Since we got into Hanover around 10:30 (and it was not raining like the weather men said) we decided to go to Gettsyburg that day.
Gettsyburg National Military Park comprises the battlefield where one of the most important and hotly contested battles of the Civil War was fought on July 1-3, 1863.
We first toured the museum and visitor center where we watched a film and the Battle of Gettsyburg Cyclorama (377 ft painting) sound and light show. Then we went to the National Cemetery for a ranger tour. This cemetery is famous as the site of Abraham Lincoln's Gettsyburg Address.
In the Cemetery are many memorials but the largest is the Soldier's National Monument. There are 3,555 Union Civil War graves, 1,600 of them unknown. The graves are arranged in a wide semi-circle that radiate out from the large Monument. The burials were organized around state sections. If the soldier was identified his name appears on the stone. If they knew the state he is listed under that state as unknown. If they didn't know state or name he is a number.
After the cemetery tour we drove the battlefield which took about an hour. There are 1328 monuments and memorials on the 25 square miles of the park. The memorials and monuments have been erected by the states hororing their soldiers. We only stopped at Little Round Top which showed the countryside the way it looked before the battle. It is hard to imagine this field littered with soldiers bodies. Gettsyburg was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War with 51,000 wounded, captured, or killed. We are learning so much about our country!