City of Gettysburg / Gettysburg Visit / Gettysburg Visitor Center
Gettysburg PA is best known as the site of the bloodiest conflict of the Civil War. On July 1-3, 1863, two great American armies met on the fields and hills of Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the war. The Union defeated the Confederates and the demoralized southern army retreated back to Virginia to regroup and prepare to fight another day.
The town itself was named after Samuel Gettys, a tavern owner who built a business there in the 1770's. It was a stopping point for traders on the Baltimore to Pittsburgh and Shippensburg to Baltimore routes and the tavern offered them a place to rest. When the town incorporated in 1786, it took the name of Samuel Gettys as its founder and was fittingly named Gettysburg.
At the time of the battle, Gettysburg had a population of 2,400 and the 10 roads that led into town made it a place of commerce. The Gettysburg railroad opened in 1859 and a line was established to Hanover. It was a busy, prosperous town filled with merchants, manufacturing, tanneries, banks and shoemakers and the landscape beyond housed family farms as far as the eye could see.
Gettysburg residents had felt threatened at different times during the war as the town was just north of the Mason-Dixon line and rumors of an attacking Confederate army had left the occupants worried the war may come to them.
In late June, it was determined that the Confederate army was moving north along the Blue Ridge Mountains through Maryland. Again, Gettysburg residents felt threatened by the enemy advancing so close to their town. Their fears were realized when the fighting broke out on July 1, 1863, and the town would forever be marked in history for the epic 3-day battle.
Today, the city of Gettysburg PA is a town of 7,500 residents and tourism is the main industry. The Gettysburg National Park is comprised of 6,000 acres of protected land where the battle took place and a good place to start is the Gettysburg Visitor Center. The Gettysburg Museum can be found inside the park and houses interactive exhibits and many artifacts from the Battle of Gettysburg.
One of the more popular attractions are the Gettysburg ghost tours of the town and battlefield. One yearly event that draws thousands of visitors is the 3-day Battle of Gettysburg reenactment that runs from July 1-3.
There is something for everyone at Gettysburg and accommodations can be had as they are plentiful inside and outside of the town. Come experience haunted Gettysburg by taking advantage of Gettysburg ghost tours, one of the more popular Gettysburg attractions. Make sure to plan your Gettysburg visit ahead of time as attractions tend to get booked early depending on the time of year.
Another attraction not to be missed is the Gettysburg National Cemetery. We must not forget the men who fought and died at Gettysburg and a visit here pays tribute to those who made the supreme sacrifice.
The Gettysburg Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to the preservation of Gettysburg and the legacy it leaves behind. Located in Gettysburg, the foundation has teamed up with the National Park service to preserve the heritage at Gettysburg for generations to come.
Gettysburg PA is a great place to visit for families or individuals as the Battle of Gettysburg has a lot to teach us about the history of the Civil War.
Additional things to do in Gettysburg
Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival
The Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival brings the best bluegrass and country music musicians together each year at the Granite Hill Camping Resort in Gettysburg PA. Make sure to give this favorite a look when you visit Gettysburg.
The Gettysburg Cyclorama is an amazing attraction that is a must-see on a visit to Gettysburg National Park. Housed in the new Gettysburg visitor center, it is a unique attraction that is intended to provide the visitor with a soldiers view of Picketts Charge on the final day at the Battle of Gettysburg.
The Gettysburg Railroad station houses a museum on the first floor displaying artifacts representing the storied history of the station and is a must see when on your Gettysburg visit.