Gettysburg National Military Park commemorates the most important battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg. The battle began on July 1st, 1863 when the Confederate army led by General Robert E. Lee clashed with the Union army led by Major General George Gordon Meade. After three days of fighting, the Union army finally defeated the Confederate army and ended the northern march and the attempts for independence of the south.

The Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the whole war, resulting in 51,000 casualties–so many that every farm nearby became a graveyard and many buildings were converted into hospitals in order to care for all of the wounded soldiers. Many soldiers ultimately were buried at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. On November 19th, 1863, the Cemetery was dedicated with President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.

The Gettysburg National Military Park has many walking trails among the battlefield and monuments. There are signs throughout the park with information about troops’ positions and movements during the battles. Make sure to stop at the visitor center to get maps and information to plan your visit. At the visitor center you can also take a ranger-guided tour or purchase audio guides if you choose to take the vehicle tour through the park.