First is the guided tours via bus option. This costs $35 per adult and $21 for a child 6-12. This is the option that we did.That said, I did very much appreciate our tour guide and the expertise he had and knowledge of the events of this location, which I would not have had. This part of the purchase was very well done. Here are a few pictures of our guide around the park.
The next part of the park that we paid for was to go into the museum. Single payment for the museum was $9.00 for adults and youth 6-12 were $7.00. But, no one just wants to go to the museum. To see the Film "A New Birth of Freedom" narrated by Morgan Freeman, the Cyclorama and the Museum was $15 for adult, $14 for senior and military veterans, $14 for AAA, $10 for youth and free for active duty military personnel. This is the option we chose.
|Photo by Ordinary Philosophy|
So, let go on the bus ride. We got to Gettysburg a little after 10 a.m. and were fortunate to get on the 10:30 a.m. bus ride. So, we jumped on. Our tour guild was a well-versed older gentleman who had a great knowledge of the Battle of Gettysburg and gave us wonderful insights to the mindset of the Generals and took us step-by-step through the battle progression that happened on July 1-3, 1863. Here are just a few photos of the highlights of the tour. I'll leave the history research up to you. This battle is just WAY too complicated to even try to replicate on a blog. Some of these photos were taken out of the bus window...sorry. The highlights of our tour were the town of Gettysburg, McPherson Ridge, North Carolina and Virginia Memorials, Pitzer Woods, Warfield Ridge, Little Round Top (my personal favorite location), The Wheatfield, The Peach Orchard, Plum Run, Pennsylvania Memorial and the Soldiers' National Cemetery. It's best to refer to the Battlefield Touring Map if you want to do this yourself and get an audio-program.
The new film "A New Birth of Freedom" narrated by Morgan Freeman and the Gettysburg Cyclorama where probably my favorite parts of the experience. The Cyclorama was painted by French artist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux and depicts Pickett's Charge, the failed infantry assault that was the climax of the Battle of Gettysburg. The word, Cyclorama, is a cylindrical 360 degree painting and the cool thing about this painting is that there are effects of cannon fire, red skies, etc. so you feel like you're watching the battle first hand. The original painting was 22 feet high and 279 feet in circumference! Astonishing. The Cyclorama that is in Gettysburg is a version that is 42 feet high and 377 feet in circumference. It's just AMAZING!!
Once we finished the Cyclorama (I didn't have a dry eye after this. It was so meaningful to me), it was time to load the van to head to the Eisenhower National Historic Site.
I didn't know that Eisenhower purchased property in Gettysburg and their retirement home...although after the bought it, he became president and there wasn't much retirement until years later and even then, he only was able to enjoy the home for a couple of years. On the link above, there's a cute 2 minute video you can watch to enjoy the property for yourself. I'll just put a couple of still photos here but visit the video. The home is untouched and 99% in tact from when the Eisenhowers' lived in the home. There is a home guide that we received of the 16 rooms we visited. The home is 4,100 square feet with 24 rooms (eight are bathrooms). Here's a few of my favorite rooms and exterior.
|Mamie over the Piano|
|Mamie's tuffet! She HAD to have this even though Dwight hated it.|
|Barn and Car Garage (right of barn)|
|Their own gas station on site|
|Visitor Center Gift Shop|
So, with Jenny in mind, I want to show you photos of the faces of Gettysburg and just a few others. When there is a face with a war, things always seem to take on a different perspective. But, first let's define the Civil War by the states.
Many of these photos were of family members divided by war.
|US Flag, 1861|
|Confederate Flag, 1861|
And, now for the faces of the Civil War.
Killed 3,500 / Wounded 18,000 / Captured and Missing 6,500
Killed 3,155 / Wounded 14, 529 / Captured or Missing 5,365
We had a great time today. It's definitely a must-see place to visit. Despite the costs, you can also do this on a budget if you do your homework and research before you go by doing the audio tour. Enjoy!