The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, January 19, 2019

Gettysburg on horseback takes riders back in time
This photo shows the Nussbaum family, from left, father Rob, daughter Madigan, 9, mother Nancy and Nicole Nussbaum,14, while on a horseback tour through the Spangler farm which served as a field hospital during and after the July 1-3 1863 battle in Gettysburg, Pa., a turning point in the Civil War. Gettysburg can be toured in a number of ways, but on horseback you can transport yourself to the vantage and vulnerability of a Civil War officer on horseback directing his troops in the three-day battle. AP Photo/Nancy Nussbaum.

By: Nancy Nussbaum, Associated Press

GETTYSBURG, PA (AP).- A twig snaps and brush rustles in woods on the Gettysburg battlefield. My horse does not flinch. It's nothing more than a small animal scurrying away. But on a hot summer day nearly 150 years earlier, it could have been the enemy.

The rolling farmland that is Gettysburg can be toured in a number of ways, but on horseback you can transport yourself to the vantage and vulnerability of a Civil War officer on horseback directing his troops in the three-day battle. On a recent family trip, my husband, our daughters, ages 9 and 14, and I toured the battlefields on horseback with a Gettysburg licensed battlefield guide. The tour allowed us to go into sections of the battlefield that were not part of auto or bus tours and provided intricate details of the July 1-3, 1863 battle that was a turning point in the Civil War.

Horse tours have been offered for decades by farms in the area. But with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War under way and the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg battle approaching in the summer of 2013, this is an ideal time to visit.

Pamela Grimes, owner of Hickory Hollow Farm, has up to 15 horses available for battlefield tours, and says visitors need not have any experience riding. The horses fall into step while walking along the wooded dirt trails, kicking up clouds of dust along the way, and need just a little direction from riders to keep them in line, but all four of us novices were fine. Grimes, with a helper and a licensed battlefield guide, Les Fowler, also accompanied our tour.

As we mounted our horses with the help of a stepstool, Grimes' team told us our horses' names and a little about their personalities. My 9-year-old daughter Madigan's horse, Spirit, was quick and likely would have been used as a messenger or scout horse in 1863. My husband Rob's horse, Pebbles, was a calm leader and took the front of the line. My horse, Raggity Ann, liked to snack on brush or grass along the trails. Our daughter Nicole's horse, Rock, was a bit slower and brought up the rear for our family.

Much of the battlefield now appears as it did in 1863, when Confederate troops moved into Pennsylvania that hot summer, so it is easy for young and old alike to grasp the vulnerability of troops marching across an open field or having the advantage of being on the high ground. The battlefield has undergone a landscape rehabilitation since 2000, including cutting non-historic trees, replanting orchards and rebuilding missing fences, to make it appear much as it did 150 years ago, said spokeswoman Katie Lawhon at Gettysburg National Military Park, which averages about 1.2 million visitors a year.

"Now, you can get a wonderful feel for what the soldiers actually saw. This field has changed dramatically in just the seven years that I have lived here," said Fowler, the battlefield guide.

Most of the buildings on the battlefield in 1863 are still standing and are well-maintained. In addition, there are more than 1,300 monuments and 400 cannons. Rocks and other markers seen in iconic Civil War photographs make it easy to pinpoint exactly where the picture was taken.

Our ride lasted two and a half hours and covered about four miles roundtrip, starting near McMillan Woods and across to the Henry Spangler Farm, which served as a field hospital for soldiers during and after the battle.

The tour was point-to-point, with riders gathering around Fowler at key spots between riding to hear the story of what we were seeing.

Our group then headed to the site of Pickett's Charge, where thousands of troops of the Army of Northern Virginia marched toward Union lines on July 3, their own line nearly a mile wide. The famous, futile charge was named for one of the Confederate generals, Maj. Gen. George Pickett. After being slowed by climbing fences along the nearby road, they came into range of the Union infantry on Cemetery Ridge, which we could see less than a mile away.

Fowler described how the Confederate line shrunk to nearly half its size as it closed in to cover the gaps left by wounded and killed men. It was easy to imagine as we could see the tree lines, fences and fields in front of us.

A statue in the area where Gen. Robert E. Lee observed the carnage of the failed charge from his horse, is one of the most realistic monuments because the face was made from a life mask of Lee and the bones of his horse, Traveller, were measured for accuracy, Fowler said.

Gettysburg is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War through 2015. Interest is expected to increase as the actual date of the 150th anniversary of the battle approaches in summer 2013. Living history encampments and other events are planned.

As attendance and interest in the site grows, tours are increasingly in demand, so reservations are a must, whether you're looking for a horseback tour or a tour by one of Gettysburg's 160 licensed battlefield guides, or both, as we did.

"For many people, Gettysburg is such a significant event in our nation's history, and it actually in some ways defines who we are as Americans today because of the tremendous crisis of that battle," she said. "It can be a tremendously moving place."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Today's News

June 19, 2012

Exhibition at Museo Picasso Málaga provides a look at the history of the poster

Exhibition of drawings and watercolors spanning five centuries celebrates the collection of Joseph F. McCrindle

Sotheby's London to offer an extraordinary mid-14th century manuscript in the Welsh language

Archaeologist finds oldest rock art in Australia; an Aboriginal work created 28,000 years ago

Sotheby's London presents a rare and important offering of Old Master and British paintings

James Hyman to present specially curated exhibition for Masterpiece London

Garbage Guanabara Bay for Rio+20 from Brazilian-born, New York-based artist Vik Muniz

Rare look at the career of Regionalist painter Roger Medearis opens at the Huntington

Safani Gallery offers a rare anthropoid sarcophagus lid and coffin at Masterpiece London

Terra Foundation for American Art's new collections head selection evinces global goals

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art profiles commissioning legacy during 10th birthday season

Brilliant results for works by William Trost Richards and Jean Paul Riopelle at Keno Auctions sale

Former president of Capitol Records/EMI Joe Smith donates audio interviews to Librarian of Congress

Gettysburg on horseback takes riders back in time

Cult springs up around Hungary's World War II leader

Israel Museum exhibition sheds light on culture and life of Hasidic Jews

Black and White Spider Awards honors photographer Jack Dzamba from Boston

Lavish Mughal paintings embellish revised edition of The Imperial Image

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Rare 1943 Lincoln Cent sells for $204,000 at Heritage Auctions

2.- Exhibition is the first to shed light on the phenomenon of the princely painter

3.- Nathaniel Silver named new Curator of the Collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

4.- Rijksmuseum van Oudheden explores the mystical world of the ancient Egyptian gods

5.- Media error draws misleading reports on sale of 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent

6.- Four men deny giant gold coin heist from Berlin's Bode Museum

7.- Tanya Bonakdar Gallery presents an immersive installation by Charles Long

8.- Egypt says stolen pharaonic tablet repatriated from United Kingdom

9.- Israeli museum under fire over 'McJesus' exhibit

10.- Claremont Rug Company founder Jan David Winitz reveals major shifts in high-end antique Oriental rug market

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful