Union Victory in Battle of Gettysburg Marks Turning Point in Civil War

A primary care physician with multiple certifications, Dr. Kevin R. Buckwalter practices medicine in Las Vegas, Nevada. In his spare time, Kevin R. Buckwalter enjoys outdoor activities such as fishing, camping and hiking. He also travels and studies the Civil War.

Students of Civil War battles will come into contact with a few particularly well-known engagements such as Bull Run, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg. The last battle in particular has gained fame as a major turning point in the war.

The Battle of Gettysburg took part in the aftermath of the Confederate victory at Chancellorsville in Virginia. General Robert E. Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania sought to seize the strategic initiative and force the Union onto a defensive footing, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the position of Northerners who wanted the Lincoln administration to pursue a negotiated peace.

In the initial skirmishes of the battle, the Confederates pushed Union cavalry and infantry out of Gettysburg and into the hills to its south. Union forces under General George Meade dug in and withstood courageous but ultimately futile assaults by the rebel forces culminating in Pickett’s Charge, a failed frontal assault by the Confederate infantry. By inflicting more casualties than they received and forcing Lee’s forces to retreat to Virginia for the second time, Meade and his army won a strategic and tactical victory for the Union.

Four months after the battle, President Lincoln delivered the famous (and famously short) Gettysburg Address commemorating the thousands of federal troops who died in the battle.


Camping and Fishing in the Lake Mead National Recreational Area

Board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, Kevin Buckwalter, MD, treats patients at his office in Henderson, Nevada. When not attending to his patients, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys hiking, camping, and fishing at nearby Lake Meade.

The lake is impounded behind Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, and regarded as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. Built over a period of five years in the early 1930s, it accomplished three main objectives: it controlled the often deadly flooding of the Colorado River, it provided much-needed irrigation for crops throughout the Southwest, and it supplied hydroelectric power. In addition, when the government created Lake Mead, the largest reservoir by volume in the United States, it also established what is now known as the Lake Mead National Recreational Area, a park of unparalleled beauty and numerous recreational opportunities.

Visitors can stay at several campgrounds operated by the U.S. Park Service within the park’s borders, as well as several others operated by concessionaires. They accommodate both tents and recreational vehicles. In addition, backcountry camping is available throughout the park in areas accessible by car, horseback, boat, or backpacking. Vehicle camping is limited to designated areas, and vehicles are not permitted to leave the roadways. Horseback and backpack camping is permitted throughout the park except in ecologically sensitive and developed areas.

Boating and fishing are favorite forms of recreation on Lake Mead, which straddles the border between Arizona and Nevada, and on Lake Mohave, which is downstream from Hoover Dam and inside the park’s boundaries. The necessary licenses and stamps are available at marinas in the park. Both lakes are home to numerous species of fish, many of them introduced, including large-mouth and striped bass, channel catfish, crappies, and bluegills.

Combat and Reconciliation at Gettysburg

Kevin Buckwalter, MD, earned his medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine. Board certified in family medicine, he practices in Henderson, Nevada, where he treats patients of all ages. When he is not attending to his professional responsibilities, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys several recreational activities; among other interests, he is an avid student of the American Civil War.

One of the most well-known battles of the Civil War took place in the first three days of July 1863 at the southern Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. Confederate General Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia into southern Pennsylvania, where he hoped to secure fresh provisions and threaten northern cities like Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Union General George G. Meade, leading the Army of the Potomac, kept his forces between Lee and Washington and advanced to confront Lee, who consolidated his forces around Gettysburg. The battle featured some of the most brutal episodes of the war, as well as some of the most human.

Much of the original battlefield has been preserved or restored, and the entire town is a very popular tourist destination. Of the many individual attractions on the battlefield, Devil’s Den and Spangler’s Spring are always among the most popular.

Devil’s Den was one of the areas of fiercest fighting. A small ridge about 500 yards west of Little Round Top, it contains numerous large boulders and rock formations. On the second day of the battle, Devil’s Den was the site of several clashes involving thousands of troops. By day’s end, the area had been captured by the Confederates, but at a great cost; they suffered about 1,800 casualties to the Union’s 800.

A gentler story arising from the Battle of Gettysburg is the legend of Spangler’s Spring, another scene of ferocious combat. Control of the spring passed back and forth during the battle, but legend has it that during the night of July 2, troops from both sides observed a temporary and informal truce while they refilled their canteens.

Visiting the Civil War Battlefield at Antietam

A physician by profession, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys spending his free time learning about the Civil War. An avid traveler when pursuing his interests, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys studying the War onsite at its great battlefields.

