Exploring the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum

Exploring the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.

If you’re looking for information about the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum, you’re in the right place!

Exterior of the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum and the Adams County Historical Society headquarters in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Exterior of the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum and the Adams County Historical Society headquarters.

Gettysburg’s newest history museum tells the stories of local residents before, during, and after the epic Civil War battle that took place there.

Exhibit featuring citizen-soldier John Burns at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Exhibit featuring 69 year-old Gettysburg resident and citizen-soldier John Burns.

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 Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.
The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum focuses on the military history of the 3-day battle.

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.

An exhibit related to locals gathering battlefield relics at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
An exhibit showing locals gathering battlefield relics to sell to tourists immediately following the Battle of Gettysburg.

Touring the Museum

The Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum is made up of 12 galleries, laid out in chronological fashion.

Samuel Getty's Tavern exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Samuel Getty’s Tavern exhibit.

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.

Prominent residents of Gettysburg exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Prominent residents of Gettysburg exhibit.

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.

Martin Sheen's hand-written notes on his copy of the script from the movie Gettysburg at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
An original script from the movie “Gettysburg” on display at the museum.

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.

Actual dinosaur footprints discovered in Adams County and now on display at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Actual dinosaur footprints discovered 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.

Natural History exhibit about Devil's Den at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Natural history exhibit about Devil’s Den at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.

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.

Native Americans exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Native Americans exhibit.

The founding of Gettysburg is one of topics examined in the Revolutionary America gallery.

The Founding of Gettysburg exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
The Founding of Gettysburg exhibit.

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.

The original Gettysburg lot map on display at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
The original Gettysburg lot map, drawn on animal hide.

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.

Civil War artifacts on display at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Civil War artifacts at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.

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 Caught in the Crossfire sight and sound experience at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
The “Caught in the Crossfire” sight and sound experience.

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.

Relics recovered from a local farm after the battle on display at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Relics recovered from a local farm after the Battle of Gettysburg.

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.

Lincoln at Gettysburg exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Lincoln at Gettysburg exhibit.

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.

An original program from the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery on display at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
An original program from the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

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.

Early tourism exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Early tourism exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.

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?

Gettysburg during World War I exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Gettysburg during World War I exhibit.

Or that during World War II, the Gettysburg battlefield near where “Pickett’s Charge” took place became a POW camp for 500 German prisoners?

Gettysburg POW camp during World War II exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Gettysburg POW camp during World War II exhibit.

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.

The Fruit Belt exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
The Fruit Belt exhibit.

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).

Entrance sign along Biglerville Road at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Museum entrance sign along Biglerville Road.

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.

Hosting the President exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Hosting the President exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.

The museum is located at 625 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325, less than one mile north of the town square.

A road map to the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Adams County Pennsylvania.
A road map to the museum, just north of downtown Gettysburg.

General admission is $15, with discounts available for seniors, youth, and Adams County residents.

Book store and gift shop at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Book store and gift shop at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.

Parking is FREE and the facility is fully ADA-compliant.

Towns and villages of Adams County exhibit at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.
Towns and villages of Adams County exhibit.

For more information about the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum, please visit the Adams County Historical Society’s OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

Adams County Historical Society t-shirts and hoodies for sale at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.
Adams County Historical Society t-shirts and hoodies for sale at the Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.

Nearby Attractions

Exploring the Battlefield at the Gettysburg National Military Park is your guide to the 6,000 acre park that preserves a large portion of the ground on which one of the defining events in our nation’s history took place.

Exploring the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Scenes from the Gettysburg National Military Park.

The Gettysburg Museum of History is home to thousands of unusual artifacts and atypical antiquities from American history, and admission is FREE!

A photo collage from the Gettysburg Museum of History in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Top left shows the museum's street sign featuring an eagle and proclaiming 'FREE MUSEUM'. Top right depicts an exhibit with Civil War artifacts, including portraits and a chair. Bottom left is an interior view with various memorabilia and a large presidential seal. Bottom right presents military uniforms and World War memorabilia. Each image displays a part of the rich historical collection of the museum.
Scenes from the Gettysburg Museum of History.

The Seminary Ridge Museum interprets the history of the Battle of Gettysburg from the museum’s setting inside a building which served as both an observation post and a hospital during and after that battle.

Exploring the Seminary Ridge Museum in Gettysburg PA
Scenes from the Seminary Ridge Museum.

The Gettysburg Diorama & History Center recreates the famous Civil War battle using one of the largest military dioramas in the United States.

This collage features four images from the Gettysburg Diorama and History Center. The first image shows the stone-clad exterior with the center's signage. The second image provides an overview of the extensive battlefield diorama with visitors observing the scene. The third image is a close-up of the diorama, depicting a battle with miniature soldiers. The fourth image displays a life-size exhibit with a mannequin soldier in Union uniform standing beside a horse, enclosed by a white picket fence. Together, these images capture the educational and immersive experience offered by the center.
Scenes from the Gettysburg Diorama and History Center.

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.

The graves of unknown Union soldiers with the New York Monument in the background.
The graves of unknown Union soldiers at the National Cemetery in Gettysburg.

The Jennie Wade House is a historic landmark and museum that memorializes the life and untimely death of Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg.

A photo collage from the Jennie Wade House in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Top left is the house's exterior with the statue of Jennie Wade. Top right shows a tour guide in period attire inside the house. Bottom left depicts a bedroom with a bed and a quilt. Bottom right is the establishment sign of the Jennie Wade House from 1901.
Scenes from the Jennie Wade House.

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.

Exploring Sachs Covered Bridge in Adams County Pennsylvania.
Scenes from Sachs Covered Bridge near Gettysburg.

12 Must-See Attractions in Gettysburg  is a list of what I feel are 12 of the best things to see and do in Gettysburg, based upon my own personal experiences visiting the town.

10 must-see attractions in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
11 Must-See Attractions in Gettysburg.

The historic Round Barn near Gettysburg is one of the most interesting and beautiful barns in Pennsylvania!

Exploring the Historic Round Barn near Gettysburg Pennsylvania
The historic Round Barn near Gettysburg.

Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium near Gettysburg just may be the best elephant-themed roadside attraction in Pennsylvania!

An elephant-themed water garden in front of Mister Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium.
Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium on Route 30 just west of Gettysburg.

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Rusty Glessner
Rusty Glessner is a professional photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and a frequently-cited authority on PA's best travel destinations.