April 8, 2004
Those with a passion for learning about the Civil War can join numerous sundown walking tours and classes offered by the Gettysburg Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC).

Nine different Summer Sundown walking tours of the Gettysburg Battlefield are available with Licensed Battlefield Guides.

Tours start Wednesday, May 19, with "A Whirlpool of Death - The Fighting in the Wheatfield" from 6-9 p.m. Tour begins at the 148th PA Monument on Ayers Avenue. George Rose's wheatfield was the site of some of the most intense fighting of the Battle of Gettysburg, its grasses trampled and stained with the blood of nearly 5,000 American soldiers. Tour will include discussion of the action of July 2, 1863, as Union and Confederate forces struggled for possession of this 17-acre field.

A Walking Tour of Devil's Den will be held Wednesday, May 26, 6-9 p.m., starting at the iron Devil's Den sign in front of the massive wall of boulders.

In 1997, Timothy H. Smith and Garry Adelman published their "Devil's Den: a History and Guide." In the years since the publication, much more has been learned about the fighting and history of the area. The group will walk and discuss the rich history of one of the most famous landmarks on the Battlefield as Smith relates some of the items left out of his book and provides an update on some new research.

The Peach Orchard will be the subject of a walking tour on Wednesday, June 2, from 6-9 p.m. E.P. Alexander said, "I don't think there was ever in our war a hotter, harder, sharper artillery afternoon than this." Class will look at the roles of both Confederate and Union artillery in the fighting at the Peach Orchard. Tour begins at the Longstreet tower on West Confederate Avenue.

The Road to Emmitsburg walking tour will begin at the flagpole in the Cyclorama parking lot on Wednesday, June 16, 6-9 p.m.

A virtual no-man's-land during the Battle of Gettysburg, the Emmitsburg Road was a defensive position for the Union army on July 2 and a barrier to the Confederate advance on July 3. Highlights of the tour will include the farms of Bryan, Bliss, Codori, Rodgers, Klingel, and Sherfy. Class will discuss the stories of Mag Palm, Josephine Miller, the Gettysburg Electric Railway and the WWII German Prisoner of War camp.

He Proved Himself a Hero walking tour will begin at the Peach Orchard on Business Route 15 (Emmitsburg Road) on Wednesday, June 30, from 6-9 p.m.

On the afternoon of July 2, 1863, Brig. General Andrew Humphrey's division was positioned along the Emmitsburg Road. At 6 p.m. they were attacked by Confederate troops, and in less than 90 minutes Humphrey's men had suffered in excess of 2,000 casualties.

However, their stubborn defense had bought valuable time for reinforcements to secure the center of the Union line. The tour will examine this frequently overlooked portion of the Battle of Gettysburg and how it influenced Robert E. Lee's decision to launch Pickett's charge over the same ground one day later.

Cemetery Hill - Battlefield and Burial Ground walking tour will meet at the Tour Center on Cemetery Hill on Wednesday, July 14, 6-9 p.m. Participants should park close to the stone wall.

A fortuitous withdrawal to Cemetery Hill on July 1 gave the Federal Army a highly defendable stronghold from which to hold back the Confederate high tide and ultimately win the Battle of Gettysburg. It was "altogether fitting and proper" that this same ground should become the nation's first National Cemetery, and this tour will discuss the details.

Footprints of History - Monumentation of GNMP during the Veteran Years will be held on Wednesday, July 21, from 6-9 p.m. This program follows the creation of the Gettysburg National Military Park beginning just after the battle in late July 1863 to the early GNMP Commission years - the span of time during which the veterans returned, remembered, and memorialized their battle ground. This is a thorough study of Gettysburg's interpretation and monumentation. Tour will meet at the flagpole of the Cyclorama parking lot.

A Hell Infernal walking tour will begin at Benner's Hill on Thursday, July 29, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. On July 2, one of the most significant and yet overlooked episodes of the Battle of Gettysburg was the artillery duel between the Confederate batteries on Benner's Hill and the Union batteries on Cemetery Hill. This tour will help participants get a better appreciation for this relatively obscure episode.

Paper Collar Soldiers will be held on Thursday, Aug. 19, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The largest Brigade in the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg was General Stammard's All Vermont Brigade. This tour will trace the story of this brigade of nine-month volunteers during the Battle of Gettysburg, as seen primarily through the eyes of the men of the 13th Vermont Volunteers. Tour will begin at the Pennsylvania Monument.

Information and registration on these walking tours and classes on the Civil War can be obtained by calling 338-1010 or by visiting the Web site below.

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