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Evening “Walks Through History“
Series – 2021
2021 will mark the tenth year of Licensed Battlefield Guide-led “Walks Through History” on summer Tuesday evenings, Guides will lead an evening walk 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. In keeping with NPS mandated Covid-19 provisions, requested group size will be strictly limited and social distancing will be required. At this time masks are required on public lands including the National Military Park in any area where appropriate distancing cannot be guaranteed.
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 placing and does not present a road hazard by partially blockng tour roads. At no time should your vehicle be parked on the grass.
When: Tuesday Evenings throughout the late spring and summer.
Dates: May 25; June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; July 6, 13, 20, 27; August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Time: All programs will run from 5:00 PM until approximately 8:00 PM
Where: Detailed below. Parking is limited. Abide by park rules and consider car-pooling
Cost: $35 per session.
May 25, 2021 Evening Walk
“Seesaw at the Bliss Farm” featuring LBG Mike Rupert
The William & Adeline Bliss farmhouse and barn were located about equally (just over 500 yards) between the Confederate battle line on Seminary Ridge and the Union battle line on Cemetery Ridge. Hundreds of skirmishers from both sides grappled to and fro on the farm for two days. With neither side able to hold and mounting casualties, Union high command ordered it burned just before noon on July 3rd. Without easy access or buildings to see, the farm is rarely mentioned or visited today. About a mile of walking, some ground is uneven and could be mushy in the fields if recent rain.
Meeting Place: Park in the National Cemetery Lot on Taneytown Road. Meet at north side of the Abraham Brian barn. Stops at 8th Ohio, Bliss farm site, corner of the old Long Lane where Thomas’ Georgians were posted and end the program at the 12th New Jersey.
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June 1, 2021 Evening Walk
“What Mean These Stones? Wheatfield and the Stony Hill” featuring LBG Rich Goedkoop
This program will be an illustrated walking tour of the Rose Wheatfield and Stony Hill looking at 27 monuments, markers and plaques and some of the stories behind them in one of the most heavily contested areas of the July 2nd battlefield. At our various stops we will look at elements such as: the commanders, their men, what they did, and the origin, history and dedications of the what have been called the “last sentinels of the battle.” This will be a moderate walk of about 1
1/2 miles over generally even terrain with some modest inclines.
Meeting Place: We will meet at the monument of the 30th Pennsylvania (1st Pennsylvania Reserves) on Ayres Avenue. The tour will finish at the marker of the 118th Pennsylvania on the Wheatfield Road.
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June 8, 2021 Evening Walk
The Texas Brigade at Gettysburg: “It’s no time for shining shoes” featuring LBG Rob Abbott
The Texas Brigade was called Lee’s Grenadier Guards. Join LBG Rob Abbott as we set up Major General John B. Hood’s July 2nd, 1863 4pm attack on the Union left flank. The walk will trace the Texas Brigade’s route from the Texas State Monument, through the Bushman Farm, Timbers Farm, Triangular Field, Devils Den and will end just below Little Round Top. The walk will be strenuous and moving over broken and uneven ground. Wear good shoes and spray down for ticks.
Meeting Place: Texas State Monument on West Confederate Avenue.
June 15, 2021 Evening Walk
“Whirlwind of Death” The Iron Brigade and the Defense of Herbst Woods featuring LBG Stuart Dempsey
Follow in the footsteps of this hard fighting brigade as we explore the scene of its most famous and costly battle. This walking tour will cover the arrival of the Iron Brigade on Seminary Ridge, its advance to McPherson’s Ridge, and the horrific fighting that occurred in Herbst Woods – some of the bloodiest acreage in American history. The program will focus on the experiences of the officers and soldiers of the 2nd & 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, and 24th Michigan in both the morning and afternoon phases of the July 1 engagement.
