Heading to Gettysburg… Again

Tomorrow my wife and I head to Gettysburg for the weekend. On Saturday afternoon at 3:30 I will deliver a presentation (followed by a book signing at 4:30) as part of the Gettysburg Foundation’s Sacred Trust Talks on the massacre of United States Colored Troops by Confederates at the Crater. It looks like an amazing line-up of speakers. I have the unenviable task and honor of following James I. Robertson, but hopefully some people will stick around for my talk. This year the Gettysburg Foundation is going to host a live streaming of every speaker between Friday and Sunday and each talk will eventually be available on YouTube and Vimeo. Continue reading “Heading to Gettysburg… Again”

“The Second Battle of Gettysburg”

My first visit to Gettysburg came after the destruction of the National Tower on July 3, 2000. I was reminded of it earlier today while reading Jen Murray’s, On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2012. Jen does a fabulous job of exploring the controversy surrounding the construction of the tower and more recent interpretive and preservation challenges on the battlefield. Continue reading ““The Second Battle of Gettysburg””

Scrapping Gettysburg’s Virginia Memorial

Jen Murray’s new book, On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2012, is full of surprises. Yesterday I shared a paragraph from Jen’s book on a plan to hide some of the battlefield monuments with shrubs and other vegetation. Continue reading “Scrapping Gettysburg’s Virginia Memorial”

Gettysburg’s Civil War Monuments “Merely Exist”

I love exploring the many monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield. While they were intended to commemorate the events that took place in July 1863, the monuments ultimately tell us much more about how the veterans and Americans decades later chose to remember their actions and the broader meaning of the war. Continue reading “Gettysburg’s Civil War Monuments “Merely Exist””

So That’s What They Are Talking About

In a few weeks I will be heading to Gettysburg College for the annual Civil War Institute. Some of the most memorable experiences are spent on the battlefield walking with guides that have thought deeply about how to interpret historic landscapes. There is a short list of historians and guides who have mastered the ability to leave visitors with a meaningful and even transformative experience. Continue reading “So That’s What They Are Talking About”