156th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

July 1-3, 2019 - The three day Battle of Gettysburg marked a turning point not only in the course of the American Civil War, but also for the future of the United States of America. Join Park Rangers and Licensed Battlefield Guides during the 156th Anniversary for a series of free guided walks and talks that discuss, explore, and reflect on this important chapter in our nation’s history.

 

Day-By-Day Program Navigation Tool Navigation

 
 
A large group of visitors gather around a park ranger during a Pickett's Charge battle anniversary program. The group stands in an open field of yellow grass and in the distance is a line of trees and a large red barn under a blue sky with a few clouds.
A park ranger leads a Pickett's Charge battle anniversary program.

NPS Photo

 

Daily Ranger Guided Programs:
Monday, July 1 - Wednesday, July 3

Become part of the battlefield in this interactive overview program! Join a National Park Ranger and build a map of the battlefield using props. This program is perfect for the first time visitor wanting a better understanding of the battle. Meet at Ranger Program Site 1, daily at 10 am, 4 pm. (30 minutes)
Explores the meaning and cost of the Battle of Gettysburg and 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 10 am, 11 am, 3 pm, 4 pm. (40 minutes)
Over 27,000 soldiers were wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg. Explore how these men were evacuated, treated, and ultimately, how most of their lives were saved. Meet at Ranger Program Site 2 behind the Museum and Visitor Center, daily at 3 pm. (60 minutes)
 

Family Activities: Monday, July 1 - Wednesday, July 3


During the 156th Anniversary children of all ages are encouraged to attend our special programs at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, as well as our Family History Hikes out on the battlefield. (Accompanying adults must remain with children at all times.)

Special Programs In and Around the Visitor Center

Meet a special visitor from the past as they share their memories of the Battle of Gettysburg!
July 1-3: 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm – Ford Education Center. (15 minutes)
Attention! Recruits are needed to enlist in the Union army! Join now and learn what it meant to be a soldier during the Civil War. This program is for children ages 5-13 only. Meet at Ranger Program Site 1 behind the Museum and Visitor Center.
July 1-3: 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm – Ranger Site 1. (30 minutes)

Family History Hikes (Monday, July 1 - Wednesday, July 3)

Park Educators will lead these special hour-long programs just for children and their families. Follow in the footsteps of key units and leaders during fighting at Gettysburg and discover the amazing stories of real people who took part in the Battle of Gettysburg.

On June 30, 1863 Union cavalrymen rode into the town of Gettysburg. The next day they would face the enemy on the hills west of town. Learn about life as a horse soldier and explore the role cavalry played in beginning the Battle of Gettysburg!
July 1: 3 pm.
Meet at McPherson Ridge, Auto Stop 1. Park along Reynolds Avenue.
For nearly three hours fighting raged in the Wheatfield of farmer John Rose. Discover the stories of the soldiers that fought there, the doctors that struggled to save lives, and the farmers who called this place home.
July 2: 3 pm. Meet at Auto Tour Stop 9, the Wheatfield. Park along Sickles Ave. Do not park along the Wheatfield Rd.
On the afternoon of July 3, 1863, more than 12,000 Confederate Soldiers from Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee advanced bravely across a mile of open ground and toward the Union position on Cemetery Ridge, in an attack Robert E. Lee believed would crush the Union army. March in the footsteps of these brave soldiers and learn why this attack has become so famous!
July 3: 3 pm. Meet at the North Carolina Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 4. Park along West Confederate Avenue.
 

Special Programs - Monday, July 1

Battle Walks

These special 2 to 3 hour programs explore key episodes and phases of the battle and involve significant hiking and walking, occasionally over rough terrain. Water, headgear, sun protection, insect repellent, and comfortable, sturdy walking shoes are highly recommended.

The battle on the morning of July 1, 1863 grew at an exponential rate during a short period of time. As more units were funneled into the fight, and the size of the battle grew, future historical memory has tended to focus on such names and places as Buford, Reynolds, the Iron Brigade, and the Railroad Cut. Little time has been spent examining the attacks and stories of the first two Confederate brigades to engage Federal forces that morning. Join Ranger Dan Welch as we visit rarely walked parts of the battlefield, following in the footsteps of Archer's Brigade, and hearing the words of those that tread those fields 156 years ago.

Meet at the McPherson Barn. Park on Stone and Meredith Ave.
On the afternoon of July 1, 1863 the fighting near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania expanded into the farm fields north of town. With fresh troops entering the battlefield by the minute, many descended into the shadow of Oak Ridge and toward a cataclysmic afternoon of fighting. Join Ranger Jarrad Fuoss, explore the valley below Oak Ridge, and examine the incredible stories of those who desperately fought for control of this central ground.

