Monday, July 22, 2013

Gettysburg, PA

Dustin and I have been in Philadelphia for 4 years now.  Since we've been here, we've tried to make it a point to get out and do things.  You know, not get stuck in the routine of life and never go and do fun stuff.

So far, we've:
- visited Boston, Mass.
- visited NYC
- visited Baltimore, MD
- experienced the Jersey Shore, many times. That includes, Atlantic City, Cape May, and Ocean Grove Beach.
- visited Lancaster and the surrounding countryside
- skied in Vermont
- anniversaried in Ontario, Canada - saw Niagara Falls
- flew to Portland, OR for a week
- hiked the countryside of eastern PA to a small extent
- experienced Philly to a decent extent.  There's just SO much to take in.

One of the things left on our Bucket List was to visit Gettysburg, PA.  Some of you may be wondering, "Why Gettysburg?" and some may have no doubt in their minds why we would want to visit there before leaving this state.

Well, for starters, we are from Chickamauga, GA.  The only reason some people have ever heard of Chickamauga is because of the battle that took place there during the Civil War.  It was the third bloodiest battle of the War.  We kind of have a cultural connection with Gettysburg just because we are from Chickamauga.  "You're from a small, historic, civil war town?  OMG!  I'M from a small, historic, civil war town!"
Secondly, it is the bloodiest battle and probably the most significant battlefield of the Civil War.  Confederate General Lee lost to Union General Meade - a major turning point in the war.
Lastly, President Lincoln gave the famous Gettysburg Address at the National Cemetery in Gettysburg.  You remember, "Four score and seven years ago...".  A pretty monumental moment in history.

I know, I know, too many words.  I'm getting to the pics....

Let me just brag on my husband for a minute.  After I strongly suggested on Friday night that we go to Gettysburg on Sunday, and thinking that we would just throw the plans together last minute on Saturday night after I got home from a day trip to the beach...he called me in the middle of my sunbathing to fill me in on all of the plans he had made for the trip the following day!!!!!!!

Relief and excitement.  He had written out an entire itinerary...including two outlet mall stops!  A breakfast stop was planned at a great diner in Lancaster.  We were going from point A to B to C at specific times.  Grabbing lunch at a specific time.  And leaving a at a specific time.   All I had to do was be in the car by 7am.  Yes, 7am.  When the Tommey's get excited about something, you better believe it's going to be executed in an intense and meticulous manner.  I LOVE HIM!

Here are the pics......

6:40 am + fresh bang trim.

So happy!

Philly at 7am.  I'll miss this skyline.
The Pantry - our breakfast stop.
It looked about 700sqft. and a bit uncertain.
But it was SO awesome!!!

Skillet Breakfasts.  OMG.

Sourdoug toast, homefries, and a scrambled, delicious mess.

14 Grain toast, homefries, and bacon, onion, broccoli skillet.

The Visitors Center - it was VERY nice on the inside and out.

Checking out the cannons.  Though he said he would probably have been in the infantry.

McPherson's Farm.  Where the first of the fighting began, day 1.  Also, the PA countryside is so beautiful.  There are fields of corn and farmhouses and barns's one of my favorite parts of PA.

Eternal Peace Monument.  There's an flame at the top that's always lit.

Overlooking some battle grounds.

The coolest monument we saw that day.  I don't remember what the inscription said, but it was for the PA troops.

Luthern Theological Seminary.  It was used to as a hospital to care for the wounded.  Sound familiar, Gordon Lee Mansion?

Appalachian Brewing Company.  The beer is Dustin's.  Don't worry.  But isn't the stamped bun really fun?!

Ten - AH - See. All day, son!  Imagine me saying it like this. Or this.  

General Lee on top of his horse, Traveler.  Probably the largest Confederate monument in the park.  One of my favorites too.  

I can't remember exactly, but if this pic was taken in front of the above statue of Robert E. Lee, then this is where the Confederates charged the Union in the most devastating battle at Gettysburg, Pickett's Charge.  After losing this battle, Lee began his retreat back into VA.

Lieutenant General James Longstreet.  Look at his beard.  He was Lee's second-in-command.  

Monument for Louisiana.  It was eccentric to say the least.  A lot like Louisiana, if you ask me.  Cool enough to take a picture of though.


Don't remember exactly.  Probably the farmhouse/barn of the family whose farmland was used as a battlefield.  What would you do with thousands of men fighting in your backyard?  Stay at home and try to protect what's yours or brave the unknown and possible run-in's with the enemy to get out of Dodge?

He wanted his picture taken at the top of this Observation Tower.  I think he's so cute!  Especially which the camera pouch latched onto his belt.  He's my favorite person, period. 
FINALLY!  Only one, insignificantly sized monument for the Georgians.  I have a friend who thinks our state motto is funny.  Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation.  Anyone else think that's funny?

I don't feel very encouraged by the inscription.  Maybe it's just my perspective.  Anyone agree?

No comment. 
Little Round Top and Big Round Top

Ooo!  This is a good one!  See next pic.

Last surviving Conferderate veteran...117 years old!!  Died in 1959.  He lived through the Civil War, WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, and he saw the Civil Rights Movement begin.  I would have loved to have heard this man's perspective on life.  

Devil's Den.  Zoomed view from on top of Little Round Top.  Where I was standing was Union high ground, looking down onto Confederate territory.

Looking up at Little Round Top.

A bloody battlefield. 
Pennsylvania Monument - the largest one we saw...maybe not the tallest, but definitely the most grand.

New York - had the most monuments of any other state that we saw.  Fun fact:  volunteers for the Union from New York were over 440,000.  

It might be difficult to tell, but in the distance, is the monument I showed earlier of Robert E. Lee on his horse on Seminary Ridge.  When I took this picture, I was standing in the location of the Union army, Cemetery Ridge.  Seminary....Cemetery....strange, very strange.
Anywho, the Confederates charged from directly across this field in the battle known as Pickett's Charge.  The Union won and the Confederate casualties were approximately 6000+ men. It was an ugly, ugly fight. Needless to say, the Rebels began their retreat the next day.
Oh look!  One final Confederate taking his charge.  It that a gun he's carrying?!

What a minute!!  That's no Confederate.  That's Rocky Balboa!!  Adrienne!!!!!

We had lots of fun.


Add caption

The National Cemetery.

Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address Monument, though this isn't the exact place the address was given. 
This monument marks the spot where the address was given.  Though President Lincoln wasn't the main speaker that day.  His address was only two minutes long and the main guy, Edward Everett, his address was two HOURS long.  No wonder no one remember his speech.   

In the end, the three days of battle at Gettysburg totaled 51,000 Confederate and Union men wounded, dead or missing.

War sucks.  It really, really sucks.

Keep Posted,

the rave


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the battlefield as much as we did, especially Grandad. It truly is worth seeing--thought provoking as all the Civil War sites are. Such sadness for so many people!

    Nana P.

  2. Thanks again for allowing us to live vicariously through you guys! Love you so much! Glad you got to go! 9 days and counting!!!!!!!!! Can't wait til you're home!!!!!!!!!

  3. Rangers Cahill #1 and #2 are very proud of you for exploring your National Park.s

    Now.....please...STAY OFF the monuments, you bad children.

    love you,

    1. AH! I forgot my relatives were on the side of the law!! Caught red handed. Haha!

  4. Looks like you two really had a great time! Wishing you all the best as you move back home!