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Evening “Walks Through History“
Series – 2023
2023 will mark the twelfth year of Licensed Battlefield Guide-led “Walks Through History” on summer Tuesday evenings, Guides will lead an evening walk each Tuesday evening dedicated to a specific topic. These are ideal for those who desire a more in-depth look at one aspect of the Battle of Gettysburg, or for those simply looking for something to do on a beautiful, and at times not-so-beautiful, summer evening. Each session is offered for a fee of $35, payable to the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides.
Note: Under the provisions of our Commercial Use Authorization permit with the Gettysburg National Military Park, we are required to have on file that you have read and agreed to the provisions detailed in the Acknowledgement of Risks form. Should you wish to register for any of the programs detailed below you will have to agree you have read and understood this form before you will be taken to the payment site.
Please car-pool whenever possible and make sure to obey all National Park regulations regarding parking in the National Park. At all times make sure your car is parked in a legal parking place OR parked in such a way that it does not present a road hazard by partially blocking tour roads. Be aware of traffic flow on two-way roads. At no time should your vehicle be parked on the grass or dirt berm. All four wheels must be on the pavement.
When: Tuesday Evenings throughout the late spring and summer.
Dates: June 6, 13, 20, 27; July 11, 18, 25; August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.
Time: All programs will run from 5:00 PM until approximately 8:00 PM
Where: Detailed in descriptions. Parking is limited. Abide by park rules and consider car-pooling
Cost: $35 per session.
June 6, 2023 Evening Program
“Major Thomas Osborn’s Artillery” featuring LBG Mike Rupert
Early June 1863, Osborn was given the “unpleasant task” of getting the 11th Corp Artillery into good order after Chancellorsville. Arriving on the field north of Gettysburg midday on July 1, Osborn’s batteries will desperately hold until driven back through town and take a new position on West Cemetery Hill. Osborn’s command, bolstered by five batteries from the Artillery Reserve, fought there throughout July 2 & 3. On July 8, Osborn proudly wrote, “My command fights well.”
Meeting Place: Near 61st Ohio monument on West Howard Ave, park in appropriate spots near General Barlow’s statue on East Howard Ave. Please park on the right side of the road with all four wheels on the pavement. The group will drive to East Cemetery Hill for the latter half of the presentation. Park in the Gettysburg Tour Center lot.
June 13, 2023 Evening Program
“Hiram Berdan’s July 2 Reconnaissance” featuring LBG Therese Orr
Hiram Berdan commanded a group of highly skilled marksmen, the 1st and 2nd United States Sharpshooters. On July 2, his Sharpshooters, along with men of the 3ME Volunteers, conducted a reconnaissance of Pitzer’s Woods. At the northern edge of the woods, they clashed with regiments of Cadmus Wilcox’s Alabama Brigade. Whose idea was it to make this reconnaissance: Berdan? Hunt? Birney? Sickles? What route did they take? Did they see Longstreet’s force approaching? What was reported to Sickles and did that report prompt Sickles’ move forward? Join LBG Therese Orr to explore Berdan’s impact on the July 2 fighting on the Union Left Flank.
Meeting Place: We will meet at the Excelsior Brigade monument at the Peach Orchard, walk along the Millerstown Road to Seminary Ridge and finish at Pitzer’s Woods. Participants can either park on Sickles Avenue or at the Amphitheater parking lot. If you are parking at the beginning of the tour, on Sickles Avenue, please park on the right side with all four wheels on the pavement.
June 20, 2023 Evening Program
“Small but Mighty Delaware: The Jewel Among The States Contributes Its All To Save The Union” featuring LBG Mary Turk-Meena
The border state rarely mentioned with the reverence and importance of Maryland and Kentucky, Delaware was just as critical to the Union victory both at Gettysburg and throughout the Civil War. Taking its “First State” standing seriously, Delaware mustered in some of the earliest Union regiments and protected the important rail lines sending troops and supplies from the Northeast to Washington City early in the War. These early Delaware regiments contributed to the victory at Gettysburg as well as the Union efforts throughout the war. We’ll follow the important actions of the 1st Delaware Infantry and 2nd Delaware Infantry in some of the most pivotal spots on the battlefield: the Wheatfield, at the Bliss farm and along Cemetery Ridge. We’ll include the heroics of three Delawareans who were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions at Gettysburg. But the Delaware story doesn’t end there. Delaware’s mills provided more than 50% of the Union’s supply of critical black powder. It’s ship building industry rivaled that of Philadelphia. And we’ll follow the path of most Confederate prisoners taken at Gettysburg to Fort Delaware. How did some of these prisoners become human shields at Charleston?
