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Walking the Battle: Gettysburg

  • 06/01/2024
  • 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA
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To honor the 161st anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Cornell and Columbia/Barnard Clubs of Washington present an all-day guided bus trip to the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Our guide will be Cornell Professor David Silbey, a Cornell alumnus and military historian who has published widely on modern warfare and has long experience walking the Gettysburg battlefield.

Professor Silbey says "Gettysburg is perhaps the most important battle in American military history, fought in the middle year of the most important war in US military history.  It has become both a defining historical event and overwhelming cultural memory for Americans.  The best way to understand why and how is to go to the battlefield itself, understand the armies that fought there and the ground they fought on, and find out what brought the armies to central Pennsylvania that hot July week.

On this trip, we will look at that battlefield, understand its geography and location and trace through the elements of the battle - how they occurred, how they were experienced, and how they were understood then and long after.  Finally, we will talk about the legend of Gettysburg and how it became an iconic moment in American history, one that belonged to Union and Confederate alike."

David Silbey is the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Cornell in Washington program and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Cornell History Department. Dr. Silbey specializes in the industrialized total wars of the 20th century and the asymmetric responses (guerrilla warfare, insurgency, and terrorism) to those wars. He has written books on the British Army in World War I, the Philippine-American War, the Boxer Rebellion in China, and US military encounters with non-western nations.  He is the series editor for Cornell University Press’ military history series “Battlegrounds:  Cornell Studies in Military History.”  Dr. Silbey got his Ph.D at Duke University and his BA at Cornell University.

Please note:

  • Seats are limited.
  • Tour at battlefield includes riding bus and walking on uneven ground and climbing stairs.
  • Ticket-holders may join/leave the tour at the Gettysburg Visitor Center (but ticket price remains the same).
  • Admission to the Visitor Center's museum gallery, film and cyclorama program is extra.


Pickup (Washington) - Westfield Montgomery Mall
Mall Location Map
7101 Democracy Blvd  Bethesda, MD 20817
Parking Map

Gettysburg - Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center
1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325

CCW member - $70
ColumbiaDC/Barnard member - $70

Tickets are $70 per person for Club members only (plus one guest). 

Ticket includes:

  • Roundtrip chartered coach from the DC area.
  • Free all-day parking at pickup site.
  • Complimentary cold drinks and snacks served aboard.
  • Buffet lunch adjacent to the battlefield.


Jim Schoonmaker (Cornell)

Steve Piekarec (Cornell)

Kambiz Rahnavardy (Columbia)

The Gettysburg Address, by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

   "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

   Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

   But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
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