Falcon84
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Gettysburg: Any Advice

Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:54 pm

Thinking of taking my two oldest kids and my dad, and possibly my 'bro to Gettysburg late this summer. I've been there-but I was just a little kid then, and have no memory of it. Now that I'm serious in studying the Civil War and Gettysburg, I really want to go.

Any advice from anyone on here? What to take in? What to avoid? Best way to view the battlefield?

All help appreciated.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:58 pm

There are tour busses that go through the various battle sights; that's worth doing, if nothing else just to get aquainted with the lay of the land. There used to be a steel observation tower to view the entire area but it was torn down a few years ago.

Here's the official visitor's guide website:
http://www.gettysburgaddress.com/
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dl021
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:16 pm

Go to the National Park Ranger building first to get the layouts and take the tour.

The take a battlefield walk to see the important sights. Make sure to see the church where Buford held off the Confederates as well as the open field where Pickett's brigade made their charge and Little Round Top.

If possible go during July 1,2,3 because thats when the great re-enactment takes place not far from there at Table Rock Rd. in Gettysburg, detailing the three days of the battle.
http://www.gettysburgreenactment.com/info/
Its possibly the greatest reenactment/animated 4-D history lesson you can give your kids as well as yourself. I plan on being there for it either this year or next.

The Gettysburg National Battlefield tour is a moving experience, and when properly prepped for it the kids'll be impressed with what men did for their beliefs and causes so long ago, right here in the US.
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AGC525
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:19 pm

Falcon,

I reenact and visit there a few times a year. That's good that you'll visit late summer, the heat out in the battlefields can get rediculous. The best way to see the battlefields is up to you. You can of course do it yourself in your car, (they also have a tape or CD you can play to guide you) bus tours, the Park service does it directly, and I've seen plenty of folks ride bikes - if your that energetic.

Some of my favorite places are Devils Den, Pitzers Woods (where I've actually had the oppertunity to camp at!), and of course The copse of trees that over look the field of Pickett's charge.

Nothing really to avoid, but you may find it better to park and walk around the center of town, parking and traffic can be a mess. Make sure to stop in the little shops you see along the main roads of town (York, Baltimore, and Steinwehr streets). My favorite shop is Greystone's American History - tons and tons of books. For fine dining, eat at the Dobbin House, in the basement is the Springfield tavern, a quaint little bar and resturant that actually has a natural spring that runs through it. Another good place to eat is O'Rourkes, almost across the street.

As for hotels, most sit just outside of town, and are a short drive. If your thrifty, you may find cheaper rates in Thurmont, Md, but it's about a 15 minutes ride to town. Bed and breakfast's are another option, there is a lot of them and not much more than the hotels.

If your studying the civil war you'll be able to tell which stores are interesting, and one that are just tacky. I'm hoping to be there in May sometime. Let me know if you need anything.

Here's a good link for local info:

http://www.gettysburg.com

On a side note, I'm a volunteer firefighter and the Nation Fallen Firefighters Memorial is located in Thurmont, Md at the National Fire Academy. It's a very somber and fitting tribute to fallen brothers, if you have time you may find it interesting.
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dl021
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:23 pm

AGC...will you be there in July?
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Falcon84
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:29 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 2):
If possible go during July 1,2,3 because thats when the great re-enactment takes place not far from there at Table Rock Rd. in Gettysburg, detailing the three days of the battle.

Would love to, but I was hoping to non-rev to ATL just before Easter, and that got nowhere, and since Gettysburg is a bit of a drive, I'd rather fly to MDT, to be honest, and on that weekend, I expect flight to be full-as well as the park.

We're looking at going like the 2nd week in August.

As for lodging, it's damn expensive in Gettysburg, and I noticed cheaper fares in places like Chambersburg and Carlisle. I'll have to investigate it further.
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AGC525
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:10 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 4):
AGC...will you be there in July?

No, I tend to find the bigger reenactments like that to be more of a "dog and pony show" for us. I perfer to do the smaller ones, things run more smoothly and I think they're fun. Rule of thumb is the bigger the event, the more pain in the butt it is. Now, as a spectator would be a different story. That's just my preference.
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Cadet985
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:11 am

Use caution if you or anyone in your party is allergic to bees. When I was there a few years ago, places like Little Round Top and Devil's Den had several beehives around them. Also, it is still possible you may find spent ammo there. Unfortunately, there are laws against keeping any you find as a souvenir - it must be turned over to park rangers. All in all, I had a pretty good time when I was there, and I hope you do too.

Marc
 
dl021
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:01 am

Quoting AGC525 (Reply 6):
Rule of thumb is the bigger the event, the more pain in the butt it is. Now, as a spectator would be a different story.

I felt the same way about parades in the Army. Giant pain in the ass for us in the things, but terrific to watch from the grandstands with a lemonade and shade.

That said the re-enactment around July will include demonstrations and talks by historians as well as individual performances by actors/re-enactors who will perform the roles of Lincoln issuing the Address, as well as Picket, Lee, and the other major players.

If Falcon, or anyone, can work it out it is an incredibly interesting experience. I've seen the ones at Kennesaw Mnt and up at Chicamauga near Chattanooga, plus one at Camden in SC for Revolutionary war reenactors.
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Tom in NO
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:25 am

We passed a re-enactment a few weeks ago while on a Saturday drive.

Civil War sites are so cool. We've been to Shiloh, Chickamauga/Chattanooga, Kennesaw Mountain, Vicksburg, Stones River over the past few years.

