Gettysburg National Military Park

Audio Available:

OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Gettysburg National Military Park's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Gettysburg visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of the highlights of the battlefield tour, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 41 minutes, which we have divided into 56 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 4 through 20 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding the historic battle of Gettysburg and the first two years of the American Civil War. Sections 21-56 cover the back of the brochure which consists of a park map divided into unique tours stops that allow visitors to experience the battle in chronological order and highlight key monuments and locations within the park.

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OVERVIEW: Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park, located in Pennsylvania, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 7,000-acre park is situated around the community of Gettysburg, in Adams County. This park, established in 1895, preserves and protects the site of the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg, regarded as a turning point in the American Civil War. Each year, over 1 million visitors come to explore the battlefield and connect with those who made history here. We invite you to explore the historic battlefield, hike the ridges and hills that were fought over in 1863, and remember those who here "gave the last full measure of devotion." Feel the rough stone boulders that dot the landscape, and hear the sound of the wind blowing from the distant mountains across the rural landscape. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, informative audio guides and tactile maps of the battlefield also can be found at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, listen to the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

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OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure

Side one of this two-sided brochure is composed of text, four maps, three black-and-white photographs of the historic battlefield, three black-and-white photographs of important Union and Confederate leaders, one color photograph depicting one of the monuments that mark the battlefield and one prominent color painting depicting the climactic moment of the battle. Three of the maps highlight each of the three days of fighting at Gettysburg. A slightly larger map highlights the Soldiers' National Cemetery, one of sixteen stops on the battlefield tour route.

The text is divided into three sections. The first provides context and background information on the Battle of Gettysburg, the American Civil War, and the two armies that were engaged. Another section highlights the creation of the Soldiers' National Cemetery and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The final section provides tips and information on visiting the battlefield park, as well as safety tips and park regulations.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Three Days in July

DESCRIPTION:

The color painting highlights a small section of the circular Gettysburg Cyclorama, a 360-degree circular painting depicting the climactic moment of the battle of Gettysburg, Pickett's Charge. On the left, hundreds of Union soldiers, wearing dark blue uniforms, advance across a farmer's wheat field. Around a small group of trees, at the center-right of the painting, they collide with Confederate soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. Wisps of white smoke hover over portions of the combat. Union cannons are pulled to the front by teams of horses. An agrarian landscape of wooded hills and rolling fields dominate the background.

CAPTION:

Detail from the painting “The Battle of Gettysburg” by Paul Philippoteaux at the Gettysburg Visitor Center and Museum.

CREDIT:

© HENRY GROSKINSKY

RELATED TEXT:

On June 3, 1863, a month after his dramatic victory at Chancellorsville, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee began marching his Army of Northern Virginia westward from its camps around Fredericksburg, VA. Once through the gaps of the Blue Ridge, the Southerners trudged northward into Maryland and Pennsylvania. They were followed by the Union Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, but Lee, whose cavalry under Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart was absent on a raid around the Federal forces, had no way of knowing his adversary’s whereabouts.

The two armies touched by chance at Gettysburg on June 30. The main battle opened on July 1 with Confederates attacking Union troops on McPherson Ridge west of town. Though outnumbered, the Federal forces held their position until afternoon, when they were finally overpowered and driven back to Cemetery Hill south of town. During the night, the main body of the Union army, now commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, arrived and took up positions.

On July 2, the battle lines were drawn up in two sweeping arcs. The main portions of both armies were nearly one mile apart on parallel ridges: Union forces on Cemetery Ridge, Confederate forces on Seminary Ridge to the west. Lee ordered an attack against both Union flanks. Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s thrust on the Federal left turned the base of Little Round Top into a shambles, left the Wheatfield strewn with dead and wounded, and overran the Peach Orchard. Farther north, Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s evening attack on the Federal right at East Cemetery Hill and Culps Hill, though momentarily successful, could not be exploited to Confederate ad­vantage.

On July 3, Lee’s artillery opened a two-hour bombardment of the Federal lines on Cemetery Ridge and Cemetery Hill. This for a time engaged the massed guns of both sides in a thundering duel for supremacy but did little to soften up the Union defensive position. Then some 12,000 Confederates advanced across open fields toward the Federal center in an attack known as “Pickett’s Charge.” The attack failed and cost Lee over 5,000 soldiers in one hour. The Battle of Gettysburg was over.

