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Gettysburg Battle Tour: History of the Battle and Tour Stops

History of the Battle

The Battle of Gettysburg occurred on July 1-3 of 1863, as one of the Civil War battles around a Gettysburg town, Pennsylvania, between Union and Confederate forces. The Battle holds a large significance to American history and is believed to involve the largest number of casualties, becoming a turning point of the war (“Battle of Gettysburg Facts & Summary”).

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The Battle initiated by a confederate commander Gen. Robert E. Lee became his second invasion of the Northern States. He counted on capitalization of his previous victories to defeat the Union army and force Lincoln to negotiate for peace (“Battle of Gettysburg Facts & Summary”). However, the Union army managed to win the Battle and defeat Lee’s troops, halting his invasion of the North.

Tour Stops

Stop # 1 Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station

Here, President Abraham Lincoln arrived the evening before delivering the Gettysburg Address. This historical speech was delivered during the American Civil War at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg. The guest may follow in his footsteps from the moment he stepped on the Railways’ Station ground.

The station simultaneously served as a field hospital during the Gettysburg Battle and the departure point for the soldiers. The guests will hear stories of how it became a field hospital, followed by tales of wounded and dead soldiers and relatives searching for their family members. The station is a major historical point of the town, becoming a symbolic first stop of the tour.

Stop # 2. The house of David Wills

Following the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, the guest can go to the David Wills House, where he stayed before giving the Gettysburg Address speech. Wills’ was a local attorney who majorly contributed to the town’s social life. He was the original initiator of the Gettysburg National Cemetery for months comforted the victims of the Battle.

In David Wills’ house, the guests may step into his office, where his plans for the cemetery originated, and witness the bedroom, where the president stayed. Moreover, the house was reconstructed into an interactive museum, which tells the visitors historical tales of Wills, Lincoln’s visit, and his speech. This place will allow the visitors to discover unique artifacts and experience life in Gettysburg immediately after the Battle.

Stop #3. Gettysburg National Cemetery

The Gettysburg National Cemetry is a continuation of the tale about David Wills and Abraham Lincoln. The president’s historical Gettysburg Address speech initiated the opening of a memorial cemetery. Wills’ planned the Gettysburg National Cemetery, providing proper burial of all the fallen soldiers.

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There, tourists may walk the haunted grounds and reflect on those who have given–their life or the country. The Lincoln Address Memorial located inside the cemetery represents the memory of the speech. The cannons and monuments demonstrate the historical significance of Cemetery Hill during the Battle and reflect thousands of soldiers who were buried here.

Stop #4. Shriver House Museum

Many families were forced to become unwilling participants of the Civil War, as were the Shriver Family. The confederates started to use their house and the ten-pin alley as a hospital while they were away. Soldiers had occupied Hettie Shriver’s home while she was gone and confiscated furniture to build a barricade.

A detailed restoration of the 1960’s house will take the tourists back to the 19th century and introduce them to all household rules and traditions. The museum allows gaining a clear picture of how the Battle affected the families and their homes, becoming the central figure of reflecting how the town’s community used to cope with the events and consequences of the Gettysburg Battle.

Stop #5. The Daniel Lady Farm

As Williams’ skirmishers reached the area to the west of the Lady barn, he decided to attack Virginia skirmishers higher up the hill. Before they could advance further, they were recalled, retraced their steps, and eventually took position on Culp’s Hill.

The Daniel Lady farm was Major General Edward Johnson’s staging area for the Confederate attack on Culp’s Hill and was used as a Confederate Field Hospital during the Battle. It is a historic place, where the Confederates were coming close to breaking the Union defenders.

Stop #6. Farnsworth House

Named after the Brigadier General Elon John Farnsworth, who led an ill-fated charge after the failure of Pickett’s charge, claiming the lives of Farnsworth and 65 of his men, a house is a place of dozens of ghost stories (“The Farnsworth House Bed and Breakfast”).

