Gettysburg

America’s most famous battlefield and one the places we visited this past weekend. The group consisted of my parents, Emily, and myself. Emily had never been and my parents hadn’t been since they were young. I was there in 2006 on my way to Pittsburgh, but with no money I just walked around and didn’t really take in all of the extras.

We started by watching the History Channel’s special about Gettysburg, This twenty minute presentation took the viewer through some of the issues the United States was facing at the time of the Civil War before focusing in on the elements of this three day battle. An element that was odd to this battle is that the Confederate troops came from the North while the Union soldiers were coming up from the South. Robert E. Lee wanted to inflict fear on the North and was marching to attack Harrisburg when he became aware of the Potomac Army near Gettysburg.

The battle lasted three days and encompassed twenty-five square miles around the town. One could spend their entire life studying the battle and learning about the key individuals. However, this was really the first time for all of us at the site – probably not the last. We decided to invest in the audio tour.

Throughout Gettysburg there is road that winds through the major locations of the battle. These are numbered and the audio guide gives the listener background about each location. For example, one of the stops is at the Virginia memorial. Sitting atop it is a statue of Robert E. Lee. The audio explains in great detail how is was an agonizing decision for him to side with the Confederates after serving 30+ years in the Union Army – should he side with the United States or with his home state of Virginia. Eventually, h

is estate was taken by the United States government and is now Arlington National Cemetery (See here for additional information).

The final stop was the location of Pickett’s Charge. The oratory description with the background sounds made you feel like you were there. It talked about 6,000 Union Soldiers opening fire on those charging up the hill – think about trying to charge the end-zone at a pro football game with everyone shooting at you. I can’t believe some of these people did this and how many people died or were injured during the Civil War.

-Rob

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~ by pagespages on August 23, 2008.

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