Pennsylvania: Gettysburg National Military Monument

A chance meeting of Unionist and Confederate troops that led to the bloodiest battle of the Civil War

Location: Hours: Fees:
1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325 April 1 – October 31: 8 am – 6 pm
November 1 – March 31: 9 am – 5 pm Closed: Christmas and Thanksgiving Day
Adult (ages 13+) = $15.00
Seniors (65+) and Vets = $14.00  Youth (ages 6-12) = $10.00
Children (5 and under) = FREE

Gettysburg located in rural Pennsylvania probably would have remained a sleepy little town but for the American Civil War and the battle that took place there on July 1 to 3 1863. Here the Confederate and Union forces fought a fierce battle that resulted in the highest losses of any conflict in the Civil War. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers on both sides sadly lost their lives. On November 19 President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.

As with most historic battle sites there is not a lot left apart from open fields. This battle was a sprawling affair over several sites around the town and you can travel to each and gaze out across the field and imagine.

For those like myself, who can’t imagine a bloody melee such as took place at Gettysburg there is an amazing visitor center complete with videos, memorabilia and a fantastic cyclorama. The whole area is under the management of the National Park Service and as you might expect the exhibits are of the highest quality.

Beyond the visitor center there are plenty of other sites to visit, including numerous memorials and markers.

The Pennsylvania State Memorial is by far the largest memorial at Gettysburg. Pennsylvania provided more troops than any other state at the battle, and also suffered the most casualties. The tip of the sword at the top of the dome is 110 feet above the ground. The memorial was dedicated in 1910.

Parrott Rifle, a type of muzzle-loading, rifled cannon on a Napoleonic carriage, near the Peace Light in the northwestern part of the battlefield.

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