Meeting Place: The Reynolds Death Monument, South Reynolds Avenue. Park along South Reynolds Avenue (please park on road only, not grass) We will cover approximately 1.2 miles round trip, with mild inclines and occasionally uneven ground. Stops will be made Near the Reynolds Death Marker, South Reynolds Ave; along the eastern bank of Willoughby Run; at the 19th Indiana Monument, 7th Wisconsin Monument and the 24th Michigan Monument; walking path in Herbst Woods; 151st Pennsylvania Monument and we will end the program on the eastern slope of McPherson Ridge.
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June 22, 2021 Evening Walk
“Indiana at Gettysburg” featuring LBG Bill Thomas
While the majority of Hoosier soldiers served in the Western Theater of the war, those in the Army of the Potomac participated in all three days of the Battle of Gettysburg. The tour will drive to several places on the battlefield beginning with the Indiana Monument. While at Spangler Meadow, we will also meet the “Giants” of the 27th Indiana, and discuss their ill-fated assault across that meadow. Then we move to the top of Culp’s Hill to find out how disobedience of an order put the 7th Indiana in position to protect the hill on the night of July 1. On East Cemetery Hill we will discuss the 14th Indiana and their participation in the counter attack by Carroll’s Brigade. A member of this regiment was the only Hoosier to receive a Medal of Honor for action at Gettysburg. Then we move to the monument for the 3rd Indiana Cavalry on North Reynolds Avenue. In addition to addressing the role of this unit in the battle, we will learn about a soldier who met his future wife. At the 19 Indiana Monument we will learn about the Hoosiers in the Iron Brigade including Abraham Buckles, who enlisted at age 15. General Solomon Meredith, an Indiana resident at the time war broke out, led the Iron Brigade at Gettysburg. Moving to Ayres Avenue and the seldom visited monument for the 17th US Infantry we will meet Captain Dudley H. Chase, who was born in Loganport, Indiana, and commanded Company A in the 17th US on July 2nd. The final stop will be the 20th Indiana Monument erected on the spot where Col. John Wheeler fell leading the regiment.
Meeting Place: Indiana State Memorial, Spangler’s Meadow at the base of Culp’s Hill. This program will require considerable moving about in vehicles to cover all necessary points. Car pooling will be encouraged.
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June 29, 2021 Evening Walk
“These men are no cowards” Krzyzanowski’s Brigade July 1st featuring LBG Bill Trelease
Wladimir Krzyzanowski’s Eleventh Corps brigade came to Gettysburg under a dark shadow because this was one of the brigades that received the first devastating blows from Stonewall Jackson’s famous flank attack at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. Despite suffering heavy casualties that day they would be accused of cowardice and become one of the main scapegoats for that Union defeat. These accusations would be amplified by the fact that many of the men in the brigade were German and Polish born immigrants which led many to refer to them, as well as the rest of the Eleventh Corps, as the “Flying Dutchmen.” When they arrived at Gettysburg on July 1, they came determined to prove to their many detractors that they were not cowards. They knew that they were good soldiers that had been placed in an impossible situation at Chancellorsville and they would show their mettle when they next met the enemy. Unfortunately, fate will deal these men another blow in the fields north of town that afternoon. They were ordered to move forward to provide some support to the Union troops on Barlow’s Knoll but would almost immediately find themselves assailed from three directions simultaneously. Once again, the brigade found themselves in another desperate situation. Despite the odds, the brigade stood their ground in a brutal stand-up fight, delivering volley after volley into an enemy that was barely 75 yards away. They would eventually be forced to retreat but not before they lost almost half their number. It was a desperate, bloody, stand but it certainly proved what these men already knew about themselves – they were certainly not cowards. We will look at the events that brought this brave, but hard luck, brigade to Gettysburg with such an undeserved reputation for cowardice and follow the desperate fight that they made in these fields, a fight that deserves to be remembered. This tour will involve some moderate walking.
Meeting Place: Barlow’s Knoll.