On November 19, President Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to take part in the dedication ceremonies for the new Soldiers’ National Cemetery. His brief speech, the Gettysburg Address, gave meaning to the sacrifices of the men who had struggled here, and stated that the war would lead to a “new birth of freedom” for the nation.

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IMAGE: Robert E. Lee

DESCRIPTION:

Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army at Gettysburg, sits for a formal photograph, showing him from his shoulders up. He is attired in the gray wool uniform of a Confederate officer, with three gold stars on his broad collar. Under the jacket, he sports a white shirt with dark-black cravat. His white hair is parted to the left, revealing a broad forehead, with a caucasian complexion. He sports a prominent white beard and mustache. In the image, Lee is facing slightly to the right, though his eyes peer directly at the viewer.

CAPTION:

Robert E. Lee, Confederate commander at Gettysburg.

CREDIT:

NPS

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IMAGE: George Gordon Meade

DESCRIPTION:

George Gordon Meade, a 47-year-old general in the Union Army, sits for a formal, indoor portrait, from the shoulders up. The black-and-white image shows Meade in the uniform of a Union general, with a dark-colored jacket and four prominent gold buttons, as well as shoulder eppaulettes. He faces to the left of the image. His hair is sprinkled with grays, and he sports a prominent beard and moustache that obscures his mouth. Large circles under his eyes give him a haggard and careworn look.  

CAPTION:

George Gordon Meade, Union commander.

CREDIT:

National Archives.

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IMAGE: Meade's Headquarters

DESCRIPTION:

The black-and-white rectangular photograph depicts the small white-washed farmhouse of Lydia Leister. The one-and-a-half-story house sits in the center of the image, surrounded by a broken white picket fence. A prominent dirt road runs the entire length of the right of the photograph and is full of ruts and battle debris. A partially collapsed stone wall lines the road, separating it from the house. Two dead horses lay in the middle of the road. To the left of the photograph, a small apple orchard fills the frame.

CAPTION:

Meade’s Headquarters in 1863.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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IMAGE: Gettysburg in 1863

DESCRIPTION:

A black-and-white photograph depicting the edge of the town of Gettysburg in 1863. A dirt road runs at an angle through the photograph, from the bottom right corner to the upper-left edge of the rectangular image. A small white, two-story house stands to the left of the road. A split rail fence separates the house from a small garden. To the right of the road, and further in the distance, is another small house, with white siding and four small windows. In the foreground, a small apple orchard dominates the image. In the background, and barely visible, are more buildings and homes, marking the edge of Gettysburg.

CAPTION:

Gettysburg in 1863 as seen from Seminary Ridge. The battle began here on July 1 along the Chambersburg Pike (right foreground).

CREDIT:

NATIONAL ARCHIVES

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TEXT: The Battle at a Glance

This label covers three battle maps illustrating the fighting on: July 1, July 2, and July 3.
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MAP: July 1

DESCRIPTION:

A full-color map depicting the fighting on July 1st, 1863, north of the town of Gettysburg. The town of Gettysburg sits at the center of the map, with ten gray roads emanating from its center out in all directions, like the spokes of a wheel. In the upper left corner of the map, Confederate units, marked by red lines, advance against Union units, marked by blue lines, situated directly in front of the town. Red arrows indicate the direction of the Confederate attack. Just beneath the town, four major battlefield landmarks are highlighted. To the left is Seminary Ridge, running north to south. This parallels Cemetery Ridge, which sits just below the town. Two prominent hills, Cemetery Hill to the left and Culps Hill to the right, stand just between the town and Cemetery Ridge. Areas owned by the National Park Service are marked with a dark green color, showing a much smaller area, and differentiating them from the rest of the area depicted in the map.

CAPTION:

Elements of the two armies collide west of Gettysburg during the early morning hours. The fighting escalates throughout the day as more Union and Confederate troops reach the field. By 4 p.m., the defending Federal troops are defeated and retreat through Gettysburg, where many are captured. The remnants of the Union force rally on Cemetery and Culps Hill.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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MAP: July 2

DESCRIPTION:

A full-color map depicting the fighting on July 2nd, 1863, south of the town of Gettysburg. The town of Gettysburg sits at the center of the map, with ten gray roads emanating from its center out in all directions, like the spokes of a wheel. Directly below the town, the Confederate line of battle is marked by a red line. The red line curves from left to right through the town of Gettysburg. Inside this curve, the position of the Union Army is indicated by blue lines. Red arrows indicate the direction of the Confederate attack, on the left and right of the Union position. To the left of the town , running north to south is marked McPherson Ridge which was fought over the previous day of battle. Areas owned by the National Park Service are marked with a dark green color, differentiating them from the much larger rest of the area depicted in the map.

