Thing to Do

Gettysburg Winter Programs

A full theater as seen from the back of the audience. A large white screen, a speaker and podium.
Rangers, historians, and authors provide free lectures during the winter months.

NPS Photo

Winter Lectures

Featuring some of the best Rangers, historians, and authors from across the country, the 9-week Winter Lecture Series will return to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center in 2023!
 

The Winter Lecture Series is held at 1:30 pm on weekends in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center from January 7 through February 26, 2023.

FREE tickets are required and will be available the day of the program on a first come, first served basis at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

For those unable to attend in person, select lectures will be live streamed to the Gettysburg National Military Park YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/GettysburgNPS.


Saturday, January 7 - Intelligence Gathering at Culp's Hill
Troy Harman, Gettysburg National Military Park
Live Stream Link to our YouTube Channel

Did the Southern Army investigate Culp's Hill before attacking it? It is imagined the Southern Army attacked Culp's Hill for two days without knowing what they were walking into, or how impossible the task. It is generally presumed that if some forethought and investigation of the ground and circumstances had been carried out earlier, the 12 hours of combat there may never have occurred. How much truth is there to hastily attacking the hill without prior knowledge of Union strength, location, and morale? Troy Harman will explore and explain through multiple vivid accounts, illustrations, and maps.


Sunday, January 8George Dewey and the American Civil War
Karlton Smith, Gettysburg National Military Park
Live Stream Link to our YouTube Channel

This program will explore the Civil War career of future admiral and victor of Manila Bay George Dewey. Join Ranger Karlton Smith and track Dewey’s experiences from his time at Annapolis to the end of the Civil War, and uncover how that pivotal period would shape his post-war activities.


Saturday, January 14 – John Hunt Morgan: Thunderbolt of the Confederacy
Matthew Atkinson, Gettysburg National Military Park
Live Stream Link to our YouTube Channel

Known today as one of the great cavalry raiders, Morgan struck fear among the Northern population wherever his command roamed. His swift and daring raids across Kentucky and Ohio are some of the most daring undertakings during the Civil War. Join us for a lecture featuring romance, battle, prison escape, and even bank robberies.


Sunday, January 15 – If These Things Could Talk: Artifacts from the Collection of Gettysburg National Military Park
Tom Holbrook, Gettysburg National Military Park

Explore the museum collection at Gettysburg National Military Park with Ranger Tom Holbrook and discover some of the fascinating stories each object tells. From the simple to the extraordinary, each piece offers a window into the story of the American Civil War.


Saturday, January 21 – Little Round Top: The Vision Place of Souls
Christopher Gwinn, Gettysburg National Military Park

It is the most famous hill in American history. For 160 years Americans have been captivated by the story of Little Round Top and the desperate fighting that took place there on the afternoon of July 2, 1863. Ranger Christopher Gwinn will examine the story of the battle, the myths and legends that still hover over its rocky slopes, and detail how Little Round Top became a “vision place of souls.”

Learn more about the ongoing Little Round Top Rehabilitation Project here.


Sunday, January 22 - The Great Reunion of 1913
John Heiser, Historian

In the summer of 1913, Pennsylvania invited thousands of Union and Confederate veterans to come to Gettysburg to observe and celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, what many considered to be the "High Water Mark the Rebellion". The response from veterans of the Blue and Gray was overwhelming - over 54,000 old soldiers journeyed to a battlefield skillfully transformed by a government commission into a memorial park, where the armies of both North and South would forever be memorialized. Critics scoffed that old enemies could never get along, the divisions that caused the war in 1861 having not been forgotten. But America was changing at home and abroad and those who chose to ignore this commemoration were surprised at its outcome. Was this "Great Reunion" finally the signal of national reunification so many had hoped for fifty years after the final shot had been fired?

Experience the battlefield as the veterans did in 1913. Visit our Then and Now web page to see photos of the 1913 Reunion overlayed with modern day photos and stand where the veterans did!


