By Paige Mathieu
On November 16th, students who are currently enrolled in American Cultures 1 and AP US History traveled back in time to the July of 1863. Students were able to learn about the battle of Gettysburg. Instead of reading a textbook however, they were able to travel to Gettysburg to explore the site of the battle.
After spending two hours on a bus, students were given their first view of Gettysburg through a video and cyclorama oil painting. This allowed the students to learn about the history of the battle and how it occurred before they began their tour of the battlefield. When they boarded the bus again, a tour guide was waiting to explain the battle in more depth.
On the tour, the guide stated that Gettysburg is home to the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, with over 51,000 casualties. July 1, 1863 was the first of a three day battle. Soldiers wore wool clothing on the 85 degree weather day. Today, the field looked as it had in 1863, which allowed students to picture the war as if they had been near the battlefield on July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of 1863.
While exploring the battlefield, students were able to look at the scenery from ground level, as well as from a height. A large tower, as well as the height of Little Round Top, a mountain where one of the battles occurred, allowed students to see the whole battlefield, as if it was a map laid out in front of them. They also looked at cannons and memorials that were placed throughout the field.
When students returned home at the end of the long day, they were accompanied by many beautiful pictures, new knowledge on the Civil War, and memories of a day that they will not forget. Each student had a unique experience that allowed them to view the war in a different way. Although the bus ride was long, students were able to picture the Civil War clearly and had an enjoyable time doing so.