Travel Diary
October 26, 2002
Gettysburg, PA

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Gettysburg, PA is about 60 miles west of Lancaster. It is the site of a massive Civil War battle in July 1863, which with the defeat of the Confederate Army on these battlefields, was essentially the beginning of the end of the war. We've read that over 150,000 soldiers were involved in the 3 day battle at Gettysburg, and there were over 50,000 casualties. The vast landscapes (that are now protected as part of the National Park system) gave us a very real perspective of the scope of what took place on this land. It was both beautiful to see on this great fall afternoon, but also sobering to ponder what horrific events took place here.

Gettysburg battlefield colors

We found an area setup as a re-enactment of a Union camp. It was interesting to see people in uniform walking through the fields.

Union soldiers

This is the view from Little Round Top, the hill the Union defended throughout the battle.

View from Little Rount Top

Today the battlefields are scattered with monuments to the various armies and regiments that were engaged here. Some called out particular acts of bravery, and many honored troops who were killed in battle. They were a reminder that although the battlefield represents a victory for the unity of our country, it is also a place to pay tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives here.

Cannon and cavalry monument

Gettysburg monument

Gettysburg monument

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