Monday, April 1, 2013

Washington DC - Day 2/3

Hello from the DC Tour bus again. We are on our way from Gettysburg to Baltimore today. Yesterday was a fascinating day as we spent it all in Gettysburg. Here, read about it...

Sunday, March 31, 2013 - Easter Sunday
The wake up call was suppose to have rung at 6:30, but thank goodness that we have some responsible kids on this trip as many did set their own alarms on their phones. Breakfast at 7:30 and departure at 8:30am. We boarded the bus for our 2 hour ride from Philly to Gettysburg, during which we got to watch the movie Lincoln in preparation for the day ahead (although I think that I did hear some snoring from the peanut gallery and it wasn't just the chaperones). We arrived at the Gettysburg Museum around 11am for the first part of our day.

Here we enjoy an amazing museum all about the Civil War and the Gettysburg Battle. It was the kind of museum that you could have spent hours and hours in, but we only had about 60 minutes that which we needed to divide up into going thru the museum and, of course, shopping in the gift store :)

Here is a sampling of some of the amazing exhibits we saw, read and took in...

Here is a Fallon Student, learning about the state of California back in the time of the  Civil War. What was the population? How many slaves? How many free?

My son Matthew (on the right) with his friend, standing in front of the First National Flag of the Confederacy, 1861
After enjoying the museum and spending some money in the gift store, we all headed back to the bus for lunch.
Lunch consisted of a Subway sandwich, chips and a chocolate chip cookie. Unfortunately, due to the cool rainy day the picnic that was planned was held inside the bus versus outside on the lawn of the museum. But, nonetheless, we all got re-energized for the next part of our day at Gettysburg.

Part 2, consisted of going back inside the museum to watch a movie presented by the History Channel about the Gettysburg battle and then we were off to experience the Cyclorama. "What is a Cyclorama?" you ask. Well, it is a large...very large oil painting that was painted back in 1884 by Paul Philippoteaux. It depicts a very large scene "in the round" of the Gettysburg Battle.  Before we got a brief history of this very large painting, the story of the Gettysburg battle was told again with special lighting effects on the painting.

I tried to do a Panoramic show with my iPhone. Probably captured about 1/4 of the whole thing.

After the presentation of the Cyclorama...and a few more minutes to shop in the gift store...we were onto part 3 of our day at Gettysburg.
Our tour guide for the next 2 hours - Gettysburg Battle Ground tour
Part 3 consisted of a tour of the Gettysburg Battle Ground with a tour guide from the National Parks. Due to the wet weather, we did the majority of our touring in the bus; however we did get out a few times. The guide entertained us for 2 hours as we drove through the vast battle grounds - told us stories...

...taught us about the cannons the Confederates and the Union soldiers used...

Two of the chaperones - Mr. Chapman who has lead this 8th grade trip for many years. Next to him is  the Dean of the middle school...his first 8th grade DC trip.
Listening to our Gettysburg tour guide as he talks about the California monument on the battle grounds.
My son Matthew (in the Nordique's sweatshirt) with his classmates. We were standing in front of the California monument learning. Little wet and a little chilly.
 ...he talked to us about all the memorial statues that were all over the battle grounds. Each state from that time period, honored their soldiers by a statue of some sort. Many of these statues were put in place in the early 1900s. They literally littered the battle grounds.

And the battle, it was vast. You really don't realize the amount of land the and landscape in this area, where brothers fought brother...friends fought friends...neighbors fought neighbors...until you come here and walk/drive it. For three days, there was fighting here:

 The 2 hours seemed to fly by. The stories of the 3 day battle, viewing the wonderful was very educational, interesting and somewhat overwhelming.

We dropped the tour guide off at the Gettysburg Museum and we were on our way to the Gettysburg Graveyard. During the battles, the soldiers buried the dead right on the battle fields. Not very deep, though. Knowing that wasn't fitting for a soldier, the Confederate Army and the Union Army dug up all the dead and moved their bodies back to appropriate grounds. Many of the Northern soldiers were officially laid to rest in the Gettysburg Graveyard - some were identified, but many were not. Nevertheless they were honored. Once the were given a proper burial, the graveyard was dedicated. This was the location and the time of a very famous speech by Lincoln...The Gettysburg Address.
A portion of some of the graves...many were unidentified, only given a number.
At the gravesite, we read the Gettysburg Address:
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this..."

The group.
You know...I have heard of the Gettysburg Address...I knew that Lincoln wrote it and read it sometime after the Gettysburg Battle...but I never connected the speech to the event.

After we finished walking around the graveyard, we headed back to the bus and to check into the hotel. We had sometime before dinner to change, freshen up and dry off before heading for dinner.

Dinner??? Dinner was wonderful. We ate at the Dobbin House Tavern. It is the oldest, most historic houses...built in 1776. Dinner consisted of a great salad buffet and an entree buffet (roast beef, baked chicken, steamed veggies, and rice) and amazing desserts. The highlight of the dinner was the apple butter. Knowingly, our tour guide talked about the "brown stuff" the kids would find on the salad buffet. Afraid that they would stop serving it in the future, he discussed what it was before we all went inside. For those of you who have never had apple really isn't a butter at all; more like a sweet-cinnamon apple spread. Which was heavenly on the homemade bread served with dinner.

The chaperones on the trip.
 In the mid-1800s the house served as a "station" for hiding runaway slaves on their perilous journey to freedom on the "underground Railroad".

Here is the narrow staircase that lead to the secret room.
 After dinner, we got a chance to walk off our meal on an hour walk through the city of Gettysburg with a tour guide from a Ghost walk company. For a little over an hour our guide told of stories of civil war soldier ghosts who inhabit the city and different buildings he pointed out.

Do you see the figure in the right-hand window of this old school house?

This was the old jail back in the Civil War times...people have heard weird noises around the elevator in this building.

Do you see the face image in the right-top window?
After the ghost tour, it was time to head to the hotel, check in and go to bed. Everyone had a great time in Gettysburg!

Until next time...remember, 

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!


jhm said...

The MR. Chapman - odds are his family orginated back in VIrginia. MY ancestors from VA married in and out of the Chapman family for a few generations.
ON my SC side of the family, I have an ancestor wounded at Gettysburg. He went on to live a long life.
Ehjoy tyour trip

Shelly said...

I'm enjoying this photo trip. One day I'll be able to go back East and see all of that. Thanks!