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Overview

Before the American Civil War, the small farming community of Gettysburg was one of dozens of scenic villages eking out an existence in the lower Piedmont region of Pennsylvania. In the summer of 1863, a three-day battle known as "the high-water mark of the Confederacy" left more than 50,000 dead and wounded; the village of Gettysburg achieved instant celebrity as a symbol of the Conflict. After the battle, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his most famous speech commemorating lives lost at the site. Gettysburg National Military Park is the big draw, dotted with stunning monuments to Union and Confederate troops among the battle sites of ...

Before the American Civil War, the small farming community of Gettysburg was one of dozens of scenic villages eking out an existence in the lower Piedmont region of Pennsylvania. In the summer of 1863, a three-day battle known as "the high-water mark of the Confederacy" left more than 50,000 dead and wounded; the village of Gettysburg achieved instant celebrity as a symbol of the Conflict. After the battle, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his most famous speech commemorating lives lost at the site. Gettysburg National Military Park is the big draw, dotted with stunning monuments to Union and Confederate troops among the battle sites of Big and Little Roundtops, the Peach Orchard and others. The antique Cyclorama — a rare artist's dramatization of the battle in the round — is a highlight. Also located on the battlefield is the former home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a National Historic Site. North of the battlefield, the village offers a variety of shops, restaurants and unusual attractions such as a miniature horse ranch, history-themed wax museums, and a toy train collection. Nearby Biglerville is the place to go for farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.

Joanne Miller
About the Expert

Joanne Miller is the author of several Moon guidebooks, including Pennsylvania Handbook, Chesapeake Bay Handbook, and Maryland/Delaware Handbook.

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Joanne Miller for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late May, July battle reenactment, September, early October