One not-to-be-missed location for Civil War buffs is Antietam in Maryland. The site of the bloodiest one-day battle in American history, it is now a tranquil park with rolling cornfields and quaint country fences. However, in September of 1862, more than 23,000 troops met their violent ends on these fields. The site honors the fallen with a daily half-hour documentary shown at the battlefield’s visitor center. Ranger-guided or self-guided auto tours are on offer. Visitors can also take battlefield walks with the park rangers or self-guided hikes through a variety of the field’s key spots.

Off of the battlefield itself, visitors can learn about Civil War medicine at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum, located in the home where Union Commander General George B. McClellan headquartered himself during the battle. Now, visitors can see a re-created operating room as well as the implements that surgeons used when treating the battle’s wounded.

A Brief Biography of Ulysses S. Grant by Dr. Kevin Buckwalter

Born on April 27, 1822, Ulysses S. Grant grew up in Georgetown, Ohio, where he helped out on the family farm. Despite having little interest in the military, Grant attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and became a Second Lieutenant for the 4th U.S. Infantry in St. Louis, Missouri. There he met and married Julia Boggs Dent. He stayed in the military until 1854 and then left to begin his own farm.

Once the Civil War began, however, Ulysses S. Grant once again joined the military and became a Brigadier General almost immediately. He became Lieutenant General in March 1864 and eventually led the Union forces to victory. After the war ended, Grant became the Secretary of War before being nominated as the presidential candidate by the Republican Party. He became President of the United States but is considered one of the worst presidents in U.S. history as a result of several scandals that prevented him from making any major accomplishments.

After leaving office, Grant traveled throughout Europe. He lent his son money to begin a brokerage firm, but the firm went bankrupt and Grant lost all his money. He ultimately began writing his memoirs to earn money for his wife before he died on July 23, 1885.

About the author: Dr. Kevin Buckwalter greatly enjoys learning about the Civil War. Additionally, he serves as a physician in Las Vegas.

The Battle of Fort Sumter, by Dr. Kevin Buckwalter

Dr. Kevin Buckwalter is a physician in Las Vegas. When Dr. Buckwalter is not engaged in his medical practice, he enjoys studying the Civil War. In the following, he discusses the battle of Fort Sumter.

April 12, 1861 represents a crucial day in the history of the United States. It marked the beginning of the American Civil War. Although the issues that led to the conflict had plagued the nation for years, the first shot of the war occurred at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

A Union stronghold, Fort Sumter had become the center of controversy two days earlier, when Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard demanded that the Union garrison surrender. The North refused, and the Confederacy fired upon the Fort. The battle lasted for about 34 hours before the engagement ended. Although soldiers fired thousands of bullets, the only creature to die from direct bombardment was a mule. A single Union artilleryman was killed when a cannon misfired. Nevertheless, the Northern troops gave control of Fort Sumter to the South, and the Civil War had officially begun.

Diagnosing and Treating Ear Infections

By Kevin Buckwalter, M.D.

As a family practice doctor in Henderson, Nevada, I treat a wide range of health issues in patients of all ages. Ear infections are one of the most common medical issues among children under the age of six. These infections can take many forms, including external otitis or “swimmers ear,” which affects the outer ear and ear canal. When a young child has an outer ear infection, it is identifiable by an earache that becomes more acute when the outer earlobe is moved. While ear discharge is a symptom of external otitis, fever is not, and the condition is generally treatable through antibiotic ear drops.

The most common type of ear infection is otitis media, which involves infection of the middle ear and often results in fluids filling the middle-air space behind the eardrum. Middle ear infections may occur within a week or two of a child experiencing upper respiratory tract infection. If the fluid becomes infected, pain and fever may develop. Symptoms of this condition among infants include irritability, continuous crying, trouble sleeping, and tugging at the ears. Parents who suspect their infant has such an infection should bring the child to a hospital or clinic immediately. The physician will examine the eardrum for redness, pus buildup, and other signifiers of otitis media. While middle ear infections may get better on their own, it is generally best to treat them with an antibiotics regimen. Unfortunately, resistance to antibiotics is growing in the United States. This is particularly true among children who have been prescribed antibiotics recently and those who are exposed to other children who have recently undergone antibiotics treatments. During the recovery phase, keep in mind that it is common for children to retain fluid behind the eardrum for one to three months. Otitis interna, which affects the inner ear, is relatively uncommon. As this part of the ear contains sensory organs essential to hearing and balance, a common symptom of its inflammation is vertigo.

Risk factors for ear infections that parents should be aware of include changes in climate or altitude, pacifier use, recent illnesses, exposure to cigarette smoke, and daycare attendance. Ear infections are most common during the winter months, when the weather is cold. They are also relatively common among infants who spend significant time drinking from sippy cups while lying on their back.

About the Author: A family practice physician, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter completed his M.D. at the Ross University School of Medicine and served his medical residency at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.