CAPTION:

The main strength of both armies has arrived on the field by the morning hours. General Lee launches attacks against the Union left and right in an attempt to dislodge Meade’s army from its strong position. Longstreet’s assault on the Union left makes good progress but is eventually checked by Federal reinforcements from the center and right. On the Union right, Ewell’s Confederate troops are able to seize part of Culps Hill; elsewhere they are repulsed.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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MAP: July 3

DESCRIPTION:

A full-color map depicting the fighting on July 3rd, 1863, south of the town of Gettysburg. The town of Gettysburg sits at the center of the map, with ten gray roads emanating from its center out in all directions, like the spokes of a wheel. Directly below the town, the Confederate line of battle is marked by a red line. The red line curves from left to right through the town of Gettysburg. Inside this curve, the position of the Union Army is indicated by blue lines. Red arrows indicate the direction of the Confederate attack against the center of the Union position just below the town. To the left of the town, running north to south is marked McPherson Ridge which was fought on the first day of battle. Areas owned by the National Park Service are marked with a dark green color, differentiating them from the much larger rest of the area depicted in the map.

CAPTION:

While Ewell renews his efforts to seize Culps Hill, Lee turns his main attention to the Union center. Following a two-hour artillery bombardment, he sends some 12,000 Confederate infantry to try to break the Federal lines on Cemetery Ridge. Despite a courageous effort, the attack (subsequently called “Pickett’s Charge”) is repulsed with heavy losses. East of Gettysburg, Lee’s cavalry is also checked in a large cavalry battle. Crippled by extremely heavy casualties, Lee can no longer continue the battle. On July 4, he begins to withdraw for Virginia.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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IMAGE and TEXT: The Gettysburg Address

IMAGE 1 of 1

DESCRIPTION 

President Abraham Lincoln is shown in a formal, indoor portrait, shown from the shoulders up. Lincoln has dark black hair and a full beard with no mustache. He stares directly at the viewer. Deep lines mark the edge of his cheeks, and his mouth is drawn up in a tight line. His black hair is parted to the left, revealing a broad forehead divided by slight wrinkles. Lincoln wears a dark-colored suit, with bright white undershirt and a prominent black bowtie.

CREDIT:

Library of Congress.


IMAGE 2 of 2

DESCRIPTION:

A large crowd of men gathers around President Abraham Lincoln as he sits on the stage during the consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Most of the men that surround Lincoln have on dark-colored suits and prominent top hats. In the foreground, the backs of the onlookers are all that are visible. The image is distant and out of focus, so only elements of individual faces and expressions can be seen. Abraham Lincoln is highlighted by a white circle. He is without a hat and in the act of sitting. His beard and broad forehead are visible.

CAPTION:

The only known photograph showing Lincoln (inside white circle) during the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, November 19, 1863. The photograph was taken by Mathew Brady.

CREDIT:

National Archives.


RELATED TEXT:

When the armies marched away from Gettysburg, they left behind a community in shambles and over 51,000 soldiers dead, wounded, or missing. Wounded and dying were crowded into nearly every building. Most of the dead lay in hastily dug and inadequate graves; some had not been buried at all.

This situation so distressed Pennsylvania Gov. Andrew Curtin, that he commissioned local attorney David Wills to buy land for a proper burial ground for Union dead. Within four months of the battle, reinterment began on 17 acres that became Gettysburg National Cemetery.

The cemetery was dedicated on November 19, 1863. The principal speaker, Edward Everett, delivered a well-received two-hour oration rich in historical detail and classical allusion. He was followed by President Abraham Lincoln, who had been asked to make “a few appropriate remarks.”

Lincoln’s speech contains 272 words and took about two minutes to deliver. It is considered a masterpiece of the English language, and it transformed Gettysburg from a scene of carnage into a symbol, giving meaning to the sacrifice of the dead and inspiration to the living. “I should be glad,” Everett told Lincoln, “if I . . . came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”

Contrary to popular belief, Lincoln did not write the speech on the back of an envelope during the trip to Gettysburg but took great pains in its formulation. He composed the first draft in Washington and revised it at David Wills’ house in Gettysburg, where the president stayed the night before the dedication.

