Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center

Battlefield Tours & Orientation

Visit the Gettysburg Battlefield, famously known for three dramatic days in July 1863.

The fields that surround the small town of Gettysburg are vast in their landscape and stories. But it is the 6,000 acre Gettysburg National  Military Park, dedicated to the soldiers who fought here, that so many come to visit. For first-time visitors, an orientation program before your Gettysburg battlefield tour is a great way to understand what you are about to see: Gettysburg Photo Gallery (from the Military Park website).

Museum & Visitor Center

Gettysburg National  Military Park Highlights:

Gettysburg top down Map

General Overview Map of Gettysburg and the battlefield sites mainly to the south of the town of Gettysburg, but also around and into the town at various points in the battle (shown in more detail on next battle overview map)

Gettysburg Battle Map July 3, 1863

Battle Overview Map of the 3rd day of battle, showing the involvement of the town of Gettysburg, and the main Union defensive line.

George Spangler Farm Field Hospital Site

The George Spangler Farm Civil War Field Hospital Site is the best surviving example of a farm used as a corps field hospital during the battle of Gettysburg. One minute, George Spangler and his family were working on their 80-acre farm. The next, the battle came to Gettysburg, and their thriving family farm was transformed into one of the largest field hospitals and artillery staging areas in the battle. The farm with living history programming is open to visitors Friday-Sunday in the summer months and accessible via shuttle from the Visitor Center.


Gettysburg Battlefield Monuments

Posted on June 14, 2012 by

The Gettysburg National Military Park is replete with over 1,300 monuments designed to remember virtually every brigade and regiment that participated in the engagement, as well as markers that commemorate individuals and whole states worth of fighters.  We came across a terrific website today that has a comprehensive listing – with photographs – of over 800 historical markers at the battlefield, and we’d like to share it with our followers.

Performance ensembles that tour with Music Celebrations International as part of Gettysburg 150 will be able commemorate the 150th anniversary not only through sharing their music in Gettysburg, but also by laying a wreath at one of the battlefield monuments in honor of the those who fought so valiantly.  Please peruse this wonderful site, and find out if a marker exists that’s related to an area where you live.

The photo image above is the State of Pennsylvania Monument, the largest monument on the battlefield. Below is one of its Citations:

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
In honor of her sons who on this field fought for the Preservation of the Union July 1.2. & 3. 1863

Pennsylvania at Gettysburg
69 Regiments Infantry
9 Regiments Cavalry
7 Batteries Artillery
Total Present 34530
Killed and mortally wounded 1182
Wounded 3177 Missing 860

from the Military Park Website

John Burns

John Burns Memorial Plaque Citation

My thanks are specially due to a citizen of
Gettysburg named John Burns who although
over seventy years of age shouldered
his musket and offered his services
to Colonel Wister One Hundred and
Fiftieth Pennsylvania Volunteers
Colonel Wister advised him to fight in the
woods as there was more shelter there
but he preferred to join our line of
skirmishers in the open fields when the
troops retired he fought with the Iron
. He was wounded in three places.”
-Gettysburg report of Maj.-Gen. Doubleday.

John Burns was in his seventies when the rebels came to Gettysburg. A veteran of the War of 1812 and former Gettysburg constable, he grabbed his flintlock musket, told his wife “I am going out to see what is going on,” and offered his services to the nearest Union regiment.

A number of Union soldiers came away from the battle with accounts of meeting Burns, and although details differ they all agree on his amazing appearance: a swallowtail coat with brass buttons, yellow vest, tall hat, flintlock musket and powder horn. This caused a good deal of amused comment among the men in the ranks and polite concern among the officers he approached.

But he was persistent, and his ancient musket was replaced with a modern rifle, his powder horn with pocketfuls of cartidges – he refused a box and belt – and the jokes ceased when Confederate fire became thick and instead of running back into town as expected he cooly slipped behind a tree and began returning fire. He fought with the Iron Brigade during some of the most intense fighting of the war, suffering three wounds.

With his wounds he had to be left behind when Union forces retreated through town, and he was closely question by the Confederates as to how he came to be in civilian clothes and wounded on the battlefield. His answers apparently satisfied them and he was allowed to return home.

Burns became a celebrity after the battle, being made an honory member of the Iron Brigade, photographed by Matthew Brady and meeting President Lincoln, who sought Burns out when he came to the dedication of the National Cemetery. Burns died in 1872 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

From the Gettysburg Stone Sentinels website.

Please email our web guy Frank Mayfield at to report any problems, errors, or other issues, that you come across on this website. Thanks.