Meeting Place: We meet at the corner of Sickles Avenue and DeTrobriand Avenue in the Wheatfield and willl walk to the Brooke Avenue line. Parking: Parking is prohibited along Ayers Avenue. Please either park along Sickles Ave in the middle of the Wheatfield or any other one-way road where you can safely park with all four wheels on the pavement and allow traffic to pass.
June 27, 2023 Evening Program
“Citizens of Connecticut, you are again called upon to rally to the support of your government!” featuring LBG Chris Army
The citizens of Connecticut DID rally to the support of the US and included in their numbers were the men of the 17th Connecticut Regiment. Join LBG Chris Army as we examine the fighting conducted by these men in two key areas of the battle. We will spend time discussing their participation on Day 1 at Barlow’s Knoll and Day 2 on East Cemetery Hill.
Meeting Place: We will meet in the parking lot of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. Good hiking shoes and water are recommended.
July 11, 2023 Evening Program
“The ‘Gyration’ of the Frosty Sons of Thunder” featuring LBG Rick Schroeder
A distinctive and unassuming 14-foot tall Latin Cross of blue granite stands nobly on a low ridge west of the town of Gettysburg. The cross, placed by the State of Pennsylvania to permanently mark the place and recall the exact moment when THE FROSTY SONS OF THUNDER, alongside their fellow blue-clad soldiers of the 142nd Pennsylvania Volunteers, answered their call into history. Join LBG Rick Schroeder and trace the SONS approach to the first day’s battlefield west of Gettysburg. We will feature an in depth discussion of the five position changes of this unit as they attempted to protect themselves from Confederate shot and shell. Finally, we will follow the SONS as they retreat and participate in the Union Army’s last stand on Seminary Ridge. The discussion will feature a map set outlining this action that has not previously been presented.
Meeting Place: We will start at the 142nd PA monument on Reynold’s Avenue and then move to the parking lot at Lee’s HQ on Seminary Ridge. Parking on Reynolds Avenue: you must keep all four wheels on the pavement and park in the right lane.
July 18, 2023 Evening Program
“Kershaw’s Attack on July 2 – ‘It did seem to me that none could escape” featuring LBG Bill Trelease
Brigadier General Joseph Kershaw’s brigade of South Carolinians was one of the finest units in Lee’s army. It had participated in just about every battle fought by the Army of Northern Virginia and in every one of these actions it had added to its well-deserved reputation of valor and skill. It came to Gettysburg under the command of excellent and experienced officers and brimming with confidence. On July 2nd, 1863 Kershaw’s Brigade would make one of the most memorable attacks of that bloody afternoon. Because of its location in the Longstreet’s battle line, Kershaw was forced to attack in two separate directions, with one wing of the Brigade attacking northwards towards the Peach Orchard while the other wing headed east towards the Stony Hill and the Wheatfield. The result will be one of the greatest tests that Kershaw and his men yet faced. We will look into the history of this Brigade before Gettysburg and then follow in the footsteps of the men as they made this momentous attack. Along the way we will review the situation that led Kershaw to make the decision to attack in two directions and discuss some of the controversies and misunderstandings that subsequently occurred.
Meeting Place: Longstreet Tower on West Confederate Avenue. There will be some moderate walking. Park at the Longstreet Tower lot and if full, past the lot in the right lane with all four wheels on the pavement.
July 25, 2023 Evening Program
“Weikert Farm” featuring LBG Bill Thomas
Ever wonder what lies up the dirt lane just across Wheatfield Road from Crawford Avenue? This seldom visited part of the battlefield is the John Weikert farm, which played a role in the fighting in the Wheatfield and Houck’s Ridge, and was likely the site of action giving rise to no less than 6 of the 64 Medals of Honor awarded for action at Gettysburg. Discover how Confederates guarding prisoners become prisoners themselves. The area also saw the only combat by elements of the Union 6th Corps on July 2, 1863, as Wheaton’s / Nevin’s Brigade aided the Pennsylvania Reserves to turn back Wofford’s Georgians, as well as the capture and recapture of Union cannons.
Meeting Place: We will begin at the 102nd PA monument down the John Weikert farm lane. No traffic or parking is permitted on the farm lane. Please park on the right side of Crawford Avenue with all four wheels on the road.
