The Gettysburg Battle is named for the city in PA around which the battle was fought.  This battle, along with the Vicksburg Battle, was the turning point of the Civil War. Both battles ended the same day on July 1863 with the Union victorious on both fronts. Causalities were very high at Gettysburg on both sides with approximately 51,000, included ~ 13,000 dead. A note on Pickett’s Charge to the center of the Union lines. The Charge began about 3/4mile from the Union lines and required the Confederate soldier to cover over ground while traversing fence rows and ditches going slightly uphill all the way.

Of all the battlefields Gettysburg is the only entire battlefield mostly preserved. This is mostly  due to President Lincoln dedicating the battlefield In Nov 1863. The visitors center here is by far the largest and most elaborate.

All the other battlefields were not designated national parks until the 20century. However, each has a visitor’s center that has excellent presentations of what occurred on that specific location.

Most all other battlefield has seen development encroached on the actual battlefields. The exceptions are: Appomattox, Andersonville and Vicksburg, Appomattox Court House and the McLean House [ where the Lee met Grant and the surrender occurred]. This area is generally preserved but on a smaller scale then occurred on April 1865. Nothing of the Andersonville Prison remains, just the grounds on which it sat and of course a good visitors’ center. Vicksburg occurred on a bluff above the Mississippi River and is not developed but vegetation growth has obscured much.  Nevertheless, a little extra time and prior knowledge allows one to get a real sense of what HELL occurred at each location.

On my trip to visit Civil War Battlefields I visited the following: Vicksburg [Mississippi], Andersonville [Confederate prison for Union soldiers], Kennesaw Chickamauga, Appomattox, the Wilderness, Chancellorsville, Frederiksberg, Antietam and Gettysburg.