As a student of History, and American History particularly, I knew that Gettysburg was one place I would have to visit before the end of my trip. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and has often been described as the war’s turning point. Gettysburg is not only famous for this battle but for the Gettysburg Address, one of the most famous speeches in American History, and can be found on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial. It was pretty awesome to be able to stand in the same spot that Lincoln stood in over 150 years before. The speech was in the Soldier’s National Cemetery, and looked very similar to Arlington: Albert and I went with David who is an expert in all things Gettysburg as his aunt and uncle have worked there for years. His uncle is even a part of the Battle reenactments, which we managed to see as we arrived. These men spend the whole weekend sleeping under the stars with no access to any technology (sounds pretty nice!) and act out battles that occurred on these spots many years ago.
We headed for lunch at the Dobbin House Tavern which is the oldest house in Gettysburg and was build in 1776 for Reverend Alexander Dobbin to begin a new life in America for himself and his family. Now a cute restaurant with period waiters and candlelight meals, it was a really cool setting: After lunch we headed out to multiple sites of various battles that occurred during the Civil War including the Battle of Little Round Top
This was also the spot of one of the earliest photographs taken which was actually set up. The soldier didn’t die at the spot but was placed there to show the atrocities of the war. One of the first cases of of war torn photography.
I was so glad I was able to see Gettysburg before I left, a place truly enriched with history.
Two weeks before my heading back to the UK, Albert and I made another trip up to Philadelphia to visit his family and also take a little trip up to New York to visit the town of Sleepy Hollow. The village is known as the setting of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, a short story by Washington Irving, who lived in neighbouring Tarrytown and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Although the place has now become the place for Sleepy Hollow (the movie) and Sleepy Hollow (TV show!) this town was also the home of many famous people: Elizabeth Arden as well as the Chrysler family and Carnegie family. One of the most lavish parts of the cemetery however belonged to a family who has their name written all over New York: The Rockefellers. With their own path up to their mausoleum this was the place of the rich.
We also saw the gravestone of Washington Irving, whose story renamed the cemetery to Sleepy Hollow:
It was a great little town, somewhere where everyone knows each other’s names I would imagine.
We spent the rest of our weekend in Philadelphia spending time with Albert’s family who were preparing for a new baby in the house this month. Sunday was spent at a country club that Albert’s uncle belongs to – it was a lot of fun, and definitely something I could tick off the bucket list!
We had a great last weekend visiting Philly, which is somewhere we have visited multiple times, and always had a lot of fun at.