Published on: November 6th, 2023

Gettysburg Reflections

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The morning of October 28th found the WHIP students gathered on the fourth-floor library of Hillsdale’s Kirby Center gearing up for their day trip to Gettysburg, PA.
Over breakfast, Dr. Allen Guelzo, a professor at Princeton University and Civil War historian, shared with the students the events of the battle and its significance to the war, the nation, and
democracy. He described in gripping prose the “Waterloo of the Civil War” and the impact it had on Southern troops, Union moral, and the preputial existence of liberty and equality.
After their session with Dr. Guelzo, the group split into two buses for the two-hour drive to the battlefield. The roads were lined with the most brilliant fall foliage highlighted by the bright sunshine of a lovely fall day. PA Octobers are simply stunning.
Upon arrival, the group filed into the movie theatre for a brief film on the Battle of Gettysburg. Morgan Freeman narrated the events of the three-day battle, reiterating Dr. Guelzo’s lecture. The film was followed by viewing the cyclorama. This detailed panoramic painting of the battle illustrated Pickett’s final charge on day three of Gettysburg. It was easily one of the highlights of the trip.
After a pit stop for lunch and gift shopping, the students loaded back into their buses for an automobile tour of the battlefield itself. The roadside was littered with Gettysburg worm fences, red and yellow leaves, and stone memorials dedicated to the various divisions of soldiers who fought in the battle. The buses stopped at the Eternal Light Peace Memorial where the tour guide Jim pointed out first day battlelines, key locations, and Union strongholds. He then led the group to the tall Pennsylvanian Memorial from the top of which the students could see far and wide.
After a long day at the site, the group traveled back to Kirby and finished out their day having witnessed an important piece of American history.

About Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale in D.C. is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College to Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to teach the Constitution and the principles that give it meaning. Through the study of original source documents from American history—and of older books that formed the education of America’s founders—it seeks to inspire students, teachers, citizens, and policymakers to return the America’s principles to their central place in the political life of the nation.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.7 million. For more information, visit