The cemetery was far from completed by the day of the dedication. Within a few years, over 3,500 Union soldiers who had been killed in the battle were reinterred here and the landscaping completed. Following the war, the remains of 3,320 Confederate soldiers were removed from the battlefield to cemeteries in the South.

Both David Wills’ House and the Gettysburg Train Station, at which Lincoln arrived on November 18, are located in historic downtown Gettysburg. The Wills’ House has exhibits on Lincoln’s visit to the town, the creation of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, and the Gettysburg Address. A shuttle bus system is available from the park visitor center to these sites and others in the downtown area.

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MAP: Gettysburg National Cemetery

DESCRIPTION:

A color map depicting the layout of the Soldiers' National Cemetery. The map is bisected by a straight line indicating Taneytown Road. To the right of Taneytown Road at the top of the map is the National Cemetery Annex, and below it the Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial and the New York Monument. Further South is the Soldiers' National Monument, indicated by a circular point, surrounded by two half circles of pinstripes. South of the monument are Soldiers' National Cemetery and Evergreen Cemetery, situated beside each other. At the bottom of the map is Gettysburg National Military Park.

CAPTION:

The Soldiers’ National Cemetery was designed by Washington, DC, architect William Saunders to reflect an appearance of what he called “simple grandeur.”

CREDIT:

NPS.

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IMAGE: New York Monument

DESCRIPTION:

The tall granite column of the New York State monument towers above the surrounding trees in this full-color image. The monument features an ornate base, topped with a massive circular column that rises above the green grass of the Gettysburg National Cemetery. A bronze tablet divides the base from the column and depicts scenes from the Battle of Gettysburg. The column is topped with a bronze angel representing Liberty. The angel stands with head lowered, her right handing reaching out and clasping a laurel wreath, symbolizing the Union victory at Gettysburg. Tall, dark green, pine trees, directly to the left of the image, as well as in the background, are dwarfed by the monument.

CAPTION:

The New York Monument was dedicated in 1893 to honor New York state soldiers killed in the Battle of Gettysburg and buried in the national cemetery. Other United States veterans, from the 1898 War with Spain to the Vietnam conflict, are also buried here. Today, the cemetery is the final resting place for over 6,000 honorably discharged veterans and their dependents.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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TEXT: Seeing the Park and the Battlefield

More men fell during the Battle of Gettysburg than in any other battle on American soil before or since. Today, these peaceful rolling fields pay silent tribute to this sacrifice. Many Union soldiers who died here are buried in Soldiers’ National Cemetery where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, honoring the men who gave the last full measure of devotion.

Much has been written and said about Gettysburg. But the most tangible connection to those three days in July is the battlefield itself, parts of which look much as they did in 1863. Fences, hills, rocks, cannons, and even the monuments provide an opportunity to reflect and try to understand what happened here.

Start at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center to visit the Gettysburg Museum of the Civil War, the fully restored Gettysburg Cyclorama, and the film, ”A New Birth of Freedom.” (Admission required). The building also contains a book and museum store, food service, licensed battlefield guides, programs, and information about visiting Eisenhower National Historic Site.

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TEXT: Self-Guiding Auto Tour

TEXT:

To see the battlefield, follow the Self-Guiding Auto Tour later in this brochure. You can drive around the battlefield in two to three hours. At most of the numbered stops, exhibits and tablets describe significant action during the three days of battle.

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TEXT: Cemetery Ridge Trail

TEXT:

In summer, park rangers give presentations to explain the battle and its impact on the soldiers, civilians, and nation. The best way to get a feel for what happened here is to walk the battlefield and get a sense of the landscape.

Cemetery Ridge Trail (1.5-miles) begins at the visitor center and covers the ground defended by Union soldiers during Pickett’s Charge.


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TEXT: National Cemetery Trail

National Cemetery Trail begins at the National Cemetery parking area and covers the cemetery grounds, where Union soldiers from the battle are interred and Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.

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TEXT: Longer Hikes

For longer hikes, ask about the 9.5-mile Billy Yank Trail or the 3-mile Johnny Reb Trail. Both are part of the Boy Scouts of America’s Heritage Trails Program.

