Twins at Gettysburg

Since Ruth and I (Rebecca) are twins, I notice when I trip across other twins in history. In my reading about the battle of Gettysburg, I have found four sets of twins. I wonder how many more there were in the two armies. The following stories are hard for me to read, but they serve as a good reminder of what is important. We take so much for granted–possessions, friends, family, life. Take a moment to think about what is really important today.

On July 1, 1863, the 26th North Carolina marched into battle with three sets of twins in its ranks. By nightfall, after heavy fighting with the Iron Brigade, five of the six men lay dead.

On July 2nd, another set of twins advanced with the 5th Texas up the slopes of Little Round Top. As they came within 20 yards of the Union lines, one of the brothers was hit. His twin caught him and lowered him to the ground, and then a bullet struck the second brother and he, too, fell dead.

For the two of us, being a twin means having someone who shares your thoughts, feelings, and passions, and who will always understand you. I cannot imagine the anguish of losing my “other half.” What horror must the twin of the 5th Texas have felt at seeing his brother fall dead! And what must that last twin of the 26th North Carolina have felt on the night of the 1st, knowing that he was the only one remaining out of six?

If you are a twin—or even just a sibling—cherish that relationship. If you and your twin do not get along, seek out a way to heal the connection. It is a special blessing to be a twin—a blessing that can end at any moment, with the suddenness of a bullet. Don’t waste the time you have with each other.

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