As Canadians, Karen and I are severely lacking in the knowledge department about the battle of Gettysburg other than to say we have heard that there was a battle that took place in Gettysburg a long time ago, and that some guy named Lincoln gave a famous speech from here.
Neither of us are particularly interested in military battlefields, but we are following the Lincoln Highway and President Lincoln, who this road is named after, did make a speech here and something very historical took place here, so why not check it out.
Here we are sitting with a bronze statue of Lincoln, just outside of the visitor center.
Our first stop inside the visitor center is to the movie theatre where every 20 minutes they show a movie about the Battle of Gettysburg. Here we are introduced to the players, the history and the consequences of the battle. We learnt a lot in just that first 20 minutes, more than I probably ever learnt in history class way back when and had long since forgotten.
The Cyclorama, is a very large 360 degree oil painting depiction of Pickett’s Charge, a very pivotal moment in the battle. Of course no camera can capture a 360 degree oil painting in one shot, so here are just a few shots.
We had a quick bite to eat in the visitor store cafe, then went outside to catch the bus that will take us on our tour of the battlefield.
There are only 2 stops on the tour where you can get out and take photos, the rest of the tour is a drive by. The tour guide we had was excellent at telling the story of the 3 day battle that took place here on July 1,2 and 3 back in 1863.
We did stop at the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and got off the bus. Our guide told us about day one of the battle that took place here, told us about the cannons used, and the other guns and ammunition used in the battle. She told us about the military strategy and pointed out where the different armies were positioned.
This is the Peace Memorial with its eternal flame burning at the top.
This is a look out over part of the battlefield and a cannon (and our tour bus). Actually this is a replica cannon, all of the original cannons were requisitioned from every National Military Park during WWI to be melted down for the war effort.
As we drove along on our bus tour, the guide pointed out the various monuments and memorials placed throughout the battlefield. I captured a few of them through the bus windows, but I think we will come back tomorrow with our car and stop at a few of the more popular ones and get out to take photos. Here is the Virginia Memorial as we drove past.
There are approximately 1300 monuments, memorials and markers throughout the battlefield.
We got off the bus again at Little Round Top. This was the scene of the unsuccessful battle by the Confederate Troops against the Union Troops on day 2 of the battle.
Our tour concluded back at the Visitor Center where we then went back inside to visit the Museum. This is quite an extensive museum containing hundreds of thousands of items all related to the battle.
A few more photos. A bronze cannon.
A 34 star, 1861 flag of the United States.
There are many more photos on our FLICKR site, so just click on the link if you wish to see them.