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I recently visited Gettysburg and found Pardee Field where Bessie’s brother, Ario Pardee, led his men (Pennsylvania 147th) into battle on the 3rd day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 3rd, 1863.  There is a huge granite boulder in the middle of the field, with brass letters ‘Pardee Field’ on one side, and a description of the battle on a plaque on another side. (I collected wild flowers from the field and left them on the Pardee monument.)

It was a decisive battle, the aim being to secure the stone wall on Culp’s Hill on the eastern side of the battle site.   There were other fierce battles going on at the same time, all of them depending for success on who could keep control of the stone walls – the only protection from canons and gunfire in an otherwise open area.  Later in the day, Ario’s men joined General George Meade’s troops in a desperate fight for the land between Cemetery Ridge and Seminary Ridge.  Although the Union troops were outnumbered (General Robert Lee led 25,000 Confederate troops against Meade’s 20,000) the Union had control of the high ground and Lee was defeated, leading to the final retreat of the Confederates.

Margaret Whitehead



Pardee Field



The crucial stone wall at Pardee Field


 Description of the battle at Pardee Field


List of Ario’s men