1 - 2 Hours
One Per Person
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Seminary Ridge Gettysburg Battlefield Tour
Welcome to the self-guided walking tour of Seminary Ridge, where the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg played out. Union and Confederate soldiers battled ferociously to control this strategic ridge and its make-shift seminary hospital, while brave civilians did their best to keep their families safe. The walking tour transports you to July 1863, to view this bloody battleground from the generals’ eyes calling out orders, the soldiers fighting for their lives, and the civilians caught in the crossfire. This Seminary Ridge Gettysburg Battlefield Tour lets you explore the historic Gettysburg battlefield with maximum flexibility, safety, and value.
About the Tour
This audio and GPS walking tour takes you into America’s embattled past atop the historic Seminary Ridge. We’ll begin our journey in the seminary center, by the Seminary Ridge Museum, and work our way out from there. First, we’ll dive into the institution’s long history and its importance to the town of Gettysburg.
As you walk the hallowed paths, we’ll put you into the shoes of a seminary student back in the 1800s and introduce you to what life looked like before war came to the town. You’ll also hear some insights into the Iroquois who once occupied this land, whom General Robert E. Lee respected immensely.
You’ll see the home of the seminary’s founder, Samuel Schmucker, and learn why he was practically an outcast among the Lutheran community.
Next on the Seminary Ridge Gettysburg Battlefield tour, feel the tension in the air as the townsfolk rush to read the news every day, watching the war draws ever closer to their front doors. Headlines like “Lee Invades the North” and “Confederates Advancing toward Gettysburg” do not bode well for our townspeople.
Follow the battle lines drawn by both sides and hear how the explosive battle began. Then, the seminary building became an impromptu Union hospital when the fighting started going south.
Then, follow the struggle blow-by-blow, from the fighting atop McPherson’s Ridge to the Confederate assault on the seminary itself. Become a fly on the wall in the command outposts of Generals Buford and Ewell as they vie for control of the battlefield.
But it wasn’t just soldiers fighting during the battle. Visit the home of John Burns, a feisty older man who decided if the Union couldn’t fend off the Confederates, he’d do it himself!
Toward the end of the path, we’ll survey the final bursts of combat for an overview of the aftermath of all the bloodshed–both for the seminary and the Union. Our Seminary Ridge Gettysburg Battlefield tour will conclude back where it began.
Starting Point Address: 111 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Park Services has closed Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, and Wheatfield for a few months. So, you will not be able to visit them in person. But, you will still be able to hear their stories on the detour route. Click here for park services detour info.
What You'll See
The Seminary Comes to Gettysburg
Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center
Life as a Seminary Student
Valentine Hall & Iroquois Confederacy
Samuel Simon Schmucker : Leader of American Lutherans
Daniel Alexander Payne
Crisis Comes to Seminary's Backdoor
The Cupola & The Impromptu Hospital
The Battle of McPherson's Ridge
The Confederate Assault
Generals of Seminary Ridge
Elsie Singmaster and John L. Burns
Confederate Prisoners of War
Civilians of Seminary Ridge
Gauntlet of Retreat & Aftermath
Preview the Tour
Welcome Audio Story
Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center Audio Story
On July 1, 1863, Seminary Ridge was the site of Battle of Gettysburg as well as a Pitzer Woods engagement on July 2.
Seminary Ridge was a Battle of Gettysburg site in July 1863.
On July 1, 1863, the seminary on a ridge northwest of Gettysburg was the centre of the critical Battle of Gettysburg. The seminary was named after the now-iconic Seminary Ridge, where the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia formed its line of battle for the later actions on the second and third days of the battle.
The Gettysburg Seminary served the church as a pioneer in theological education, establishing among Lutheran seminaries the first faculty position in Christian Education in 1926, the first teacher in sociology and psychology in 1942, and the first in stewardship in 1989.
Changing travel date? No worries! All individual tours come with lifetime validity.
The tour works offline, so you do not need your phone network to enjoy the tour. However, we suggest you download the tour on WiFi at your home, hotel, visitor center, etc., before heading out for a completely immersive experience.
Not an Entry Ticket
This is not an entry ticket to any of the attractions along the way.
Carry a Portable Phone Charger
We Recommend carrying a portable power bank to avoid running out of charge during your tour.
How many tours should I buy?
Since this is a walking tour, we suggest you buy one tour per person for the best experience.
What do we do?
Simply put, Action Tour Guide is an audio guide, map, and tour book – all in one app! We are a GPS-enabled app-based tour that narrates information based on your location right on your phone. You can experience our driving and walking tours at your own pace and literally at any time of the day!