1.) It's family friendly. The various museums, tours and exhibits make it easy for kids to understand the battle.
2.) Its one of the best preserved battle sites in the country, nearly 6000 acres of land that is kept as close as possible to the way it was in July of 1863.
3.) The town itself is fun and quirky, with lots of interesting little museums and stores.
6. There's lodging for every price range. There are luxury motels, budget motels, and campgrounds. If you have several families and lots of kids meeting up, the campgrounds are great.
On the other hand, when my son and I went, we stayed at a motel right by the battlefield. We could see the cemetery outside the window.
7) There are ghosts. Well they say there are ghosts. There are tours and a train ride and all sorts of books on the subject. I am not a psychic person myself, but personally I think that if any place on earth is haunted, it would be Gettysburg.
|Boarding the Ghost Train|
8) There is plenty of material available to prepare for your trip. There are books and documentaries and feature films. If you got out of American History class without reading The Killer Angels, read it. Or watch Gettysburg, the film that was made of the book. Or Ken Burns' Civil War. Or any of the many writers who treated the battle and the War at even greater length
9) You can stand where they stood, There is something extremely moving about standing on Little Round Top or Culp's Hill (the ends of the Union Line) and picture yourself in the shoes of those young men who knew they had to stand their ground or all was lost.
And can one fully appreciate the courage it took for the men in Pickett's command to form a line a mile across and advance in full view against the Union center, without walking their walk?
And then, upon reaching the other end, to turn around and imagine what the men in blue had seen advancing towards them.
If you are lucky there will be demonstrations going on when you are there, and you can get a real feel for the noise and smoke and chaos.
10) You can stand where Lincoln stood, in November of 1863, and made that magnificent speech that in about 200 words defined the country and the war. You realize that when Lincoln spoke of "These brave men, living and dead" and "The last full measure of devotion" he was looking out at newly dug graves.
Americans often have a reputation for being ignorant of their history, or unappreciative of the sacrifices made for them. It's impossible to go to Gettysburg and still be that way.