Summer Ranger Programs At Gettysburg
During the summer months, Gettysburg National Military Park offers a daily schedule of ranger guided programs for our visitors with subjects ranging from battle history to medical practices of the Civil War, "Visit to the Past" living history presentations, and battlefield hikes. We also offer special programs for our young visitors who learn not only about Gettysburg but what it was like to be a soldier during the Civil War. Programs are offered at the Museum and Visitor Center, in the Solders' National Cemetery and at sites on the battlefield. Programs vary in length from twenty minutes to two hours depending on the subject matter and location and best of all, ranger guided programs are free of charge!
Here you will find a brief description of our programs and when you visit the park, be certain to pick up a copy of the park's newspaper that lists all of your choices for programs, tours and other events of interest.
Please note that though our summer season ended August 9, the park is still offering a wide variety of ranger programs through Labor Day and into October. For a current schedule of programs this week, call the park at (717) 334-1124, ext. 8023.
THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG
THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG- AN OVERVIEW (30 minutes) Want to understand the basics of the battle before you get out on the field? This is the program for you! Meet in the Ford Education Center inside the Museum and Visitor Center, daily at 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M.
THE FIRST DAY (1 hour) Why did the battle start at Gettysburg? How did the fighting on July 1 shape the rest of the battle? Find out on this program. Meet at the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 2, daily at 10:00 A.M.
THE SECOND DAY (1 hour) July 2 saw the heaviest fighting of the entire battle. Understand the key decisions that shaped the day and the actions that resulted. Meet at the Peach Orchard, daily at 2:00 P.M.
THE THIRD DAY & BEYOND: (1 hour) Learn what happened during "Pickett's Charge" on July 3, 1863 and discover what its outcome meant for the Union and Confederacy. Meet at the "Ranger Program" sign in the National Cemetery parking lot between Taneytown Road and Steinwehr Avenue, daily at 4:00 P.M.
FIRST SHOTS ON McPHERSON'S RIDGE (1 hour) New this year! The Edward McPherson farm witnessed the opening shots of the Battle of Gettysburg, initiated between Union cavalry and Confederate infantry. What followed was a brutal contest that resulted in the death of a leading Union general and hundreds of others, both Union and Confederate. How did the fighting on this simple farm shape and influence the strategy of the battle in the coming days? Join a ranger on this hour-long walk over the farm to discover the answers. Program begins at Auto Tour Stop No. 1. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 1:30 P.M.
MONUMENTS OF GETTYSBURG (45 minutes) The Gettysburg battlefield contains the world's largest collection of outdoor sculpture. Who created these monuments and decided where to place them? What do they symbolize? Hear the extraordinary stories behind these memorials during this ranger-conducted program held in the Ford Education Center classroom of the Museum and Visitor Center, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 P.M.
GETTYSBURG IN DEPTH
RANGER GUIDED BATTLEWALKS (2 hours or more) Want to experience the battlefield from the same vantage point as the men who fought here? Walk the fields and woods that were fought over a century and a half ago to get a closer look at the famous and not so famous places and people that shaped the battle. Check at the information desk for a complete schedule of daily topics and where to meet the park ranger. Water, a hat and proper foot gear are highly recommended. Daily at 3:30 P.M. (Walks begin at 3:00 PM in the spring and fall months.) Check the link below for the current schedule of Battlewalks!
Ranger-guided Battlewalk Schedule (pdf)
HIKE WITH A RANGER (3 hours) - This informal battlefield program examines Gettysburg's fascinating layers of history, extending from the battle to present day. Check at the information desk or park website for a complete schedule of topics and where to meet the ranger. Water, a hat and proper foot gear are highly recommended! Wednesdays at 9 A.M.
2014 Hike With a Ranger Schedule (pdf)
"KEY MOMENTS" PROGRAMS
LITTLE ROUND TOP (1 hour) What made this small, rocky, hill crucial to the outcome of the battle and why has it become one of the most famous hills in America? Meet at the General Warren statue on the summit of the hill, Auto Tour Stop 8 to find out. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11:00 A.M.
DEVIL'S DEN (1 hour) More famous today for its unusual rock formations and stories of Confederate sharpshooters, Devil's Den was vitally important to its Union defenders on July 2, 1863. Meet at the parking lot on Sickles Avenue at Devil's Den, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3:00 P.M.
