Trail Closure, May 14-17, 2013
The walking trail from Sykes Avenue to the 20th Maine Monument and old Chamberlain Avenue is temporarily closed for repairs and paving. We anticipate it will reopen on Saturday, May 18.
Towers Closed For Inspection
Observation towers in the park will be temporarily closed for inspections on Thursday, May 16. The closures are: Oak Ridge Tower 8 AM-10 AM; Longstreet Tower 10 AM-12 PM; Culp's Hill Tower 12 PM-2 PM
Summer Ranger Programs
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: The summer 2013 schedule of ranger guided programs begins on June 8 and runs through August 18.
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 9:30 A.M., 11:00 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: "Pickett's Charge" (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 10:30 A.M. and 4:00 P.M.
RANGER GUIDED BATTLE WALKS (2 hours or more) Walk the route of Pickett's Charge, explore Devil's Den and the Wheatfield, walk the charge of the Louisiana Tigers at East Cemetery Hill, and much more. The Battle Walk topic changes daily. Each program will get you into the field for a closer look at the famous, and not so famous, places 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.)
ON McPHERSON'S RIDGE (1 hour) Edward McPherson's land was transformed on July 1, 1863, from a self-sufficient farm to a bloody battleground. Who was Edward McPherson and who farmed his land? What does their experience tell us about other farm families that lived on the Gettysburg battlefield? How did the fighting here 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 the West End Entry Station on Rt. 30. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 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.
"KEY MOMENTS" PROGRAMS
LITTLE ROUND TOP (1 hour) This program focuses on the fighting on July 2 for this crucial hill, one of the most famous in America. Meet at the General Warren statue on the summit of the hill, Auto Tour Stop 8. 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 (1 hour) Cemetery Hill was one of the most important elements of terrain in the battle. 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 the battle. Find out why on this program. Meet at the Baltimore Pike(Rt. 97) entrance to the National Cemetery. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:00 A.M.
THE AFTERMATH OF GETTYSBURG
NATIONAL CEMETERY (40 minutes) Join a guided walk for a 35-minute program that explores the meaning and cost of the Battle of Gettysburg, and of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Meet at the Taneytown Road entrance to the National Cemetery, daily at 11:00, 2:00 and 3:30.
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.
New for 2013! 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, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 7 P.M.
New for 2013! THE GEORGE SPANGLER FARM - AN ARMY HOSPITAL AT WORK (1 hour) The 156-acre George Spangler farm served as the Union Army's 11th Corps field hospital from July 1 to the first week in August 1863. Over 1,600 Union and Confederate wounded were treated here. Recently preserved by the Gettysburg Foundation, the farm stands as the finest example of a field hospital that exists on the Gettysburg battlefield. For the 150th battle anniversary, the Foundation is opening the George Spangler Farm to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from May 24 through August 18. Each Friday at 1:30 p.m. the public is invited to join a Gettysburg National Military Park Ranger for a special program exploring this unique site and discovering how an army corps hospital functioned. Access to the farm is by free shuttle bus from the Museum and Visitor Center only. For more information about visiting the George Spangler farm go to: www.gettysburgfoundation.org.
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. Visitor Center Programs at Ranger Program Site 2- 10:30 and 1:30. Cemetery Parking Lot Programs at 11:30, 12:30 and 2:30.
EVENING CAMPFIRE PROGRAMS. (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.
Check back for an updated schedule, posted here during the summer season.
THE BATTLEFIELD PARK
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.
HIKE WITH A RANGER (3 hours) Join a ranger for a three-hour hike on the battlefield. This informal program examines Gettysburg's fascinating layers of history, extending from the battle to present day. Water, hat and proper foot gear are highly recommended. We recommend that visitors call ahead to the ranger desk at (717) 338-4469 for that day's starting location, or check in at the desk in the Visitor Center on the day of the program. Wednesdays at 9 A.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.
BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG ANNIVERSARY PROGRAMS
150th Anniversary Ranger Guided Programs, July 1-4, 2013
Did You Know?
The bronze likeness of an Irish Wolfhound on the Irish Brigade monument at Gettysburg National Military Park symbolizes the loyalty shown for the Union cause by the brigade's soldiers, most of whom were Irish immigrants or sons of immigrants to the United States.