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TEXT: Gettysburg Convention & Visitor Bureau

Check with the Gettysburg Convention & Visitor Bureau at the visitor center for information on lodging, restaurants, campgrounds, museums, and other facilities.

Write to:

Gettysburg CVB

571 W. Middle St.

Gettysburg, PA 17325

www. gettysburg.travel


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TEXT: A New Birth of Freedom and the Gettysburg Cyclorama

TEXT:

The film “A New Birth of Freedom” and Gettysburg Cyclorama is a 45-minute ticketed experience designed as your starting point. The cyclorama is a sound and light show of the spectacular 377-foot painting by Paul Philippoteaux of Pickett’s Charge, completed in 1884. For a fee, a licensed battlefield guide will conduct a two-hour tour of the battlefield in your auto or bus.

You can make advance reservations for the theater/cyclorama experience, a tour with a licensed guide, and a visit to Eisenhower National Historic Site by calling 1-877-874-2478.

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TEXT: Regulations and Safety Tips

For your safety, backpacks and handbags are not allowed in the visitor center. Please leave them in the trunk or hidden in your vehicle. For firearms regulations, check the park website.

Monuments and cannons mark positions and honor great sacrifices. They are irreplaceable historic objects. Please respect and help preserve them. Do not climb, stand, or hang on them.

All historic sites, structures, exhibits, plants, animals, and minerals must be left undisturbed. Relic collecting or the possession of a metal detector in the park is prohibited. Picnic in designated areas only.

Use extreme caution on park roads, especially at heavily traveled intersections. Obey speed limits. Be careful at blind curves and on one-way roads. Park in designated areas or on the pavement only, not on the grass or shoulders. Bicyclists keep to the right and ride with traffic.

Watch your children carefully, especially near roads and monuments.

Pets must be leashed and attended at all times. They are prohibited in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and visitor center. Service animals are welcome. If you have any questions about park rules or regulations, ask a ranger.

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OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure

The back side of this two-sided brochure is dominated by a large map depicting the battlefield park and highlighting important stops on the 24-mile battlefield tour route. The route itself is marked by a red line, with important stops indicated by red circles with white lettering. On the bottom right of the map is text highlighting the self-guiding auto tour, broken down into 16 individual stops. The key to the map, indicating tour stops, trails, one-way traffic, parking, restrooms and picnic areas, is on the upper-right corner.

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MAP: Touring the Battlefield

DESCRIPTION:

A modern map of Gettysburg National Military Park dominates the back side of the brochure. It shows the park in relation to the town of Gettysburg, which sits in the center of the map. The map is situated so that north is at the top. The park is divided into two sections. The first day's battlefield is north and northwest of the town. The second and third days' battlefields are directly south of the town of Gettysburg. The stops noted under the "Self-Guided Auto Tour" sections are identified on the map, as well as the visitor center, David Wills house and Eisenhower National Historic Site. The following are more details provided on the map:

The map's orientation has north pointing up. A legend indicates that approximately two and one-quarter inches are equal to one mile, and about one and a half inches equals one kilometer. The park has three sections and is identified in light green. Situated directly north and northwest of the town, and along route 30 and route 34, is the first day's battlefield, where the fighting began on July 1, 1863. This portion of the park encompasses tour stops one through three. In the town of Gettysburg is the historic David Wills House and the Gettysburg Train Station. which is also open to the public. The second portion of the park is the second and third days' battlefields, directly below  the town. The largest section of the park, it contains tour stops 4 through 16 in addition to the National Cemetery, Museum, and Visitor Center.

The final section of the battlefield park is situated three miles to the east of Gettysburg. East Cavalry Battlefield is situated along route 16 and the Low Dutch Road.

The self-guiding auto tour route starts on the map in the left-center, just below the town of Gettysburg and between the Baltimore Pike and Taneytown Road. Parking is located at the museum and visitor center as well as restroom and picnic facilities. The self-guiding auto tour route begins at the parking lot at the Museum and Visitor Center and heads west to the intersection of Visitor Center Drive and the Taneytown Road. Heading right or north on the Taneytown Road, the route enters the town of Gettysburg, passing by the Gettysburg Hospital. The tour route bears left at West Middle Street before entering the park and tour stop one on Reynolds Avenue. Continuing north, Reynolds Avenue becomes Buford Avenue and passes tour stop two, the eternal light peace memorial and tour stop three, oak ridge. The tour continues after heading south at the intersection of Route 20 and Seminary Ridge Avenue. This road becomes West Confederate avenue, and this one-way road passes by tour stops four through eight.

