Monday, April 20, 2015

Pictures from Gettysburg

Our trip to Gettysburg was terrific.  It was great to see old friends, walk through history, and visit Hershey Park afterwards.  We went with some old friends that I hadn't seen in years, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  So did my girls.

Gettysburg is about five hours away from our house.  We stopped for lunch
at the Boonton Sushi House in Boonton, NJ.
Afterwards we went to the Boonton Cakery. 
Boonton is a cute toon.  Very urban, very multicultural but with a distinct
identity.  We all really enjoyed it.  This picture doesn't do it justice.
We got to Gettysburg about five in the afternoon.  It didn't take long to get unpacked, but we were slow to get dinner started.  We wound up sitting around a fire talking until almost midnight this first day.
We and our friends rented cottages at the Gettysburg Campground.  This turned out
to be a great idea.  It's the offseason, so the campground wasn't particularly crowded.
These cabins were awesome, but the beds were hard as Hell.
Safety first!
Gettysburg Campground has a very specific speed limit.
I wanted to get straight to the battlefield, but we wound up spending some time at the museum first, and that turned out to be a good idea.  They have an excellent movie narrated by Morgan Freeman that does a good job of explaining the battle and an outstanding job of putting that battle into its larger context.
Part of the Cyclorama in Gettysburg.  Before motion pictures, this was the technology
used to explain Civil War battles to tourists.
The Cyclorama depicts Pickett's Charge as seen from Cemetery Hill.
By the time we got done with the museum, it was lunchtime.  We went to Garryowen's Irish Pub, which turned out to be a little disappointing on two fronts.  First, our food took a long time.  Second, it was very Irish but not much associated with the 7th Cavalry.

We had lunch at Garryowen's Irish Pub.
It was very Irish, not so much 7th Cavalry.
Sally went looking for this steeple--and found it!
It's shown prominently in the movie.
We got out to the battlefield around 2.  We spent a goodly amount of time on McPherson's Ridge, walking the ground, talking about the battle, and taking in all of the monuments.  That was fun, but we spent a lot of time up there.

Emma on top of McPherson's Ridge.  There are monuments to Buford's Cavalry regiments,
the Iron Brigade, and units from Reynold's Corps.  Reynolds was killed by a
Confederate sharpshooter and General Abner Doubleday (of baseball fame) took command.
Sally & Emma at Doubleday's monument.
Hannah with one of the artillery battery monuments.  Most of these were
from New York units.  This was a very close engagement for these batteries,
but they did well and suffered relatively light casualties.
We also spent a lot of time at the Eternal Peace and Light Memorial, erected 75 years after the battle.  Almost two thousand veterans attended its dedication.  Their average age?  95 years old!

Me and Emma looking up at the Eternal Peace and Light Memorial.  The Confederates
attacked from this ridge at the end of the first day, pushing the Union back into town.
However, Ewell didn't follow up and seize Cemetery Hill.  It is in this that Jackson's loss was felt
most keenly.
The kids were all exhausted by the time we hit Seminary Ridge.  We sort of flew through the areas memorializing Pickett's Charge, unfortunately.  However, we did spend some time with the Virginia Memorial.
The Virginia Memorial.  This is in the treeline from which Pickett and
his men stepped off for their fateful charge.
Looking out over Pickett's avenue of approach.
We went back to the museum, caught our breath, saw some of the exhibits, and then went back out to Little Round Top.  This was my favorite part of the day, both because it was a little cooler, so my kids perked up a bit and because it was such interesting  terrain.

Hannah on Little Round Top.
Overlooking the battlefield from Little Round Top.  The fighting was fierce here
because this position commands so much ground down below.
Emma with the 3rd Brigade Memorial.  Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine
are the most famous men in this battle today, but his entire brigade fought desperately here,
often with fixed bayonets. 

Thus ended our tour of Gettysburg.  It was terrific, but even I was tired and full-up on history by the time we got back to the cabins.  We had dinner, and all of the girls went to bed.  Chris and I stayed up talking shop until about eleven.  I learned quite a bit about Aviation Branch and responded with a discussion of Canadian wind and nuclear power policies.

We went to Hershey Park yesterday.  Awesome, awesome day!

We went to Hershey Park yesterday.  That was a blast!
We rode a ton of roller coasters, but this ride--The Claw--was
the kids' favorite.
Yes, that is spinning and swinging around.
 I was not particularly enthusiastic about the "tour", but it turned out to be a lot of fun.  Plus, we got ice cream afterwards.

Afterwards, we took the tour/ride through one of the world's truly great gift shops.
Singing cows explain the chocolate-making process, which is now thoroughly indutrialized. 
Bye bye!

1 comment:

  1. Nice job. This really does summarize our trip to PA. We all had a great time and it was nice to meet Chris and his family too.