Day 810: Gettysburg NMP, Catoctin MP

This morning I photographed M’s newly laid out Junior Ranger badge and patch wall hanging.  We’re approaching 180 awards:

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Today we visited Gettysburg National Military Park:

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We were disappointed to discover that the park’s visitor center is some kind of private/public partnership.  Want to view the exhibit space?  You have to pay.  View the park video?  You have to pay.  We did the driving tour.  It was interesting to see famous location names on the street signs:

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The seminary at Seminary Ridge still stands today.  On the morning of July 1st, 1863, General John Buford climbed to the cupola and spotted approaching Confederate troops, setting in motion the events that history would come to know as the Battle of Gettysburg:

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The driving tour is 25 miles long, covering a large area in which 94,000 Union troops engaged 72,000 Confederate troops from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863:

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The Virginia state memorial.  From here, on July 3rd, Maj. Gen. George Pickett, Brig. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew, and Maj. Gen. Isaac R. Trimble led the disastrous frontal assault on Union forces known as Pickett’s Charge:

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Looking from the Virginia monument towards Cemetery Ridge, where Union troops waited for and ultimately repelled the Confederate attack:

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Our next stop was Little Round Top, where the Union forces were nearly flanked.  Looking down from Little Round Top towards Devil’s Den:

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A monument to the New York defenders of the hill:

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The right flank marker for the 20th Maine.  Here the 20th Maine ran out of ammunition.  Lt. Col. Joshua Chamberlain ordered his men to bayonet charge down this hill, scattering Confederate attackers intent on flanking the Union army.  The 20th Maine’s actions prevented a Union loss at Gettysburg:

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20th Maine memorial:

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Gettysburg Battlefield is covered with over 1,000 monuments to various states, companies, regiments, and battalions:

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Our final stop here was the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address:

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Graves of the unknown soldiers:

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Known graves are organized by state:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their patches:

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We had intended to visit nearby Eisenhower National Historic Site, but the site is only accessible via a rather expensive shuttle bus.  Walk-ins are actually expelled from the site.  We decided to skip it.

Continuing south, we arrived at Catoctin Mountain Park.  Originally designated a Recreational Demonstration Area in the 1930s to create jobs for the WPA, this land was eventually supposed to be returned to state control but was redesignated as an NPS site.  Presidential Retreat Camp David is in the center of the park, its access road designated with a sign that says “Camp #3 – Closed to Public”.  Satellite imagery reveals parallel fences with a cleared no-mans land between them.

We parked in the empty bus lot:

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The visitor center was small, focusing on the history of the site as well as plants and animals that can be found here.

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The ranger would not talk about Camp David, but we did have an interesting discussion about deer overpopulation and the NPS response to the problem.  The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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We continued on to overnight at the Walmart of Frederick, MD.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 809: Real Chocolate at a Fake Factory, with a Side of Alpacas
Day 811: Monocacy MB, Harpers Ferry NHP, Appalachian NST, Antietam NB

One thought on “Day 810: Gettysburg NMP, Catoctin MP

  1. Pingback: Day 826: Prince William Forest Park, National Museum of the Marine Corps, | Look Before You Live!

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