Ranger Programs at Gettysburg

A Park Ranger leads a tour on the Gettysburg battlefield.
A Park Ranger leads a tour on the Gettysburg battlefield.

NPS Photo

 

Gettysburg offers a variety of ranger guided programs and battlefield walks for park visitors throughout the year. A full schedule of programs is offered during the summer months from mid-June through mid August with select programs that highlight different aspects of the battlefield and cemetery provided in the spring and fall. We also offer our Mid-Winter Lecture Series of indoor programs, held at the Museum and Visitor Center from January through March. Check our park web site prior to your visit for updated schedules and announcements!

 

2016 Summer Ranger Programs

During the summer months, Gettysburg National Military Park offers a daily schedule of free ranger guided programs that bring to the life the story of the Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War. Explore the Soldiers' National Cemetery, walk in the footsteps of Pickett's Charge, hike the slopes of Little Round Top and go off the beaten path with these unique tours. All programs vary in length from thirty minutes to two hours depending on the subject matter and location. Best of all, ranger guided programs are free of charge!

Please see "Ranger Program Start Locations" map below for more information about where each program begins.

Here you will find a brief description of our programs and when you visit be certain to pick up a copy of our "Today in the Park" guide that lists all of your choices for programs, tours and other events of interest.

For more information call the park at (717) 334-1124, ext. 8023.

