Gettysburg and Us

Reflections on the Civil War and our current state of division

It has been one of my long-standing regrets that, despite having lived for years within a short, easy drive of Gettysburg National Military Park, I never visited. Resolving to correct this error, on Washington’s Birthday I piled kids and dog into the family SUV and, following in the footsteps of the Army of Northern Virginia, headed north across the Mason-Dixon Line.

Our visit was an ill-planned, spur-of-the-moment affair. We arrived too late for the last guided tour, and wouldn’t have been able to join it in any case; as it turns out, dogs are not permitted on the buses, nor in the visitor center, the museums, or in the national cemetery. So the four of us wandered among the cannons and cenotaphs of Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill and the surrounding fields and woods.