Tuesday, March 3

Travelling Back in Time to Gettysburg

As part of our Civil War Tour of field trips, we drove to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, site of the turning point in the war between the states...  

At the Gettysburg Heritage Center, we saw a life-like video that put you into the three-day battle...it was amazing!  Afterward, we hit the gift shop.  The boys are constantly bickering, so I bought one grey and one blue hat and told them to battle.  I'm such a good mom...
Then we took a drive through the Gettysburg National Cemetery, the final resting place for Union soldiers killed during the 3-day battle.  This is where Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address.  Nearly all Confederate soldiers were moved to their home states.
From there, we headed to the Museum & Visitor Center, a huge building that features the soldiers' daily life as well as the many faces of Gettysburg.  Boys will be boys!  The first thing that caught their eye was the large display of weaponry from the battle.
One of my boys especially loves costumes!!  (He's the one that wrote Recycled History.)  He pulled out his sketchbook to make drawings of the General's uniforms from both the Union and Confederate armies.  I'm sure we'll be seeing those re-created as the cold months creep in.  He also sketched a General's sword, plated in gold leaf.
Our musical & mathematical boy was more fascinated by the code-breaking circle, drummer boy's drum, and the canteen and bag (which are much like the ones he uses today for scouts).  We stopped off at the town square for a bite to eat.  This is a tourist town, so the food was pricey, but very good!  And healthy...which is always a plus.   After lunch, we visited the Wills House, on the town square, where Abraham Lincoln stayed before giving his Gettysburg Address.
  Then, we took the driving tour of the battlefields.  We stopped to walk around at the Gettysburg National Memorial.  They have a wall here that's similar to the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC.  It lists the soldiers that died in battle here, both Union and Confederate.
This is a huge monument, dedicated to both armies.  It's so big that it has a spiral staircase leading up several stories!   And you can climb it!
At the top of the staircase, you'll find markers like this one that point to the locations of several famous battles.  Here's the view from the top of the monument...
As we drove around, we came upon several other smaller monuments.  This driving tour could potentially take an entire weekend, so come prepared!  There are bathrooms spotted along the way, but you'll want to bring your own picnic.

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