CULP'S HILL (1 hour) Walk the wooded slopes of Culp's Hill on the right end of the Union line where the most sustained fighting of the battle took place on July 2 and 3. Meet at the Culp's Hill Tower on Slocum Avenue. Sunday, Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday at 3:00 P.M.
CEMETERY HILL: THE KEY TO GETTYSBURG (1 hour)Find out why Cemetery Hill was one of the most important pieces of terrain on the battlefield. Before it became known as the site of the Soldiers' National Cemetery and President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, it figured prominently in all three days of combat at Gettysburg. Meet at the Baltimore Pike (Rt. 97) entrance to the National Cemetery. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:30 P.M.
EAST CAVALRY FIELD (1 hour) Visit the scene of one of the largest cavalry battles of the war, where Confederate General JEB Stuart was stopped by a Union cavalry force that included a new general named George Armstrong Custer. Meet at the parking area on Confederate Cavalry Avenue. Take Route 116 east to reach this site. Wednesday and Saturday at 1:30 P.M.
THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
LINCOLN and THE SOLDIERS' NATIONAL CEMETERY (40 minutes) Explores the meaning and cost of the Battle of Gettysburg, and of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Find out how the National Cemetery was established, who is buried there, and why Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address still has meaning for us today. Meet at the Taneytown Road entrance to the National Cemetery, daily at 11:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M.
CARE OF THE WOUNDED (1 hour) Over 27,000 soldiers were wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg. Learn how they were evacuated, treated, and ultimately, how most of their lives were saved by the medical personnel of both armies. Meet at the Ranger Program Site behind the Museum and Visitor Center, daily at 3:00 P.M.
SUNSET ON CEMETERY RIDGE (1 hour) Join a Ranger to walk this historic ground at sunset and explore what happened when the battle ended and the clean-up and care for the killed, wounded and captured began. Hear compelling stories of courage and suffering, resiliency and memory. Meet at "Ranger Program Begins Here" sign in the National Cemetery South Parking lot Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7 P.M.
AN ARMY FIELD HOSPITAL: THE GEORGE SPANGLER FARM (1 hour) Travel to the George Spangler Farm, the Union Army's 11th Corps field hospital, where care for over 1,900 soldiers wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg was provided. Discover their story and the stories of the doctors and nurses that struggled to keep them alive. Take the shuttle from the park Museum and Visitor Center for this program, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 A.M.
LONG REMEMBERED (1 hour, 15 minutes) Explore the impact of the battle upon the Gettysburg community and walk in the footsteps of President Lincoln. This 75 minute program meets at the historic train station on Carlisle Street near the Majestic Theater. Sundays at 6 P.M. (Please note that metered parking in Gettysburg is free on Sundays.)
THE CIVIL WAR EXPERIENCE
CIVIL WAR SOLDIER (1 hour) Over 160,000 soldiers participated in the Battle of Gettysburg. Find out why they enlisted, why they fought, and what they endured during the four years of the American Civil War. Meet at the Ranger Program Site behind the Museum and Visitor Center, daily at 2:00 P.M.
A VISIT TO THE PAST (45 minutes) Step back in time with costumed interpreters who portray men and women who witnessed and participated in the events of 1863 at Gettysburg. Programs offered daily at the Visitor Center or beginning at the Ranger Program sign at the National Cemetery Parking Lot between Steinwehr Avenue and Taneytown Road. Inquire at the Visitor Center desk for that day's schedule.
CAMPFIRE AT PITZER WOODS (1 hour) Rangers present programs on a wide variety of topics on the Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War. Campfire programs are held nightly at the park Amphitheater at Pitzer Woods, Auto Tour Stop 6, at 8:30 P.M.
Campfire Program Schedule
PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG VISITORS
JOIN THE ARMY! (1 hour) Children "enlist" in the army and learn something about what it meant to be a soldier in a Civil War regiment. This program is for children ages 6-12 only, and held outside of the Museum and Visitor Center. Sign up at the Visitor Center information desk. (Limited to 25 participants). Daily at 11:00 A.M.
JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAM This free family-oriented activity allows children (ages 5-13) to become Junior Rangers by completing an activity guide as they visit the park and museum. Ask for details and the program guide at the park information desk in the Visitor Center.