Article by Laurie Voss, WCPL Circulation Supervisor
It’s time for my annual trek to the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pa. If you have never been there, it is an awe-inspiring place to visit. I don’t think you can walk without stepping on or running headlong into a monument, as they commemorate events of the entire battle.
A few facts from the website www.civilwar.org: Rumor has it that the Gettysburg battle took place in that location because they had a shoe factory; shoes being what the soldiers badly needed. The fact is, there were ten roads leading into town which brought the battle to the town.
Of the 120 generals involved in Gettysburg, nine of them were killed or mortally wounded in those three bloody days. On the day of the famous Gettysburg Address, the first speaker, Edward Everett spoke for two hours, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address lasted a mere two minutes. The library has Martin P. Johnson’s “Writing the Gettysburg Address” which gives a history of the memorable speech.
There were more than 30,000 dead and wounded soldiers in those three days of fighting. The national park hosts more than 1,400 monuments, markers and tablets commemorating the many regiments and events during the battle.
If you plan a trip to the national park, the library has many books to assist in your planning. A few books that I would not make the trip without are: “The Complete Gettysburg Guide: Walking and Driving Tours of the Battlefield” by David Petruzzi. To me, this is an essential book to understanding how the battle was fought.
Another great book is “Gettysburg: the Story of the Battle With Maps,” by the editors of Stackpole books. This book describes the battles and pinpoints on maps how they were fought.
“Guide to Gettysburg Battlefield Monuments (with descriptions) is a helpful book in assisting to locate all of the battlefield memorials. They are scattered everywhere throughout the battlefield, the town, and towns surrounding Gettysburg.
The last book that I travel with is “The Insider’s Guide to Gettysburg.” This book covers not just the battlefield, but events, festivals and entertainment in the area.
Hopefully your family will be able to make this trip. When you do be sure to stop in at the Warsaw Community Public Library, and peruse or borrow some of our many books on Gettysburg, and get a grasp of the history before you go.