Gettysburg Timelines -- Important Things to keep in Mind

The many thousands of pages of history focused on the battle of Gettysburg are not 21st Century friendly to “the clock”. Written narratives with respect to time frequently read “around mid-day”, “in the early morning”, or “not too long after dusk”. Authors, when using official reports or historical letters, to tell their version of the battle, seldom find specific times in those documents; and in cases where references to specific times are found, they are based on after-the-fact recollection and pocket time pieces that were seldom in synch across the fighting units.

In the absence of historically precise times, most maps depicting troop movement and conflict reference the time as a range such as “4:30 – 5:15”, or “6:00 – 6:30”. Often the historical experts disagree here as well.


Our purpose of having timelines within our APP is not to initiate debate, but rather to point the user to a “Tick” within our 20-hour day, wherein they will see the described action. While we do encourage comments regarding “times” that you might find contrary to some battle narratives, keep in mind that within the APP the action (and time) is in the context of the entire battlefield. There are over 430,000 moving parts and getting them all to fit together is a gigantic puzzle. That puzzle could, and no doubt will be, the subject of an endless series of refinements with respect to not only start and stop times, but movement speeds and distance, and duration of engagements. 

While we think we’ve done a pretty good job of making it all work to this point, keep in mind that our timelines are intended to assist users in “finding” unit actions with the APP. So, go stand in the Wheatfield or Peach Orchard, and discover and think about how many thousands of men, horses and cannon traversed the subject fields during the course of the day’s fighting at that spot.

Log in to the APP and turn on the “Location” function. Over 275 “yellow” location labels will appear.  Any label followed by an asterisk (*) will have a hyperlink to this webpage with a detailed listing of “What Happened Here” and the corresponding times that said action can be viewed within the APP.  

Have fun!