|Crossing over the Delaware River|
|The countryside in Pennsylvania was so beautiful and green.|
|We arrived in Gettysburg while their sesquicentennial celebration was in full swing. It was crowded but our first stop was historic downtown Gettysburg.|
|The old Gettysburg train station.|
|Abe Lincoln was greeting visitors on a street corner.|
|A Civil War drum and fife band was playing.|
|Everyone was taking pictures and enjoying the music.|
|The David Wills house where Abe Lincoln spent the night prior to giving the Gettysburg Address. He was there to commemorate the Soldiers National Cemetery for Union soldiers who died at the Battle of Gettysburg.|
|Abe Lincoln was very tall.|
|Historic Gettysburg has many homes that date back to the Civil War days.|
|The old town newspaper building.|
|All over town the residents were wearing period costumes to celebrate the sesquicentennial.|
|In town we visited a diorama depicting the Battle of Gettysburg.|
|There was an audio presentation but the speaker was poor and it was very confusing trying to figure out where the different battles occurred.|
|Residents were driving their vintage cars throughout the town.|
|Local artists and craftsmen had their wares on display.|
|Tents and wares were set up reflecting the Civil War troop encampments.|
We had also heard about a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg being performed and this was the last day of the celebration so we purchased some very pricey tickets to go to it. It was in a field outside of town and there were thousands of people present. Most of us were so far away from the action that we saw very little.
|These are the best pictures we were able to take. So much of the re-enactment was off to the side or down a hill that we mainly saw the troops marching in and out.|
|The fighting by the cavalry was a little closer to us but the soldiers on foot were never within our vision.|
By this time we were a little discouraged but decided to spend a day at Gettysburg National Military Park. Up until this point most of the celebratory shows were put on by private companies and they were making a bundle.
|We tried to go to the museum and visitor center on Sunday afternoon but it was so crowded that cars were parking in satellite lots so we left and came back on Monday. What a difference in the crowds.|
|An officer's tent. The higher ranked he was the more of his belongings were carried in wagons for his use.|
|An enlisted man's tent. He had to share it with another soldier and carry everything when he marched so he quickly learned to take the bare essentials.|
|Along the edge of the battlefield are many beautiful, stately old homes.|
|Lee checking it out.|
|The North Carolina monument.|
|The Virginia monument.|
|Monument for the New York Irish Brigade. The only one we saw with a dog included in the statue.|
For three days, more than 150,000 soldiers clashed in a series of Confederate assaults and Union defenses. The fighting took a terrible toll on both sides with 10,000 soldiers killed or mortally wounded, 30,000 injured and 10,000 captured or missing.
This area was called the Devil's Den, a place controlled by Confederate sharpshooters for most of the battle. The gorge to the left came to be called Slaughter Pen for the amount of Confederate soldiers killed there.
The higher ground was called Little Round Top and this is where the Union soldiers dug in. The sniping between the Confederate and the Union soldiers continued until the end of the battle on July 3rd.
A Civil Was sharpshooter using a rifle equipped with a scope could kill an enemy soldier at 1,000 yards. The Confederate sharpshooters at Devil's Den were only 500 yards from the Union soldiers. The casualties on both sides were very high.
After Confederate attacks on both Union flanks failed, General Robert E Lee was determined to strike the Union center on the third day. Pickett's charge was an infantry assault ordered by Lee against the Union positions on Cemetery Ridge on July 3, 1863. It's futility was predicted by the charge's commander, Gen. James Longstreet, and it was arguably an avoidable mistake from which the Southern war effort never fully recovered. The infantry assault was preceded by a massive artillery bombardment that was meant to soften up the Union defense and silence its artillery, but was largely ineffective.
|There are many monuments today on Cemetery Ridge.|
|The Pennsylvania Monument is the largest in the park.|
Gettysburg was the war's bloodiest battle with 51,000 casualties. It was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's immortal "Gettysburg Address". It was delivered on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldier's National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy. The speech was preceded by a two hour oration from a local politician. Lincoln wrote his speech on the train from Washington D.C. to Gettysburg and the address lasted a little over two minutes.
|The Gettysburg Battlefield today.|
Gettysburg is an interesting and inspirational place to visit. There is so much history it would take weeks to absorb much of it but it's a visit everyone should try to make. The Captain and I plan to return again but it will be in the fall when it is cooler and there are less tourists to contend with. For now, we are heading up the road a few miles to Hershey, Pennsylvania. Peace!