Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Bryn: We said good-bye to our friends and Tino, their golden retriever, then went to the Harper's Ferry Visitor Center so the boys could be awarded Junior Ranger badges. Then we left WV, crossed through Maryland, and went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
We saw the orientation movie and the cyclorama, a huge oil painting on canvas that lines the walls of the gallery, giving you a 360 degree view of the battle scene. The boys worked on their Junior Ranger booklet while we had lunch. Next we drove the auto tour through the battlefields, amazed at all of the memorials to regiments, the fences which created both protection and obstacles during the battle, and the number of cannon placed approximately where they would have been on July 1 - 3, 1863. We attended an excellent ranger walk and talk about Pickett's charge. Yes, the boys earned more Junior Ranger badges; at Gettysburg, they received patches instead of plastic badges. It was a fascinating yet somber day.
We had dinner at Dobbin's Tavern, built as a home in 1776, used as a school and later a tavern, part of the Underground Railroad, and taken over as a hospital during the Civil War.
Photos: Confederate Avenue with their artillery line; Bret and the fence marking the Confederate's advancing point; Reed viewing the battlefield from the top of the Pennsylvania Memorial (note van below, with memorials and cannons); kids acting as various regiments as Ranger Matt describes the troop movements; Bryn and boys at the Union line.

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