In February I spent two weeks in York, PA on business. While there most of my time was filled with work related activities. Wanting to take a break, I took the advice of several coworkers and visited Gettysburg National Military Park one Saturday. Eight hours after arriving at the park I sat down for dinner at a local restaurant. I could have easily spent another day. There is so much material available about the battle that I will not provide a description here. Rather, I will post pictures and try to describe my impressions of the museum and battlefield.
Visiting the Museum at Gettysburg Battlefield is a must visit. Plan to spend some time there, the displays are instrumental in understanding the battle. The Park Service hosts lectures on a wide range of topics connected to the Civil War. During my visit I attended a lecture by Matt Atkinson, titled “The Controversial Court Martial of John Fitz Porter.” Ranger Atkinson was brilliant. The lecture was both informative and entertaining. History lovers of any age would enjoy their experience.
Exhibits are designed to both inform on the battle’s events, but also to connect you to the humanity of it’s participants. I recommend you view the Cyclorama. The painting is remarkable in its own right, but also helps to understand the battle. One of the pictures I have posted is a wall of images, photographs of people who participated in the battle. That wall of faces is something I thought about as I later toured the battlefield.
From the Museum:
From the Battlefield:
Unfortunately, I was unable to upload the video I shot looking across the battle field from the Confederate artillery positions on Oak Hill. It is from there and from Little Round Top that you get an idea of the battle’s scale. The front was a mile long. Looking across the open fields from artillery placements, remembering the wall of faces, I was stuck by the enormity of it. How terrible were the sights, the sounds, and the smells?
I will review the rest of the trip in a separate post. This should stand alone.
Link to a map of the Battle Field:
(All Images by History Present)