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Monday, 28 January 2013

Gettysburg National Military Park



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We arrived at the National Military Park at Gettysburg just as the sun was dipping towards the horizon. The park is huge, and we weren't sure if we'd get around it all, but the dusk light was very atmospheric.

As a Brit, the amount I knew about American history was really pitiful (Christopher Columbus to the Declaration of Independence was covered in maybe five minutes) so visiting some civil war sites was great for learning a bit more about something my history teachers didn't really prioritise. I'd had a vague impression that the American civil war was bound up with the abolition of slavery, but the complexities of the politics had completely passed me by. Similarly I was amazed to learn just how far north the Confederate 'south' extended, in the east.

We'd already visited the Civil War Museum at Harrisburg that morning, so we skipped over the exhibits at Gettysburg in favour of seeing the park before darkness fell. A leaflet guided us from monument to monument, and it was fascinating - and sobering - to look out over fields where so many lost their lives. Of course, Gettysburg was the site of just one battle in a lengthy war, but the scale of this particular battle was quite immense, and the park is an impressive memorial.

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4 comments:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Fabulous photos.

Pauline Persing said...

I have the same problem with English history as you do with American history. I recently finished reading Wolf Hall, a historical novel about Thomas Cromwell by Hillary Mantel. Fortunately, she included a family tree of the royalty and also a list of main characters. Even then, I had trouble following the people and events.

Rachel said...

It seems they've done a good job - it's a landscape to make thinking people go very quiet and thoughtful. The battlefield at Waterloo does the same..

Charlotte Klein said...

I've always wanted to visit Gettysburg. Beautiful pictures, Rachel.

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