2010 Gettysburg Anniversary Battlewalks
Veteran National Park Service Ranger and author Troy Harman speaks to an enthusiastic crowd during his outstanding 2008 battlewalk of the seldom visited, seldom discussed fight on Brinkerhoff’s Ridge along Hanover Road (Route 116) between the main Gettysburg Battlefield and East Cavalry Field.
GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
147th Anniversary Battle Walk Programs July 1-3, 2010
Join Park Rangers and Licensed Battlefield Guides for a series of free guided walks that discuss the three days of battle and its impact. Each program is approximately three hours in length and may include up to two miles or more of walking. Some of the terrain is moderately difficult and programs may pass through tall grass. Water, headgear, sun protection, insect repellent and comfortable, sturdy walking shoes are highly recommended.
July 1, 2010
July 1, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. Heavy Was Their Loss – The Ordeal of General Joseph Davis’s Brigade on July 1st
General Joseph R. Davis was the nephew of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. On the morning of July 1 he led one of two brigades from Gen. Henry Heth’s division against Union General John Buford’s cavalry in an effort to sweep the horsemen out of the way and seize the crossroads at Gettysburg. Davis’s Mississippians and North Carolinians easily drove Buford’s dismounted cavalry before them, but then on the ridges a mile west of Gettysburg they encountered the unexpected – Union infantry. The ordeal of Davis’s brigade had begun. Pushing forward aggressively they defeated the federals in a hard fight before things unraveled. By the time the morning battle of July 1 ended, Davis’s brigade was wrecked. Retrace the steps of Davis’s men as Park Historian D. Scott Hartwig reconstructs the events that led to disaster for Davis and his men, and considers the repercussions of that defeat on the larger battle.
Meet at the head of the Wills farm lane on Buford Avenue. Park along Buford Avenue or at the Eternal Peace Light Memorial Parking Lot. Note: On all park avenues please park your vehicle on the right side of the road, but with all wheels on the pavement.
July 1, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. “All acted with courage and coolness.” Junius Daniel’s North Carolina Brigade on July 1st
West Point and five years on remote western posts that included armed encounters with Apache Indians was hardly enough to give any officer the experience necessary to lead a brigade. Junius Daniel was an exception. The North Carolina-born general marched to Gettysburg with the largest brigade in Rodes’ Division. Where an officer of lesser quality would have lost control of his command in the chaos of battle on the afternoon of July 1, General Daniel retained a firm grip on his troops in their bloody fight with the Pennsylvania “Bucktails” and other First Corps troops. Join Park Historian John Heiser in retracing the route of Daniel’s North Carolinians on that fateful afternoon at Gettysburg.
Meet at the Eternal Peace Light Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 2. Be prepared for hiking through tall grass meadows over uneven ground, total distance of approximately two miles. Park at the Peace Light Parking Lot or along Buford Avenue.
An Anniversary Program for Young People
July 1, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. – Join the Cavalry (1 hour)
Meet Ranger Barb Sanders at Auto Tour Stop #1 to “join the U.S. Cavalry” just in time for the first day of the battle of Gettysburg. Children will learn all about the jobs of cavalrymen, see some of their equipment, and stand in the footsteps of some of the cavalryman from July 1, 1863.
Park along Reynolds Avenue.
July 2, 2010
July 2, 2010 at 10 a.m.
“Into this hell of destruction we were ordered to charge…”
The Experience of General George Willard’s New York Brigade, July 2nd
The defeat of the Union 3rd Corps left a large gap in the Union line on the lower end of Cemetery Ridge. Late in the afternoon General George Willard’s New York brigade was ordered to help close the hole in the Union line. Every regiment of this brigade had been surrendered only ten months earlier at Harper’s Ferry. This was their chance at redemption of their reputation. Join Ranger Matt Atkinson and follow in the footsteps of Willard’s men in their desperate effort to seal the gap in the Union line.
The tour will meet in Ziegler’s Grove, near the old Cyclorama Center, and involve approximately a one mile hike down Cemetery Ridge to Plum Run swale where you will join the Barksdale group for a final conclusion and wrap up. Come prepared to hike through tall grass, climb fences and rocks, just as the New Yorkers did. Park along Hancock Avenue or at the old Visitor Center parking lot.
July 2, 2010 at 10 a.m.
“Every man in the brigade knew that our turn had come at last.”
The Charge of General William Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade, July 2nd
A staff officer described the charge of Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade against the Union lines at the Peach Orchard and Sherfy farm as “the most magnificent charge I witnessed during the war.” Join Ranger Angie Atkinson and retrace the steps of the men of the brigade from their starting point on Seminary Ridge, across the Emmitsburg Road and to the high water mark of their charge in the Plum Run Swale. This walk will meet the Willard brigade walk near the same ground the soldiers from the two brigades met on the late afternoon of July 2. Park along West Confederate Avenue and meet at the Mississippi Monument.
