For once, I'm not going to bore you with some long drawn out history lesson. Instead, I'll try to toss out some little known but interesting facts – it might still bore you but you will come away knowing something that you did not know before.
- At the time of the battle there were approximately 653 cannons on the field – 372 Union and 281 Confederate.
- Today there are 370 cannons on the battlefield but only one of those can be documented as having seen action at Gettysburg and one of them was not manufactured until 1866 so did not see any action during the Civil War.
- There are approximately 1,320 monuments, markers and tablets.
- In the 1920s and 30s two grass airstrips existed on the battlefield.
- A trolley line and three amusement parks once existed on a portion of the battlefield.
- During World War I, the area of Pickett's Charge was home to Camp Colt, a training camp for tanks. The commander of Camp Colt was a young Army Captain by the name of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- Casualties at Gettysburg – 51,000 – included dead, wounded and missing. Actual dead believed to be around 7,000.
- Horses killed at Gettysburg – 3,000
- Mary Virginia Wade was the only civilian killed when a random minie ball traveled through the kitchen door and hit her as she was kneading bread dough.
- The Armies withdrew on July 4 1863 and the people who lived in the area were left to deal with the dead and wounded.
- The last human remains found on the battlefield were found in March, 1996 (yes 1996 not 1896).
- There were 64 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor for actions during the Gettysburg battle. The last of these medals was awarded in 2010 – 147 years after the battle.
- 115 Union Officer and 40 Confederate Officers at Gettysburg were graduates of West Point.
We have been to Gettysburg a few times before and never fail to be amazed at what transpired here. At the new museum that opened in 2008 movie they show about the battle is good but, we were underwhelmed by the museum itself and if you have ever seen the cyclorama – a fantastic job has been done on the restoration but – the with the new setting they have placed it in – there is no way to follow the flow of the battle – you can only see what is right in front of you. Oh well – still glad we went – and I imagine we will be back again.