Saturday, January 28 – From Second Manassas to Gettysburg: The True Story of a Texas Brigade Officer and a Union Artillerist
Wayne Motts, Gettysburg Foundation

Join historian, author, and battlefield guide Wayne Motts as he explores the true and unique story of Benjamin F. Carter of the 4th Texas Infantry and Captain Mark Kerns of Battery G, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery and how these two men, fighting on opposite sides during the war, are connected through kind acts. From the battlefields of Virginia to the fighting on July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg, Wayne will present some new information about this moving story.


Sunday, January 29 - From the Iron Brigade to Chief Joseph: John Gibbon's Military Career
Karlton Smith, Gettysburg National Military Park

This program will look at the military career of Brig. Gen. John Gibbon, focusing on his Civil War service, especially Gettysburg. It will also look at Gibbon's post war service on the frontier and his attitude concerning the Native Americans he encountered.


Saturday, February 4 - Reading Between the Lines: Soldier Accounts from the Gettysburg Battle
Troy Harman, Gettysburg National Military Park

Several solider letters and accounts will be examined from the battle, not only for surface level descriptions, but also for patterns to soldier observations, underlying clues to soldier psychology, and deeper cultural messages. This lecture will draw attention to the hidden meanings below the surface.


Sunday, February 5 – What the Ground Lay Bare: Archeology at Little Round Top and Devils Den
Erik Kreusch, Gettysburg National Miliary Park

Gettysburg National Military Park has been rehabilitating both the Devil's Den as well as the Little Round Top. Archeologists have been conducting metal detector sweeps of areas where ground disturbance was anticipated. The archeological findings have the potential to shed light on the activities of individuals during and immediately following the fight. The program will highlight some of the current findings. This coupled with firsthand narrative accounts allows the park to enhance our understanding and interpretation.

Learn more about the ongoing Little Round Top Rehabilitation Project here.

Learn more about the completed Devil's Den Rehabilitation Project here.


Saturday, February 11 – “First in '61:" Nicholas "Nick" Biddle and Pennsylvania's Forgotten First Defenders
John Hoptak, Gettysburg National Military Park

On the evening of April 18, 1861, less than 72 hours after the surrender of Fort Sumter and President Abraham Lincoln's subsequent call-to-arms, the very first Northern volunteer soldiers arrived in the nation's beleaguered capital. Although long overshadowed in history by the more famous 6th Massachusetts Infantry, these soldiers composed the ranks of five companies of Pennsylvania militia who later became known as the "First Defenders." Attacked by a pro-secessionist/pro-Confederate mob in Baltimore on their journey south to Washington, these First Defenders shed some of the very first blood of what would become the country's bloodiest conflict. Included among those injured was Nicholas "Nick" Biddle, a sixty-five-year-old African American man who may have had escaped from slavery, and who now wore the uniform of one of the Pennsylvania companies. Join John Hoptak for a look at the fascinating life and story of Biddle, and the history of these lesser-known companies, their prompt response, and their place in American Civil War history.


Sunday, February 12 (Superbowl Sunday) – No Program

Saturday, February 18 – Robert E. Lee - The Antebellum Years

Matthew Atkinson, Gettysburg National Military Park

Lee stands today as one of the most influential military leaders in world history. But what were his upbringing, education and experiences that molded the man? Join Ranger Matt Atkinson and explore Lee's life before the Civil War. 


Sunday, February 19 – Placing the Platform: Using 3D Technology to Pinpoint Lincoln at Gettysburg
Christopher Oakley, Associate Professor, UNC- Asheville

Associate Professor Christopher Oakley is a former Disney and DreamWorks animator who teaches Animation in New Media at University of North Carolina Asheville. Since 2013, Christopher has been leading an undergraduate research endeavor called "The Virtual Lincoln Project," in which he and his students are creating a digital photo-real Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. His lecture Placing the Platform: Using 3D Technology to Pinpoint Lincoln at Gettysburg explores Christopher's digital research that has led him to determine where Lincoln was actually standing when he delivered the Gettysburg Address.


