We started this day bright and early with a visit to the Seminary Ridge Museum. The Museum just had had it’s Grand Opening the day before. It is an old Seminary building that was used as a hospital 150 years ago to handle the wounded Union soldiers that were fighting a battle right outside the front door that is pictured here. This is our Minnesota contingent posing with our banner on the front steps of this historical building. It was a great museum and a great way to start our visit to Gettysburg. Inside, there are three floors of educational exhibits highlighting the first day of the battle; the care of the wounded; and the moral, civic, and spiritual debates of the Civil War. One of the highlights was the opportunity to climb up through the attic and up to the cupola at the top of the building – the same cupola where Union General Buford, watched over the advancing confederates.
Once we went through all of the exhibits, we looked around outside a bit. The grounds were really nice – it had a college feel to it as it was actually still an active Lutheran Seminary with lots of buildings and beautiful grounds. Just to the South of the old historic seminary building though was a battlefield, the one pictured above is a farther away view of where the Confederates were coming across. In the next picture, you can see the battlefield where units like the 6th Wisconsin; the 95th New York; and the 14th Brooklyn pushed toward where you see the flag and crossed the Chambersburg road and met the 55th North Carolina; the 2nd Mississippi; and the 42nd Mississippi as seen in this link for the fight for McPherson Ridge. Backing up a bit…this fighting took place on July 1st and the road you can see in the next picture is the Chambersburg Road. The monuments that you see are placed in spots where units from different states fought.
This is Doug as he gets an image of this area of the battlefield on McPherson’s Ridge. It reminded me that a soldier might have braced against a tree like this one in the same way back 150 years ago while firing on the advancing Confederates.
One last image is of a scene in a place called the Cyclorama at the Gettysburg Visitor Center and Museum. It was this really great diorama in the round…I guess that is the best way to describe it. There is a bunch of actual items displayed and they seem to blend right into these fantastic painted murals on the walls. Then there is a sound and light show where different things light up highlighting different scenes, etc. It was really cool to experience.
I am going to have to split this day into two posts because we did so much. The next post will cover a circle tour that we did of the battlefield, the rededication of the First Minnesota Monument, and a Reception where we talked some more about the charge of the First Minnesota at Plum Run.
Check out images of this adventure: http://jgrammondphotography.smugmug.com