Gettysburg, PA, September 27-28, 2013
28.09.2013 70 °F
Yesterday we all made the long (67 miles) trip to Gettysburg and got set up. The four of us went to the National Park Visitor's Center to check it all out. Wow, was it different from the last time we were here! There is a brand new Visitor's Center with Museum, Cyclorama, Film and Bookstore and it is beautiful. We decided to take the bus tour and added on the Museum, Film and Cyclorama package. The movie was a good one about the battle followed by the cyclorama. What a wonderful representation of the battle it is. The painting was originally done in 1883 and in 2008 it was finished being refurbished and brought to the new Visitor's Center. They added 14 feet of sky and a diorama in the front, so it is completely life like. The show that goes with it is great. The last time we were here there was an electric map, as well, but that has been sold to a private individual. This year was the 150th anniversary of the battle, so much had been done in preparation of the celebrations. Of course, this is where President Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address, also.
Today we took our 2 hour bus tour with a terrific guide and learned so much we thought our heads were going to explode! Luckily that hasn't happened yet. The tour stopped at a number of important places along the route and we really got a feel for the conditions and the battle.
The Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest of the war with over 52,000 casualties over the course of the three day event. That is wounded, dead and captured. The largest number of casualties came from New York, perhaps because the largest number of soldiers came from New York. Incredibly, only one civilian was killed in Gettysburg, Jennie Wade, who was hit by a bullet that went through 2 doors before it hit her.
After our tour we took the free bus into town and had lunch at the Dobbin House in the Springhouse Tavern downstairs. The Dobbin House was built in 1776 and has had many uses since then. Lunch was delicious and the atmosphere was warm and cozy. The Dobbin House had been a stop on the Underground Railroad, as well.
After lunch we tackled the museum and it, too, was wonderful. The number of artifacts was incredible and there are so many more being carefully preserved in Washington D.C. There was also a section about what happened to the people and the town after it was all over. Imagine a town littered with thousands of human and horse remains, thousands of pounds of manure and summertime heat! They say the stench was unbelievable, along with the flies.
The weather has been pretty nice, cloudy in the mornings and sunny in the afternoons. Today the sky didn't clear up until almost 5 pm though. High 60s, low 70s for temps.