This is the last of three blog posts about our Winter Weekend Getaway in Shippensburg, PA. We used the Best Western Shippensburg as a home base. We visited the Thurmont, MD area on Saturday, January 2. We visited Gettysburg, PA on Sunday, January 3.
Gettysburg National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center
We arrived at the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center in time for the 9:00 am showing of the film “A New Birth of Freedom”, narrated by Morgan Freeman.The film places the monumental events of the Battle of Gettysburg into the larger context of the Civil War and American history.
After watching the 20-minute film, we viewed the Gettysburg Cyclorama program, which immerses the viewer into the fury of Pickett’s Charge during the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. We stood on a viewing platform that placed us with a line of sight that was level with the horizon.
One scene from the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting
We were fortunate that we viewed the Cyclorama program at a time when it was not crowded. We were able to see the action at other parts of the painting because the few other visitors standing around the viewing platform were not blocking the view. What an amazing, realistic presentation!
The museum features relics of the Battle of Gettysburg and personalities who served in the Civil War, interactive exhibits, and multi-media presentations that cover the conflict from beginning to end.
One of the museum exhibits
The cost of admission to the film, Cyclorama and museum was $11.50 each, including a AAA discount. We spent almost 2 hours at the Visitor Center, after which we embarked on a tour of Gettysburg National Military Park to see the ground on which the Battle of Gettysburg took place. There are several guided tours you can do for various prices; however, we opted to do a 24-mile self-guided auto tour of the park. The auto tour starts at the visitor center and includes 16 tour stops. The route traces the three-day battle in chronological order. We stopped at most of the stops depicted on the auto tour map.
Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #1
The Battle of Gettysburg began about 8:00 am on July 1, 1863 to the west beyond the McPherson barn,
as Union cavalry confronted Confederate infantry advancing east along Chambersburg Pike.
Self-Guiding Auto Tour Stop #2
Eternal Light Peace Memorial
If you look closely, you will see the eternal flame in both of these photographs.
Self-Guiding Auto Tour Stop #4
North Carolina Memorial
Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #5
Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #8
Little Round Top
From Little Round Top we drove down to the Valley of Death.
Looking up to Little Round Top from the Valley of Death
Bob took this picture of me at the Valley of Death.
In the background is Little Round Top.
Bob says there isn’t much support for that big boulder.
Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #10
The Peach Orchard
Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #12
Bob climbed the northwest corner tower.
Do you see Bob waving at me?
Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #14
East Cemetery Hill
Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #15
High Water Mark
Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #16
Soldiers’ National Cemetery
This cemetery is the final resting place of the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg.
It is also where President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg address.
Soldiers’ National Monument
(near the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address)
New York State Monument
This was both my and Bob’s first visit to Gettysburg. The Gettysburg National Military Park is immense. We spent at least 3 hours driving through the battlefield. We could have easily spent many more hours there. The grounds are peaceful and hauntingly beautiful when you think about the lives lost and the blood spilled there.
We ate a late lunch at the Appalachian Brewing Company. We both ordered fish and chips. For dessert we shared a slice of peanut butter pie. The food, service and atmosphere were excellent.
Our last stop in Gettysburg was at Sachs Covered Bridge.
We returned to our hotel in Shippensburg, PA around 5:00 pm. Our trip back home was the next day on Monday, January 4. This blog post concludes our Shippensburg Winter Weekend Getaway.