The 153rd Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

Kostic  (17)

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 153nd Anniversary for a series of free guided walks and talks that discuss, explore, and reflect on this important chapter in our nation’s history.

Note: On all park avenues please park your vehicle on the right side of the road, unless otherwise directed, with all wheels on the pavement. Schedule is subject to change.

Daily Ranger-Guided Programs
Friday, July 1 – Sunday, July 3

Battlefield in a Box: An Overview (30 minutes) – 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 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M.

Lincoln and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery (40 minutes) – Explores the meaning and cost of the Battle of Gettysburg, and of 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 11:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M.

Care of the Wounded (1 hour) – 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 3:00 P.M.

Civil War Soldier (1 hour) – Over 160,000 soldiers participated in the Battle of Gettysburg. Find out why they enlisted, why they fought, and what they endured during the four years of the American Civil War. Meet at Ranger Program Site 1 behind the Museum and Visitor Center, daily at 2:00 P.M.

Family Activities and Hands on History
Friday, July 1 – Sunday, July 3

During the 153rd Anniversary children of all ages can visit the Family Activities and Hands on History station at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Discover hands-on history stations, hourly special guest appearances called “Mystery History Guest”, and “Join the Army” programs to learn more about the people involved in, and affected by, the battle of Gettysburg.  You can also pick up and check in your Gettysburg and Centennial Junior Ranger booklets.

Family Activities and Hands on History Hours: July 1 – 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Group Lobby. Mystery History Guest: 10:00 a.m., 12:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m.. Join the Army: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. daily.

July 1

Special Programs – Friday, 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.

10:00 a.m.
“The Air Was Full of Lead” – Joseph Davis’ Brigade on July 1st
Perhaps no other brigade at Gettysburg experienced the joy of victory and pangs of defeat so quickly as Davis’ Mississippians and North Carolinians. Join Park Ranger Matt Atkinson and explore Davis’ attack on Cutler’s Brigade, the fatal advance to the Railroad Cut, and the Union counterattack.

Meet at the intersection of Buford and Reynolds Avenue. Park on the right of Buford Avenue.

 2:30 p.m.
“Misconduct at Gettysburg”- General Alfred’s Iverson’s North Carolina Brigade on July 1.
Around midday of July 1, General Robert Rodes’ Division formed line of battle on Oak Hill northwest of Gettysburg. In the center was Brigadier General Alfred Iverson’s veteran North Carolina brigade, which crossed the Forney farm in perfect precision as if passing in review. Within seconds, Iverson’s command was nearly destroyed and his confidence and ability to lead shattered. This brief yet bloody encounter on the first day of Gettysburg continues to inspire controversy and debate to this very day. Join John Heiser, Historian at Gettysburg National Military Park, in exploring the disaster that befell the brigade that day

Meet and park at the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, Auto Tour Stop #2.

6:00 p.m.
“Every Moment Could Not be Balanced With Gold…” Cemetery Hill: Union Retreat, Confederate Pursuit
As Federal forces retreated to Cemetery Hill on the evening of July 1, 1863, the fortunes of both North and South stood in the balance. Join Licensed Battlefield Guide John Archer for a walking tour to see those moments through the eyes and experiences of its participants.

Meet at the entrance of East Confederate Ave and Lefever Street.  Park along East Confederate Avenue.

 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, 153 years ago.

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.      The First Shots – Nate Hess                
Meet at Auto Tour Stop 1, McPherson Ridge. Park on Reynolds Avenue.

10:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.     The 6th Wisconsin at the Railroad Cut – Caitlin Kostic 
Meet at the General Wadsworth Monument on Reynolds Avenue. Park along Reynolds Avenue.

2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.    Junius Daniel Strikes McPherson Ridge  – Daniel Vermilya
Meet at the General Wadsworth Monument on Reynolds Avenue. Park along Reynolds Avenue.

3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.    The 153rd Pennsylvania at Barlow Knoll  – Chuck Teague
Meet at Barlow’s Knoll, East Howard Avenue. Park along East Howard Avenue.

5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.    Rally on Cemetery Hill: Hancock and Howard at the End of the 1st Day – Matt Atkinson
Meet at the Baltimore Street Entrance to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery

Sacred Trust Talks and Book Signing
Continuing a tradition of the popular Sacred Trust Talks and Book signings, the Gettysburg Foundation and Gettysburg National Military Park will host renowned authors, historians, and National Park Service Rangers to discuss the impact of the American Civil War on contemporary politics, industry, medicine and culture.

