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Old 09-21-2010, 12:00 AM   #21
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I once had a guided tour of the Vickburg, MS, National Military Park. It curled my hair.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:49 AM   #22
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I'm planning to go to Gettysburg in about 3 weeks, for one day. Any tips?
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:53 AM   #23
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I'm planning to go to Gettysburg in about 3 weeks, for one day. Any tips?

You can get a dvd or cassette that will bring you to all the points of interest and give you some info about what happened at that spot. I don't remember where I got mine but it was very helpfull. I'm sure they sell them at Gettysburg.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:34 AM   #24
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I'm planning to go to Gettysburg in about 3 weeks, for one day. Any tips?
Wear long pants, check for ticks, and know the symptoms of Lyme disease...

If you're the type who reads ahead before the visit then I second REWahoo's endorsement of "The Killer Angels". Another option could be the movie "Gettysburg" but despite all the director's license & drama it lacks the book's impact. I believe there was also an old episode of "Undiscovered History" covering Gettysburg.

My PILs have been visiting the battlefield regularly for over 40 years, including a number of ElderHostels. They greatly prefer a guided tour to wandering around in the wilderness-- for example the artillery barrage before Pickett's Charge takes on a whole new meaning when you have a chance to tramp the terrain with someone who's studied it. But there's plenty of material at the visitor's center and on the scene to put it together on your own schedule/pace.

The town of Gettysburg seems to small to possibly support the visitor traffic, but off-season is probably pretty good. We ate at the Lincoln Diner; in July I believe its main attractions were air conditioning and a lack of crowds.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:38 AM   #25
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You can get a dvd or cassette that will bring you to all the points of interest and give you some info about what happened at that spot. I don't remember where I got mine but it was very helpfull. I'm sure they sell them at Gettysburg.
We purchased the Tour DVD at Antietam Battlefield at the Information Center. It was around $20 but that turned out to be worth that and a lot more. (Well, with my Parks Pass there was no entrance fee so I had money to burn.) This DVD is put in the car radio and directs your every turn and tells you where to stop throughout the Park. When stopped it gives an impressive narrative of what took place at that location. (You can, of course, start and stop the DVD so you go "at your own pace.")

When searching for the DVD online (no joy), I found this page. I am sure the Gettysburg Park has the same maps.

Antietam National Battlefield - Brochures (U.S. National Park Service)

As a side note, Lion Country Park in Florida used the same method of "touring" the park. Except for it being on DVD, this is an impressive use of technology.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:39 AM   #26
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I'm planning to go to Gettysburg in about 3 weeks, for one day. Any tips?

if its your style we took the 2 hour horseback tour
It was an amazing way to get the feel of the battlefield.

Horseback tours of Gettysburg - Gettysburg Forum - TripAdvisor
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:13 AM   #27
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if its your style we took the 2 hour horseback tour
It was an amazing way to get the feel of the battlefield.

Horseback tours of Gettysburg - Gettysburg Forum - TripAdvisor
It's going to be the day after a marathon, so while walking should be fine to stretch out the legs, going on horseback for the first time won't work. I bet it'd be fun otherwise.

Thanks all, for the tips. Keep 'em coming! I'm hitting the library today for the books, and put the movie in the top of my Netflix queue.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:15 AM   #28
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I studied military history and technology as an undergrad so walking battlefields and fortresses comes very naturally. I find that some battlefields evoke the battle very clearly, while others are just fields, no matter what the historical importance. I have my own favorites but I wonder if anyone else has the same reaction?

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Walked the Plains of Abraham several times and only felt the crunch of icy field under my feet, cold wind on my face. On a different trip, took an overnight train, went to sleep thinking about baseball, woke up in Civil War country, early morning fog on green hills, rolling past familiar town names, profound.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:45 PM   #29
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I visited the Cu Chi tunnels during my visit to Vietnam last year. I found it quite distressing on the journey there, thinking about all those who lost their lives. My father did a tour of duty there so I always wondered if he was one of those who ever had to patrol the area. Once there, it was not as bad as I thought it would be, but I hated how they demonstrated the boobie traps and talked about how people would suffer if they did tread on one of them.

I have never been to Pearl Harbour and it is one of those places I don't want to go. I feel so sad at the thought of all those lives that were lost
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:49 PM   #30
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Touring Gettysburg with one of the recorded devices (probably CD now) is the way to go. You can drive from point to point in your car while the battle is being described. Also, they have an auditorium where a host will describe the battle and show the troop movement on a scaled image which is great. We as a family have walked Gettsburg many times and I always get goosebumps, just trying to imagine what went on that day.

One other very interesting battlefield I got to visit was Okinawa. My daughter and boys spent three years there with SIL (Marine). We spent five weeks touring the island and playing golf. One of my most interesting travels. They lived at Kadena Air Base, the original Japanese air base. We visited Suhri Castle, the underground caves, the cliffs where many civilians committed suicide, Pease Memorial Park and Motobu Peninsula, where Ernie Pyle was killed. One of my most memorable experiences. Naha, the capital, is a city of 300K and pretty modern thanks to the American forces based there. It's called the poor man's Hawaii. About 1300 miles south of Tokyo. Flew Northwest.
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:20 PM   #31
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We as a family have walked Gettsburg many times and I always get goosebumps, just trying to imagine what went on that day.
Yeah, that is the reaction I get when walking around the Custer battlefield where there are markers where each of the participants -- on both sides --was killed... where the body ended up, actually.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:35 PM   #32
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Johnnie, actually Gettysburg was 3 days not just one. Pickets charge was on July 3rd but there was a lot of fighting on the 1st and 2nd of July also. Little Round Top was a big deal.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:22 PM   #33
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I really want to go to Stalingrad (Volograd) someday. Some great memorials and the largest freestanding statue in the world.
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:43 PM   #34
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My wife, daughter and I walked the woods at Little Round Top for over 40 minutes. During that time we would stop about every 3-5 minutes and remain silent, just observing with all our senses. It was a beautiful sunny and extremely still afternoon, no wind. We came across no other visitors. Our observations were surreal. Not a sound or movement in those woods for our entire 40 minutes. We all commented about this absense of sound and movement very soon in our walk. We were on hallowed gound.
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:07 PM   #35
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Remember Strong Vincent!
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:48 PM   #36
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Remember Strong Vincent!
....and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain....
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:13 PM   #37
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....and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain....

A great hero for sure, but at least he got to live his life.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:49 PM   #38
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A great hero for sure, but at least he got to live his life.
Brave men are sometimes rewarded......
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