On this page, Civil War historian Matthew Pinsker leads a unique “teacher’s tour” of the Gettysburg National Military Park in a series of short videos that emphasize human stories and teachable insights. These multi-media clips, designed especially for use in secondary and undergraduate classrooms, provide a brief overview of the 1863 Pennsylvania campaign as well as distinct sections on each of the three days of the pivotal battle (July 1-3, 1863). There is also a concise tour of the Soldiers National Cemetery where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863) and which features some powerful and largely unknown stories about Lincoln’s great speech. Each video comes with supporting handouts that are free to use for non-commercial, educational purposes.
Introduction and Campaign Overview –Video = 4:26 min. Pinsker discusses the last Blue-Gray reunion in 1938 and provides essential background to understanding Lee’s 1863 raid into Pennsylvania. Locations: Eternal Light Peace Memorial, Oak Hill.
Supporting Handouts –Gettysburg Maps
Day One –Video = 4:15 min. Pinsker discusses fighting near Oak Hill on July 1, Union cavalry commander John Bufurd’s shrewd use of terrain on the west side of town, retreat of the Union 11th Corps from Barlow’s Knoll, and the story of Amos Humiston, a Union sergeant who died holding a photograph of his children. Locations: Oak Hill and Stratton Street, Gettysburg
Supporting Handouts –Gettysburg Day 1 // Amos Humiston
Day Two –Video = 16 min. Pinsker discusses Robert E. Lee and arguments with Confederate corps commander James Longstreet, organization of Union and Confederate armies, college professor Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the fighting on Little Round Top as well as the inspiring story of the Taylor Brothers (both teachers) and the sacrifices of the First Minnesota on July 2, 1863. Locations: Virginia Monument, Seminary Ridge, Little Round Top, First Minnesota Monument, and Leister Farmhouse (Meade’s headquarters).
Supporting Handouts –Gettysburg Day 2 // Bureau of Military Information
Day Three: Video = 5:32 min. Pinsker analyzes the stories behind Pickett’s Charge on July 3 and the entire rationale of Lee’s risky raid into Pennsylvania in 1863. Location: Confederate “High Water Mark” on Cemetery Ridge.
Supporting Handouts –Gettysburg Day 3 // Understanding Lincoln’s Map
Gettysburg Address: Video = 9:31 min. Pinsker provides background and analysis of Lincoln’s celebrated Gettysburg Address, detailing some of the lesser known sources for the phrasing in the speech, including the powerful story of Sam and Bayard Wilkeson, a father and son who were present at the battle. Location: Soldiers’ National Cemetery.
Supporting Handouts — Gettysburg Address Revisions // Sam Wilkeson