Summer Ranger Programs At Gettysburg
Gettysburg National Military Park offers a daily schedule of ranger guided programs for our visitors during the summer months, 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 ends August 16, the park offers 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.
GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK SUMMER SEASON INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS
JUNE 6 to AUGUST 16, 2015
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 9:00 A.M.
BATTLEFIELD IN A BOX (30 minutes) Become part of the battlefield in this interactive overview program! Join a National Park Ranger and build a map of the battlefield using props. Perfect for the first time visitor wanting a better understanding of the battle. Meet at Ranger Program Site 1, behind the Museum and Visitor Center, daily at 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 and 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) The Edward McPherson farm witnessed the opening shots of the Battle of Gettysburg, initiated between Union cavalry and Confederate infantry. 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 to discover the answers. Program begins at Auto Tour Stop 1. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, at 11:30 A.M.
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, insect repellent, a hat and proper foot gear are highly recommended. Daily at 3:30 P.M.
"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. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 11:30 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 Saturday at 10:00 A.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, and Thursday 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. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday 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. Friday at 1:30 P.M.
SPANGLER'S SPRING (1 hour) Best known as the location of an alleged truce between Union and Confederate soldiers, the natural spring at the base of Culp's Hill changed hands multiple times during some of the most brutal combat of the entire battle. Join a Ranger to separate fact from fiction at Spangler's Spring, Auto Tour Stop 13, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 10:30 A.M.
PICKETT'S CHARGE (90 minutes) Follow in the footsteps of the men who took part in the most famous infantry assault in American military history. Explore why the attack was made, why it failed, and what was the cost. Water, insect repellent, a hat, and proper foot gear are highly recommended. Meet at the Virginia Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 5, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 3:00 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 Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7 P.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. Saturdays and 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.
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.
VISIT TO THE PAST
Interactive living history programs that bring the Gettysburg story to life.
"CANNONEERS TO YOUR POST!" (30 minutes) On July 3rd, 1863 over two hundred Union and Confederate cannon opened fire in one of the largest artillery duels of the war. Join a National Park Service Living Historian and become part of a gun crew as you discover the role artillery played during the battle of Gettysburg. Meet at the Virginia Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 5, Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 2:00 P.M.
TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS: GETTYSBURG'S FARM FAMILIES (30 minutes) Discover the unforgettable story of the people who called Gettysburg home, as you explore their farms with a National Park Service Living Historian. Meet at the "Ranger Program" sign in the National Cemetery Parking Lot on the Taneytown Road, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 1:00 P.M.
COURAGE ON TRIAL (1 hour) Only one Union officer was tried for cowardice during the battle of Gettysburg. Become part of the Court Martial, hear the evidence, and decide for yourself whether this soldier is innocent or guilty, in this recreation of an actual case. Meet at Ranger Program Site 2 behind the Museum and Visitor Center, Saturday at 1:00 P.M.
THE GEORGE SPANGLER FARM
Discover the history of the George Spangler Farm, the most well preserved field hospital site associated with the battle of Gettysburg. Site is only accessible via paid shuttle from the Museum and Visitor Center, Friday-Sunday.
THE GEORGE SPANGLER FAMILY AT WORK (30 minutes) Join National Park Service Living Historians demonstrating trades of the period and get a glimpse of civilian life at the farm. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 10:15 A.M.
MANNING THE GUNS: ARTILLERY AT THE SPANGLER FARM (30 minutes) Over 100 Union cannon occupied the fields surrounding the George Spangler Farm during the battle of Gettysburg. Join National Park Service Living Historians and discover the experiences of Civil War artillerists by becoming a member of a cannon crew at work. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 11:15 A.M.
AN ARMY FIELD HOSPITAL: THE GEORGE SPANGLER FARM (30 minutes) Travel to the George Spangler Farm, the Union Army's 11th Corps field hospital, where medical care was provided for over 1,900 soldiers wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg.. Discover their story and the stories of the doctors and nurses that struggled to keep them alive. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 12:15 P.M.
THE LAST FULL MEASURE: THE DEAD AT THE SPANGLER FARM (30 minutes) In addition to a field hospital, the Spangler Farm became a massive burial ground for those who gave "the last full measure of devotion." Explore the site of this field hospital cemetery and the story of those buried there. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 1:15 P.M.
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.