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Honors LLC Gettysburg Trip

Honors students learn about history at Gettysburg, Penn.
At Gettysburg, WVU Honors students learn how a Civil War cannon crew worked together.

By Hunter Moore

I had never had the opportunity to travel to the historical battlefield at Gettysburg, so, naturally, I lept at the chance to make the trip with the Honors College this past Saturday, Sept. 29. 

Lead by Drs. Jason Phillips and David Hauser, professors of Civil War Studies and Political Science respectively, Dean Blemings and Dr. Gooding of the Honors College, and Jeremiah Kibler and Jason Neal, Residence Hall Coordinators for Honors and Lincoln Halls, I and 40 other Honors College first-year students stretched our learning outside of the classroom and lecture hall to visit one of the most famous sites of the Civil War.

Rather than simply studying passages and accounts of this battle that would eventually turn the conflict in favor of the Union, we placed ourselves in the integral situations of the infamous battle, even going so far as to recreate the firing process of a period-piece cannon and the unsuccessful Confederate assault on the opposing federal forces (Pickett's Charge). 

Our experiences were given context by a tour of the on-site museum, and a walk through the Gettysburg Military Cemetery.

It is not often that the events of 150 years ago can be made tangible — however with this trip, I found myself following the footsteps of those who I had previously read about in history books.

— Hunter Moore, Honors College, WVU Class of 2022

2018 battlefield command that was probably NOT heard at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863: "Re-form your lines on the other side of the puddle!"

Dr. Phillips speaking with students in a forest clearing.

Dr. Phillips talks to the group about the vital stand of the 20th Maine Regiment at Little Round Top (and how important a group of mutineers from the 2nd Maine was to that stand).