BOURNE IN THE USA

PENNSYLVANIA

Gettysburg Photo Gallery

 

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Gettysburg (13th and 14th September 2010)

 

After leaving New York we drive for 6 hours down to Gettysburg town. Rich has been reading about the American Civil War lately and wants to see some of the battlegrounds. Gettysburg is a nice town with a central town square. We have a dinner in The Pub restaurant and a quick wander round the old buildings. We have a day set aside to look round the battlefield sites.

National Military Park

 

We head in to Gettysburg and drive over to the National Military Park. The area handed over to the Park Service is huge and encompasses acres of battlefield sites and the Soldier's National Cemetery.

Before touring, we go to the cafe to get some lunch. While we're in the queue we get chatting to John and his family from North Carolina. We're pleasantly shocked when John insists on buying us lunch. Yet more lovely American people! We sit with them to eat and chat about the civil war and our trip. John's son is really interested in the history and has always wanted to come to the battlefields. They have a relative who fought for the Confederates at Pickett's Charge.

We go to the theatre to watch a short film about the battle of Gettysburg. It is seen as the big turning point in the civil war, when the Union beat the Confederates. Over 50,000 men died or were wounded in a 3 day gory battle in July 1863. Abraham Lincoln gave the famous Gettysburg Address in the following November when the cemetery was dedicated to the soldiers.

Over 100 years ago, a cyclorama was painted of the battle scene which is displayed with light and sound effects in the visitor centre. It's a very detailed representation of what went on in the surrounding countryside that you can drive through.

After a quick whizz round the large museum we join a ranger led tour at the National Cemetery. The cemetery is dedicated to the Union dead. The bodies were laid out in a semicircle facing a monument to Liberty. We see the point where Lincoln gave his address from. A couple from England, Betsy and John, are also on the tour, and they live about 10 miles from us! What a coincidence.

We wander over the road and get to the centre of the battle; the High Water Mark. The battlefield is huge and is covered with monuments to the different regiments and states involved. This side has all the Union monuments, including the huge one to Pennsylvania. We listen to the podcast for Pickett's Charge, the last confederate push, and imagine the carnage going on where we now stand.

We go back to the car and take the self guided auto tour round the battlefields. On the other side there are all the monuments to the confederate regiments. They look a bit newer than the union monuments, including the North Carolina one that was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, who carved Mt Rushmore. It was unveiled in 1929. We drive round for over an hour, in and out of the woods and twisty lanes, which reveal more regiment monuments and battle memorials.