2014 Ranger Programs at Gettysburg

Today was a fantastic day at the Gettysburg National Military Park.  Ranger programs are getting into full swing and I highly recommend them.  This morning at 9AM was the first of this year’s “Hike With a Ranger” series.  Ranger Evangelina Rubalcava gave a terrific program touching on a number of topics.  We started at the Abraham Bryan farm talking about the experiences of various civilians in Gettysburg when war came their way, including African-Americans like Abraham Bryan.  From there we walked out to the Bliss Farm site to talk about what happened to the Bliss Farm and what the Bliss family found when they returned after the battle.  Then it was off to the Tennessee Memorial to talk about memorialization at Gettysburg.  From there we went to the Virginia Memorial to talk about the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge, and then we traced our way back along the PPT Charge, talking about the experiences of the Virginians and North Carolinians making that charge on July 3, 1863.

At 1:30PM Matt Atkinson led a “Critical Moments” program at Cemetery Hill.  He did a great job explaining the importance of Cemetery Hill in the battle, and also did a great job fielding questions from the group, including explaining how the Federals wound up in control of the high ground.  The first-time visitors to Gettysburg were especially very impressed.

From there it was over to the 3:30PM Battle Walk with Ranger John Hoptak on “The Whirlwind in the Wheatfield.”  John did an absolutely fantastic job.  He explained the most complex fighting in the entire Gettysburg battle so everyone could understand what happened.  It was the clearest explanation of this confusing fight I’ve ever heard.  We’re all in luck because the battle walk was filmed, and the park will put it on YouTube.  Keep your eyes here for when I can post it, or if you prefer, subscribe to the Gettysburg National Military Park’s YouTube channel, GettysburgNPS.  You can also “Like” the park’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GettysburgNMP?ref=br_tf or follow the park on Twitter, @GettysburgNMP.  I highly recommend it to keep up with the postings and videos the park posts.

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