Gettysburg at last!

Yesterday we arrived in Gettysburg, kinda sad, since the park was shut down, but nevertheless excited, since we had watched the 4-hour long movie Gettysburg. It was a historically accurate, well done, very good movie. You should watch it!

After parking the RV, we walked about 10 minutes to the Gettysburg Museum of History, which is a museum comprised of artifacts from Gettysburg, the two World Wars, and JFK. It was featured on the TV show American Pickers, when the guys found a Confederate Soldier uniform, and bought it for the museum. There was a lot of cool stuff there; things like muskets, canteens, cannon balls (we were amazed at how big they were), and bullets, plus lots of other amazing things. After leaving the museum, we got Ice Cream, then headed to the campsite.

Upon checking in, we were given free tickets to the Gettysburg Military Diorama. We decided to go, and we were not sorry. The diorama is the largest military diorama in the country! At over 700 square feet, it’s bigger than the RV! After looking over the diorama and a few other exhibits, we sat down for the show to begin.

The room went dark, and we watched a short introductory video about the Civil War. Then, as the voice-over described the events happening, the locations of the battles light up, and as they were fighting, gunfire sounded and the cannons lit up. It was nice that the respective troops, as well as their respective locations, lit up as the narrator mentioned them, especially as he was talking about the Union “fishhook.” All in all, the show, which encompassed all 3 days of the war, lasted about 30 minutes. As we were looking through the gift shop, the couple who was watching the show with us mentioned that there was talk of Congress coming to an agreement. We left and settled into our campsite for the night, hopeful that we might be able to go into the park the next day.

The next morning, we drove to the visitors center, to see if the park would be open that day. Sure enough, they were! After taking a campus tour of Mount St. Mary’s University 30 minutes away, as well as visiting the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, we came back to Gettysburg to see the park.

We took a driving tour of the park (in the RV) which covered 26 stops that were in the order of the events which occurred. At first, we drove really slow, stopping to read the plaques dedicated to each battalion. Since it was taking us a while, and Mom realized that we only had 1 hour left of daylight, we stopped reading the plaques and just drove to each POI along the way. We stopped at 2 overlook towers; one was and the other was!

We were able to see a lot of the places where wattles happened, like Little Roundtop, the High Water Mark (where much of Pickett’s Charge was rebutted), and the Railroad Cut. It really helped that we watched Gettysburg, because we knew what had happened at these places. For all you kids, it was definitely not a boring documentary; it was written like a real movie, and it made root for all of the soldiers as they went to battle. The 3 sisters highly recommend watching it, because we really enjoyed it! In fact, Gigi could be heard yelling “Virginians! Virginians!” as we drove through Virginia.

We ended up staying an extra night (that night) in Gettysburg. We were not sorry. The day had been lots of fun, since we had gotten to actually see the park. Thank you Jesus for a great opportunity!