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July 6, 2021 Evening Walk
“The Right Arm of Meade” Artillery stories of the Union RIght featuring LBG Jessie Wheedleton
“Where a goat can go, a man can go, and where a man can go, he can carry a gun.” Words spoken by British General William Phillips over Fort Ticonderoga ring true in the feats of the Union artillery over the rocky terrain at Gettysburg. Join us as we explore both the advantages and disadvantages the artillerists experienced on the right flank of the Union army. We will discuss the action here on July 2nd and 3rd from the Union army’s point of view, which will be even clearer after the NPS tree restoration project on Culp’s Hill! Our first stop will be the Union positions on Powers’ Hill, and our second will be at the Culp’s Hill tower, walking down the road from there to Stevens’ Knoll and beyond as time allows. Who were they? We will also dig into the personal stories of the men behind the guns on both sides. The tour will consist of a mile of walking on paved surfaces and two driving stops.
Meeting place: Powers Hill parking lot on Granite Schoolhouse Lane.
July 13, 2021 Evening Walk
“The 32nd Massachusetts During and After the Battle of Gettysburg” featuring LBG Ed Suplee
The 32nd Massachusetts (of Col. Jacob Sweitzer’s brigade, 5th Corps) fought two separate times in the bloody Wheatfield on July 2nd, 1863. This program will discuss both of their engagements of July 2nd as well as examine their first and second field medical triage sites manned by their medical support staff under Dr. Z. Boylston Adams. The first site is on Stony Hill only 200 feet behind the fighting unit. This will be a walking tour beginning in the Wheatfield at the 32nd Massachusetts monument to the first triage location
Meeting place: Intersection of DeTrobriand Avenue and Sickles Avenue by Auto Tour Stop.
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July 20, 2021 Evening Walk
“…they will come booming” John Buford’s Masterful Defense on July 1st, 1863 featuring LBG Therese Orr
There are many heroes of the Battle of Gettysburg. John Buford and his cavalrymen certainly, in my opinion, are heroes for their defensive stand on July 1,1863. While JEB Stuart was riding around trying to find his army, Buford and his men did find the Army of Northern Virginia. Buford kept his superiors and colleagues informed of the suspected location of the enemy, and established a classic, successful cavalry defensive line to slow the advance of Henry Heth’s Division until John Reynold’s I Corps arrived. Join LBG Therese Orr for an in-depth look at Buford’s tactics and the cavalry-infantry clash that began the Battle of Gettysburg.
Meeting Place: Parking lot in the rear of Seminary Ridge Museum. The presentation will involve three battlefield stops: McPherson Ridge – vehicles park on Stone Avenue and group gathers near Buford/Reynolds statues; Buford Avenue near the WV Cavalry monument; and on Oak Hill.
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July 27, 2021 Evening Walk
Pender Attacks! Action South of the Chambersburg Pike on July 1st. featuring LBG Chris Army
This will be a walk covering the July 1st afternoon attack of Major General William Dorsey Pender’s Division. We will cover the division attack in context of Lee’s overall plan for the first day’s fight and the results of the Light Division’s efforts. This moderate walk will cover about a mile and a half, mostly on Stone Avenue, Meredith Avenue and Reynolds Ave.
Meeting Place: West End Guide Station.
August 3, 2021 Evening Walk
“4,104 Rounds” Colonel Wainwright’s 1 Corps Artillery Brigade in their words “There was not a shadow of a chance of us holding this ridge” featuring LBG Fran Feyock
Colonel Charles Shields Wainwright accurately describes the situation unfolding west of Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 1. 1863. In command of the Union Army’s 1st Corps Artillery Brigade, his concerns where well founded as his 28 Guns and just under 600 cannoneers were being swept from the field. We will follow the movements and experiences of this Artillery Brigade over the three days and beyond in their own words. Men with names like Hunt, Hall, Stevens, Reynolds, Gilbert, Breck, Stewart and several of their soldiers will join Colonel Wainwright describing their thoughts, actions, and feelings from the written records.
Meeting Place : Mary Thompson House (R.E. Lee’s eventual HQ) on Seminary Ridge, then move to East Cemetery Hill, and finally stand on Cemetery Ridge (Between the New York Auxiliary Monument and Pennsylvania Monument). Some walking over ascending ground (East Cemetery Hill) most walking will be on short level ground.
