30 May 2001 New Market, VA to Gettysburg, PA via WV and MD
After a sleep that made me glad I was in a warm sleeping bag in New Market, VA, I got up at 6:30 am and made hot water using the electrical supply from the camp site. I remembered the first morning I was walking around in Harper’s Ferry and I saw a big RV leaving his site to depart. Behind him was 25 ft of electrical cord. He had forgotten to disconnect his power cord from the box. I flagged him down and he was a bit embarrassed. I was thinking when I plugged in today, that I don’t want to do that! I used the next two hours to replace batteries and look for the elusive tire air pressure gauge. Hmmmm it’s here somewhere.
|Electrical cord through the window of my van|
|Sheep at the New Market campground|
Leaving the nearly empty campground I drove back through the interesting little town of New Market. I had meant to look in the “Old Books Store” but it wasn’t open when I passed. I wanted to get to the New Market Historic Battlefield from the Civil War and Hall of Valor run by the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). It was just west of the town. A few of us early birds asked them to show the film at 9am as they opened, so they did. It was a stirring and poignant film about the VMI Cadets and their brave participation in the battle against the Union General Sheridan, and his men. They marched from their boarding school in Lexington VA to New Market VA and about 10 boys were killed.
|New Market Battlefield from Hall of Valor site|
|Cannon at the New Market VA Battlefield|
|View of Shenandoah River|
I talked to the people at the PA Visitors’ Center at the border and got a bunch more pamphlets and maps. Within the hour I was checking into the KOA at Gettysburg, PA. Again this campground was not full. I decided on a campground because all the motels seem to cost $75/night minimum. Anyway, I got to use my coupon for a free night. After 5 nights, at KOA, you get one free until 3 July, so I might as well take advantage of that. But I did get a site with electricity. Might as well, it doesn’t cost that much more.
Then off to the National Park Service Visitor’s Center at Gettysburg. Overwhelmed might be a good term to describe the feeling of all the people, and all the choices of what to do to see everything at this battlefield. I decided to see an orientation film, then see the “Electrical Map” that depicts the different battle lines from 1 to 3 July 1863. Lee thought he had a good chance of gaining ground in the North, after their big win in Chancellorsville, VA. But the three days of fighting and ending with the classic frontal assault “Pickett’s Charge” left thousands dead and forced Lee to retreat back to the South. Four months later Abraham Lincoln came to dedicate the cemetery as a
|Lincoln's Gettysburg Address|
|At Gettysburg Peace Monument|
|View of the famous Gettysburg "Stone Wall"|
Tomorrow I'll see more of the Gettysburg Battlefield.