Gettysburg Battlefield, PA

The day after Thanksgiving we were full of turkey and in need of an adventure that did not involve getting trampled buying a television set at Walmart. A few years ago we made the day-after Thanksgiving trip to Old Town Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell, and Constitution Hall and had a blast so we tried to do something educational again this year.

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Gettysburg is a short 1 hour and 10 minute drive from Baltimore (if there is no traffic like the day-after Thanksgiving!) and an important memorial and museum of the turning point in the American Civil War.

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Abe Lincoln sits next to the live lute player outside the museum:

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The Gettysburg Battlefield Museum is filled with displays of uniforms, battlefield metals, musical instruments used in military bands, and photographs and historical memories of the battle and its participants.

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The Battle of Gettysburg  was fought from July 1-3, 1863 and was ultimately won by the North and was deemed a turning point in the American Civil War as General Lee’s troops had to move back south through Maryland following defeat. However the lives lost at Gettysburg was the most bloody of the entire war.

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The museum had a movie which provided the background and battlefield positions of Gettysburg.  It was also narrated by Morgan Freeman which made it that much more intriguing. After the movie, participants were ushered into a strange circular room (called the Cyclorama) covered in a huge mural of the battlefield. Narration and lights provided the story once again. It was a little strange and a bit underwhelming after Morgan Freeman so we moved onto the museum to read and look at the displays.

A small section of the intricate mural:

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The famous opener: Four score and seven years ago, The Gettysburg Address was given on the battlefield by President Abraham Lincoln about 4 1/2 months after fighting ended. There is a marked driving route around the spread out battlefield with monuments memorializing different states and regimens.

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Gettysburg, PA is big part of American Civil War history and a great place to learn about the American Civil War. I’m glad we skipped Black Friday nuttiness and instead expanded our minds a bit.

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Reader Question for the Americans: Did you have to memorize the Gettysburg Address in school? Emancipation Proclamation? Both?

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1 Response

  1. Chaitali says:

    I haven’t been to Gettysburg since I was a kid! I think we did have to memorize the Gettysburg Address but not the Emancipation Proclamation.

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