Gettysburg National Military Park
This quiet Pennsylvania town, founded in 1786, is dubbed the "Most famous small town in America." From July 1-3, 1863, it saw the American Civil War's most decisive and bloodiest battle which pitted more than 90,000 Union troops under command of Gen. George Meade against over 70,000 Confederate troops under command of Gen. Robert E. Lee resulting in an estimated 51,000 casualties. It is also where President Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address. At the 6,000 acre Gettysburg National Military Park, you can obtain maps that detail a self-guided 24 mile-auto tour that includes 16 stops in Historic Downtown Gettysburg and the battlefield such as Devil's Den, Little Round Top, Big Round Top, the Wheatfield, and Pickett's Charge that remain firmly entrenched in the American memory. Every July, Gettysburg holds its Civil War Heritage Days Festival where reenactment groups in authentic uniforms and weapons demonstrate infantry tactics and drill, cavalry drill, and soldiers' occupations and pastimes.
By Christian Mirasol, AFAR Local Expert
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