Humbling. That is the one word that kept coming to mind as we toured Gettysburg National Military Park last week.


We’ve been to numerous historic sites, but the magnitude of this one is what weighs on you and you can’t quite wrap your mind around it. In this Valley of Death, 95,000 Union soldiers and 75,000 Confederate soldiers faced each other on a four-acre battlefield for three days in July 1863. Some fought barefoot and most only had a few grains of corn in their pocket to eat.


The Gettysburg National Park now covers almost 6,000 acres and nine square miles that are preserved to respect the human sacrifice made on these three days.

There are numerous ways to tour the battlefield including by horse, individual tour guide, several bus tours, bicycles and small cars or self guided auto tour with a book and three CDs. We chose the self guided tour and were very happy with it because we could stop and walk the fields, check the various monuments, climb to get a better view and just go at our own pace. There are over 1,300 monuments and markers throughout the park acknowledging individual and company contributions from various states. (Thank you Dan, Steff, and Jayne for your Gettysburg feedback.)

We spent one afternoon touring the first 15 of 16 stops, leaving number 16, the cemetery, for early the next morning. At the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, there were almost 10,000 dead in comparison to the number of citizens who numbered less than 2,500.

We arrived at Soldiers’ National Cemetery around 8 a.m. and were able to walk around with just a few others. It is a place that evokes such emotion I can’t really describe it. So many markers with no names but yet the site of such an important message to our Nation about the importance of being united.

Cemetery Collage

After the cemetery, we visited the Gettysburg Train Station where President Lincoln traveled through. It is a lovely building with some original benches. As you sit there you can’t help but wonder those who sat there before you.


I took a couple of hundred photos and could go on and on about how much we enjoyed visiting Gettysburg. The bottom line is that if you enjoy history at all or have a relative who served in the civil war or a state that actively participated, I truly think you would like visiting Gettysburg.

It occurred to us that maybe the 25 or so candidates running for President in 2016 ought to climb on a bus together and head to Gettysburg. Maybe a tour of this historic site and rereading the Gettysburg Address might put a few things in perspective and they could walk away thinking more about “…government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

I’ll post about the town and the breweries in another post. It didn’t seem fitting to include those activities here.

Have a great week. I’ll be finishing the back of my quilt, doing a little more fall clean up but still  thinking about what happened over those three bloody days in Gettysburg. 🙂

P.S.  I tried posting on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for the second time on the road, but again I couldn’t upload photos or save a post. As hard as I find it to thumb my way through a post, I quit after the third attempt. Any WordPress android app advice would be greatly appreciated. 🙂


About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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39 Responses to Gettysburg

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Beautiful photos Judy. I think I need to scroll through mine and Faith’s again later tonight. It is so hard to put the emotions into words. You can take photos but I can’t describe how it felt to stand there. I am glad you enjoyed your visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The foresight to preserve this location and others that were part of the entier war is truly amazing. We are in the Shenandoah Valley near US 11. Along that route are historical memorials giving tribute to the many skirmishes fought along to the to and from Gettysburg. Gettysburg and other locations are not a pretty site in the history of America but they are part of the history, preserved for future generations. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, the foresight was amazing, and the gratitude we owe them is immeasurable. War is definitely not a pretty sight, and we should remember that when we seem anxious to send troops here and there. It may be a decision made sitting around a conference room table, but it is a decision that hits the very core of many families.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We found Gettysburg to be one of the sites everyone in America should see. Very well done in all aspects. And, as you say, very moving. Looking forward to seeing your finished quilt!


  4. Thanks for sharing your visit. I have never been, but it is on my list.


  5. Excellent post about Gettysburg. It’s been many years since I’ve been there but we have been to other battle sites and and it is always a moving experience to stand where so many lost their lives. I was recently reading through some family history and I have two Great Great Grandfathers from Georgia who fought at Gettysburg and survived.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, you gave me goosebumps. I know if you went back you would probably be able to tell where they actually fought by reading the various divisions, etc. on the Georgia monuments/markets. Looking up some family information is on my agenda for this winter because I was so impressed by those markers of where everyone was situated on the battle field. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Joyce says:

    Having never been there – or thought about this place much as compared to WWII – I found your pictures and accompanying story to be a profound statement on the magnitude of death when settling disputes comes to war. Everything is so beautifully, and solemnly, preserved. I can’t imagine the impact of actually being there. I’m glad you had the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting that you mention WWII, because there was a whole section on one side of marked graves from WWII. I walked down and looked at some of the names because it was so striking compared to all those small numbered markers. All I could think about was all those men leaving home, never coming back and their families not knowing where their final resting place was. If a person had an ancestor who fought at Gettysburg, you could travel those grounds and find a monument/marker that listed the Division that the soldier was attached to and where they were stationed on the battle field. I thought that was an amazing part of the tour.


