My daughter, who is not quite two, loves to yell out, “Chooz!”—which, depending on the context, can mean “shoes,” “juice,” or both. For better or worse, this is what I think of when I think of Confederate general Henry Heth who, on this day in 1863, looked down the road toward the town of Gettysburg and declared: “Chooz!”
In a report dated a few months later, Heth explained that “on the morning of June 30, I ordered Brigadier-General Pettigrew to take his brigade to Gettysburg, search the town for army supplies (shoes especially), and return the same day.”
Problem was, they didn’t find shoes so much as they found Union cavalry.
So does this mean that the American Podiatric Medical Association was right when it declared, in 1997, that the battle was fought over footwear? The APMA’s rock-solid historical credentials notwithstanding, maybe not. But don’t take my word for it. Read our entry on the controversy, and judge for yourself.
IMAGE: The perfectly coiffed and, no doubt, fashionable-of-foot Henry Heth (Library of Congress)