June 11 - August 14
Program Times Days Offered
Battle Overview (30 min)
Want to understand the basics of the battle before you get out on the field? This is the program for you!
Meet at Ford Education Center in Museum & Visitor Center
9 am Daily
Hands on History Cart
Play a 19th century parlor game, learn what soldiers did in their spare time, and dress up like kids who lived in the 1860s! All this and more at our Hands-On History Cart!
Meet at Museum & Visitor Center Lobby & David Wills House
Varies Daily
Those Awful Rocks: The Struggle for Devil's Den (60 min)
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 Devil's Den Parking Lot - Sickles Avenue
10 am Mon/Wed/Sat
Meade's H.Q. Open House
Step into history at the Lydia Leister house! Visitors can explore the interior of the small farmhouse where Maj. Gen. George Meade established his headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Meade's Headquarters
10 am - 4 pm Sat/Sun
Brian Farm Open House
Step into history at the Abraham Brian Farm! Visitors can explore the home of Abraham Brian and his family. A member of Gettysburg's African-American community, he fled the battlefield only to return to find his home in ruins.
Abraham Brian Farm - Hancock Avenue
10 am - 4 pm Sat/Sun
Cemetery Ridge Hike: Crisis at the Union Center (90 min)
Hike from the Visitor Center to Cemetery Ridge, where fighting raged on July 2 & 3, 1863. Visit the site of Pickett's Charge, explore the Bloody Angle, and walk in the footsteps of the men who struggled there.
Meet at Ranger Site 1 at Museum & Visitor Center
10:30 am Daily
The George Spangler Farm: An Army Field Hospital at Work (45 min)
Travel to the George Spangler Farm, site of the Union Army's 11th Corps field hospital. Become part of the hospital staff and discover how over 1,900 wounded soldiers were cared for. The Spangler Farm is only accessible via paid shuttle.
George Spangler Farm - Tickets available at
Museum & Visitor Center
11 am & 1:45 pm Fri/Sat/Sun
Four Score and Seven Years Ago:
Lincoln and the Soldiers' National Cemetery
(45 min)
Visit the site of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and explore the Soldiers' National Cemetery where over 3,500 soldiers killed in the battle were laid to rest.
Meet at National Cemetery - Taneytown Rd. Gate
11 am &
3 pm
Daily
Join the Army: A Family Program (60 min)
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. Sign up at the Visitor Center information desk.
Meet at Ranger Site 1 at Museum & Visitor Center
11 am Daily
Hold to the Last! The Battle for Little Round Top (60 min)
For over an hour on July 2, 1863, Union and Confederate troops battled for possession of this small hill. Explore the rocky summit, see original Union breastworks, and discover why Little Round Top was so important to both armies.
Meet at Little Round Top - Warren Statue
11:30 am Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat
First Shots on McPherson Ridge (60 min)
The Edward McPherson farm witnessed the opening shots of the Battle of Gettysburg. How did the fighting on this simple farm shape and influence the strategy of the battle in the coming days?
Meet at McPherson Ridge - Auto Tour Stop 1
11:30 am Tues/Thurs
Courage on Trial (60 min)
Col. Seraphim Meyer of the 107th Ohio Volunteer Infantry 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.
Meet at Ranger Site 2 at Museum & Visitor Center
1 pm Sat
The 1st Day of Battle: "The Devil's to Pay!" (45 min)
Why did the battle start at Gettysburg and how did the fighting on July 1, 1863, shape the rest of the battle?
Meet at Eternal Light Peace Memorial - Auto Tour Stop 2
1 pm Daily
The Clash of Cavalry: East Cavalry Field (90 min)
Visit the scene of one of the largest cavalry battles of the war, where Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart was stopped by a Union cavalry force that included a new general named George Armstrong Custer.
Meet at Confederate Cavalry Avenue -
at the Ranger Program Sign
1:30 pm Mon/Fri
Cannoneers to Your Post! Join the Artillery (30 min)
On July 3, 1863 over two hundred Union and Confederate cannon opened fire in one of the largest artillery duels of the war. Become part of a gun crew as you discover the role artillery played during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Meet at Abraham Brian Farm - Hancock Avenue
2 pm Mon/Wed/Fri
Hardtack, Mud, and Marching:
The Life of the Civil War Soldier
(60 min)
Over 160,000 soldiers participated in the Battle of Gettysburg. Who were they, where did they come from, and what was their experience during four years of war?
Meet at Ranger Site 1 at Museum & Visitor Center
2 pm Daily
The 2nd Day of Battle: "A Grand Terrible Drama" (45 min)
July 2, 1863 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 - Auto Tour Stop 10
2:30 pm Daily
Care of the Wounded (60 min)
Civil War medicine was more than just bone saws and amputations. Learn how the wounded were evacuated and treated, and discover the amazing story of the doctors and nurses who struggled to keep them alive.
Meet at Ranger Site 2 at Museum & Visitor Center
3 pm Daily
The Forgotten Flank: The Battle for Culp's Hill (60 min)
Walk the wooded slopes of Culp's Hill where the most sustained fighting of the battle took place.
Meet at Culp's Hill Observation Tower - Slocum Avenue
3 pm Tues/Thurs
Pickett's Charge Hike (90 min)
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.
Meet at Virginia Memorial - Auto Tour Stop 5
3 pm Mon/Wed/Fri
Battle Walk (2 hours)
Want to experience the battlefield from the same vantage point as the men who fought there? Walk the fields and woods that were fought over a century and a half ago and get a closer look at the famous and not so famous places and people that shaped the battle.
Meeting location vary. Check at the information desk for a complete schedule of daily topics and where to meet the
park ranger.
3:30 pm Daily
The 3rd Day and Beyond: "Stay and Fight it Out!" (45 min)
Visit the site of Pickett's Charge, the climactic moment of the Battle of Gettysburg, and discover what the outcome of the battle meant for the Union and Confederacy.
Meet at Abraham Brian Farm - Hancock Avenue
4 pm Daily
Battlefield in a Box (30 min)
Become part of the battlefield in this interactive overview program! Build a map of the battlefield using simple props. Perfect for the first time visitor wanting a better understanding of the battle.
Meet at Ranger Site 1 at Museum & Visitor Center
4 pm Daily
Long Remembered: Lincoln Comes to Gettysburg (75 min) Explore the impact of the battle upon the Gettysburg community and walk in the footsteps of President Lincoln.
Meet at Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station - Carlisle Street
6 pm Sun
Sunset on Cemetery Ridge (60 min)
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. Experience stories of courage and suffering, resiliency, and memory.
Meet at Abraham Brian Farm - Hancock Avenue
7 pm Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat
Camp Fire at Pitzer Woods (60 min)
Rangers present programs on a wide variety of topics on the Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War.
Meet at Park Amphitheater - West Confederate Avenue
8:30 pm Daily

 
map of Summer Ranger Programs
Ranger Program Start Locations for Summer 2016
 

2016 Summer Battle Walks

Experience the battlefield from the same vantage point as the men who fought here. These two hour hikes explore the fields and woods where the battle was fought over a century and a half ago. Starting locations vary, request a full program schedule from the ranger desk. Comfortable shoes, long pants, and water highly recommended.

