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Tuesday Evening “Walks Through History

Series – 2024

 

2024 will mark the thirteenth 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 4, 11, 18, 25; July 9, 16, 23, 30; August 6, 13, 20, 27.

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 4, 2024 Evening Program   

“Captain George Randolph’s Artillery US III Corps July 2, 1863” featuring LBG Mike Rupert

Captain Randolph’s five batteries, ultimately put in position in a long “prominent” line, stretching from top of Devil’s Den all the way to the Klingle farm on the Emmitsburg Road. Even though Captain Randolph has the assistance of Artillery Chief General Hunt along with numerous batteries from the Reserve the task will prove impossible. Focus to be with the batteries of Smith, Winslow, Clark, Bucklyn and Seeley – stopping at or near their monuments on the field.

Meeting place:  Near Smith’s NY Battery monument on Sickles Avenue by Devil’s Den. The tour will end near Seely’s Battery on the Emmitsburg Rd (between the Sherfy and Klingle farms).  Please park along the route (on the right hand side of one way roads with all four wheels on the pavement) and carpool to Devil’s Den.  A good place would be near Sickles’ Excelsior Brigade monument. Moderate walking involved, just over one mile not including walking back to your vehicle.

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June 11, 2024 Evening Program   

“George Meade: The Man, His Work, His Legacy” featuring LBG Mary Turk-Meena

Famously, George Meade is ordered to take command of the Union Army of the Potomac on June 28, 1863, a mere three days before the Battle of Gettysburg. He takes over an Army on a long losing streak. In those 3 days of preparation and during the 3 days of battle George Meade turns this spectacularly unsuccessful organization into a winner. Not known as a charismatic leader, how is this turnaround achieved? What does George Meade do to inspire his troops? Is he just lucky? Or is he the beneficiary of a poor performance by the Army of Northern Virginia? This program explores the man, George Meade, and his actions in late June and early July 1863 and the highs and lows of his legacy to try to answer these questions.

Meeting Place: East Cemetery Hill near the Howard statue. Parking in GTC lot. Stop 2: Munshower Hill. Parking at corner of Wheatfield Rd. and Sykes Ave. or along Sykes Ave. Stop 3: Meade’s HQ. Parking in the overflow lot across Taneytown Rd. or on Hancock Ave. Stop 4: Meade’s statue on Cemetery Ridge (walk or drive).

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June 18, 2024 Evening Program    

“Thunder from the West: McIntosh, Pegram, Wainwright, and their artillerymen on July 1” featuring LBG Billy Griffith 

The roles of Majors David G. McIntosh’s and William J. Pegram’s Confederate artillery battalions along Herr Ridge on July 1, 1863, have widely been overlooked or forgotten by modern students of the battle. Throughout the morning and afternoon of the first day’s fighting, around thirty of their cannons wreaked havoc within the Union ranks on McPherson Ridge. In response, Colonel Charles Wainwright’s First Corps artillery brigade returned shot and shell, desperately trying to silence the enemy guns. Join us for this Tuesday evening battle walk to hear the stories of the artillerymen that have been excluded from the story of the July 1st struggle west of town. 

Meeting Place: Stop 1: *UPDATED MEETING SPOT* We will meet in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church, 1015 Chambersburg Rd, Gettysburg.  Stop 2: West-End Guide Station Parking Lots Walk to Stone Avenue.

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June 25, 2024 Evening Program

“Discovering the Enemy: Brig. Gen. John Buford’s Division at Gettysburg”  featuring LBG Britt Isenberg

There is much left to be said about General John Buford’s Division at Gettysburg even with the large amounts of published material focusing on his command. This tour will challenge some of the broad assertions that have been made about his division’s role over the years, but more importantly focus on Buford’s operational objectives, the division’s intelligence gathering, and the realities of their tactical deployment that ultimately took them into battle on July 1, 1863. “Boots and saddles!”

Meeting Location: Gravel parking area behind (south of) the West End Guide Station. Stops: West End Guide Station, 6 NY Cavalry Monument, Oak Hill, Barlow’s Knoll.

