The Wheatfield: A Gettysburg National Military Park Battle Walk with Ranger John Hoptak

Every day throughout the summer months the staff of Gettysburg National Military Park lead visitors through the battlefield park on “Battle Walks.” These interpretive programs are a fantastic way to explore the battlefield in-depth and from the perspective of the soldiers who fought here: On the ground and through the woods, fields, and valleys that comprise the Gettysburg battlefield.

4th Mich Meld 3

The past and present collide in the Wheatfield. To the left, veterans of the 4th Michigan dedicate their monument. On the right, modern visitors explore the battlefield.

No spot on the field is as confusing as the famous Wheatfield. Owned by Gettysburg farmer John Rose, the Wheatfield was the scene of brutal and chaotic fighting on the afternoon of July 2nd, 1863. Regiments from no fewer than three Union corps were thrown against Confederate troops in a series of confused attacks and counterattacks. By the end of the fighting that day the Wheatfield had been trampled into a carpet and the ground had been stained with the blood of the over 6,000 men killed, wounded, and missing in the fighting. What happened in that Wheatfield and had did it effect the remainder of the battle? What had those 6,000 men gained or lost with their lives?

Join Ranger John Hoptak in this special “Digital Battle Walk” as he explores the Wheatfield and demystifies the confused story of Gettysburg’s most chaotic three hours.

 

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About The Staff

Staff of Gettysburg National Military Park
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