Begins and ends at Pennsylvania Hall, Gettysburg College Campus. On-street and garage parking available in town.
The grounds around the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg were the scene of some of the most critical fighting on July 1, 1863. From here, Buford planned his defense of the approaches to Gettysburg and deployed his troopers along the ridges to the west; here, the First Division of the First Army Corps arrived and turned back surging Confederates; and here, the Union First Corps made a desperate final defense. The tenacity of this fighting shocked the Confederate attackers and bought vital time for Army of the Potomac leadership to establish a powerful line of defense against which two days of Confederate attacks failed. Join Dr. Daryl Black and Educator Peter Miele from the Seminary Ridge Museum and explore this critical location.

Meet at the Peace Portico, Seminary Ridge Museum. Park at the Seminary Ridge Museum, Seminary Ave.

Real Time Programs

These 30 to 45 minute programs provide a brief overview of key moments during the Battle of Gettysburg at the time they occurred, 156 years ago.

9 am - 9:30 am
First Shots on McPherson Ridge - John Nicholas

Meet at Auto Tour Stop 1. Park on Reynold’s Ave.

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
Iverson’s Attack - Philip Brown

Meet at the Eternal Peace Light Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 2. Park at Auto Tour Stop 2.

3:45 pm – 4:15 pm
Barlow’s Knoll - Jon Tracey

Meet at Barlow Knoll, East Howard Ave. Park along East Howard Ave.

5 pm – 5:45 pm
Rally on Cemetery Hill - Bert Barnett

Meet at the Howard Statue, East Cemetery Hill. Park in the National Cemetery Parking Lot.

Campfire at Pitzer Woods

Over the anniversary of the battle, Park Rangers will host hour-long presentations, offering unique perspectives on the events of 156 years ago. Held at 8:30 pm at the Pitzer Woods Amphitheater.

Specimens of Morbid Anatomy: Gettysburg Anatomy in the Army Medical Museum
More than bullets, belt buckles, and uniforms were preserved and collected following the end of fighting at Gettysburg. Ranger Savannah Rose will highlight specimens of human anatomy collected following the battle. Gruesome, macabre, but intensely human, these specimens paint a vivid picture of the brutality of Gettysburg.
 

Special Programs - Tuesday, July 2

Battle Walks


These special 2 to 3 hour programs explore key episodes and phases of the battle and involve significant hiking and walking, occasionally over rough terrain. Water, headgear, sun protection, insect repellent, and comfortable, sturdy walking shoes are highly recommended.

Characterized by stone buildings, open pastures, and a massive wheat field bordered by dense woods, the George Rose Farm is one of the park's most picturesque and on July 2, 1863, was one of the most heavily fought over areas of the battlefield where countless stories give testimony to the desperate and bloody nature of combat at Gettysburg. The legacy of that single day, the struggle of the farm owners in the aftermath, and the survival of this historic place combine to make the Rose Farm one of the most significant sites in the park today. Join Gettysburg NMP historian John Heiser on a walking tour of this historic farm and rediscover some of the personal incidents that make it so important.

Meet at entrance lane to the Rose Farm. Park in the designated field on the Emmitsburg Rd. (watch for signs).
In the midst of the swirling fighting at Devil's Den, Henry Benning's Brigade arrived at the right place and time. The Georgians provided the final impetus needed to break the Union line. Join Ranger Matt Atkinson and walk the rugged terrain that secured a tactical victory for Lee's army.

Meet at Devils Den. Park on Sickles and Crawford Ave. on right hand side only. Do not park on Warren Ave.
Join Licensed Battlefield Guides Doug Douds and Garry Adelman for a lively and fast-paced tour of many key moments that shaped the Battle of Gettysburg. From the critical and sometimes controversial movement of Union forces to various sectors to gallant attacks and counter charges by some of the most famous Union and Confederate units of the Civil War, Douds and Adelman will cover it all! Photos, fighting, folklore and of course the battlefield itself will highlight the experience. The hike will involve less than one mile of walking over mostly even terrain.

Meet at the New York Auxiliary Monument, Hancock Ave. Park on Hancock, Sedgwick, and United States Ave.

Real Time Programs


These 30 to 45 minute programs provide a brief overview of key moments during the Battle of Gettysburg at the time they occurred, 156 years ago.

8:30 am – 9:15 am
Lee and Meade Plan for Battle - Troy Harman

Meet at the North Carolina Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 4. Park on West Confederate Avenue.

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm
Sickles Takes the High Ground - Joseph Tingley

Meet at the Peach Orchard, Auto Tour Stop 10. Park on Sickles Avenue. Do not park on Wheatfield Road.

