31 May 2010

Vacation: Gettysburg, PA

We spent seven hours at the Gettysburg Battlefield. Touring the museum, which included a film and a cyclorama, took four hours.

The cyclorama was a painting from 1883 by Paul Philippoteaux. It measured 367 feet long and 42 feet high and featured the third day of the battle. Until we were told about the cyclorama, we had no idea we were looking at a painting that was more than a hundred years old.

The museum was very informative – there was a reason we spent so much time there. We learned lots of history and interesting tidbits about the town itself, the people involved and, of course, the battle.

Once we started driving around the battlefield, we saw the places we have only ever read about. Places like Little Round Top

and the Devil’s Den

and Pickett’s Charge.

We learned that one in four Confederate soldiers who died at Gettysburg were from North Carolina. And I saw a token someone had left for those soldiers.

Monuments rest all over the battlefield. My favorites were the ones honoring the soldiers from Virginia

and the one honoring Longstreet.

We drove past the Texas monument but didn’t get a chance to read it. It resembled the marker at Antietam – both made of pink Texas granite. I looked it up on the web and found what was written on the marker.

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