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War Department tower on Culp's Hill - Gettysburg National Military Park

War Department tower on Culp's Hill

BATTLE TOWERS AND STAFF RIDES

Gettysburg is not very far away from the U.S. War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania - a town where many of the Confederate troops had just been to before the battle. The staff ride is a longtime tradition for Army officers to come down to the battlefield - as they do at Antietam - to go over the battlefield, in small groups, reviewing both the events of the battle, but also tactics and leadership skills that had been demonstrated by the participants. The officers used to ride the fields on horse, but that practice is somewhat in disuse. You can still see groups of soldiers as they tour around different aspects of the battle. To give a better perspective for the studies, five towers were built by the War Department in different areas on the battlefield. Of the five, three still exist giving everyone a bird’s eye view over the terrain - Culp’s Hill, Oak Ridge and Seminary Ridge.

Website: http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/robertson/robertson.asp

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 12, 2007
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Giudes in action atop Little Round Top - Gettysburg National Military Park

Giudes in action atop Little Round Top

BATTLEFIELD GUIDES

As you visit the different sites on the battlefield, you will become aware of groups on private tours with their own guides - separate from the rangers who also give talks and walks, though usually to many more people at a time. These guides are licensed and are very knowledgeable about the Battle and the ground. The guides will drive with you in your car, keeping up a running commentary about what you are seeing and its importance. You sign up for the guides at the Visitor Center and rates vary with time you want to spend and the number of people in your group.

Website: http://www.gettysburgtourguides.org/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 26, 2006
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Logging to restore pasture lands by Devil's Den - Gettysburg National Military Park

Logging to restore pasture lands by Devil's Den

BATTLEFIELD REHABILTATION AND PRESERVATION

There has always been on ongoing battle between differing forces on what to preserve and how to do it - here at Gettysburg and elsewhere. The preservation forces at Gettysburg have done a fine job of keeping the battlefield close to what it was like in 1863, though it has been a long struggle. Unlike at other National Parks, Gettysburg in trying to return the battlefield to its look at the time of the Battle as been involved in logging trees to return the ground to its pastoral nature at the time of 1863. Another new project is the restoration of the Peach Orchard. The trees were taken out and the ground is being restored presently until new trees can be replanted. No word on whether you will be able to buy canned peaches from the Peach Orchard as former owner Joseph Sherfy used to do.

Other major battles were the demolition of a tower that stood near the Visitor Center for some 30 years. Next up is the removal of the current Visitor Center and Cyclorama Building - the painting and Visitor Center to be moved to a new location.

Website: http://www.nps.gov/gett/parknews/gett-battlefield-rehab.htm

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 26, 2006
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