The Battle of Gettysburg is often described as the turning point
of the Civil War, which is probably a bit of an exaggeration.
Similar claims could be made about Vicksburg, Fort Donelson and Antietam
depending on the interpretation of many military and political factors.
The Gettysburg Battlefield is well preserved and largely under the control
of the National Park Service.
Parcels are still being acquired and added to the park. Most recently
the golf course to the west of town became NPS property.
Gettysburg offers the expected National Park Service experience for those
who wish to make a one day visit. There is a film and a museum in the
visitor\'s center, and a driving tour that gives an overview of the
battle. There are, however, other resources available that can be used
to support an extended visit.
The Luvaas & Nelson Guide to the Battle of Gettysburg
(see the references section below)
provides a more detailed tour of the battle, including the
approaches to South Mountain.
Gettysburg is one of the most written about battles in
Stephen Sear\'s single volume history is an excellent introduction
to the battle.
Petruzzi\'s guide, with Stanley\'s excellent maps, is an excellent
volume to study before a trip and take with you in the car.