Gettysburg National Historical Park Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Gettysburg National Historical Park

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    Little Round Top....The Turning Point

    by keida84 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    During the Gettysburg Battle Gouverneur Kemble Warren was the Chief Engineer on General Meades staff. Warren realised that the strategic key to the entire battle was the hill called "Little Round Top."

    If the Confederate Army had occupied that hilltop, they could have placed cannons there to fire at will upon the entire Federal line. Once there, they would have been almost impossible to remove. This would have meant for example, that Robert E. Lee could have effectively removed the Union artillery from Cemetery Ridge before launching the notorious attack on the "Angle" which came to be known as "Pickett's Charge."

    If the Federal artillery had been removed, Pickett's Charge would have succeeded, and the South would have won the battle of Gettysburg. Warren's foresight prevented this from happening.

    The Two Professors
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    Touring Gettysburg

    by smschley Updated Apr 4, 2011

    I suggest that you start your tour of Gettysburg at the visitor center. When I was there it was housed in an old build with a museum in the bottom floor. I read that there are plans to create a new center but I don’t believe it’s completed yet. Regardless of which are open, finding it shouldn’t be a major problem, there are lots of signs.

    There are as many ways to explore our area as there are interests of the visitors who come here. For those interested in seeing the battlefields of Gettysburg, some relax on an air-conditioned bus listening to a recorded story. There are those who drive in their own car with an auto tape tour and others hire a Licensed Battlefield Guide to ride with them to explain the three famous days in 1863. The hearty take the National Park Service self-guided walking tours or join the crowd of a park ranger led tour. And the adventurists enjoy touring the 40 miles of battlefield roads by bicycle or galloping across the 5,700 acres of field by horseback.

    For myself I chose the audio tape, and while we got lost a few times, it made traveling with a child much easier than the other choices.

    There are so many sites that it’s tough to suggest a must-see activity. I’ve include a number of pictures in the Travelogue section to give you flavor of the sites.

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    Eisenhower Home

    by davecallahan Updated Mar 12, 2007

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    We probably would not have picked up on this little gem of an historic site except that someone in my wife's family donated a tree that is planted somewhere on the farm.

    The place is just what it says: the residence and farm of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
    The place is filled with plaques and artifacts about the life and presidency of the man.
    You get a guided tour of 4-5 rooms in the home and a walk around the property where they point out what the ex-president did on the farm and all the important people who visited him.
    You can self-tour yourself around the farm and see the fields and cattle and the farm equipment.

    There is even a short nature walk where can see some of the indigineous wldlife.
    It costs about $5 and the tour is less than an hour and there is a gift shop nearby where you can spend more time and money.

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    Gettysburg Battlefield

    by davecallahan Updated Mar 12, 2007

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    In the spirit of '76 (1976 that is), we started taking the kids around all the national battle sites in Massachussetts, New York, Virginia and sometime in 1978 we got around to Gettysburg,PA. I was really pumped at being able to see the places I had read about in books like Red Badge of Courage and The Blue and The Gray.
    And when we got there,to me it was exciting. But somehow my enthusiasm did not ooze out into the wife and kids....... "are we done yet?", "when're we gonna eat?", "it's just a statue"..... clanked in my ears.

    So I asserted my fatherly place in the family and bodily dragged them all from hill top to hill top. They were going to get to see this or else..... we hadn't come all this way just to sit in a Carroll's (precursor to McDonalds) or in the motel room.

    They did not appreciate it. But today, don't they drag their kids to see the battle re-enactments when they are at the local parks and don't they make a point of putting at least one monument-sight on their family vacations.
    Maybe they're doing it out of revenge or just maybe some of my enthusiasm DID rub off on them.

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    The Battlefield Remembers

    by KiKitC Written Oct 17, 2006

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    Under construction....

    One thing about visiting Gettysburg, there are enough plaques, dedications and area maps to identify which battlefields were what stage of the battle...

    But, when you visit these sites, and look closely, you can feel the anticipation, the fear, and the sorrow that bled onto these fields...

    Imagine yourself about to attack this hill...knowing it is heavily guarded...do or die...

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    The Gettysburg Address

    by keida84 Written Aug 24, 2005

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    November 19, 1863
    Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

    We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

    It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.

    Works of Abraham Lincoln

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    Gettysburg Battle Reenactment

    by keida84 Updated Mar 27, 2005

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    During the Battle of Gettysburg, (July 1,2 &3, 1863) over 50,000 men died on the fields in . Adams County, Pennsylvania.

    Every year in Gettysburg, PA that famous bloody battle is reenacted in detail by over 10,000 participants. It is a sight to behold as the reenacters take to the fields with musket, saber and cannon for those 3 days.

