Monday, July 7, 2014

Day 13 - Gettysburg Driving Tour and Spangler Farm

Seminary Hill

We purchased a CD audio guide and booklet for a driving tour of the Gettysburg battle sites.  The drive takes you through the battle as it occurs, giving background info as you drive from place to place.  We really enjoyed this!

The tour started from the Visitor's Center parking lot.  We started the day there getting tickets to the Spangle Farm tour.  This is a fee attraction, but you need tickets and are taken by a tour bus.  More on that later.  We drove from place to place, listening to the audio commentary and would get out and take pictures along the way.  We took our time and spent 6-7 hours on the driving tour.

Lee Memorial
We had the last tour to Spangler Farm at 1:00.  I wish we had more time there!  It's a private residence that was used as a field hospital during the Gettysburg battles.  The family later sold the property to the Park and it's now used to demonstrate life at that time.
Spangler Farm
There were two field operating rooms where we talked to the doctors and saw the tools they used.  One was a practicing physician who does the demonstrations as a hobby.  Another tent had musical instruments and another area had a mother and children playing games of the time period.  Soldiers were patrolling the grounds and we were able to tour the Summer Kitchen and Barn.
Abby's arm amputation
Civil War era surgeon's instruments
After the Spangler Farm tour, we finished the driving tour with a trip to the National Cemetery in Gettysburg.  The graves had all been marked with an American flag.  It was moving to see all the deaths from Gettysburg marked by number and state.

Gettysburg Park has over 1000 memorials.  Some were very elaborate, others understated.  The Maine company that withheld Pickett's Charge has a small monument off the road and was a major victory. It seemed that every New York monument was huge.  We enjoyed our visit to Gettysburg, especially the driving tour.

20th Maine Memorial
NY Memorial on Little Round Top
View from Little Round Top
Virginia Memorial

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