Johann and Preston are serious students of tactics, and when I tell them I'm from Gettysburg, they immediately take out the map to discuss cavalry and artillery actions there.
Preston says the Confederate cavalry made a terrible mistake at Gettysburg. He talks about his hero, the brave horseman Wade Hampton III, who was wounded in a swordfight there against three men.
Johann describes the thick, black smoke and thundering cannons along the ridge where Union soldiers repelled the Confederate attack. All over the nation, in museums and history books, people still remember and take pride in what their state's soldiers did in that terrible battle near my home.