Battlefield Guide Services

Friday, August 27, 2010

Seventy-five years ago at the Bloody Angle... Then and Now

In 1935, the F&SNMP was not yet a decade old, but work was being done to optimize the visitor experience. A road was under construction to bring vehicles around the entire inside of the Mule Shoe Salient, soon to be named Bloody Angle Drive. A large orientation sign had been placed near the Angle, the first of many that would, over time, be installed, removed, rewritten, replaced by something better, and then, repositioned numerous times, only to now be declared obsolete. The black and white photograph below, was taken in September of 1935. Interestingly, the camera position is directly in front of the McGowan's Brigade Monument, installed in May of 2009. The view looks roughly 33 degrees north east.
As you watch the slide show, notice the subtle changes. The roadway, not yet completed in the 1935 view, is in today's shot, totally removed in favor of the more intimate, pedestrian experience.
The trees in this slide show are interesting to take note of, particularly the three oaks that dominate the right hand side of the image. The left and center of the three are still with us today, now probably at or approaching their own centennial anniversary. They flank the path that takes visitors to the bridge crossing at the monuments. The third oak, at far right, has been gone for many years, having stood near the orientation compass at the top of the rise. Also profoundly changing over the years are the trees of the distant horizon line, and barely visible in the oldest image. Today, they create a wooded buffer, separating the Park from its new subdivision neighbor to the north. Other trees that were permitted to grow out in the swales, beyond the trench line, can be seen achieving their stature on the landscape. Currently, some of those trees have borne the extremes of conditions and  have succumb.
Soon, the wooden bridge across the Bloody Angle will be removed. Time marches on.

Please click on the image, it will take you to a larger screen for greater detail viewing.
When the "Picasa" window opens, click the "Full Screen" button at upper left to easily see a rolling slide show of the five images that make up the "then and now" transition.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was great. It's one of the things that keeps bringing me back to this site.

Stephen Keating