The day started off slowly in Newport, which allowed my to get in half an hour sunbathing in the garden. At around 13:00 we set off down the road to Gettsyburg. This is the home to one of the bloody and most decisive battles of the American Civil War. The battle took place 149 years ago, July 1st to July 4th.
At the National Military Park visitor centre we took in a short film on the battle and its place in history. This was narrated by who else but Morgan Freeman. After the film we went up to the Cyclorama. This is a 360 degree painting of the last day of the battle when Picketts charge took place. With lighting effects & sound effects they bring the picture to life. In here once again my shirt caught the attention of one of the staff members who which to purchase one for himself. This shirt which I purchased from Macy's in New York has the union jack on the front and the stars and stripes on the back. From the Museum bookstore we purchased an audio tour CD. This audio tour takes you round the town to the main area of the battles and skirimishes that took place all those years ago. You drive in your own vehicle to the very places that the battles took place. In fact many of the roads around Gettsyburg follow troop movements that took place in the battle. This allows the audio tour to really bring to life what happend. The tour itself lasted two and half hours, and really allowed you a great deal of understanding of how much this conflict and divided this new nation and its people.
To get back to Charlottesville we still had another three and a half hours in the car. On the way back we stopped off in Haggerstown to go to a fast food restaurant called Five Guys. Five Guys specialises in Burger and Fries which could not have been more appropriate for the 4th of July.
The drive back was certainly eventful as we were surrounded by thunderstorms with lightning dancing in the sky. At one stage the temperatue dropped 10 degrees inside 20mins. Thankfully through we were able to press on. With around 35miles left to go Allen handed over driving duties to myself. By this time he had been behind the wheel for nine hours, which was an immense effort.
We arrived back in Charlottesville just before midnight all in need of a good nights sleep.