the Confederate force, “Colonel, do you see those colors? Take them.”

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