7:00 p.m.
Opening Panel: A Conversation about Combat – From Gettysburg to Afghanistan

 “A Conversation about Combat – From Gettysburg to Afghanistan” will feature renowned historians Dr. Alexander Rose and Dr. Carol Reardon, alongside combat veterans Brig. Gen. James Campbell and Lt. Col. William Hewitt as they discuss the experience of battle throughout American history. From leading men on the front lines of Cemetery Ridge to the jungles of Vietnam, the American soldier has confronted experiences and challenges both unique and universal. 

Meet at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Seating is limited for this free panel discussion so tickets are required and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To reserve your tickets, click here or call (877) 874-2478

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Special Programs – Saturday, 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.   

 10:00 a.m.
“Into the Very Vortex of the Tempest:” The 12th New Hampshire Infantry at Gettysburg
Late on the afternoon of July 2, 1863, the 12th New Hampshire Infantry of General Daniel Sickles’s Third Corps, Army of the Potomac, suffered nearly fifty percent casualties in a desperate and deadly struggle along the Emmitsburg Road.  Join Ranger John Hoptak and follow in the footsteps of this hard-fighting regiment, assume the identity of one of its soldiers, and learn his fate while discovering the largely unheralded and untold story of the 12th New Hampshire’s service and sacrifice at Gettysburg.

Meet at the Pennsylvania Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 12. Park along Sedgwick Avenue. 

2:30 p.m.
From the Peach Orchard to the Valley of Death: Advance and Retreat with De Trobriand’s Brigade
On the afternoon of July 2, 1863 five Union regiments under the command of a French author turned soldier, took part in some of the most bitter and brutal fighting of the Battle of Gettysburg. From the Valley of Death to the Sherfy Peach Orchard, the men of Philippe Régis de Trobriand’s brigade would never forget what they saw, and did on that summer day. Supervisory Ranger Christopher Gwinn will retrace the advance and retreat of one of the most remarkable units in the Army of the Potomac.

Meet at the Wheatfield, Auto Tour Stop 9. Park along Sickles Avenue.

6:00 p.m.
We Shot Them to Pieces: The Second U.S. Sharpshooters in the Slyder Lane
Follow Licensed Battlefield Guide Gar Phillips and walk the rarely-visited and rugged ground that helped an elite unit of 169 sharpshooters to break up and delay an attack of 40 times their own number of men. The Second U.S. Sharpshooters bought precious time for the Union army to secure the left flank of the Army of the Potomac on Little Round Top, though their story and sacrifice remain largely unknown.

Meet at the Texas Monument, South Confederate Avenue.  Park along South Confederate Avenue.

Real Time Programs

These 30 to 45-minute programs provide an overview of key moments during the Battle of Gettysburg at the time at which they occurred 153 years ago.

 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.     Lee Plans for Battle – Troy Harman
Meet at the North Carolina Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 4.
Park on West Confederate Avenue.

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.    Berdan’s Sharpshooters in Pitzer Woods  – Zach Siggins
Meet at the Longstreet Equestrian Statue, near Auto Tour Stop 6.
Park on West Confederate Avenue.

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.    Sickles Takes the High Ground – Dan Welch
Meet at the Peach Orchard. Park on Sickles Avenue. Do not park on Wheatfield Road.

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.    Hood Prepares to Attack – John Nicholas                    
Meet near Auto Tour Stop 7, at the Park Picnic Area.

4:15 p.m.  – 4:45 p.m.    The Battle for Little Round Top – Philip Brown
Meet at the Warren Statue, Auto Tour Stop 8, on Little Round Top.

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.    Into the Valley of Death – Bill Hewitt
Meet at Devil’s Den. Do not park on Wheatfield Road.

5:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.     The 4th Michigan in the Wheatfield –  Daniel Vermilya
Meet at Auto Tour Stop 9, The Wheatfield. Do not park on Wheatfield Road.

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.     Chaos at the Trostle Farm – Emma Murphy
Meet at the Trostle Barn. Park on United States Avenue.

7:20 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.    Sacrifice of the 1st Minnesota – Chuck Teague
Meet at Auto Tour Stop 12, The Pennsylvania Memorial. Park along Hancock Avenue.

8:15 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.     Night Fighting on East Cemetery Hill – Jarrad Fuoss
Meet at the Howard Equestrian Statue, East Cemetery Hill

Campfire at Pitzer Woods
Over the anniversary of the battle Park Rangers will host hour-long presentations, offering unique perspectives on the events of 153 years ago. Held nightly at 8:30 p.m. at the Pitzer Woods Amphitheater.