The tour then heads west along Wheatfield Road and connects with stops nine through twelve. Restroom facilities are available at tour stop 12, the Pennsylvania Memorial. Tour stops 13 and 14 are located east of the Baltimore pike. Visitors are required to use the Visitor Center drive to access these locations. Tour Stop 13 has seasonal restroom facilities available. Tour stops 15 and 16 are located along Hancock Avenue. Parking for the soldiers' National Cemetery is available at the intersection of Taneytown Road and Hancock Avenue. Vehicle access to the National Cemetery is not permitted.  

Additional areas of the battlefield are located to the east of Gettysburg. East Cavalry battlefield site is four miles from the Visitor Center. Eisenhower National Historic Site, due west of the second and third days' battlefield is only accessible via shuttle from the Museum and Visitor Center.

Pitzer Woods Picnic area is located near tour stop seven along West Confederate Avenue. Restrooms are also available in this area. McMillian Woods Youth Group Campground is located west of tour stop four and is available via reservation only.


CAPTION:

A complete tour of the park consists of the Self-Guiding Auto Tour – 16 numbered tour stops, the Barlow Knoll Loop, and the Historic Downtown Gettysburg stops - and East Cavalry Battlefield Site.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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MAP: East Cavalry Battlefield Site

DESCRIPTION:

This area of the park is east of the town of Gettysburg. It shows an irregularly shaped area, where cavalry fought before Pickett's Charge. Off Hanover Road, this area of the map includes United States Cavalry Avenue, Low Dutch Road, Gregg Avenue, and Confederate Cavalry Avenue. 

CAPTION:

Entrance to East Cavalary Battlefield Site is approximately 4 miles/6 kilometers from Visitor Center.

CREDIT:

NPS.

RELATED TEXT:

Here on July 3, during the cannonade that preceded Pickett’s Charge, Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. David McM. Gregg intercepted and then checked Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s Confederate cavalry. For more information, ask for the free self-guiding tour brochure at the park visitor center information desk.

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MAP: Barlow Knoll

DESCRIPTION:

This highlighted section of the map, at the northeast corner of the town of Gettysburg, is not included in the auto tour, but it shows here, at the intersection of Harrisburg Street and Howard Avenue, where an important battle moment happened.

CAPTION:

When Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early’s Confederates smashed Union defenders here at 3 pm, the Federal line north of Gettysburg collapsed.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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TEXT: Self-Guiding Auto Tour

The complete 24-mile auto tour starts at the visitor center and includes the following 16 tour stops, the Barlow Knoll Loop, and the Historic Downtown Gettysburg Tour. The route traces the three-day battle in chronological order. It is flexible enough to allow you to include, or skip, certain points and/or stops, based on your interest. Allow a minimum of three hours to complete the tour.

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MAP: Legend

DESCRIPTION:

The legend appears as a rectangular section in the upper right corner of the map. The self guiding auto tour route is indicated by a dark red line and the historic Downtown Gettysburg tour by a solid blue line. One way traffic appears along marked roads with an arrow indicating the direction of travel. Trails in the park are marked by dashed lines. Parking is indicated by a white "P" in a dark black square. Picnic areas appear as a white picnic table in a dark black square. Historic Road names appear in bold green lettering alongside modern road names. Restrooms are indicated by male and female figures separated by a white line. Seasonal restrooms are indicated by a gray field. Restrooms open year round appear in a black field.

CREDIT:

NPS

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TEXT: July 1, 1863

This text label covers events on the map through July 2, 1863.
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MAP and TEXT: 1 – McPherson Ridge

DESCRIPTION:

This part of the tour starts in the northwest corner of town, at McPherson Ridge, then heads north to stops 2 Eternal Light Peace Memorial and 3 Oak Ridge.

Source:

NPS.

RELATED TEXT:

The Battle of Gettysburg began about 8 a.m. to the west beyond the McPherson barn as Union cavalry confronted Confederate infantry advancing east along Chambersburg Pike. Heavy fighting spread north and south along this ridgeline as more forces from both sides arrived.

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MAP and Text: 2– Eternal Light Peace Memorial

DESCRIPTION: Eternal Light Peace Memorial is the northernmost point on the tour, in the northwest corner of the town of Gettysburg.