August 1, 2023 Evening Program
“Robinson’s Division” featuring LBG Tim Pierce
As Binghamton NY native John Cleveland Robinson arrived with his two-brigade division to the first day’s battlefield, he briefly placed them near the Lutheran Theological Seminary. In front of the Seminary some of the men threw up a hasty breastwork. These brigades were made up of men from several Northern States, New York, Pennsylvania Massachusetts, and Maine. The brigades were, in turn, ordered to a ridge northwest of town along the Mummasburg Road. In what order did they arrive? What was their mission? We will endeavor to break their story down to understand what happened on this ridge. Their story includes a dog, an unfortunate chaplain, and a great deal of confusion, with many commanders being wounded as the Confederates from Robert Rodes’ division attacked from different directions. There is an attempt at mutual destruction as the two sweaty, thirsty, grimy, armies struggle against each other. These U.S. soldiers of Robinsons division, running low on ammunition and men, began to retreat. Their Maine comrades were ordered to hold the ridge as long as possible while the others made their way out of the hard fought position. The survivors of the day’s fight will spend the next two days being shuffled from location to location on Cemetery Hill and Ridge as needed. We will also take some time to look at some of the distinctive memorials that the survivors erected after the war.
Meeting Place: Please park in the Eternal Light Peace Memorial parking lot where we begin their story. From the grassy area adjacent to the parking lot we will walk down Confederate Ave., across the Mummasburg Road, and along Doubleday Ave to near where the Doubleday Inn is today. We will then, as the story unfolds, walk back toward the Mummasburg Road and conclude the story near the tower.
August 8, 2023 Evening Program
”Last Men Standing – 20th Indiana at Gettysburg” featuring LBG Chuck Rebesco
Of the 2,000 soldiers from Indiana engaged at Gettysburg, likely the men of the 20th Indiana are the least known. While the other Hoosier regiments are generally at least mentioned in the recountings of the battle, the 20th is not. It seems to be lost in the narrative of a 3rd Corps disaster. Rose Woods does not have the prestige or allure of the Wheatfield inferno or the otherworldly Devil’s Den. We will learn about these forgotten soldiers, their fight on July 2nd (challenging the usual judgement of the 3rd corps), and how they were “the last men standing”.
Meeting Place: The Wheatfield pull-off on Sickles Avenue. The tour will walk through Rose Woods to four different locations. We will stay on paved surfaces; there is one section of gentle incline. Parking: Please note during the Little Round Top closure parking is prohibited on Ayers Avenue. Please proceed to Sickles Avenue and park on the right side of the road with all four wheels on the pavement.
August 15, 2023 Evening Program
“Schurz at Gettysburg: Profile and battle account of Major General Carl Schurz” featuring LBG Ralph Siegel
Considering his career before, during and after the Civil War, there is a strong case that Carl Schurz was the most influential immigrant leader of the 19 th Century. His electioneering for Lincoln earned him a battlefield commission but did he deserve it? How did Major General Schurz do at Gettysburg and why is he so easily overlooked?
Meeting Place: The tennis courts adjacent to Mummasburg Road about two blocks northwest of the college campus. (DO NOT park on Howard Avenue. Parking is available on public streets and in the tennis court lot) The tour will consist of a moderate walk of half a mile toward Blocher Knoll and back.
August 22, 2023 Evening Program
Many of the Monuments that grace the Gettysburg Battlefield honor the various units and soldiers both officer and enlisted. Numerous monuments display the one unsung hero that is viewed with great admiration but not often spoken about…the Horse of course. These animals were trained and prepared for battle all with different functions. Like the men who rode them, they were expendable implements of war. Many men lamented the loss of their animals and one, a Union Officer admitted his inability to judge a horse as a quality mount. He also admitted it was in many cases pointless due to the high attrition rate. These animals have even caused one of the great myths that persist to this day. Come on out and learn about these noble animals and their sacrifice at Gettysburg and the American Civil War.
Meeting Place: West-End Comfort Station. Park in the gravel lot behind the building. All other parking must be in the right lane of one-way park avenues with all four wheels on the pavement.
August 29, 2023 Evening Program
Why and how can a small group of volunteer soldiers carry the identity of an early American educational institution, and importantly, how could their actions at Gettysburg and within the Civil War further imprint a storied reputation, to this day, on the same university and community? The 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, known as “the Harvard Regiment,” will be the focus of our attention during this walk to assist in answering these questions. We will discuss their arrival as part of the 2nd Corps near the Leister House and follow in their footsteps to Cemetery Ridge. A review of their actions on both July 2nd and 3rd will be discussed, the glory received, and unfortunately, the costs of lives that were paid in return. The story of their “pudding-stone” memorial on the field is particularly interesting, along with how their memory is still a part of not only Harvard University, but also of Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge Massachusetts today.
Meeting Place: Park in the approved locations on Hancock Avenue near the “Copse of Trees”. Please ensure you are in the right lane and park with all four wheels on the pavement. The group will assemble at the “High Water Mark” memorial.