Monday, August 10, 2015


If you want a historical or education field trip and find yourself heading to Gettysburg, these places are definitely on my list of places worth visiting:

1. Gettysburg Diorama - If you like miniatures, you will LOVE this. If you need to see the large picture or no little about the Battle of Gettysburg, this exhibit not only explains it very well, but brings the little details to life.

Loved the spreaded cotton balls for the smoke...from a distance it looked very realistic!
Not only did they have canyons in the fields, they also had soldiers
(from both sides) taking down fences.
A true but sad fact.

2. Gettysburg National Park - a tour Yes. You can drive yourself around and look at a book and look at monuments, but here's some of the special things you're learn with a tour guide.
This is one of the US regiments that fought the 26th NC Regiment. (We hired a personal tour guide rather than deal with the lift on the tour bus, and he pointed out some extra things for us.) Almost everyone in this regiment were school teachers.

After the war, vets from both sides returned to the site and showed exactly where their units had camped and fought. As a result, most regiments have foot markers in each corner of the square where they fought. US regiments also have their own monuments, as opposed to the South, who only have State monuments. This is the far left corner of North Carolina's marker.
Bobby's great-grandpa had six older brothers who fought in the war. Three of them never came home. One died in Gettysburg, fighting with the 26th North Carolina Regiment. From the marker showed earlier, his regiment had to climb over three such fences while fighting. (In other words, they crossed through three different farms trying to conquer their assigned area.)  I look at an area that is so pristine and beautiful, and find it heart-breaking that it was one of many scenes of devastation.
This marker shows how far the 26th came (you can't even see the first fence or the NC camp site/monument from here).  As most of the Confederate soldiers were buried in mass graves with no names or markers, our tour guide said this field (between the fence and marker) is most likely where Needham Bryan is buried, (basing it on the fact he died July 3rd, which is the day they crossed the last fence). 
"Ten paces"  - that's how far the men had to go when the cannons opened fire.  I walked to the stone wall, "the high water mark" and it was more than ten steps for me. Although, I imagine if I were running in attack mode and in fear of my life, it might be less than 10 paces.

Bobby looking across the field on our "take our time" trip the 2nd day.

One of the areas where soldiers tore up farm fencing to add to rock fences as ways of making barricades.

Our tour guide gave us the stories behind many of the monuments, but this one was one of my favorite. A PA regiment was standing near a tree during the battle, when a cannon ball hit the tree, causing part of it to fall, along with a nest of baby birds. The men stopped fighting, and put the nest and the baby birds back in the tree before resuming the fight. This monument for that regiment illustrates that story, as well as showing the regiment crest, backpack, rifle, and ammunition box. We did see one or two other tree statues, but this one looked fairly realistic and truly captured the humanity of a group of boys in the middle of a very trying time. New York's regiments also had incredible monuments, especially the ones from the group of engineers or firefighters.
3. Dwight D Eisenhower farm

and for #4 and 5, pics will come tomorrow
4. Christ Church  - Sat night presentation of civil war music and poems
5. Wax museum of Presidents and replicas of First Ladies' gowns to the inaugural ball 

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