CREDIT:

NPS.

RELATED TEXT:

At 1 p.m., Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes’ Confederates attacked from this hill, threatening Union forces on McPherson and Oak ridges. Seventy-five years later, over 1,800 Civil War veterans helped dedicate this memorial to “Peace Eternal in a Nation United.”

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MAP and TEXT: 3 – Oak Ridge

DESCRIPTION:

At Oak Ridge, visitors can loop to Barlow Knoll, not one of the auto-tour stops, visit the nearby Observation Tower, or continue south back to McPherson Ridge.

CREDIT:

NPS.

RELATED TEXT:

Union soldiers here held stubbornly against Rodes’ advance. By 3:30 pm, however, the entire Union line from here to McPherson Ridge had begun to crumble, finally falling back to Cemetery Hill.

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TEXT: End of Day 1

When the first day ended, the Confederates held the upper hand. Lee decided to continue the offensive, pitting his 70,000-man army against Meade’s Union army of 93,000.

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TEXT: July 2, 1863

This text label covers events on the map through July 3, 1863.

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MAP and TEXT: 4 – North Carolina Memorial

DESCRIPTION:

This part of the tour covers the area to the south of the town of Gettysburg, starting at the North Carolina Memorial and looping around the military park, to the south as far as Warfield Ridge, then east to Little Round Top, then back north to Pennsylvania Memorial. 

CREDIT:

NPS.

RELATED TEXT:

Early in the day, the Confederate army positioned itself on high ground here along Seminary Ridge, through town, and north of Cemetery and Culps hills. Union forces occupied Culps and Cemetery hills, and along Cemetery Ridge south to the Round Tops. The lines of both armies formed two parallel “fishhooks.”

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MAP and TEXT: 5 – Virginia Memorial

DESCRIPTION:
North Carolina Memorial is to the north and Pitzer Woods is to the south. 

CREDIT:

NPS.

RELATED TEXT:

The large open field to the east is where the last Confederate assault of the battle, known as “Pickett’s Charge,” occurred July 3.

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MAP and TEXT: 6 – Pitzer Woods

DESCRIPTION:

An amphitheater and observation tower are nearby. Virginia Memorial is to the north, and Warfield Ridge is to the south. Eisenhower National Historic Site also is close, just to the southwest of here.

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT:

In the afternoon of July 2, Lt. Gen. James Longstreet placed his Confederate troops along Warfield Ridge, anchoring the left of his line in these woods.

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MAP and TEXT: 7 – Warfield Ridge

DESCRIPTION:

This is the southernmost point of the auto tour. Pitzer Woods is to the north, and Little Round Top is east and slightly north. 

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT:

Longstreet’s assaults began here at 4 p.m. They were directed against Union troops occupying Devils Den, the Wheatfield, and Peach Orchard, and against Meade’s undefended left flank at the Round Tops.

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MAP and TEXT: 8 – Little Round Top

DESCRIPTION:

Devils Den is nearby. Warfield Ridge is to the southwest of here. The Wheatfield is the next stop to the north. 

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT:

Quick action by Brig. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren, Meade’s chief engineer, alerted Union officers to the Confederate threat and brought Federal reinforcements to defend this position.

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MAP and TEXT: 9 – The Wheatfield

DESCRIPTION:

The Wheatfield, also near the Rose Farm, is between The Peach Orchard and Little Round Top.

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT:

Charge and countercharge left this field and the nearby woods strewn with over 4,000 dead and wounded. 

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MAP and TEXT: 10 – The Peach Orchard

DESCRIPTION:

The Peach Orchard juts to roughly the center of the military park, between The Wheatfield and the Plum Run, to the north.

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT:

The Union line extended from Devils Den to here, then angled northward on Emmitsburg Road. Federal cannons bombarded Confederate forces crossing the Rose Farm toward the Wheatfield until about 6:30 p.m., when Confederate attacks overran this position.

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MAP and TEXT: 11 – Plum Run

DESCRIPTION:

The Plum Run is between The Peach Orchard and Cemetery Ridge. The Plum Run River is also nearby.

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT:

While fighting raged to the south at the Wheatfield and Little Round Top, retreating Union soldiers crossed this ground on their way from the Peach Orchard to Cemetery Ridge.

