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 Post subject: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:35 pm
Posts: 192
Location: USA
Guys,

I have been blessed by the Civil War gods. :o :D :!: My wife and the kids are going to see the in-laws for a week. And I've been granted furlough to do something on my own and whatever I want (...within reason i've been told :twisted: ). So, since I'll be dropping the family off in eastern Tennessee to recapture Knoxville, I've convinced Mrs. General that I need to report to Gettysburg for a week. Yes, a WHOLE friggen week in Gettysburg :D . I've been there a few times over the years, but never more than 2 days at a time and always felt rushed to see as much as I could and always leaving like I didn't learn or experience anything new, (but still enjoyed it of course)

So my questions are these: what are the "must sees" and "must do's" to get the best indepth and detailed experience? Should I hire my own Battlefield guide? Anybody have any experience doing that? I will be there for 6 full days. I already know about the Ranger Programs (1 hr) at each of the sites and I'm going to attend many of those, but in my past experience, though very well done and needed for the "beginner" visitors, they only review the basics and what i already know from school. I do know about the daily Ranger Battlewalks that provide more detail and am very excited about those.

So, any suggestions? Thanks!

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Lt. Gen. Boyd Denner
II Corps
ANV
"God Bless the Alabamians" Gen. Robert E. Lee - Wilderness 1864
"War is a very bad thing in the sequel, but before and during the battle it is a fine thing!" Union Gen Andrew Humphreys, 2nd Div, 3rd Corps, AoP


Last edited by Boyd on Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:04 pm 
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With 6 days you have time to see everything. I have taken several tours and watched a bunch on tv,being fortunate enough to live in the commonwealth where they broadcast them on tv.
The best tour i took was a 2hr tour on Barksdales charge. If you have any relatives that fought in the battle perhaps a short tour following their unit around.
My best advice is to take a lot of books with good maps and get out and walk the ground.
Tours with a guide can be expensive if you are by yourself
here's a link http://www.gettysburgtourguides.org/
and don't forget Culps Hill a very under visited part of the park
oh, and i highly recomment O'Rorkes for when you get thirsty :mrgreen:
and if you burn out on Gettysburg, Antietam is a short ride over the mountain

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:03 pm 
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I have been going to Gettysburg since 64........1964 that is.

If you are there for a week, use that as your base of operation.

You are within striking distance of allot of interesting places.........Antietam was mentioned for one.

also...........Harpers Ferry is also close bye.......great day trips.

and last but certainly not least...........O'Rourke's.

A great hang out for Reb re enactors.

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Lt. Gen. C. N. Matthews
Pickett's Infantry Division, I Corps,
Army of Northern Virginia, CSA


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:14 pm 
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Antietam is much different than Gettysburg, very quiet. I actually like it, but there are no fun "tourist traps" though. The Wax Museum of the Battle is always a classic to visit. There is a really good building that houses the hand painted miniatures of the battle. A 1/2 hour presentation and you get to take photos. It is really a cool thing. The new visitors center is mammoth and offers quite a lot to see. If you chose to do the Cyclorama, be sure to use the option of going back later in the day to see it more clearly and to take photos. They have it at eye level now and it is hard to see it with other people in there. I also suggest Culps Hill too, a great place to get away from it all. Benner Hill is good too and if you can find the hidden monuments off of the one state roads for the VI Corps behind Little Round Top, you've found a real hidden gem. So are the cannons in between the houses next to Benner's Hill, one a few years ago still had the final cannon balls on it on the battlefield. Also the cavalry battlefield is worth checking out too.....a short trip up the Hanover Turnpike....

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Commanding Officer & Chief of the Armies (CoA) of the Confederate States of America (CSA)

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Harpers Ferry for my book is one of the prettiest places i've seen. definitley worth a trip.
As Scott pointed out Antietam is much more pristine than Gettysburg. A cool way to get there from Gettysburg is go out thru Fairfield and over the Monterey pass, basicly mimicing Ewells retreat route.
If you go down route 81 that will lead you into the valley battlefields too.
As Dukemat points out you are centrally located near a lot of good stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:49 pm 
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Gettysburg itself will take a while to get through. The Valley stuff is rather far away. You'd be better off going to Spotslyvania and Chancellorsville/Wilderness, but those are kind of hodge podge due to all the growth in the area. Stick with Gettysburg, Antietam & Harper's Ferry. You'll fill most of the week with those alone.