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August 10, 2021 Evening Walk
“Zook’s Brigade” featuring LBG Bill Thomas
Brigadier General Samuel K. Zook had led the 3rd Brigade of the First Division of the Second Corps beginning in October of 1862. But July 2, 1863, would see the command fall in rapid succession to three other officers after Zook was carried from the field with a mortal wound. The program will interpret how the physical environment affected the advance of the Brigade, as well as the retreat. Stories of individual officers and men will be highlighted. For example, you will learn how a quartet of men avoided the grueling march through Maryland on June 29 by “straggling forward”, and how one officer’s wound enabled him to meet his future bride. The valor of Zook’s Brigade is often lost in the shadow of the more famous Irish Brigade that fought in the Wheatfield just to their right. This program will allow the men of the 3d Brigade of Caldwell’s Division to step out of those shadows.
Meeting Place: The program will begin at Zook’s Obelisk, and walk to the area of the Loop. We will then relocate and park on Crawford Avenue near Wheatfield Road, and walk up the lane to the John Weikert Farm and into the woods beyond.
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August 17, 2021 Evening Walk
”Kershaw’s Brigade: The Spot Where The Confederacy Lost the War” featuring LBG Ralph Siegel
Confederate Brig. Gen. Joseph Kershaw at Gettysburg commanded the largest brigade in Longstreet’s First Corps. On July 2 nd this big brigade of veteran fighters would lead the long march (and counter-march) to the Peach Orchard, only to have their attack plans disrupted. Once Kershaw’s brigade did step off, joining in the fight behind Hood’s Division, they split into fragments. Longstreet had made a dramatic change in tactics – a change that as it happens ended any chance of Confederate victory in the war.
Meeting Place: Guests should park in the lot for the Warfield (Longstreet) Tower and meet at the South Carolina memorial. The walk is about one mile but will cross some rough ground and ends with a brief climb on Stony Hill. Guests may wish to leave cars at Stony Hill to ferry back.
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August 24, 2021 Evening Walk
The Second Corps Artillery Brigade “Don’t tell them that Confederate artillery was ineffective” featuring LBG Larry Korczyk
This battle walk will involve approx. a 1/2 mile of walking over relatively level ground along Hancock Avenue on Cemetery Ridge. The talk will cover the action of the five artillery batteries of the brigade on July 2 & 3. The Second Corps artillery brigade, located at a critical position on Cemetery Ridge, would suffer the highest percentage loss of any Union artillery brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg. The batteries would suffer heavy losses, particularly amongst the battery commanders, and often the casualties in nature would be horrific.
Meeting Place: The battle walk will begin at the parking lot opposite the Soldiers National Cemetery on the Taneytown Road.
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August 31, 2021 Evening Walk
Allegany County, New York at Gettysburg” featuring LBG Tom Vossler
Located 70 miles southeast of Buffalo and 75 miles due south of Rochester, Allegany County is among the southern tier of counties in Western New York State. During the American Civil War battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in July 1863, five New York Volunteer Infantry Regiments included, at least in part, men born, raised and or/recruited in Allegany County. This program will focus on one of those five regiments – the 64th New York Volunteer Infantry. The 64th was brigaded in the 4th Brigade, 1st Division, II Army Corps together with the 2nd Delaware, 53rd Pennsylvania. 145th Pennsylvania and 27th Connecticut. The brigade was commanded at Gettysburg by Colonel John R. Brooke. Its principal part in the battle was carried out in and around Rose’s bloody Wheatfield on the second day of the battle. It is that story which will be told with focus on the 64th NY. As an added feature of this program, each attendee will be asked to temporarily adopt a name from a select group of 64th New York soldiers. The fate of each of the selected soldiers on July 2nd, 1863 and the remainder of the war, will then be revealed at the end of the program.
Meeting Place: Parking on Ayers Avenue. Battle line forms between present 42nd PA monument and Winslow’s Battery position and advances WSW to 64th NY monument on Brooke Avenue. First 300 yards short grass and gentle slope. Last 200 yards steep slope in the woods and not wheelchair accessible although a handy wheelchair by-pass on the road would be available.