There are 15 stops on this auto tour, each taking you to a different battle on a different section of the battlefield
. You definitely get a scope of the massive size of the battlefields; the openness of some; the rocky outcroppings of others and the hills that had to be climbed over and a sense of how exhausted they must have been just getting to Gettysburg on foot, not to mention then having to fight these massive battles. As I mentioned, the monuments each have a different shape (5) to denote what happened at that exact spot. They are Confederate Brigade Markers; Union Brigade Markers; Flank Markers; Battery Tablets; Headquarters Markers; and Corps & Division Markers. They all tell an amazing story as you stand in front reading it and then look out at the area. CHILLS!!
General Robert E. Lee - Graduated next to top of his class at West Point 1829; Served for 32 years in the US Army; President Lincoln offered Lee the position of Commander of the newly raised army to restore the Union. Lee, a Virginian, was torn as to which way to pledge his allegiance and chose the Confederacy. A move that cost him his life as well as his citizenship (which was later restored to him after his death).
Major General Daniel Sickles - 1859 elected to Congress. Sickles learned that his wife was having an affair with Phillip Barton Key (son of Francis Scott Key), the younger Key was the Chief Prosecutor for the Nation's Capitol and the District Attorney
. Sickles saw Key outside his home in Washington, DC - called him out for having the affair and shot him twice at point blank range killing him!! He was tried (it became the trial of the Century) and acquitted using the plea of "temporary insanity" - the first time it was this plea was ever entered. During the battle, Sickles lost his leg to a bullet and strangely would "visit his leg frequently" at what is now the National Museum of Health and Medicine, in Washington, DC. So maybe "temporary" insanity was't strong enough...I'd say FULL INSANITY was more like it.
Part 2 of 3 Gettysburg entries...
Year 2 - Day 53 - Gettysburg, PA June 23, 2014 - Today we started at the Eishenhower Farm and then continued our Auto tour. The Farm was purchased by Eisenhower's in 1950. When they started renovations, they discovered a 200-year old log cabin beneath the brick veneer. Most of the structure was lost, but they were able to save some parts to incorporated in their renovations. Other than painting Ike loved to raise prize bulls and did so for 15 years. One of the barns dates back to 1887 and held haw, straw and dairy cattle stanchions and stalls. In the mid-50's the Eisenhower's had horses and ponies in there for their grandchildren. Mamie made everyone sign a guest book upon entering the house - even the grandchildren. Some of the kids would sneak in the back door to avoid signing the book - yet again!