We drove through the night Sunday night and arrived at Gettysburg around 3 p.m. July 1, the anniversary of the first day of the battle.
We entered the town from the northwest, the same direction as the Confederates came exactly 150 years ago. Through the bus windows, we saw the ground they walked. Although we didn’t have time to stop and look, we will return to the area during our battlefield tour Tuesday, July 2.
It was strange to ride the bus through bustling downtown Gettysburg and think of the streets filled with Confederate soldiers instead of cars. It was strange, but not so difficult to imagine, because Gettysburg looks like a historic town. The buildings appear old, and we even saw a piece of a shell still stuck in the brick wall of an ice cream parlor on our way to have dinner at The Pub & Restaurant in the heart of town.
I expect an even more tangible and powerful connection with history tomorrow, as we tour the battlefield, rededicate a monument and walk in the steps of the famous charge of the 1st Minnesota.
Here’s a snapshot of Monday, July 1, in photos.