Days of Darkness: Gettysburg Civilians

Another classic episode of Civil War Journal.  The History Channel has surely gone downhill.



  1. chancery · · Reply

    /Off Topic

    On Thursday I’m unexpectedly driving from D.C. to NYC on a route that takes me right through Gettysburg, which I have never visited.

    I could squeeze about 2, maybe 3 hours into my schedule before I would have to continue north. What should I see? Or Gettysburg one of those places that simply demands more attention than 2-3 hours permit.


    /End Off topic

    1. My personal opinion is that Gettysburg is one of those places that demands more attention than 2-3 hours permit, but if that’s what you have it’s better than nothing. I suggest the first place you go is the park’s website: . If all you have on this trip is 2-3 hours, then a tour with a Licensed Battlefield Guide would probably allow you to see and understand as much as possible in that time period. You can find the rates and the phone number to reserve a tour here: . Don’t forget to tip your guide. As to what you should see, everyone has their own opinion and it all depends on what interests you. I hope this helps.

  2. chancery · · Reply

    Thanks Al. I’m going to impose on your good nature with a follow-up.

    First I should clarify some imprecise writing in my initial post. Of course Gettysburg demands more than 2-3 hours, and it would be fatuous to suggest otherwise.

    What I meant to ask was, is the battlefield of such a nature that it takes more than 2-3 hours of introduction and acclimatization for a visitor to be in a position to have any understanding and appreciation of what he is seeing, so that a 2-3 hour visit is simply a poor use of time. “Drink deep, or taste not … etc.” I think your answer is “yes, unless you use a guide.”

    After considering your answer and spending a few minutes on the park’s website, it makes sense to me that a short-period visitor is best served by a guided tour, and I’ll take one. But I’d still be interested in your recommendation of a favorite spot or two for a few contemplative minutes on my own. I live in NYC, and I’ll have many other opportunities to visit the battlefield; I’m interested in your personal opinion, not your guess about what my opinion might be.



    1. Yes, you’ve correctly interpreted my response. For one person on their own, it’s far too large and complex. A bonus is the Licensed Battlefield Guide will drive your car for you so you don’t have to worry about finding your way around or finding parking. Some places I like to go for contemplation are the observation tower on Oak Ridge near the 90th Pennsylvania Monument, the top of the Pennsylvania Monument, the bench next to the GAR Monument on Cemetery Ridge, one of the rocks on Little Round Top, and the Observation Tower on Culp’s Hill. Another good spot is a bench at the National Cemetery.

  3. chancery · · Reply

    Thanks again!

  4. Rosemary · · Reply

    Man, you are so right about History Channel going down hill.
    Thanks for posting link to this program.

  5. chancery · · Reply


    A quick note to report that I enjoyed my morning at Gettysburg last Thursday. My excellent Battlefield Guide was Paul Marhevka. Thanks again for your good advice.

    1. I’m really glad it worked out. Hopefully you’ll have a lot of opportunities to return. You saw for yourself how large the battlefield really is, and how much there is to see.

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