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July 9, 2024 Evening Program

“Stannard’s Vermont Brigade “Here are some men who will fight when their turn comes.” “  featuring LBG Paul Bailey

In the early afternoon of July 2nd, General Abner Doubleday spoke these words to describe the men of the 2nd Vermont Brigade as the lay massed in columns on the southern slope of Cemetery Hill. Formed by the events of July and August 1862 when President Lincoln called for volunteers to serve for just nine months and within days of completing their enlistments without having experienced combat, few expected much from the Green Mountain Boys. However, led by Brigadier General George J. Stannard, these men will, at the critical times, move to the center of the storm, fill the gap, recapture guns and execute two flank attacks that devastate the Confederates. This walk will cover those actions.

Meeting Place:  U.S. Regulars Monument. We will discuss the 2nd day action here, then we will move south to 13VT flank attack marker #1 to start July 3rd action.  All walking will be on mowed grass paths from here to the Emmitsburg Road and back.

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July 16, 2024 Evening Program

“The rest of Barnes Division on July 2 – Tilton and Sweitzer”  featuring LBG Rick Schroeder

Everybody focuses on Colonel Strong Vincent, but few think of the rest of his parent division and the implications of Vincent’s impetuous move to Little Round Top.  Join LBG Rick Schroeder has he discusses the division commander Brigadier General James Barnes and his lesser-known brigades of Colonel William Tilton and Colonel Jacob Sweitzer.

Meeting Place:  Parking should be on Sickles Ave in the Wheatfield. We will meet in the center of the Wheatfield, move to the Rose Woods, return to the Stony Hill and back to the cars.  The walking will be easy.

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July 23, 2024 Evening Program     

“Gunfight in the Peach Orchard”  featuring LBG Ralph Siegel

In most artillery engagements of the war, including Gettysburg’s great “cannonade,” the guns were too distant to target each other. But on July 2nd at the Peach Orchard, the Union guns of Clark and McGilvery, and the Confederate guns of Alexander, moved within “direct-fire” range in what may have been the largest close-action artillery fight of the entire war. Clark’s battery would fire more rounds in four hours than any other battery on any other day. A gunner in a Georgia battery would report: “The firing was the most rapid I have ever witnessed, and the earth literally vibrated under the continuous roar.”

Meeting Place: Louisiana Memorial. The tour will consist of moderate walks just past South Carolina memorial and then back to and up Millerstown Road to the Peach Orchard end point.

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July 30, 2024 Evening Program     

“14th Brooklyn – The Red Legged Devils.”  featuring LBG Bill Trelease

Perhaps no other regiment in the Civil War represented the area they came from more closely than the 14th Brooklyn. Part of the New York State Militia system and designated as the 14th NYSM, it was mustered into Federal Service as the 84th New York Volunteer Infantry.  However, the officers and the men of the regiment were not happy with their federal designation.  Fiercely proud of their city and closely attached to the number 14, they insisted on calling

themselves the “14th Brooklyn”. Hence they became the only regiment in the Civil War, North or South, that was “named” after a city.  Throughout the war, the men dressed similarly to the Chasseur regiments found in the French Army at time, complete with red pants and red and navy blue kepis. But it wasn’t just the uniform that made the regiment stand out because they quickly proved to be one of the toughest regiments in the Union Army, distinguishing themselves on every field where they fought. They became known as the “red legged devils”, a name first given to them by Stonewall Jackson when he encountered them at First Bull Run. We will spend some time on the very interesting history of the regiment from its days as part of the New York State militia system and up to the time they appeared on the fields around Gettysburg. Although the 14th Brooklyn fought on all three days of the Battle of Gettysburg.  We will primarily focus our attention on their initial fight on the morning of July 1. We will spend some time on their participation in the famous attack on the railroad cut, an action that went on to generate much post war controversy with the veterans of the 6th Wisconsin. Also, since the 14th stayed in existence after the Civil War we will end our walk with a brief review of the actions of its dependent units up to World War 2.

