Gettysburg, Pa. (May 13, 2015) –Gettysburg National Military Park’s free summer interpretive program series begins on June 6 and offers visitors a chance to learn about the Battle of Gettysburg, care of the wounded, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the experiences of civilians and much more. There are a host of new and exciting offerings this summer. Newly incorporated into the traditional ranger programming are:
BATTLEFIELD IN A BOX (30 minutes) – Become a part of the battlefield in this interactive overview program! Join a National Park Ranger and build a map of the battlefield using props. Perfect for the first time visitor wanting a better understanding of the battle. Meet at Ranger Site 1, behind the Museum and Visitor Center, daily at 4:00 p.m.
SPANGLER’S SPRING (1 hour) – Best known as the location of an alleged truce between Union and Confederate soldiers, the natural spring at the base of Culp’s Hill changed hands multiple times during some of the most brutal combat of the entire battle. Join a Ranger to separate fact from fiction at Spangler’s Spring, Auto Tour Stop 13, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 10:30 a.m.
PICKETT’S CHARGE (90 minutes) – Follow in the footsteps of the men who took part in the most famous infantry assault in American military history. Explore why the attack was made, why it failed, and what was the cost. Water, insect repellent, a hat, and proper footgear are highly recommended. Meet at the Virginia Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 5, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
For visitors interested in living history, the Visit to the Past programs helps to connect people with the life and work of soldiers and citizens over 150 years ago:
Cannoneers to your Post (30 minutes) – On July 3, 1863 over 200 Union and Confederate cannon opened fire in one of the largest artillery duels of the war. Join a National Park Service living historian and become a part of a gun crew as you discover the role artillery played during the Battle of Gettysburg. Meet at the Virginia Memorial, Auto Tour Stop 5, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:00 p.m.
Trials and Triumphs, Gettysburg’s Farm Families (30 minutes) – Discover the unforgettable story of the people who called Gettysburg home as you explore their farms with a National Park Service Living Historian. Meet at the “Ranger Program” sign in the National Cemetery Parking Lot on the Taneytown Road, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 1:00 p.m.
Courage on Trial (1 hour) – Only one Union officer was tried for cowardice during the Battle of Gettysburg. Become part of the Court Martial, hear the evidence, and decide for yourself whether this soldier is innocent or guilty in this recreation of an actual case. Meet at Ranger Program Site 2 behind the Museum and Visitor Center, Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
At the George Spangler Farm, the National Park Service is offering four new, experiential programs that build on the stories of the family, the fighting, medical care and the dead. Tickets are required to visit the farm, which is owned by the non-profit Gettysburg Foundation, and is accessible by shuttle bus only. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum and Visitor Center. Open Friday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
George Spangler Family at Work (30 minutes) – Join National Park Service Living Historians demonstrating trades of the period and get a glimpse of civilian life at the farm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10:15 a.m.
Manning the Guns: Artillery at the Spangler Farm (30 minutes) – Over 100 Union cannon occupied the fields surrounding the George Spangler Farm during the Battle of Gettysburg. Join National Park Service Living Historians and discover the experiences of Civil War artillerists by becoming a member of a cannon crew at work every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11:15 a.m.
An Army Field Hospital: The George Spangler Farm (30 minutes) – Discover the field hospital established at the Spangler Farm, where over 1,900 soldiers wounded were cared for in the aftermath of the battle of Gettysburg. Programs are every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 12:15 p.m.
The Last Full Measure: The Dead at the Spangler Farm (30 minutes) – In addition to a field hospital, the Spangler Farm became a massive burial ground for those who gave “the last full measure of devotion.” Explore the site of this field hospital cemetery and the story of those buried there every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 1:15 p.m.
Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history. For a complete listing of all of the free summer ranger programs, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/gett, or pick up the Today in the Park planning guide available at the Park Service information desk inside the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg.