Gettysburg Museum & Visitor’s Center
One day we wanted to spend at Gettysburg, PA since it wasn’t far from Hershey. We traveled down and stayed all day while traveling through the fantastic museum and visitor’s center. Many more hours than we could spend would be necessary to view all of the materials on display in the museum. The most impressive part to all of us was the fantastic 360 degree diorama painted less that 20 years after the battle by a French artist and his team. With the way it was displayed, the sound and lighting they used to enhance the experience. It was a very impacting and emotional experience. As mentioned the museum was filled with artifacts from the battles at Gettysburg. It was well worth the visit too. We went from the museum out to a battlefield where thousands of soldiers from both sides lost their lives. It was the site of “Pickets Charge” which took place on the third day and was the deciding battle of the campaign. It was a very moving and yet an interesting experience for us all. It is hard to imagine the carnage and sounds which must have taken place in that location back then. Viewing the diorama did help understand what happened there. Just for prospective there were over 5,000 horses alone killed in the battles at Gettysburg. Another most impressive experiences at the battlefield park were all of the bronze statues of soldiers, plaques, and monuments. They had displayed battle cannons in locations where they possibly were placed during the battle. The “Pickets Charge” had to be total chaos and carnage on an unimaginable scale. Some fence posts in the fields were literally cut in half by bullets fired. After the battlefield we made a visit to the cemetery where many Union and a few unknown Confederate soldiers are buried. It is also the location where Abraham Lincoln made his famous Gettysburg Address. There was a very nice monument dedicated to the Lincoln’s address by the entrance to the cemetery. The cemetery was laid out in semi circles radiating from a monument. Because of the massive number of dead and the speed with which the dead had to be buried, it was not possible to identify all of those soldiers. Especially the confederate army soldiers left behind as their army retreated and left them behind. Many were unidentified and had to be buried as unknown with a number. Again a sad testament to the losses of war. Many of the deaths could be attributed to injuries which turned fatal because of a lack of sanitation, medical help, and the time needed to treat all of the wounded. An interesting and yet sad place to visit. Well worth visiting.