Meeting Place: We will meet at the West End Guide Station. While there will some moderate walking portable camp stools may prove useful.

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August 6, 2024 Evening Program    

”Captain John Bigelow’s 9th Massachusetts Artillery Battery on July 2”  featuring LBG Chuck Burkell

James Longstreet’s assault on the afternoon of July 2, 1863 is considered by some if not many historians to be one of the largest engagements of the entire Civil War. Thrust into the throat of this attack was a small group of Massachusetts artillerists commanded by a Harvard educated Captain, Johnny Bigelow. He and his soldiers performed heroically, honoring their command and orders, tragically surrendering to eternity a number of their colleagues. Their prolonged retreat was not one of choice, but literally survival to keep up the fight. This walk will examine the history, role, and aftermath of the 9 MA within this monumental engagement.

Meeting Place:  Meet adjacent to the “witness tree” on the Wheatfield Road (parking area) for the Peach Orchard. 1st Stand: Peach Orchard 2nd Stand: Adjacent to the 9th MA Battery Monument on the Wheatfield Rd. 3rd Stand: Walk across the field (north) towards (United States Avenue) the Trostle Farm. 4th Stand: 9 MA Battery Monument at the Trostle Farm Parking: Cars will not be used during the Walk unless the field between the Wheatfield Road and United States Avenue (area north of the 9 MA Monument) (due to height and density of crops and/or weather) cannot be safely traversed. Cars should be parked at one of the following areas: Designated parking spaces on Wheatfield Rd. at Peach Orchard; designated spaces on Sickles Avenue near Excelsior Brigade Monument). Following the 4th Stand, participants will return to their cars from the Trostle Farm area.

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August 13, 2024 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.

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August 20, 2024 Evening Program  

“McPherson Farm Fight”  featuring LBG Bill Thomas
 

The McPherson Barn has been called “. . . the sole survivor of the events that took place there on July 1, 1863. . . .”  After reviewing the history of the farm, the tour will proceed to examine the combat that took place there on July 1 and discover the role that the farm itself played in the battle.  You will learn of the courage of three Medal of Honor recipients, a ruse to avoid artillery fire, an alias enlistment, a combat artist, fighting at the railroad cut not involving the 6th Wisconsin, valiant color bearers, red legged devils, buck-tails, tar-heels and others.

Meeting Place:  Park along the west side Stone Ave. or in the dirt parking area behind the West End Comfort Station.  Gather at the 150th PA monument.  Move to the area at the forebay of the barn for stop 1;  Move back to Stone Ave. and along the east side of Stone Ave. to the monuments for the 95th NY and 14th Brooklyn for stop 2.  Mover cross Stone Ave and move along the path through Herbst Woods to the east side of Willoughby Run to view the remains of the McPherson Farm stone quarry for stop 3; return by the same path to the area of 150th PA for stop 4.  Mover along the east side of Stone Ave to the area of the 149th PA and Calef’s Battery monuments on the south side of Chambersburg Pike for stop 5;  Cross Chambersburg Pike to the area of Hall’s Maine Battery for stop 6; recross to the south side of Chambersburg Pike and move along the south side of Chambersburg Pike to the 143d PA Monument for the 7th and last stop of the program.

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August 27, 2024 Evening Program  

“Carroll’s Brigade at East Cemetery Hill”  featuring LBG Chuck Rebesco

There was another “All Western Brigade” with a nickname at Gettysburg.  As part of the Second Infantry Corps of the Army of the Potomac, Carroll’s “fighting fools” participated in some of the heaviest fighting of the Eastern Theater.  This walk will introduce the Gibraltar Brigade and discuss its contribution during the July 2nd evening battle for East Cemetery Hill.  Like many other parts of the Gettysburg battle, this action also has its share of controversy and legend.

Meeting Place: At the National Cemetery overflow grass parking lot on Taneytown Road/Hunt Avenue. Later drive: To GTC parking lot on Baltimore Pike. Walk: From GTC lot to East Cemetery Hill and meet there.  Brief walk to Wainwright Avenue and back. Modest slope.

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