Welcome to Gettysburg
It is a great irony of the Civil War that the fire and violence that characterized its battlefields led to their preservation, freezing sights of great chaos into serene windows unto 19th-century rural America. Thus it is at Gettysburg, a name synonymous with one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Over three days in July 1863, some 8000 people were killed here in a fight that marked a turning point in the war. Later that year, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address here ('Four score and seven years ago…'), firmly defining in public the war's essential mission of equality.
Today Gettysburg is exceedingly quiet (except for the occasional loud school field trip). But in that quiet, you may briefly feel yourself transported to the days when these hills were soaked with gunpowder and blood.