Summer at Gettysburg: 2016 Ranger Programs

Ranger Rubalcava 2 at Gettysburg NMP
Today marks the beginning of the interpretive summer season at Gettysburg National Military Park. From today until August 14, the rangers and historians at Gettysburg National Military Park will offer 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. Also, if you are out exploring the battlefield, water, insect repellent, and proper footwear are a must! Take a look at the schedule below, plan your Gettysburg experience, and we will see you on the field!

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

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
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


About Gettysburg National Military Park

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