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm
The Battle for Little Round Top – Rachael Nicholas

Meet at the Warren Statue on Little Round Top, Auto Tour Stop 8. Park on Sykes Ave.

5 pm – 5:30 pm
Cross’s Brigade in the Wheatfield – Savannah Rose
Meet at the Wheatfield, Auto Tour 9. Do not park on Wheatfield Road.

5:45 pm – 6:15 pm
Battle for the Peach Orchard - Lydia Strickling

Meet at the Peach Orchard. Park on Sickles Ave. Do not park on Wheatfield Rd.

6:30 pm – 7 pm
Wilcox’s Brigade: Crisis on Cemetery Ridge – John Nicholas

Meet at the Klingle Farm, North Sickles Ave. Park along Sickles Ave.

7:15 pm - 7:45 pm
Night fighting on East Cemetery Hill – Andrew Frantz

Meet at the Howard Equestrian Statute, East Cemetery Hill. Park at the National Cemetery Parking Lot

Special Evening Program


8:30 pm - 9:15 pm
Communicating on the Battlefield: The Signal Corps – Angie Atkinson

Meet at Meade’s Headquarters. Park on Hancock Ave.
 

Special Programs - Wednesday, July 3

Battle Walks

These special 2 to 3 hour programs explore key episodes and phases of the battle and involve significant hiking and walking, occasionally over rough terrain. Water, headgear, sun protection, insect repellent, and comfortable, sturdy walking shoes are highly recommended.

How did two of Ewell's divisions, belonging to Major Generals Jubal Early and Edward Johnson, coordinate for two days within the overall Confederate scheme? Join Ranger Troy Harman for a walk, along East Confederate Avenue, in front of Cemetery and Culp's Hills, to answer this question.

Meet at Gordon’s Brigade Marker, East Confederate Ave. Park on East Confederate Ave. Program concludes at Spangler Spring.
Walk Lt. Col Freeman McGilvery's artillery line with Ranger Karlton Smith, and explore the role his gun line played during the cannonade on July 3. How did each individual battery handle the cannonade? How did the guns respond to Pickett’s Charge and how did the participants remember the struggle?

Meet at the Father Corby Statue, Hancock Ave. Park on Hancock, Sedgwick, and United States Ave. on right hand side only. Program concludes at the Pennsylvania Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 12.
While much attention and credit are given to the actions of the Philadelphia Brigade, the heroic deeds and steadfast defenses of the brigades of Norman Hall and William Harrow are often overlooked. From the 1st Minnesota to the 19th Maine, regiments that made valiant stands the previous day were once again called upon to sacrifice what men remained in their ranks in the waning moments of the Battle. Join Licensed Battlefield Guide Christina Moon on this easy walk along Cemetery Ridge for a discussion of the actions of these units, and others, as they helped to repel the attack of Pickett's Virginians during the fateful afternoon of July 3.

Meet at the Pennsylvania Monument. Park along North Hancock Ave.

Real Time Programs

These 30 to 45 minute programs provide a brief overview of key moments during the Battle of Gettysburg at the time they occurred, 156 years ago.

9:45 am – 10:15 am
Slaughter in Spangler Meadow - Zachary Siggins

Meet at Auto Tour Stop 13. Park on Geary Ave.

10:30 am – 11:15 am
Fight for Pardee Field – John Nicholas

Meet at Pardee Field, Culp’s Hill. Park on Geary Ave.

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm
The Cannonade – Steve Semmel

Meet at the Virginia Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 5. Park on West Confederate Avenue

2 pm – 3:30 pm
“A Desperate Thing to Attempt:” Pickett’s Charge Hike – Dan Vermilya

Meet at the Virginia Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 5. Park on West Confederate Avenue

3:45 pm – 4:30 pm
The High Water Mark – Jon Tracey

Meet at the High Water Mark, Auto Tour Stop 15. Park on Hancock Avenue.

6 pm – 6:30 pm
The Last Full Measure – Rachael Nicholas

Meet at the Rostrum, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Park at Auto Tour Stop 16, the National Cemetery Parking Lot.

Campfire at Pitzer Woods

Over the anniversary of the battle, Park Rangers will host hour-long presentations, offering unique perspectives on the events of 156 years ago. Held at 8:30 pm at the Pitzer Woods Amphitheater.

The Planning of Pickett's Charge
Join Matt Atkinson for a look at the climactic moment of the Battle of Gettysburg, Pickett’s Charge. How was the assault planned? What were the original intentions of the commanders, and how did the men involved prepare for the charge.

Last updated: June 28, 2019

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1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone:

(717) 334-1124

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