Confederate hospital walk will open up all the ghost stories from when the house served as a hospital during the Gettysburg Battle. The visit to the Farnsworth House’s haunted cellar will include a viewing parlor filled with a coffin, church pews, and a haunted ambiance.

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Stop#7. Jennie Wade House

The only civilian killed during the Gettysburg battle – Jenny Wade is thought to be a fascinating ghost story. Her death became a reminder for other civilians who survived the war as. Shot at the young age of 20, Jennie Wade’s house became a go-to tour place.

The guests will enter the house where Jenny Wade lived, which is now considered the most haunted house in Gettysburg, featured on many paranormal shows. Many witnesses claim to have seen the girl walking her home. The house floors are still covered in blood from when Jennie fell to the floor after being shot.

Stop #8. High Water Mark of the Rebellion

The historical monument is dedicated to all the soldiers, Confederate and Union, who took part in the battle, commemorated in the open book with the list of all units. Government historian John B. Bachelder invented this designation after the war.

The High Water Mark Area located on Cemetery Ridge is the farthest point Confederates managed to reach during the Gettysburg Battle. Many believe that the place became a turning point of the war, representing the last Confederate significant tactic operation in the Eastern Theater.

Stop #9. The Devil’s Den

Many ghost stories surround the place that was the beginning of the thousands of soldiers’ death. The Devil’s Den visitors often experience paranormal activity there; however, when trying to capture it, their cameras or cell phones glitch out. The same is said for paranormal investigators when attempting to conduct research; their equipment will simply cease to function.

Devil’s Den is a ridge strewn with large boulders south of the town of Gettysburg. On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the area around Devil’s Den became an intense battlefield, which became one of the few confederate’s strategic wins (“The Devil’s Den”).

Stop #10. The Battlefield Preservationist

General Daniel E. Sickles has become known as the “amateur” general who disobeyed General George Meade’s orders at Gettysburg and advanced to the Peach Orchard instead of occupying Little Round Top. Dan Sickles was a driving force in the early preservation and development of Gettysburg National Military Park.

Gettysburg National Military Park includes most of the Gettysburg Battlefield areas participated during the battle and several other non-battle regions associated with the battle’s history.

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Stop #11. Codori farm

Nicholas Codori – a local butcher, owned the farm during the battle. Nicholas’s niece occupied the place at the time of the Gettysburg battle, where they took refugees in the basement.

The Codori Farm was a scene of the battle on July 2nd and was at the center of Pickett’s Charge on July 3rd. After the conflict, hundreds of the soldiers were buried on the farm, making it the center of multiple ghost stories.

Stop #12. National Soldiers Orphanage Homestead

A cruel headmistress, who chained orphans to the walls for bad behavior, and her several other brutal treatments, enriched a Civil War orphanage with dozens of ghostly stories. These punishments are believed to cause the spirits of the kids to linger through the building for the past 150 years.

The National Homestead now serves as a soldier’s museum allowing tourists to see the life of civilians during the American Civil War and experience and hear the horrors that took place in the orphanage’s basement. The tourists claim to hear chain sounds in the cellars and see multiple ghosts, which makes the area a sight-seeing must for everyone.

Stop # 13. Seminary Ridge

Seminary Ridge barn served as a makeshift morgue for storing soldiers who died during the battle of Gettysburg. However, one confederate soldier was buried alive underneath a pile of deceased men. Unable to move the dead bodies above, he screamed, and his fellow soldiers hear him. Nevertheless, the trauma from being buried alive and deadly wounds drove him insane, as he died in seminary ridge.

After the battle, seminary residents started complaining of seeing a ghost of a soldier wandering the premises in agony. Today the Seminary is transformed into a Civil War Museum, remaining haunted by a soldiers’ ghost.

Unknown to a group of Confederate soldiers, they had buried a fellow soldier who was still alive underneath a mountain of dead soldiers.

