Help/suggestions for visiting Gettysburg/Antietam


Apr 17, 2021
It depends on how much time you want to spend in the visitor's center, seeing the museums, the film, and all that.

I think 3 days is enough to get a good dose of each. The Antietam driving tour took me 3 hours. Then I grabbed lunch in Sharpsburg. 3 days might even bee too much for it, unless you absolutely love Antietam and want to walk a lot or stand there taking everything in. You might find some time for South Mountain or Harper's Ferry. Monocacy might be nearby too.

Gettysburg can easily take 3 days. If you do the driving tour, you can probably see everything within one day, that is, dawn til dusk. But add in the visitor's center if you want it, plus walking, plus checking out the Civil War-themed shops in town, and it will be more. It's also very to get caught up in the sites at Gettysburg. There's so many monuments and I always spend a lot of time at the angle taking everything in. You might want to spend one day just doing the driving tour, then spend the other two days walking your favorite spots.

Also check out Evergreen Cemetery if you want. Jennie Wade and John Burns are both buried there.
The battlefield guides I have for both Gettysburg and Antietam total around 50 stops and we could easily do 10 or more per day taking our time and still have some to spare for South Mountain and the Visitors Centers.


May 6, 2021
It looks like you have gotten a lot of great suggestions and fed back. I would like to share a couple of things I always enjoyed about visiting Gettysburg. I would get out early to see the morning ground fog at sun rise on Seminary Ridge and then the setting sun at the "High Water Mark". Tracing the foot steps of the Union and Confederate solders with a walk down Baltimore Street from the "Square" to the Farnsworth House. And if lucky, catch a banjo player and sing along at the Farnsworth House pub. Just being there is always a pleasure, as is a visit to Antietam. The best to you and if nothing more ENJOY.
Jun 27, 2017
The great thing about each of these two battlefields is that unlike most other battlefields you can stand and envision the course of the battle in your mind. At Antietam you can start at the western edge and see how the Union attacks and the Southern counterattacks developed. You can move to the center and see how successive union attacks developed and almost succeeded until a Southern response stymied the attack and finally move to Burnside's bridge and the developments there.

Similarly you can go to G'burg and take a stand on the field of day 1 and in your minds eye see the battle unfold in front of you. You can see the Union cavalry line, the Confed infantry advance. The subsequent broadening of the line as eah side poured in reinforcements. Finally you can see how Southern troops entered the westeren side from another road. How they advanced against the Union flank and were in turn ambushed on their right flank. How later Southern troops were caught in the RR cut and finally overwhelming Confederate troops force the Union to abandon the field and flee through the town to their eventual defense line.

Subsequently you can find a position on the field to envision the attacks of days 2 and 3 and see how B followed A, and C followed B, etc. I don't know of any other place where this is so easily accomplished. If as someone noted the towers have been removed, I think that to be a great tragedy. Granted the 30-40 sq ft the towers occupied were not there in 1863 but they did allow you to have a birds eye view of the field.

What I would suggest is A--you must go through the museum. B--take the bus tour (in fact, I took it twice at two different times to get two different guides with possibly different perspectives). and C--arrange for a guide to actually take you to whatever part of the field intrigues you the most. You could concentrate on Stewart vs Custer on day 3, Culp's HIll, Little Round Top, Pickett's Charge, or Heth's ambush on day one. Once you have an overview you can decide on some specific part of the field to get in depth info.