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MAP and TEXT: 12 – Pennsylvania Memorial

DESCRIPTION:

The Pennsylvania Memorial is between Hancock Avenue and the Plum Run River.

CREDIT:

NPS

Text:

Union artillery held the line alone here on Cemetery Ridge late in the day as Meade called for infantry from Culps Hill and other areas to strengthen and hold the center of the Union position.

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MAP and TEXT: 13 – Spanglers Spring

DESCRIPTION:

Spanglers Spring is the easternmost point on the auto tour, just southeast of the town of Gettysburg. It also is close to the Visitor Center and the start of the auto tour.

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT:

About 7 p.m., Confederates attacked the right flank of the Union army and occupied the lower slopes of Culps Hill. The next morning, the Confederates were driven off after seven hours of fighting.

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MAP and TEXT: 14 – East Cemetery Hill

DESCRIPTION:

East Cemetery Hill is between two key areas of the battle, Cemetery Hill to the west, and Culps Hill to the east. 

CREDIT:

NPS.

RELATED TEXT:

At dusk, Union forces repelled a Confederate assault that reached the crest of this hill.

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TEXT: End of day 2

By day’s end, both flanks of the Union army had been attacked and both had held, despite losing ground. In a council of war, Meade, anticipating an assault on the center of his line, determined that his army would stay and fight.

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TEXT: July 3, 1863

This label covers the final day represented on this map.
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MAP: 15 High Water Mark

DESCRIPTION:

High Water Mark is at the southern tip of the town of Gettysburg. 

CREDIT:

NPS.

RELATED TEXT:

Late in the afternoon, after a two-hour cannonade, some 7,000 Union soldiers posted around the Copse of Trees, The Angle, and the Brian Farm, repulsed the bulk of the 12,000-man “Pickett’s Charge” against the Federal center. This was the climactic moment of the battle. On July 4, Lee’s army began retreating.

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MAP and TEXT: 16 – National Cemetery

DESCRIPTION:

Soldiers' National Cemetery appears in the center, marked by a red circle with the number 16 in white in the center. The Cemetery is bordered by the Taneytown Road to the west and the Baltimore Pike to the east. Steinwehr avenue runs along the northern border. Parking for the National Cemetery is indicated by a white "P" in a black field directly east of the Cemetery entrance on the Taneytown Road. A dotted line connecting the visitor center, at the bottom of the map, with the National Cemetery indicates a hiking route. This route also passes by Meade's Headquarters which is marked on the map.

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT:

This was the setting for Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, delivered at the cemetery’s dedication on November 19, 1863. Use the Soldiers’ National Cemetery parking area on Taneytown Road.

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TEXT: End of day 3

Total casualties (killed, wounded, captured, and missing) for the three days of fighting were 23,000 for the Union army and as many as 28,000 for the Confederate army. 

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MAP: Historic Downtown Gettysburg Tour

DESCRIPTION:

Downtown Gettysburg features many important landmarks related to the battle, including the Gettysburg Train Station and the David Wills House. 

CREDIT:

NPS.

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MAP and TEXT: A – David Wills House

DESCRIPTION:

The David Wills House, near the train station, is in the center of the town of Gettysburg.

CAPTION:

Home of the prominent Gettysburg attorney who oversaw the creation of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Abraham Lincoln finished his Gettysburg Address here the night before the cemetery dedication.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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MAP and TEXT: B – Gettysburg Train Station

DESCRIPTION:

The Gettysburg Train Station, near the David Wills House, is in the center of the town of Gettysburg.

CAPTION:

Abraham Lincoln arrived here on November 18. This structure was also a vital part of the recovery efforts after the battle, as a depot for delivery of supplies and evacuation of the wounded.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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IMAGE: Auto Tour Route Signs

DESCRIPTION:

The park auto tour route signs are rectangular in shape. The upper half is black with white lettering indicating "auto tour." The bottom half is red, with a large white star in the center.

CAPTION:

These signs indicate important spots on the battlefield. They identify the Auto Tour Route.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all.

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OVERVIEW: More Information

Gettysburg National Military Park is one of over 390 parks in the National Park System. 


ADDRESS:

Gettysburg National Military Park

1195 Baltimore Pike

Gettysburg, PA 17325


PHONE:
717-334-1124


WEBSITE:

www.nps.gov/gett

Please visit www.nps.gov to learn more about parks.

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