By chance we planned our trip for the busiest weekend since the 150th weekend due to a large WWII re-enactment on the Eisenhower Farm (it was rumored that actor Frank John Hughes who played Sgt. Bill Guarnere in Band of Brothers spoke). There were a lot of very nicely restored vehicles at the park and we even had a group of German Wehrmacht sitting next to us at dinner one evening.
For the toy soldier and miniature aficionado, I strongly recommend Gettysburg Toy Soldiers and the Antique Center of Gettysburg. The Antique Center is an interesting little shop that offers an eclectic mix of antiques, Civil War relics, and books. As I made my way towards the back of the shop I stumbled upon case after case of 1/32 scale figures including Britain and John Jenkins Designs. There are literally thousands of figures and vehicles on display - quite a sight. I was able to pick up some nice 25mm painted WWII minis at Gettysburg Toy Soldiers. The following are a few pics of Gettysburg Toy Soldiers:
In my humble opinion, the best president the United States has ever known.
This is from McPherson's Ridge next to the Chambersburg Rd. Ordinance rifle #233. First shot fired came from this piece. This sits next to the monument to Gen. John Buford. A monument to Gen. John Reynolds can be seen in the background.
After our tour we had some fantastic cheesesteaks for lunch at Hunt's. It's located just a few businesses northeast of the Dobbin House on Steinwehr Avenue. We bumped into these fellas outside:
The rest of the afternoon was spent just making our way around the field.
North Carolina Monument on Seminary Ridge.
Looking towards Cemetery Ridge from the N.C. monument. The Round Tops can be seen at center-right.
What Col. Vincent did on Little Round Top and how he kept his brigade together is nothing short of extraordinary heroism.
Looking southwest from Little Round Top. Devil's Den and the Slaughter Pen can be seen in the upper right.
The Angle is approximately 50 - 60 yards beyond this tablet. General Lee's monument can be seen in the upper-left corner, or approximately the position of the center of the Confederate line at the beginning of their fateful march on day 3 of the battle.
Woods on McPherson's Ridge where the Iron Brigade (1st Brigade, 1st Division, I Corp) was engaged in heavy fighting with Tennessee and Alabama regiments from Heath's division, A.P. Hill's Corp. Beyond the timber to the right is a monument marking where General Reynolds fell.
Monument to General Lee on Seminary Ridge.
Unfortunate that this tablet had to be placed in front of General Lee's monument. The bugler's saber has been broken off.
Monument to General James Longstreet towards the southern end of Seminary Ridge.
Monument to the Pennsylvania Bucktails (Near the Rose Woods near the Wheat Field and just west of Devil's Den).
The Slaughter Pen
Spot on the high side of Devil's Den where Timothy O'Sullivan's (assistant to Alexander Gardner) famous photograph of a dead Rebel soldier was taken.
Many Union men were not laid to rest in the cemetery. Many are buried in various areas of the battlefield where they fell. Others were taken home to be laid to rest by family. No Confederates are buried at Gettysburg.
Markers for men from the 20th ME. Not to diminish any unit that fought at Gettysburg, north or south, but I am, for lack of a better term, a fan of the 20th ME. What Joshua L. Chamberlain (as well as Col. Strong Vincent and his 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps) and his regiment accomplished on Little Round Top was amazing. There is much debate as to what would have happened at Gettysburg had certain events happened or not happened. Looking at the terrain and the situation on the afternoon of July 2, it is hard to believe things would not have turned very sour had the 20th (and the 83rd PA, 44th NY, and the 16 MI) not held.
New York suffered the most casualties. Remember, this number does not reflect all NY deaths.
I decided to take this pic since my wife is from Indiana.
I am very grateful I was able to make this trip with my parents and walk the battlefield with my dad.He is responsible for my interest in the American Civil War so many years ago. It was a special experience, but sobering experience. To walk through the fields, hills, and woods of Gettysburg and know what took place there 150 years ago makes me all the more grateful for the country I call home.