Gettysburg is the site of the bloodiest conflict and most pivotal battle of the Civil War, where, in July 1863, 150,000 Union and Confederate soldiers fought for three days to determine the future of the United States. In the end, more than 51,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, captured, or missing. The vast battlefield has been preserved to allow visitors to tread the same complicated and varied terrain of hills, fields, woods, and orchards as the soldiers.
The first stop on your visit should be the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center, where you can begin one of the many battlefield tours the National Park Service offers, including a guided bus tour, private tours with guides who will accompany you in your car, an audio tape timed to the marked plaques, a guided bicycle trip, and a horseback riding tour. It's a large site to explore, but be sure to stop and see the huge boulders at Devil's Den as well as nearby Little Round Top, which holds a commanding view of most of the battlefield.