  7. Dawn says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your visit to Gettysburg, Judy! What a powerful experience! Thank you for all of the tips and beautiful photo memories. I can see now that this is a place that we should experience, too. Love your thoughts about all of our candidates visiting Gettysburg together! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • We stopped at a state rest area (can’t remember if it was MA or CT). As I looked around at hundreds of people from all walks of life, I was amazed at the diversity of age, race, ethnicity, dress, and actions. I told my husband I thought a really smart candidate would put a hat and sunglasses on and go sit and observe – they might learn a lot about what the 99% really needs. And, yes, by all means put Gettysburg on your bucket list.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Memorial gardens such as this are deeply moving places. They have a lasting effect on us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Humbling and amazing. You’ve captured the beauty and awe in your lovely photos for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Midwestern Plant Girl says:

    Wonderful post! I have Gettysburg on my list of goto’s!
    With regards to the android app, I use my galaxy s6 to do a majority of my posting. How I do it:
    Go to my phone’s gallery and choose the pix I want.
    Select share, then wordpress. Wp will ask if u want post or media, I usually use post. You will then see a post with your photos. I usually edit/write on my puter,so I go to bottom settings and where it defaults to publish, click it and your can say draft. You can also choose your catagories. Then hit back button (our bottom rightbutton) to go back to the post. At this point, you should see at the top right SAVE. Click that and you should then see a up arrow in the top notifications window as it uploads.
    Incidentally, you can set the pixel default size in the account part of the app. I set mine for 500 to not use all my space. If your have any other questions, email me. Notes and s6 are really close and you should not have issues using the app!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me hit ‘like, like, like.’ Oh my gosh, thank you so much. I will try it this week. I can’t thank you enough. Hugs to you for sharing your expertise. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Midwestern Plant Girl says:

        Yeah! 😆
        I’m reading your reply right now in the app. I love it. Makes for easy uploading of pix, answering comments and stat checking.
        A few more tips:
        You can start by opening WP and a new post and add your photos then, however you will have to do each one seperately. This is why I go to gallery 1st and click ALL the photos I want in a single post and use the ‘share’ button.
        Here’s things I’ve not found helpful. .. I can’t see formatting, captions are iffy, editing photos is hard, as you’ll only see html link info instead of the actual photo. This is why I use the app as my ‘launch pad’, but pretty it up on my real ‘puter.
        As we have common phones, I know the app will work/function for you. If you need any more aid, you’d better not hesitate to send me an email or hijack a comment section of mine! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Everyone in the US should have to visit this place and learn the history of it. We went when the girls were younger and hired a guide as a friend had suggested. It was worth the money and so interesting. Very somber spot
    when you understand even a little of what was going on.


    Liked by 1 person

  12. mphedgehog says:

    Gettysburg is just a stone’s throw from us; glad you had a powerful experience there. I think sometimes we locals make the horrible mistake of taking the site for granted. I concur that anyone running for public office would do well to stand on the hallowed ground of Gettysburg and take to heart the sacrifice so many thousands made there. It’s beyond humbling. Better yet might be a visit to Antietam; for a truly profound experience visit one of the nights during the anniversary of the battle when tens of thousands of luminaria line the lanes. Absolutely overwhelming.

    I look forward to reading your posts about the other sort of “spirits” you encountered during your visit to Adams County. Even after years of visiting the battlefield I find a wee pint is often the only way to soothe the soul before returning to our day-to-day modern cares.


  13. This is beautiful, Judy. The photos and your words. I can only imagine the solemnity of being in such a place. I’m continually in awe of those brave people who fought in the early wars that seemed a certain march to death. (I admire ALL veterans but the hand-to-hand battle of earlier times floors me.) Just the thought of visiting their final place of rest takes my breath away.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    I’ve always heard that Gettysburg is an impressive monument. With the population in 1860 approx. 31 million, 10K was a huge loss of men.


  15. Wonderful post! I was recently in the town of Gettysburg for a family reunion but sadly couldn’t get to the battlefields for a visit. One day! I love your comment about the candidates getting on a bus together for a visit!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Nadezda says:

    Judy, I didn’t know about this town of Gettysburg and have read with interest the history of it. Thank you for sharing and lovely photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. For any who are interested, I highly recommend the 1993 movie “Gettysburg”. It was originally meant to be a mini-series, so it is long, but it shows you what the three days must have been like, and it was the first movie the National Park Service allowed to be filmed on the actual battlefields.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. quiltify says:

    Lovely post. History is, unfortunately, not remembered, or there would be no wars. IMO

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Grandma Kc says:

    I would love to go there and I think I know exactly the feeling you describe. I have been to DC and for me it was the Korean War Monument — for some reason more than the others it just grabbed my heart. I want to go back there too someday!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I spent a week in Gettysburg a few years ago and I will never forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. We’re going to visit Gettysburg at the end of October with friends, thanks for this preview.

    Liked by 1 person

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