(Gettysburg, Pa.) — The power of place drives the American Battlefield Trust’s dual preservation and education mission through the understanding that a protected landscape is one onto which captivating stories of the past can be best projected. While there is no substitute for exploring that historic terrain in person, modern technology can help bridge the gap for those located too far afield to visit — a philosophy proven by the success of the 23 apps that the Trust has released over the past decade. Now, to celebrate the 158th anniversary of Gettysburg’s second most famous event, the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery, the Trust has debuted a two-hour online video tour of the renowned Gettysburg Battlefield, approximating what it is like to drive past and walk around iconic landmarks like Little Round Top and the Bloody Angle. The free tour, created with the consent of the National Park Service, is now available on the Trust’s YouTube channel and website.
With GoPro cameras affixed to his car and a wealth of stories stashed in his mind, American Battlefield Trust’s Chief Historian Garry Adelman — also a long-time Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg — escorts viewers through the historic town and national military park. Street names and on-screen map visuals identify the precise locations visited and help those unable to visit in person understand the geography in a practical sense compared to what they’ve read about in books or gleaned from maps. Whether it be through small details or big picture ideas, the expert storyteller weaves together an exciting arrangement of Gettysburg wisdom that will keep viewers glued to their screens.
“Gettysburg is a place where stories live, and at the Trust we’re always looking for new and dynamic ways to bring stories to life,” said Adelman. “While this tour gives online audiences an in-depth look at the battlefield, I cannot emphasize enough how profound it is to see Gettysburg with your own eyes.”
While the new video resource delivers digital access to an approximation of the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide experience, it is no substitute for an in-person visit with such a guide, who can fine-tune a tour to meet one’s interests and field one’s burning questions. The Licensed Battlefield Guides of Gettysburg are, in fact, the only individuals legally allowed to conduct visitors around the Gettysburg National Military Park. If interested in touring the park with a guide, arrangements can be made through the Gettysburg Foundation, onsite at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, or directly through the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides.
To further aid visitors on a trip to Gettysburg, the American Battlefield Trust offers a treasure trove of additional digital resources. From two free apps for iOS and Android devices (Gettysburg Battle App® and Gettysburg AR Experience) to tour itineraries that consider the length of your trip to an interactive map that presents further points of interest to even more engaging videos within its extensive YouTube library, the organization encourages the curious to explore the thousands of acres that make up the eye-opening Gettysburg Battlefield.
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected nearly 54,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.
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