Voices from the Battlefield: The Second Day of Battle – Ranger Daniel Vermilya
The second of July, 1863 marked the largest and bloodiest of the three days of fighting at Gettysburg. No one who took part in the fighting, or witnessed it, would ever forget the experience. Join Ranger Daniel Vermilya as he offers a glimpse into the experience of combat on July 2nd by sharing the words and memories of its participants.

Dan at the codori farm

Special Programs – Sunday, 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.   

10:00 a.m.
Pickett’s Charge: Was There a Second Wave?
When Longstreet stated to Lee on the morning of July 3, 1863, “there never was a body of fifteen thousand men who could make that attack successfully,” he emphatically concluded with, “it would take twice that many men and even then the issue would be in doubt.” If one surveys all Confederate troops placed within supporting distance of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble assault, they add up to an additional 15,000 men. Did Lee and Longstreet arrange for another 15,000 combatants in a supporting role? Would they have moved forward under the right conditions? How did their presence contribute to Pickett’s fallback and the final retreat of Lee’s army? Join Ranger Troy Harman for this in-depth experience.

Meet at Virginia Memorial, Auto Tour Stop #5. Park along West Confederate Avenue.

2:30 p.m.
“A Desperate Thing to Attempt”- Pickett’s Charge
Visitors are invited to follow in the footsteps of the Confederate soldiers that took part in Pickett’s Charge, the climactic moment of the Battle of Gettysburg. Who were the men that made this assault, what motivated them, and what did they experience in the fields between Seminary and Cemetery Ridge? Join Ranger Dan Welch and Caitlin Kostic retrace the route of the most famous charge in American military history.

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

6:00 p.m.
After Pickett’s Charge: Bloody Combat on the Afternoon of July 3rd
The Battle of Gettysburg did not end with the massive assault known as Pickett’s Charge. Infantry and cavalry forces maneuvered, fought, and retreated throughout the afternoon. Amidst the wreckage of the second day’s battle, casualties mounted, cannons were recaptured, cavalry charged infantry, breastworks were erected, and a general was killed. Join Licensed Battlefield Guides Garry Adelman and Tim Smith for a fast-paced hike that focuses upon these actions on the south end of the Gettysburg Battlefield.

Meet at the Wheatfield, Auto Tour Stop 9. Park along Sickles Avenue.

Real Time Programs
These 30- to 45-minute programs provide a brief overview of key moments during the Battle of Gettysburg at the time at which they occurred 153 years ago.

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.    The 2nd Massachusetts in Spangler Meadow – Nate Hess
Meet at Auto Tour Stop 13, Spangler’s Spring.
Park on East Confederate and Williams Avenue.

8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.    Steuart’s Brigade Attacks! – Dan Welch
Meet at the Auto Tour Stop 13, Spangler’s Spring.
Park on East Confederate and Williams Avenue.

9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.    Lee and Longstreet at Odds – Karlton Smith
Meet at the Peach Orchard. Park on North Sickles or United States Avenue.
Do not park on Wheatfield Road.

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.    Fight at the Rummel Farm: East Cavalry Field –   John Nicholas
Meet at the Ranger Program Sign on Confederate Cavalry Avenue.
Park on Confederate Cavalry Avenue.

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Battle for the Bliss Farm – Bill Hewitt
Meet at the Abraham Brian Farm. Park on Hancock Avenue.

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.    The Cannonade – Philip Brown
Meet at the High Water Mark, Auto Tour Stop 15. Park on Hancock Avenue.

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.    The Defense of Cemetery Ridge – Gregory Hillebrand
Meet at the Meade Equestrian Monument. Park on Hancock Avenue or 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 153 years ago. Held nightly at 8:30 p.m. at the Pitzer Woods Amphitheater.

Voices from the Battlefield: The Third Day of Battle – Ranger Karlton Smith
The setting of the sun on the evening of July 3, 1863 marked the end of the Battle of Gettysburg. Those fortunate enough to have survived the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War would begin to piece together their memories, actions, and impressions. Join Ranger Karlton Smith and examine the story of July 3rd through the recollections of those who lived to tell the tale.

84th NY Infantry at Gettysburg NMP

The 84th New York Infantry monument looks out over  the first day’s battlefield.

About The Staff

Staff of Gettysburg National Military Park
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One Response to The 153rd Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

  1. Al Mackey says:

    Reblogged this on Student of the American Civil War and commented:
    This year is the 153rd Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Here are the special events for this year’s commemoration. Unlike most other years, the Sacred Trust lectures are scheduled on the same three days, which for me is a bad thing, as I now will probably miss the lectures in order to be on the battlefield. The schedule for the lectures is here.
    http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/149

    It’s a shame, because there are quite a few I would have liked to have seen live, but I suppose I’ll just have to wait for the YouTube videos to be posted.

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