On Tuesday, June 30 1863, some one hundred and sixty-five thousand men marched towards a mammoth collision on the fields in and
around the unremarkable town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Within three days, about 10,000 formerly whole
men with families and futures would be dead. Three times that amount would be wounded, with another 10,000 captured or missing.
This level of carnage surpassed all to that date but had ceased to be surprising. The men had seen and knew what was to come. Yet,
for complex motives perhaps now difficult for us to grasp, they fought on.
As part of the search for the reasons men fought, a visit to the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Battlefield
in south central Pennsylvania leaves you deeply immersed in thought. You feel a growing sense of wonder
as you seek what led the tens of thousands to act
as they did during those three hot, humid days in July of 1863. The almost reverent awe
which consumes you as you stand in the shadow of
such enormity and among the ghosts of staggering courage mingles with a sadness for the lives lost, bodies shattered,
families broken, and futures sacrificed.
This site attempts to capture a portion of the essence of Gettysburg. To add context, we include the many other battles, fields,
and events which led up to this historic clash, helping to make the American Civil War a signal event in American history and a
subject that fascinates even to this day. Indeed, included within this site is a large collection of pictures, descriptions,
thoughts, letters, and quotes should you choose to reflect on the monumental events of some 140 or more years past.
On the fields you will see within,
on this soil, these grounds, the participants of the War Between the States, the War of the Rebellion, the Brothers War, drilled,
marched, longed for home, tempered their resolve, thought, fought, fled, bled, survived and died. And some, over all obstacles and
against all odds, triumphed.
When viewing this site, please take into consideration that many of the fields pictured within are in the process of change. The
United States National Park Service is engaged in an ambitious
multi-year project to restore the Gettysburg
Battlefield to its 1863 condition. Trees are being culled, orchards planted, and fences re-built. Their astounding progress
greatly adds to the visitor's ability to interpret the actions of Southern and Northern men from over a century ago.
The web site's author offers a heartfelt thanks to all of those whose
research, publications, and knowledge have made this site possible.