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April 15, 2007
From journal Gettysburg: Diving Into History
by Linda Kaye
San Antonio, Texas
November 19, 2001
In the downtown area, the streets are lined with American flags. Everywhere you look, there are images of Abe Lincoln: the Lincoln Diner, the Lincoln Train Museum, the Lincoln Room Museum, even the Lincolnway Motel. And, if you are lucky, you might see Ole Abe Lincoln himself, strolling near Lincoln Square. I had the opportunity of crossing paths with this person, who is the spitting image of pictures of the "real" President Lincoln. He dawns his long back coat, white shirt, black vest and bow tie and that distinctive black top hat, and gives visitors to his town an incredible opportunity. Of course, when I ran into him, there was no camera in site.
No matter where you drive in the area around Gettysburg, you will encounter battlefields, monuments, and rows of restored cannons dotted among the beautiful farmhouses and residential areas.
The Lincoln Train is located opposite the National Park Service Visitors Center on Steinwehr Avenue. This simulated train ride is a great family activity. From the inside of President Lincoln’s 1863 train, you can see the Civil War country-side along the route and hear conversations that took place on this historic train trip. Our first exposure to the Lincoln Train was when our children were small and they actually thought the train was moving. Adult $5.95, children $3.50.
The Cyclorama is located inside the National Military Park and is one of the most unique points of interest. This circular oil-on-canvas painting portrays the fury of the final Confederate assault on July 3, 1863, commonly referred to as "Pickett's Charge". Along the inside wall of this large round structure is a breathtaking panorama with the foreground littered with the relics of the battle, stone walls, shattered trees and broken fences, helping to bring the painting to life. It measures 356 feet around, 26 feet tall. A 20-minute sound and light program recreates the scene of the fighting and highlighting points of interest on the canvas. This massive painting was created by the French artist Paul Philippoteaux and was completed in 1884. If you have the opportunity to visit the Cyclorama, look carefully at the painting for a man, dressed as a soldier, but not involved in the battle, leaning against a tree. This is a self-portrait of the artist. Admission Adult $3.00, children $2.00, seniors $2.50.
From journal Gettysburg-A Turning Point in History