Breaking News: Newest Gettysburg “What If …”

What if Robert E. Lee unleashed a sharknado at Gettysburg?

Yes, I went there. No one’s ever suggested this before. I’m waiting for a book that tells us that it was left to Jeb Stuart to launch the sharknado at the right moment on July 3, and that’s why he fired a cannon in four directions … to call the sharknado over. Nothing happened, and we all know the rest of the story (maybe Tom Carhart will tell us more).

Just when you thought there was nothing new to learn about Gettysburg.

23 thoughts on “Breaking News: Newest Gettysburg “What If …”

  1. Ray Ortensie July 17, 2013 / 4:57 pm

    It almost worked during the War of 1812 and the burning of Washington……

  2. John Randolph July 17, 2013 / 6:31 pm

    One can imagine how parts of Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s speech in the 1993 film GETTYSBURG (superbly delivered by Jeff Daniels) to the group of deserters from the 2nd Maine just before Little Round Top might have been different:

    Chamberlain: “ … This regiment was formed last summer in Maine. There were a thousand of us then. There are less than three hundred of us now. All of us volunteered to fight for the Union, just as you did. Some came mainly became we were bored at home, thought this looked like it might be fun. Some came because we were ashamed not to. Many of us came because it was the right thing to do. Most of us, however, came to fight the sharks falling from the sky …”

    A soldier from the 2nd Maine (who looks a lot like Quint from JAWS) interrupts Chamberlain: “Argh, let me tell you about sharks, Chief. Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living… until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then …”

    • Ken Noe July 18, 2013 / 9:19 am

      Isn’t that from the novel “Sweet Southern Chondrichthyes?”

    • SF Walker July 21, 2013 / 9:46 am

      Hahaha! Yes, and then he says “I value my life a lot more than $13 a month, Colonel…I’ll find the sharks for $13, but I’ll catch ’em and kill ’em for $100…For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing!” The bad thing is there would have been no chalkboard for him to scratch…or maybe that’s a good thing.

  3. Jerry Desko July 17, 2013 / 7:39 pm

    The sharknado could not work at Gettysburg because there is in saltwater here. I have read though that Jeb Stuart captured several large fish tanks from a Union supply train but I think he used those for fresh oysters.

  4. Craig L. July 18, 2013 / 3:08 am

    Did Lee have compelling strategic reasons for attacking a well fortified position in a Union state or is it possible he was just following orders from Jefferson Davis, who it stands to reason would have been apoplectic after learning that Grant had seized all the slaves from his plantation in Vicksburg and declared them contraband?

  5. Steve Keating July 18, 2013 / 6:09 am

    I wasn’t aware that this site was having a drop in viewing that you had to resort to this. Pity.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 18, 2013 / 8:28 am

      The numbers over the year and month and even week prior to this would contradict your assessment of my reason for doing this, but thank you for sharing. It provoked you to comment, so I see it made an impact on you. 🙂

      • Steve Keating July 18, 2013 / 9:45 am

        Clearly my attempt at sarcasm missed the mark 🙂

        • Brooks D. Simpson July 18, 2013 / 11:46 am

          Not at all. I thought it an excellent play on the notion that “controversy” bloggers seek sensationalism to bolster hit counts because that gives them an unwarranted sense of satisfaction. 🙂

          We all know where I could have gone to achieve that if that was really my motive. 🙂 Too easy.

          Next: snarknado reenactments.

          • Michael Bartley July 19, 2013 / 6:28 pm

            Thanks for the weekend conversation starter Professor. I believe the Park Service will only allow living history engagements between visitors and sharks. The actual re-creation of the sharknado will be canceled due to safety concerns over the sheer number of fans and power chords it takes to blow that hill of dirt we found. That and the fact that we could only find 11 community theatre actors from all walks of life but mostly teachers and a crew of, on good day, three plumbers from Pittsburg. Also, so far we have a bucket of minnows. And anything bigger than carp will be difficult to obtain due to the Parks strict catch and release policy on sharks and other gilled creatures. So, well, there you have it.

          • Michael Bartley July 19, 2013 / 6:30 pm

            Btw, that gill clause obviously excludes bottom feeders.

  6. John Foskett July 18, 2013 / 8:25 am

    You’ll need to find Carhart first. I hear that he went into hiding after Eric vaporized his theory about the ‘real plan” at Gettysburg.

      • John Foskett July 18, 2013 / 3:30 pm

        Missed that – kind of like slicing the head off the rattler – it can still try to bite (key word = “try”)

  7. Bryant Henderson July 18, 2013 / 9:42 am

    I fully support anyone’s 1st Amendment right to free speech. I also greatly appreciate the large number of serious scholarly articles that at being shared on social media during this Sesquicentennial. IMHO, I cannot count this fantasy among them. Some may find humor and/or creativity in this. Just for the record, I don’t.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 18, 2013 / 11:48 am

      How is this any different from asking what would have happened at Gettysburg had Stonewall Jackson been around? Think about it.

    • John Foskett July 18, 2013 / 3:32 pm

      “Lighten up, Francis”.

  8. Tony July 18, 2013 / 11:44 am

    I think it’s obvious Joshua Chamberlain would have led a charge into the center of the sharknado, where his men, though swallowed whole, would have sliced themselves out with their bayonets.

    • John Foskett July 18, 2013 / 3:34 pm

      I’d make a slight modification. That’s how the Professor would have described it in his recollections.

  9. Mike Rogers July 18, 2013 / 3:56 pm

    Ah, Dr. Simpson – It seems you have too much time on your hands now that hockey season is over.

  10. Patrick Young July 24, 2013 / 9:12 pm

    The real question is: “How would the battle have turned out if General Hancock was caught sexting at 6 PM on July 1 by O.O. Howard.”

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