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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gettysburg

We've been looking forward to Gettysburg for a year and it was even better than we'd hoped!  We visited many battlefields and Revolutionary and Civil War sites last year as we started up the East coast, but we turned west (to help in Joplin) before we hit PA.  So we were anxious to see Gettysburg and continue our understanding of the Civil War, especially after Fredericksburg and Bull Run (Manassas).  It's amazing to learn about it on the actual grounds and feel history come alive.
Thanks to a great tip on the Fulltime Families Facebook group, we learned about free Civil War walking tour podcasts!  We downloaded some onto an iPhone and Kindle Fire, pushed play at the same time, and had a virtual guide walking with us, in stereo, telling us where to look and what happened at different sites.  It was SO neat.
At Pickett's Charge, we could picture thousands of Confederates charging across the field towards the stone wall we sat on. There were monuments and informational markers everywhere, helping to tell the stories.
 
 
At one point during our walk at Devil's Den (which blew my mind as it was nothing like I pictured for Gettysburg being very hilly and rocky, unlike the open fields of other sites), the guide said now you can follow this path to our next point or you can brave the path the Confederate soldiers took and make your way through the brush and over the rocks to the waiting Union soldiers.  Of course our brave boys chose the hard path, taking a stick gun for protection.  What an experience!
 
As we were leaving, a Confederate soldier in full uniform looked over the battlefield.  That was quite surreal. 
At the visitor center, we posed with Abe, picked up a map and the kids did the Junior Ranger program to earn patches.  While I'm sure they are wonderful, we didn't do the museum or movie because we couldn't bring ourselves to pay for entry in a taxpayer funded national park run by a separate foundation.  But I'm sure they're well done.  We walked to one site, then drove to the others, and fully enjoyed our day exploring Gettysburg.  We could (and may) spend many more days there, especially later as the reenactments and living history events start up.

More [dumb iPhone] pics... (I still can't believe I forgot my good camera!!)

3 comments:

The Zavocki's said...

Thanks for the great info, we are planning on going there before the rally too.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, that really looks like fun! It'll be awhile before we get a chance to see it but it's definitely on my list.

davidl340 said...

nice, hopefully be heading there in a couple months