Gettysburg

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Today is the 150th anniversary of a trip that Abraham Lincoln made during the American Civil War to a small town called Gettysburg. This is where he gave his famous address that begins, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation…”

He came to the Pennsylvania town to dedicate a field as the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. There were 51,000 casualties on the day of the battle, the bloodiest of the war

A few months ago, the site of the bloody battle that was fought there attracted a lot of visitors. The anniversary day of the Gettysburg address will do the same. It is all part of a four year reminder of the civil war between the northern and southern states. Battlefield re-enactments have occurred at many of the sites already; there are more over the next year or so.

The Civil War has proved a big tourist draw. Yes, you might expect Americans to visit their own sites but Brits have been big visitors as well. The mainstream UK tour operators haven’t expanded to take advantage on this upsurge of interest but the specialist companies have. But most British visitors have independently booked their flights and then arranged to visit some of the historical sites like Charleston, Atlanta and Richmond as well as battlefield sites like Chattanooga, Vicksburg and Shiloh.

The question now is whether Brits will continue to be attracted by the civil war anniversaries over the remaining eighteen months of the civil war period? Could it be that Brits will tire of the period and avoid some of the states where the civil war had such impact? Those states like Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia will hope that isn’t the case. And today’s re-enactment of that speech which will take place not just in Gettysburg but at towns throughout the US and the media coverage it will get might just keep our interest from waning.

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