Daily: 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

July 22 - August 6
Date Program Ranger Start Location End Location
July 22 Benner's Hill to Culp's Hill Tory Harman Benner's Hill cul-de-sac Spangler's Spring, Auto Tour Stop # 13
July 23
Gettysburg's Forgotten Front: Rodes' Division Sharpshooters, July 2-4 Jarrad Fouss Baltimore St. entrance to National Cemetery Unity Park, Lefever Street
July 24 Farms in the Path of Battle: July 2, 1863 Dan Welch Mississippi Monument, W. Confederate Ave. Sherfy Farm, Emmitsburg Rd.
July 25 The Iron Brigade at Gettysburg Caitlin Costic Auto Tour Stop # 1 Auto Tour Stop #1
July 26 The Blue Birds: Alexander Hays and July 3rd Karlton Smith Brian Farm, Hancock Ave. The Angle, Tour Stop # 15
July 27 Into the Vortex of the Conflict: The 12th New Hampshire at Gettysburg John Hoptak PA Memorial
Auto Tour Stop #12
Klingel Farm, Sickles Ave.
July 28 Samuel Johnston's July 2 Reconnaissance Troy Harman Longstreet Tower, W. Confederate Avenue South Confederate Avenue.
July 29 Semmes' Brigade, July 2 Matt Atkinson Longstreet Tower, W. Confederate Avenue The Wheatfield, Auto Tour Stop # 9
July 30 Skirmishers & Sharpshooters Hold the Line: Rodes' Arrival on July 1 Jarrad Fouss Oak Ridge Tower, Auto Tour Stop # 3 Barlow's Knoll
July 31 Gettysburg's Forgotten Front: Rodes' Division Sharpshooters, July 2-4 Jarrad Fouss Baltimore Street entrance, National Cemetery Unity Park, Lefever Street
August 1 "No friendly supports of any kind were in sight"- The 9th Massachusetts Battery Rob Finkell Trostle Farm, United States Ave. Trostle Farm, United States Ave.
August 2 Ambrose Wright Pierces the Union Center Matt Atkinson Virginia Monument, Auto Tour Stop # 5 High Water Mark, Auto Tour Stop # 15
August 3 East Cavalry Field Tom Holbrook Confederate Cavalry Avenue Michigan Cavalry Brigade Monument
August 4 Planning Pickett's Charge Chuck Teague North Carolina Monument, Auto Tour Stop # 4 North Sickles Avenue
August 5 Ewell's Favorable Opportunity: O'Neal and Daniel Shift Left Troy Harman East Cemetery Hill East Confederate Ave.
August 6 Fury at the Bliss Farm Nate Hess Brian Farm, Hancock Ave. Brian Farm, Hancock Ave.
 
 

2016 Summer Camp Fire Programs

Rangers present evening campfire talks on a wide variety of topics on the Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War.

Held every evening at 8:30 pm at the Pitzer Woods Amphitheater, Auto Tour Stop #6.

July 22 - August 6
Date Program Ranger
July 22 "I Don't Believe We Can Have an Army Without Music": Music and the American Civil War Nate Hess
July 23 Lee's First Invasion: The Maryland Campaign of 1862 John Hoptak
July 24 Not Yet! Longstreet at Appomattox Karlton Smith
July 25 A Fitting Tribute: Reaction to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Dan Welch
July 26 Vicksburg: The Campaign that Opened the Mississippi River Matt Atkinson
July 27 Meade and the 1864 Congressional Hearings Troy Harman
July 28 A World Apart: Everyday Life on the Cusp of the Civil War Chuck Teague
July 29 "I Don't Believe We Can Have an Army Without Music": Music of the American Civil War Nate Hess
July 30 The Art of War: Monuments at Gettysburg Karlton Smith
July 31 Going Home: The Grand Review and Demobilization of the Army John Hoptak
August 1 How Did They Get Here? The Gettysburg Campaign Dan Welch
August 2 Sacrificed at Gettysburg: The Story of the 1st Minnesota Zach Siggins
August 3 The Great Revival in Lee's Army Troy Harman
August 4 Voices of the Aftermath Caitlin Kostic
August 5 The Battle of Monterey Pass John Miller, Monterey Pass Historic Site
August 6 The 48th Pennsylvania Infantry and the Digging of the Petersburg Mine John Hoptak

 

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1195 Baltimore Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone:

(717) 334-1124

Contact Us