If you’re looking for information about the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum, you’re in the right place!
Gettysburg’s newest history museum tells the stories of local residents before, during, and after the epic Civil War battle that took place there.
Unlike the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum, which does an exceptional job of recounting the military events of the 3-day battle, the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum focuses more on civilian experiences.
The result is an engaging collection of exhibits, artifacts, short films, and immersive experiences that illustrate what the townspeople of Gettysburg dealt with during the battle and in the days, months and years afterwards.
Touring the Museum
The Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum is made up of 12 galleries, laid out in chronological fashion.
What follows is a brief overview of what you can expect to see when you visit the museum, which illustrates the rich history of Gettysburg and Adams County before, during, and after the Civil War.
The museum will have it’s grand opening on April 15th, 2023 – I was invited (along with a handful of other writers) to a sneak preview in March 2023, hosted by the fine folks at Destination Gettysburg.
Before the Civil War
Your visit to the museum begins with an overview of the natural history of the Gettysburg area, an overview that goes back millions of years and includes artifacts like a real meteorite and a real dinosaur footprint, both recovered in Adams County.
You’ll also encounter a replica of the iconic Devil’s Den rock formation, presented not in terms of its military significance on the Gettysburg battlefield, but in terms of it’s geological significance.
The Native Americans that once thrived in this region are represented in a gallery that is well-appointed with artifacts recovered from Indigenous communities in Adams County.
The founding of Gettysburg is one of topics examined in the Revolutionary America gallery.
This original animal hide lot map used to lay out the town of Gettysburg is an amazing link to the origins of this historic town.
During the Civil War
Civil War-related exhibits make their first appearance roughly halfway through your tour of the museum, where the stories of local residents who answered the call of duty are told through photos, journals, and other artifacts.
The “Caught in the Crossfire” exhibit is an immersive sight and sound experience, where visitors will see, hear, and feel what it might have been like to be trapped in your home as the battle raged between Union and Confederate troops on the streets of Gettysburg.
The enormous clean-up effort after the Battle of Gettysburg receives a good deal of attention, with plenty of artillery shells, musket balls, and other found objects on display.
Four months after the Battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln famously came to town to help dedicate the new Soldiers’ National Cemetery, created as a final resting place for Union soldiers killed in action during the battle.
This original program from that ceremony where Lincoln gave what would become known as “The Gettysburg Address” is one of the rarest artifacts on display at the museum.
After the Civil War
The exhibits dealing with the history of Gettysburg after the Civil War will be eye opening to many people, as those stories have received far less attention than the Battle of Gettysburg itself.
For example, did you know that during World War I, the Gettysburg battlefield became home to “Camp Colt,” the first and only Tank School in the United States at that time?
Or that during World War II, the Gettysburg battlefield near where “Pickett’s Charge” took place became a POW camp for 500 German prisoners?
In addition to the post-Civil War history of Gettysburg, there are several exhibits dealing with the evolution of industry and agriculture in Adams County.
Hours and Directions
During the busy March – October tourist season, the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum is open Thursday from 10 am – 9 pm, and Friday – Monday from 10 am – 5 pm (from November – February the museum will be open Friday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm).
The museum will operate on a timed-ticketing system, with 15 visitors entering the museum every 15 minutes – it is recommended that visitors reserve their tickets in advance.
The museum is located at 625 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325, less than one mile north of the town square.
General admission is $15, with discounts available for seniors, youth, and Adams County residents.
Parking is FREE and the facility is fully ADA-compliant.
For more information about the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum, please visit the Adams County Historical Society’s OFFICIAL WEBSITE.
The Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg is the final resting place for more than 3,500 Union soldiers killed in the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as American veterans of subsequent wars.
10 Must-See Attractions in Gettysburg is a list of what I feel are 10 of the best things to see and do in Gettysburg, based upon my own personal experiences visiting the town.
Sachs Covered Bridge was crossed by both Union AND Confederate troops during the Battle of Gettysburg, and was designated “Pennsylvania’s most historic covered bridge” in 1938 by the PA Department of Highways.
The historic Round Barn near Gettysburg is one of the most interesting and beautiful barns in Pennsylvania!
Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium near Gettysburg just may be the best elephant-themed roadside attraction in Pennsylvania!
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