July 2, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
Law and Robertson Strike Devil’s Den and the Round Tops
Overextended beyond support in thanks to centrifugal force, broken terrain, and sudden show of force by federal troops, an eclectic mix of Alabama, Texas and Arkansas troops fought an uphill battle on July 2, 1863. Though the Round Tops did not figure to be primary objectives, Union defenders dictated otherwise, forcing James Longstreet’s Corps to lose critical mass along the Emmitsburg road, the army’s point of direction. Join Ranger Troy Harman in the Big Round Top parking lot at 2:30 PM for a winding path hike through the thick of the action at Devil’s Den and Little Round Top. Park along South Confederate Avenue and at the Big Round Top parking area.
An Anniversary Program for Young People
July 2, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. — Join the Infantry (1 hour)
Meet Ranger Dan Welch at Auto Tour Stop 7 on South Confederate Avenue to join Confederate infantrymen from Alabama just as they are ordered into battle on July 2, 1863. Children will see an example of a Confederate infantryman’s uniform and equipment, learn to march, and stand in the footsteps of the men of the 15th Alabama.
July 2, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
The First Battlefield Park
Within weeks of the fighting, Gettysburg attorney David McConaughy took steps to insure that portions of the battlefield at Gettysburg were preserved for future generations. In 1864 Pennsylvania incorporated the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association and during the next several years appropriated money with which land was purchased. In 1878 Union veterans started holding annual reunions and monuments began to dot the field. Not until 1893 with the formation of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission did the federal government become actively involved in battlefield management. In the years after the battle East Cemetery Hill was the most visited place on the field. Today it often overlooked.
Join Licensed Battlefield Guides Tim Smith and Garry Adelman for a tour of the hill and its surroundings. Monuments, markers, veterans’ encampments, the battlefield’s first observation tower and, of course, the battle itself will be among the topics to be discussed. A staple with Adelman and Smith tours, the tour will be lavishly illustrated with wartime and postwar photographs.
Park at the old Visitor Center lot and meet at the Baltimore Street entrance to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.
July 3, 2010
July 3, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.
Meade’s Monocacy -Rock Creek Line: Neither Here Nor There
Debate swirled after the battle over whether General George G. Meade intended to leave Gettysburg after the first day’s fight for the security of his logistical stronghold around Westminster, Marlyand at Pipe Clay Creek. Several Union Corps commanders even recalled a critical July 2, 1863 war council conversation about the army falling back to a stronger position. Claims to this effect persisted after the battle forcing Meade to testify in front of a Senate subcommittee. Meanwhile, Meade categorically denied ever intending to leave Gettysburg on July 2 or 3, yet the record shows some discussions took place regarding a stronger fall-back position. Where was it? Though Meade intentionally did not elaborate on the location, his actions, along with a myriad of sorted messages, permit us to reasonably answer the riddle. Join Ranger Troy Harman, on July 3 at the Benners Hill cul-de-sac, for a hike atop Hospital hill and full discussion of Meade’s Monocacy-Rock Creek Line.
Park off Benner’s Hill Avenue in the grass so the roadway remains clear.
July 3, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.
The Attack and Repulse of Pickett’s Charge
Follow in the footsteps of Virginia soldiers of General George E. Pickett’s Division during their ill-fated assault against the Union center. Join the team of park rangers, Bill Hewitt, Raffi Andonian, and Jennifer Murray, as they tramp the route of the brigades of Brig. Gen. Richard Garnett, Brig. Gen. Lewis Armistead and Brig. Gen. James Kemper of Pickett’s famous command. Meet the rangers at the Virginia Memorial (Auto Tour Stop 5), along West Confederate Avenue.
For the perspective of the Union soldiers who repulsed the attack and to learn about the Union response to Pickett’s Charge, meet Ranger Jim Flook at the Abraham Brian farmhouse, located along Hancock Avenue, directly behind the old Cyclorama Center. Park at the old Visitor Center Parking Lot.
An Anniversary Program for Young People
July 3, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. — Join the Artillery (1 hour)
Meet Ranger John Nicholas at Auto Tour Stop 15 (The Angle) to join Cushing’s Battery of the Union Artillery just as the Confederate Artillery opens fire on July 3, 1863. Children will learn the loading and firing drill, see artillery accouterments, and stand in the footsteps of some of the bravest soldiers of the battle. Park along Hancock Avenue.
July 3, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
“The Bullets Came Thick And Close.”
The 137th New York and the Battle for Culp’s Hill
The defense of the Union left on Little Round Top by Col. Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine on July 2, 1863 has become a touchstone for courage and determination at Gettysburg. However, the stubborn defense of the Union right at Culp’s Hill by Col. David Ireland’s 137th New York Infantry was at least as decisive, and may well have diverted a direct assault on the all-important Union supply line on the Baltimore Pike. On July 3rd, the battle for Culp’s Hill lasted seven straight hours, the longest sustained fighting at Gettysburg. Join Licensed Battlefield Guide John Archer and walk in the footsteps of these New Yorkers and explore the lesser known struggle for Culp’s Hill.
The walk will begin at the Culp’s Hill Observation tower and cover approx 1 mile of uneven ground. Park at the Culp’s Hill Tower lot or on Williams Avenue.
National Park Service Gettysburg National Military Park 1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325