News Feature: Battle at Gettysburg

07.04.16 | Sarah Harnisch

The Gettysburg Battle was the turning point of the American Civil War. It was fought in Pennsylvania 150 years ago last July. More then 50-thousand brave men died, fighting either to preserve the union or preserve the southern way of life. Morning News Anchor Sarah Harnisch has gathered stories from people across the Family Life listening area that had ties to the war. She's spoken with world-famous Gettysburg historian Garry Adelman, and gotten details of the 150th celebration directly from the head press secretary of the Gettysburg Battlefield, Katie Lawhon. She put together photo slideshows of Gettysburg itself, as well as a reenactment of Pickett's Charge in Canisteo, New York in June. In this feature you'll get the whole history of what happened those three days: July 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1863; as well as a private audio tour of the battlefield from a licensed battlefield tour guide. You can follow along with the photos below. You'll also learn the ins and outs of why thousands of people across New York and Pennsylvania reenact the battle year after year. The feature ends with a reading of the full Gettysburg address by four children: ages 12, 10, 8, and 6.

If you want to hear longer versions of the cuts from the feature, "director's cuts" of the most powerful interviews are listed below.


This is a slideshow of a reenactment in Canisteo, New York called “The Battle of Lain’s Mill.” The last day featured a reenactment of Pickett’s Charge on July 3rd, 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was put on by the 21stGeorgia Volunteer Infantry, the 136th New York Volunteer Infantry, and the 28th New York Infantry Regiment. There are photos before the battle, shots of canon fire, and shots of the battlefield hospital afterward. No one was harmed during the reenactment. There were more than a dozen canons fired and hundreds involved on the field.



This is a slideshow of the Gettysburg National Battlefield, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The photos correspond with the audio tour in the podcast above.

shots of the hills approaching Gettysburg Gettysburg Battlefield Guide Paul Marhevka one of the rare confederate markers the only monument to North Carolina lead bullets from the battle, July 1st, 1863 first shots of Seminary Hill, the site of the Confederate lines, Day 1 canon on Seminary Hill canon on Seminary Hill Seminary Hill defensive line, where soldiers were crouched first shots from the bottom of Little Round Top, site of Day 2 battle Little Round Top from the bottom of the hill Little Round Top from the bottom of the hill as well Little Round Top from the top of the hill Tourists taking Little Round Top in A Memorial feet away from the site of the 20th Maine, built in honor of a regiment from New York A soldier serving today, reading the names of those that died at Little Round Top active U.S. soldiers, looking over the ledge at the view from Little Round Top A view from inside the New York memorial The largest memorial on the grounds, dedicated to the more then 30-thousand soldiers that died from Pennsylvania the “cluster” of trees that General Lee told his troops to aim for, just before Pickett’s charge a memorial right at the site where Lee’s men crossed the fence line during Picket’s charge. The soldier is using his gun as a club, as many Union soldiers did. The site of Pickett’s Charge, Cemetery Hill, July 3rd, 1863. the field Confederate soldiers had to cross during Pickett’s Charge, Cemetery Hill, July 3rd, 1863



If you enjoyed this news feature and want to hear more about the battle, we've placed "director's cuts" of some of the interviews right on this page for you. Most are completely raw and unedited. You can hear from a world famous historian, get your own battlefield tour, play press secretary and listen in on a press conference with the public relations director of the Gettysburg National Battlefield, or hear the heart of local reenactors, including one real doctor from Hornell who plays a doctor on the battlefield.

Gary Adelman is the Director of History and Education for the Civil War Trust. He was a Gettysburg Battlefield Guide for 18 years, and is a world-renown photographer, historian, and keynote speaker on the Battle at Gettysburg. He speaks with our own Sarah Harnisch about the history behind the battle, and shares the story of the soldier that found part of his coat in his lung more than a decade later. For more on the Civil War Trust, go here.


Paul Marhevka is a licensed battlefield tour guide at Gettysburg National Military Park. He's been giving tours for 15 years, and does, on average, 500 tours a year. Paul starts our audio tour of the park. This is the full, raw interview from the Gettysburg National Battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in June 2013 with Family Life's Sarah Harnisch, as Marhevka was giving a live tour on-location. 


Stanley Skolney is a history teacher at Bath Haverling school, and a gifted reenactor who inspires his students to love history. He has been to Gettysburg over 100 times, and finishes the audio tour of the park. This is the full, raw interview with Family Life's Sarah Harnisch from the reenactment of Pickett's Charge, the Battle of Lain's Mill, Canisteo, New York, June 2013. Skolney is a member of the 21st Georgia, which has more than 160 volunteers. It's one of the largest reenacting troops in the United States. To learn more, go here.


Katie Lawhon is the public relations director at the Gettysburg National Battlefield. She describes what's at Gettysburg, and talks about the events for the 150th celebration of the park. She also shares her favorite stories from the battle. The interview was recorded on the grounds of the Gettysburg National Battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, June 2013, with our own Sarah Harnisch. To learn more about the Gettysburg Battlefield itself, go here.


Dr. Spencer Annibal is an internist with a specialty in cardiovascular medicine from Hornell, New York. He plays 2 different surgeons when he reenacts; a doctor playing a doctor. Annibal discusses his heart to set history straight about how surgeons were viewed in the Civil War, and tells his favorite battlefield stories. This audio is from an interview at the reenactment of Pickett's Charge, the Battle of Lain's Mill, Canisteo, New York, June 2013.


Bud Wilson has been reenacting for 15 years, and plays a military chaplain. He's from Addison, New York. He will be in Gettysburg for the 150th anniversary celebration July 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2013. In this interview, he tells our own Sarah Harnisch why he does reenacting: not for the history, but to lead souls to Christ. He says one thing that's the same from Gettysburg 150 years ago is that none of us know when our last hour on earth will be.


Thomas F. Schobert is from West Seneca New York, and plays General Robert E. Lee. (He looks like him, too!) He is a Civil War Historian and Reenactor. In this interview, he tells Family Life's Sarah Harnisch how important it is to remember history, and why he does what he does. This was recorded at the reenactment of Pickett's Charge, the Battle of Lain's Mill, Canisteo, New York, June 2013. To learn more about Schobert's work, go here.


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 07.04.13 sondra nelson commented

have never been to the battlefield, but would love to see it .enjoyed seeing the video cannot imagin what the soldiers went or how any survived we have them to thank for all our freedoms , lost my broyher to viet nam thanks again to all the famielys who gave for me and you GOD BLESSED THE USA!!!!!

on 07.16.13 bob commented

great job sarah - you did amazing work here !

on 05.26.14 BettyMcKamey commented

Sarah, Thank you for the Gettysburg commentary on FLN.

on 07.04.16 Tom Ellinger commented

Sarah great job, have been there several times when I was younger, very informative God Bless America.