The Battle at Gettysburg

Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Jun 28, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Thursday, May 15, 2008

After boon docking in another Wal*Mart in Waynesboro, we spent the day at Gettysburg, one of the most famous battles of the Civil War.  A new visitor's center opened last month so we felt privilege to have visited so early after the opening.  They will have a grand opening in the fall when they have finished moving the cyclorama to the new location at the visitor's center.  We thoroughly enjoyed the museum.  For those who have been to Gettysburg, I'm sure the new museum would be reason enough to go again.  It is laid out in three sections, the Civil War before Gettysburg, the Civil War during the 3 days at Gettysburg, and the Civil War after Gettysburg, including Lincoln's famous Gettysburg address.  It is put together with many short movies to go along with each area of the displays.  It really gives you a good feel for what was happening around and during the battle.  We learned a lot right along with the children.  It was a bit much for Caden at times, but he was a trooper. 
We purchased the CD and decided to do the 2 hour audio driving tour.  After close to 4 hours, we had seen so many memorials in Gettysburg it makes you really appreciate those who lost their lives for what they believed.  It is difficult at times to really imagine that such a bloody battle took place on what is know such a peaceful landscape.  For the kids and adults it's hard to do a whole day of war, it would have been better to have split the visit up into two days.  We are mostly done with the Civil War sites now. 
We think the kids have a fairly good grasp about the issues and some of the battles of the war.  Caden and Will have a set of Civil War army men and Revolutionary War army men.  They used to keep them apart to fight their own battles, but now they are combining them and playing Revolutionary War against the Civil War.  It is good to hear that at least they are getting the commanders of each army right.  They even have a few Hessians from the Revolutionary War that aid on each side as needed.  Not entirely correct, but they are getting the idea.
Some interesting facts about Gettysburg are:
Did you know that after the Battle of Gettysburg the discarded rifles were collected and sent to Washington to be inspected and reissued? Of the 37,574 rifles recovered, 24,000 were still loaded; 6,000 had one round in the barrel; 12,000 had two rounds in the barrel; 6,000 had three to ten rounds in the barrel. One rifle, the most remarkable of all, had been stuffed to the top with twenty-three rounds in the barrel.
The artillery barrage at the battle of Gettysburg during Pickett's charge was heard over 100 miles away in Pittsburgh.
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