Tom at MSY
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Newark777
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:31 am

I've been to Gettysburg many times, more times than I can remember, and it really is a special place. The one can't-miss place is Devil's Den and the Little Big Horn, located right next to each other. Also, make sure to read "Killer Angels" before you go, it will give you a great idea of what you are seeing, and you will get a lot more out of the trip.

Harry
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PHLBOS
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:55 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 10):
The one can't-miss place is Devil's Den and the Little Big Horn, located right next to each other.

I believe you meant Little Round Top not Little Big Horn (where Custer's Last Stand took place).
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Newark777
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:10 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 11):
I believe you meant Little Round Top not Little Big Horn

Oh crap, I can't believe I said that! I guess I'm just in western mode, since I will be visiting Little Big Horn in about two weeks. Oops.  Smile

Harry
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SlamClick
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:54 am

In the museum at the visitor center there is an oft-overlooked display that I found memorable. It is downstairs, in a kind of dark area in the back. It is a display of artifacts dug up by people plowing the fields in the years following the battle. There are many fused bullets - bullets that collided in the air and fell to earth fused together. Nothing I read or saw there so impressed me with the astonishing amount of gunfire at that place.

The unit memorials are too big and there are too many of them. The great stone spires are, themselves, historical artifacts now, but they are intrusive.

I would look for a map of the battlefield because almost all the roads are one-way! You can drive miles out of your way if you take the wrong way in to some of the areas of interest.

Go with, or walk with people who will share your sense of the place. It is a stirring experience but I would not like to share it with loud, boisterous people.
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AGC525
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:10 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 13):
There are many fused bullets - bullets that collided in the air and fell to earth fused together. Nothing I read or saw there so impressed me with the astonishing amount of gunfire at that place.

A little math:
Confederate Troops: 75,000
Federal Troops: 95,000

Soldiers were typically given 60 rounds for battle, so you figure times three days your looking at about 30,600,000 rounds being fired.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 13):
I would look for a map of the battlefield because almost all the roads are one-way! You can drive miles out of your way if you take the wrong way in to some of the areas of interest.

http://data2.itc.nps.gov/parks/gett/ppMaps/GETTmap1%2Epdf

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 13):
Go with, or walk with people who will share your sense of the place. It is a stirring experience but I would not like to share it with loud, boisterous people.

I'll be taking a friend of mine and his wife there for the first time in May, I can't wait.
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MD-90
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:41 am

I'd rather go to Vicksburg.

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Falcon84
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:39 am

Gettysburg is one of 4 "hallowed ground", so to speak, places I'd like to visit in my lifetime. The other three are Normandy, Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima, although I doubt much is own Iwo. But since my mom-in-law had a 19 year old uncle die there, I'd like to see it, just to check it out.

I think, with my interest in the Civil War, I'd have to add Antitem and Chickamunga, at the least, to that list.

Btw, I've been to two other battlefields: Stones River and Kennesaw Mountain. Both were self-tour things, and it's really hard, for me at least, to get a feel of a battle on my own. I'd rather have a guided tour, that helps locate what is going on.
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Newark777
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:15 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
I'd rather have a guided tour, that helps locate what is going on.

This is what it says on the Gettysburg website:

The park also offers a Licensed Battlefield Guide Service for private battlefield tours in your own vehicle or with a guide on a tour bus (seasonally offered). Commercial bus tours of the park are available through companies near the park. A wide variety of interpretive programs are offered April through October, but the core season for programs is mid-June through mid-August. Subjects include the three days of battle, the National Cemetery, the Gettysburg Address, and general Civil War related topics. There are walking tours, bicycle tours, campfire programs, and living history demonstrations.

http://www.nps.gov/gett/pphtml/planyourvisit.html

Harry
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UALPHLCS
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:16 am

When I'm not in here te other forum I visit is Military History Online Which has a great forum for the Civilwar including a room devoted to Gettysburg.

I will be leading a tour sponsored by my alma mater there on May 27th. I've been to Gettysburg more times than I can count. If you want to bone up on the battle read They Met at Gettysburg By Edward Stackpole, and Hallowed Ground a walking tour of Gettysburg by McPherson.

McPherson teaches at Princeton and is the leading CW scholar in the US. His walking tour is a great tour for self guides.
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dl021
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:23 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
Kennesaw Mountain. Both were self-tour things, and it's really hard, for me at least, to get a feel of a battle on my own. I'd rather have a guided tour, that helps locate what is going on.

Next time you're in ATL let me know and I'll take you around the Kennesaw battlefield and walk you through the sequences, as well as show you the Stone Mountain battlefield, where as a kid I would find Minie balls and buttons.

While we're at it I'll show you both engines and the railroad tracks from the great train chase where the Union raiders stole a train and fled north only to end up dead or in Andersonville.

Ian
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tbar220
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:32 am

Are there any good in depth websites on the U.S. Civil War?
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dl021
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:44 pm

Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:45 pm

Advice on Gettysburg ? Fight on the Union side.
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gkirk
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:47 pm

Err....Getty out of there?  duck 
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777DadandJr
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RE: Gettysburg: Any Advice

Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:05 pm

I live only about 1/2 hour from Gettysburg. It's a nice place to visit. Lots of history to be sure.
One thing you don't want to miss is lunch at Dobbin House. Good eats! there is a resturant upstairs, and a Tavern downstairs. Go downstairs. Much more relaxed and terrific sandwiches!

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