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Saturday Programs without Banquet


Saturday, April 13, 2019


On Saturday, eight different programs will be offered.  Attendees will choose one program in the morning from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and one in the afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  A boxed lunch will be offered in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The available programs are listed below:

Program #1 Indoor AM: Corruption, Jealousy, Prejudice, and Self-Preservation: When Politicians Try to Run a War with Licensed Battlefield Guide Mary Turk-Meena

Politicians stuck their noses into the operation of military campaigns of the Civil War – and many more war-related activities.  Through the Joint Select Committee on the Conduct of the War, Congressional leaders with no military experience questioned generals about the conduct of battles, played favorites based on political party and pushed their own political agenda during the Civil War.  This program examines the influence of this politically-based Committee on what we know today about the Gettysburg campaign and how testimony before the Committee affected the careers of military leaders and shaped the reputations of generals of the Army of the Potomac.

Program #2 Indoor PM: Gettysburg and the other uses of the battlefield with Licensed Battlefield Guide Joe Mieczkowski

The site of North America's greatest battle is a national icon, a cliché for the Civil War. Gettysburg has been described as "the most American place in America." But the Gettysburg we see today has changed many times and has had many uses. Gettysburg has been a place of reunion and reconciliation. Gettysburg has been a military training site and a POW camp. Gettysburg has been a place for a family outing. Together we will review the many ways the battlefield has been used: Camp Colt tank training camp, POW camp, CCC camp, Camp Sharpe Intelligence camp, Fantasyland Amusement Park, the railroad and trolleys that crossed the field, the reunions, the hotels and motels that offered hospitality, tourist attractions and more.

Program #3 AM or PM: “…if practicable” … Richard Ewell’s Decisions the Afternoon of the First Day with Licensed Battlefield Guide Ed Suplee

At the end of the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Maj. Gen. Richard Ewell made two arguably controversial decisions and decided NOT to attack either Cemetery Hill or Culp’s Hill. This program will examine each of these two decisions based on the information Ewell (and Lee) had when each of these decisions were made.  What were the tactical elements that went into each decision? Were the decisions sound? What alternatives did Ewell and Lee have that late afternoon of the First Day? The program will involve very little walking, so should be appropriate for all.

Program #4 AM or PM: West Cemetery Hill: The Other Side of the Story with Licensed Battlefield Guide Charlie Fennell

When people are asked what happened on Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg, the vast majority would refer to the evening attack on East Cemetery on July second.  There is another side of the hill.  What happened there during the Battle of Gettysburg if anything?  The 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry sustained 42.9% losses there during the battle which is significantly higher than the 32.4% losses sustained by the 20th Maine.  Join us for a tour of this often-overlooked portion of the Gettysburg battlefield. This tour includes a battlefield walk of about one mile on mostly paved surfaces.

Program #5 AM & PM: "What Mean these Stones?” II: Culp's Hill with Licensed Battlefield Guide Rich Goedkoop

Join us for a walk down Culp's Hill from the summit to Spangler's Meadow looking at the significance of selected monuments on the Right of the Union battle line. We will discuss the units, commanders, men, as well as their monuments and dedications to better understand the Battle, its evolving import and the Memorial period of the GNMP. This moderate walk of around 25 stops will cover about a mile, over occasionally uneven terrain.

Program #6 AM & PM: “Discovering the Enemy”: Buford’s Division at Gettysburg with Licensed Battlefield Guide Britt Isenberg

Much has been written about the fearless stand of General John Buford’s Division at Gettysburg, most interpretations claiming that this action ultimately saved the Union Army of the Potomac and the country at the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. There is no denying that General Buford’s command fought bravely, however, as is often the case, this somewhat apocryphal interpretation is clouded with hindsight. This tour will focus on the job of cavalry, Buford’s operational objectives, the division’s intelligence gathering, and the realities of their tactical deployment that ultimately took them into battle on July 1, 1863. Along the way we will be introduced to General John Buford and meet some of the interesting men who rode in the ranks with him. We’ll do our best to stand in the present with these men and better understand the ramifications of their decisions for better or worse.  This tour includes a moderate walking tour over uneven ground.

Program #7 AM & PM: Colonel John Brockenbrough’s Brigade at Gettysburg: "...never have I witnessed a fight so hot and stubborn." with Licensed Battlefield Guide Rob Abbott

Colonel John Brockenbrough’s Virginia Brigade is usually either singled out for its poor performance at Gettysburg or omitted entirely from a battle narrative. Primary sources are scarce and many aspects of the brigade’s historical contribution at Gettysburg remain disputed.  This battle walk will retrace their actions on Day 1 and Day 3 and consider the varying interpretations.  The bus will take us to the 150th Pennsylvania Infantry monument for Day 1.  Halfway through the walk, we will move to Long Lane and walk out to the Bliss Farm to interpret their participation in the Day 3 Longstreet’s Assault.  This tour includes moderate walking over uneven ground.

Program #8 AM or PM: Barkesdale Attacks with National Park Service Ranger Angie Atkinson

On the late afternoon of July 2, 1863, the Union and Confederate armies engaged in a fierce struggle to the south of Gettysburg. The Confederate army hoped to turn the Union left, but soon found that their plans were upended by the forward movement of Gen. Daniel Sickles. Soon waves of Confederate soldiers would assault this salient, one of them a Mississippi brigade led by Gen. William Barkesdale. Join us for a discussion of the advance of Barkesdale's Mississippi brigade and their assaults on the Peach Orchard and beyond.  This program includes a strenuous battlefield walk over uneven terrain.



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