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Commanding Officer & Chief of the Armies (CoA) of the Confederate States of America (CSA)

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:14 pm 
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The Cyclorama. If you have not seen it since they relocated from the silo on Cemetery Hill, check it out. They did a nice job.
Devil's Den, with the foliage weeded out to what it was 150 years ago, gives a whole new level of understanding to Hood's attack. Walk down into the triangular cow pen and look across to where 6,000 men burst out of the woods, and I guarantee you will get an understanding of what Sickles' skirmishers were feeling.
Culp's Hill
That long, long line that snakes down from the high hill to the lower one, and then on to Spangler's spring. My regiment, the 111th Pa, has a monument in the saddle between the two hills.
Take Harry Pfanz' books with you. Good maps and good writing.
Take binoculars, a compass, and topo maps you can burn from the different map services, some free, on line.
Lincoln Diner. Drink your supper, but enjoy their breakfast!
Say hello to Spiros Marinos in his little sutler shop behind Cemetery Hill. His dad has the big museum with all the WWII insignia across the front.
Have fun!
John


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:59 pm 
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WOW! 6 days at Gettysburg! There has been some very good advice. There isn't a "wrong" thing to do there. Walk the line of the 20th Maine; stand where Armistead was before the charge and see the distance and feel the energy of that charge across the open ground.

Antietam has a nice drive around to some of the scattered batteries and troop locations. Of course, Burnsides Bridge and the area that Rebel sharpshooters set up, overlooking the bridge.

Harpers Ferry is an excellent area to visit. The area of the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers is a great place to look over the area. You can see Maryland Heights where McLaws fired artillery into the Union lines.

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Western Theater, Commander, USA
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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:17 pm 
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This is a video of one of the park ranger tours


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wJU7xQFGzI

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:45 pm 
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If you decide to go to Harper's Ferry, both Monocacy and South Mountain parks are within 25 miles as well. But I think you can find plenty to see at Gettysburg for your six days.

I am told they have added to Monocacy. When I went to see it, about an hour or so was all you needed to see what they had.

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Forrest's Cavalry Corps
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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:51 am 
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Thanks guys for all the good ideas! I will be only in Gettysburg for 6 days so unfortunately i won't be able to make it to Sharpsburg or Harpers Ferry this trip. Below are the Ranger Walks that will be given. The Ambrose Wright -"To the Heights" sounds really interesting.

Anybody ever been to the Campfire Programs? Are those worth attending? Thanks again for everyone's input.

Pickett’s Charge
Little Round Top
Hurrah For the Light Artillery” The Cannonade of July 3rd
Early’s Confederates Attack East Cemetery Hill
Ambrose Wright - “To The Heights!”
Culp’s Hill – Forgotten Heroes, Forgotten Battles

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Lt. Gen. Boyd Denner
II Corps
ANV
"God Bless the Alabamians" Gen. Robert E. Lee - Wilderness 1864
"War is a very bad thing in the sequel, but before and during the battle it is a fine thing!" Union Gen Andrew Humphreys, 2nd Div, 3rd Corps, AoP


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:31 pm 
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General Denner <salute>

All the suggestions given are mighty fine...and I've done most of all those mentioned, but for me the most moving experience was to get up very early, when it's still dark, and be out at the Round Tops or Devils Den, or one of your favorites spots just as dawn is coming up, when there are no vehicles, no people, no distractions, the aura of the place seems to really magnify in the quiet and solitude....great time to take pictures too!

Best Wishes on your trip sir!

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Major General Tim Reneau
2nd Brigade, Edward C. Walthall Division (2nd)
II Corps, Army of the West
"Gator Alley"


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:27 am 
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A hidden little gem is located at the back of Little Round Top -- a little barbeque joint and great homemade ice cream. Just follow the road that goes over the hill and its on the corner on your right. You can't miss it. I know what some of you are saying... but its August and you've been walking all day, your tongue is hanging out, and you need something to cool you off. Man, I tell you, those cones and shakes will put you back in the saddle.

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BG Ken 'Muddy' Jones
5th Brigade/Old Reliable Division/XV Corps/Army of Tennessee
USA


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:13 am 
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Great idea! thanks.

TReneau wrote:
General Denner <salute>

All the suggestions given are mighty fine...and I've done most of all those mentioned, but for me the most moving experience was to get up very early, when it's still dark, and be out at the Round Tops or Devils Den, or one of your favorites spots just as dawn is coming up, when there are no vehicles, no people, no distractions, the aura of the place seems to really magnify in the quiet and solitude....great time to take pictures too!

Best Wishes on your trip sir!

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Lt. Gen. Boyd Denner
II Corps
ANV
"God Bless the Alabamians" Gen. Robert E. Lee - Wilderness 1864
"War is a very bad thing in the sequel, but before and during the battle it is a fine thing!" Union Gen Andrew Humphreys, 2nd Div, 3rd Corps, AoP


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg "must sees"??
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:23 pm 
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I totally agree in regards to hitting the battlefield at dawn. I always get up early, while the wife sleeps in at the hotel, and head to the battlefield. Nothing like sipping a coffee and sitting on LRT all by myself.

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Brigadier General Dale Lastowicka
2nd Brigade
Hindman's Division
Stewart's Corps
Army of Tennessee
Confederate Army


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