    Day one is considered to be the most brutal with hand-to-hand combat fighting. Fights of the 143rd, 149th and 150th Pennsylvania which diminished the Rebel onslaught or the conflict faced by North Carolina 26th regiment.

    Day 2 brings the action to the "Little Round Top" where ultimately the tide of the Civil War was turned.

    Day Three the highlight is "Pickett's Charge" where 6,000 men alone died at the "Angle" that day.

    Eachj day there also are demonstrations and exhibitions such as: Civil War medical procedures, civil war calvary, civil war spies, weddings and fashions form the 1860's and the civil war signal corp. There are also Artillery Explosion and Live Mortar Fire Competitions.

    Tickets: one day: $20.00 adults $10.00 youths
    Two days: $35.00 adults $18.00 youths
    Three days:$48.00 adults $24.00 youths

    The reenactments take place every July 1, 2, and 3.

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    Battlefield Map for July 1, 2, 3 1863

    by keida84 Updated Mar 6, 2005

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    This is a map that shows the Union lines (black) and the Confederate lines (white bars) on July 1, 2, 3.

    Click directly on the map to enlarge it.

    Notice Little Round Top and how the flank is unprotected? Thanks to Warren's reasoning and foresight the Confederate troops were unable to overtake the hill thus changing the outcome of the war.

    You can also see Pickett's charge and the Angle. (Center of the map below cemetery ridge)

    Click picture to enlarge
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    The Pennsylvania Monument Gettysburg, PA

    by keida84 Written Feb 19, 2005

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    Dedicated in 1910, the Pennsylvanina Monument lists the name of every Pennsylvanian who fought at Gettsyburg and notates those who died as well.

    It is the largest monument in the park and due to structural problems exacerbated by the weather for the last 95 year, the structure is in dire need of major repairs and could very well be closed to the public if it remains in its current state.

    "Poor is the nation having no heroes...Shameful is the one having them that forgets"

    The Pennsylvania Monument
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    Gettysburg...The Angle

    by keida84 Updated Feb 13, 2005

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    When we rounded the corner in Gettysburg National Historical Park (GNHP), I saw a copse of trees. I knew in an instant, without being told that this was in fact, The Angle.

    During the battle of Gettysburg, Pickett's charge took place on July 3, 1863. It was directed at the Angle, the vulnerable centerpoint of the Union line.

    The Union troops were positioned behind stone wall. As the Confederate troops came through, the Union with heavy artillery blasted them. The Confederates continued to push forward. Hand to hand combat ensued. The Confederates were cutoff and outnumbered.

    Pickett lost nearly 3,000 men. General Lee nonetheless ordered him to prepare for another Union assault, with the words, "General Pickett you must look to your division." Pickett replied, "General Lee, I have no division now."

    The copse of trees at the Angle are enclosed within a wrought iron fence. We found this slightly strange since everything in the park is out in the open. I must say there is an uncanny sense to those trees, like the shadowy willows inside an enclosed graveyard.

    During the 3 day battle of Gettsyburg over 53,000 men were lost. So many went unidentified and were buried in unmarked graves hence the invention of "Dog Tags".

    A Haunted Place..The Angle
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    Haunted House? Jennie Wade

    by keida84 Written Feb 11, 2005

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    Mary Virginia Wade was the only civilian killed during the viscious 3 day battle of Gettysburg. Jennie Wade was only 20 years old at the time of her death on July 3, 1863. She was baking bread when a bullet pierced two doors and struck her in the head killing her on the spot.

    She was originally buried in her sister's yard but then was transferred to a German church cemetery until she was finally interred in November of 1865 in the Evergreen Cemetery.

    It's no wonder that many visitors feel that the Wade house is haunted! Many claim to smell baking bread during their visit, while others report orbs and wisps across their pictures when developed. Some of the photos are on display at the house.

    Do you believe the house is haunted? I did not experience any paranormal activity there but we definitely decided Gettysburg has a lot of ghosts!

    Can you see the bullet hole?
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    Seeing the Battlefields

    by newyorkerman Written Jul 7, 2003

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    There are basically two ways to visit this site, either by private car or by bus tour. The battlefield is so large that it is advisable to travel this way, rather than on foot. Audio tapes which give a step-by-step introduction to the various spots highlighted throught the field were available for rental when I was there.

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    In Memory of...

    by KiKitC Written Oct 18, 2006

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    Under construction....

    The driving tour takes you through the battlefield, and everywhere you look, there are memorial monuments, plaques and more. You can begin to feel the numbers of lives lost...

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    Battlefield Monuments

    by KiKitC Written Oct 18, 2006

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    Under construction....

    Learn about the battle by reading the text on these monuments. Defending this hill required great leadership...

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    Defend that Hill

    by KiKitC Written Oct 17, 2006

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    Under construction....

    Visit both sides of the hill, look at the battle conditions from both sides.

    The hill offered an advantage....

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