Saturday, February 25 A Crusade for Peace: Eisenhower and the Korean War
Daniel Vermilya, Eisenhower National Historic Site

70 Years ago, Dwight D. Eisenhower ascended to the presidency at a time of great unrest and conflict. Nowhere was that conflict greater than in the Korean peninsula, where Americans had been fighting and dying by the thousands for several years. Join Eisenhower NHS Ranger Dan Vermilya to explore Eisenhower's crusade for peace in Korea, America's forgotten war. This program will provide special Gettysburg connections to the Korean War by highlighting stories in Gettysburg National Cemetery, and will also feature the newest addition to the Eisenhower NHS museum collection, the parka that President-Elect Eisenhower wore during his visit to Korea in December 1952.

Learn more about Eisenhower and the Korean War here.


Sunday, February 26 – Gettysburg and the Civil War: From County Seat to National Symbol
Barbara Sanders, Gettysburg National Military Park

Residents of Gettysburg and Adams County were not just passive observers of the 1863 battle. Its citizens included men who fought on both sides of the conflict, women who took in or traveled to the wounded after the battle, African Americans who dug the graves for the dead, and generations who worked to support the community from its modest time as county seat of government, to the site of a major battle, host of veterans' reunions, and creation of a National Park. Stories of its most noteworthy townspeople will illuminate this ever-changing community as a microcosm of a nation moving forward from immense conflict to create a universal symbol of freedom, sacrifice, equality and democracy.


Saturday, March 4 – Inclement weather make-up date if needed

Sunday, March 5 –
Inclement weather make-up date if needed
 

History Kids Reading Adventures Club

For elementary-aged kids who love to read and parents who want their kids to love reading, this winter reading program teaches budding history buffs about important events and important people in history, with a focus on the Civil War era. Children ages 4-10 and their families are invited to join a park educator every Saturday from 11 am to 11:45 am to hear a new book and discover a new story. This program will be held in a theater at the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center. Each book reading will also include either an indoor or outdoor family-led adventure related to that week’s book. The theme of the 2023 History Kids Reading Adventures Club is “Superheroes of History,” and the books this year will focus on such famous people as Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall, Neil Armstrong, and many others!   

January 7, 2023

Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Doreen Rappaport and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

January 14, 2023

An Apple for Harriet Tubman by Glennette Tilley Turner and Illustrated by Susan Keeter

January 21, 2023

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant and Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

January 28, 2023

The Eternal Soldier: The True Story of How a Dog Became a Civil War Hero by Allison Crotzer Kimmel and Illustrated by Rotem Teplow  

February 4, 2023

Ruby Bridges Goes To School by Ruby Bridges

February 11, 2023

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull and Illustrated by Yuyi Morales

February 18, 2023

The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter

February 25, 2023

I Am Neil Armstrong by Brad Meltzer and Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos and Superheroes are Everywhere by Kamala Harris and Illustrated by Mechel Renee Roe

 

Time Travelers’ Reading Adventure Club

Recommended for children ages 10-14, the Time Travelers’ Reading Adventures Club will read and discuss The Not So Boring Letters of Private Nobody by Matthew Landis, which tells the story of twelve-year-old Oliver--who is obsessed with studying the Civil War--who is partnered with Ella--who is not--for a class history project as they undertake research of a soldier who served in the Civil War. 

Saturdays in March at 11 am in the Ford Education Room at the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center.  
For more information on these and other family focused programming at Gettysburg National Military Park, please email Gett_Education@nps.gov  

Details
Duration
45-60 Minutes
Activity
Guided Tours
Pets Allowed
No
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Location
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
Reservations
No
Season
Winter
Time of Day
Day
Accessibility Information
Indoor winter programs are physically accessible.

Last updated: January 19, 2023