The 15-hour journey has ended with our first stop in Gettysburg, PA. After some breakfast we make our way to the visitor center for a tour of the Gettysburg museum followed by short video. When the video ends we are ushered to the upper floor of the museum for a light and sound show on a 42 foot tall and 377 foot circumference cyclorama. This is largest oil painting in the United States. The painting is 133 years old and depicts Pickett’s charge of Confederate soldiers through the battlefields of Gettysburg to try and put a fateful blow to the Union army in the Civil War.
A brief stop in the gift shop and then we load the bus for a tour of the battlefield. The first stop in the battlefield, we are introduced the Iron Brigade, which includes the 2nd Wisconsin Regiment and the 7th Wisconsin Regiment. The Iron Brigade was known as the toughest infantry in the Union Army and they had distinct hats to prove it. The Wisconsin infantry were among the first troops to engage the Confederate Army in Gettysburg.
A few more key battlefield stops until we view the place where the battle ended along Seminary Ridge. We learn that, yet another Wisconsin soldier, is proving heroic. Alonso Cushing is young infantryman manning a cannon. With 1 ½ hours of experience he takes 3 significant wounds and, with his men, moves a cannon into position by hand to take on General Lee’s men that are charging across the fields.
We board the bus for D.C.