Stop #14. The County Courthouse

The town legends claim to frequently see the ghosts of the soldiers who died there. Dozens of town residents recollect loud cries and loads of amputated limbs removed from the building. Police reported having seen an unusual ghostly creature several times floating in the rooms.

The Adams County Courthouse was occupied by Confederate troops and turned into a hospital during the Gettysburg Battle. After the battle, the Union troops occupied it for their wounded soldiers. The tourists can walk inside the building and try to sense the mystery of the building.

Stop # 15. The Hall of Presidents

The Hall of Presidents was a modern wax figures museum that included the statues of former presidents and first ladies. However, the spooky fact is that it is built on a former Civil War burial ground, which served as one of the factors to closing it. Now the Hall of Presidents is a go-to place for all the Gettysburg ghost hunters.

Many town residents claim to see a woman who is believed to be the first owner of the building. It is thought that she is disappointed to see her home turn into a tourist attraction. Moreover, voices from the basement are often heard as a sign of dead soldiers.

Stop #16. Gettysburg Hotel

Like many other buildings, the hotel served as a hospital during the Gettysburg Battle and is now believed to be one of the most haunted hotels in the United States. Hundreds of wounded soldiers lost their lives in the hotel and now reappear as ghosts, which tourists see all the time.

Many spirits haunt the Gettysburg Hotel, but nurse Rachel is seen most of all as she roams the halls, searching for injured soldiers. Besides, a man and a woman are frequently seen standing hand-in-hand in the ballroom.

Stop #17. Sachs Covered Bridge

The Sachs Bridge served as the execution site for three Confederate soldiers, who deserted their unit during the Battle of Gettysburg. Their hidden spot was uncovered, and all three were killed at the bridge. Now, people report to spot ghosts of the soldiers wandering around the bridge.

Tourists may walk around the bridge, trying to capture the soldiers, but often result in see dark spots in the photographs. Preserved for nearly 200 years, this haunted crossing is a reminder of 19th-century life and the Battle of Gettysburg.

Stop #18. Tillie Pierce House Inn

The Inn is haunted by the spirits of deceased soldiers and nurses that used to be there at times of the Gettysburg Battle. People have reported hearing footsteps walking above them at the Tillie Pierce House Inn, spirits sitting on the beds with them, and a soldier continually walking up and down the stairs, patrolling the area.

The Tillie Pierce House Inn is named for the famous young lady who lived here during the battle and helped out as a nurse at only 15-year old age. Tourists can not only tour the building but also stay there for the time of their visit. The guides will offer the details of the most spooky stories that have been occurring there for a century.

Stop #19. Rupp House History Center

The 1863 Rupp House History Center was a home to home the John Rupp family. In present days it is a reflection of civilian life of the Battle of Gettysburg times. John and Caroline Rupp lived here with their six children. Upon the battle, Caroline and the children moved to another house, while John stayed and took refugees in the cellar until the conflict ended (“Rupp House History Center”).

Visitors have a chance to experience interactive tours, see and touch the exponents. Moreover, tourists may encounter living historians on the Rupp House grounds during weekends in the summer and hold a historical scavenger hunt.

Stop #20. Gettysburg Musical

Billy Finch – the leading performer, has toured the country with his famous musical and now resided in Gettysburg to unite the Legends of American Music to reflect the events of the Gettysburg battle.

To finish off the night Gettysburg, the Musical will be the perfect remedy to all the mystique stories of the day. The actors combine historically accurate verses with classics of American music like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to create an unforgettable performance. This Musical creates a new perspective on the Battle of Gettysburg, respectively, combining North and South.

Works Cited

“Battle of Gettysburg Facts & Summary.” American Battlefield Trust, 2018, Web.

“Rupp House History Center.” Gettysburg Foundation, Web.

“The Devil’s Den.” HistoryNet, 2015, Web.

“The Farnsworth House Bed and Breakfast.” Farnsworth House Inn, Web.‌

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