Student Reactions to Our Gettysburg Adventure

Iron Brigade forward

Think about today and our tours through the town and surrounding fields around Gettysburg. Reflect on what you learned about soldier motivation to fight – (Initial motivation or Sustaining motivation) or just comment on what you found to be the most interesting thing you learned:


 Richie- Today I thought it was interesting that Abraham Lincoln chose a German soldier to become general just because of his German last name. He did this in thinking the last name would influence the Germans to vote for him.

 Zach– Today on our tour, I learned that regiments were often combined of men all from the same municipality. This was because many men from a city volunteered together, whether it was choice or by pressure. Their regiment would then be given a title, often starting with the number of their group followed by the name of their state (ex. The 2nd Wisconsin Regiment). Also, I found it interesting that many men fighting for the Union thought very highly of Robert E. Lee.

 Jack– Today a professor of military history gave us a tour of the battlefield at Gettysburg. Although the sequence of events during the battle was interesting, I most enjoyed learning about the logistics and military tactics of the time. The main point that I took away from the experience was how big of an impact their communication made.

 Quinn– Even though this is my third visit to Gettysburg, I am still surprised by the amount of new information that I learned today. The insight given to us by our tour guide Chris Hamner shed a lot of light on the concept of the motivation of soldiers during the war. When we lined up in a mock battle line, we learned how hard it is to march and stay in formation even against gun and cannon fire. The strength and resolution of the soldiers on both sides is incredibly impressive and the motivation was incredibly strong.

 Jacob– The battlefield at Gettysburg hosted a pivotal event in the history of the United States. Likewise, this hallowed ground allowed me to reach a new understanding of my own life, through the lens of the American Civil War. I found that this battle can teach much to those who seek the knowledge it offers. Our guide, Professor Christopher Hamner of George Mason University, showed us how, as part of the Army War College, he gives lessons on leadership, strategy, perspective, equality and human nature in the context of the Battle of Gettysburg. He taught us these lessons as we recounted the bravery and loss of the conflict here.

George – Today on our tours, I have learned that Grant got sick of hearing about Robert E. Lee got him annoyed. Grant changed the attitudes of his subordinates by telling them to focus on what they will do against Lee instead of what he will do to them.

 Donovan– Being in the town of Gettysburg and learning about the battle between the Union and the Confederates opened my eyes to the affects it had on the civilians around them. Earlier today in the museum, I learned that civilians who lived in Gettysburg would risk anything to help the Union army fight the confederates. They would risk the destruction of their own property to aid the Union Army. This shows how people were so dedicated to the war and implies that not just the soldiers were at risk, but also the people that supported them.


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