For such a significant site in the bloodiest war in the United States, the Gettysburg battlefields today are incredibly peaceful and picturesque. The Gettysburg National Military Park covers 5,700 acres!
Civil War Facts
It’s hard to imagine the Civil War tactics of over 172,000 men gathering in and around this little town with a population of 2,400 to fight one of history’s greatest battles.
The events encompassed the whole countryside in approximately a 5 mile radius, not counting the East Cavalry site, so everything of significance is not within the park boundaries.
Battle veteran Dan Sickles was elected to Congress from New York in 1892 and introduced the bill that created Gettysburg National Military Park in 1895.
The National Park Service, created in 1916, took over supervision of the battlefields from the War Department in 1933. While the battlefields were under the War Department, early talks had been of establishing a military base on the site -- unthinkable today!
The battlefields of Gettysburg national park have been preserved for us as hallowed ground for us to explore and enjoy in memory of those who fought.
The battlefields contain more than 1,400 monuments, statues, and cannons, the most of any US historical battle location.
There are a variety of Gettysburg battlefield tours to choose from. The main battle locations are the most popular spots to visit. I will share my favorite spots and what makes them so special.
My Top Sites for Understanding the Gettysburg Battle
The Peach Orchard on the Gettysburg Battlefields
The Gettysburg Peach Orchard was a Civil War battlefield site of intense fighting. Find out what happened to the peaches, Sickles, and the Trostle Farm.
The Wheatfield Battle Scene
The Gettysburg Wheatfield is believed to be one of the most haunted Gettysburg sites because it is where so much bloodshed took place. The Irish Brigade is remembered there with a special stone monument.
Devils Den Rock Outcropping
A hot spot for fighting on July 2, 1863, Devils Den in Gettysburg is a favorite spot for tourists today. It's a must see visit to imagine some Civil War ghost stories.
Bloody Run Stream
The little stream known as Bloody Run at Gettysburg is also called Plum Run. It's a great spot to visit on the Gettysburg battlefields even though it runs through an area known as the Valley of Death.
The Little Round Top Hill
My favorite spot to visit among all the Civil War battlefields is Little Round Top in Gettysburg. It's where Chamberlain and the 20th Maine fought. They were Civil War heroes in Gettysburg the movie.
Need a Map?
To locate these places, take a look at my handy battlefield map of Gettysburg. I have marked the most important places to visit on your tour through one of the most important Civil War battlefields.
Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.