I've had the ambition for several years to walk from the northern suburbs of Washington, DC to Gettysburg, retracing the footsteps of the army. I attempted this in 2011, and nearly made it all the way. I didn't have enough time.
I planned to do it in July 2013, the actual 150th, and even made tentative plans to do so with my friend Jonathan S., but alas I was in Korea at the time. (He's been having a hard time recently, a kind of frustration about being low on the chain in the post-2008 economy, flailing around and not getting ahead. I know more than a few people in that position.)
Around the early 1990s, my dad read the now-classic book Killer Angels, an account of the battle. Although written like fiction, it is essentially nonfiction. There were a couple trips to Gettysburg inspired by that book (I guess). I was too young to appreciate the trips, or much remember them. I remember cassette tapes being played. More driving than walking. Maybe the trip was a stop-off on route to Iowa (where my father's family lived/lives). That seems likely.
Later, in the mid-1990s, in one of the final years of his life, my mother's father also read the book Killer Angels. This may be an incorrect memory, but I remember him reading it at my aunt's house in Chester, CT. A memory I am more sure of is that he finished it in one day, from cover to cover. I was amazed at the time. How could anyone finish a book in one day! I thought. It is several hundred pages.
I finally read that book, too, in 2012. I bought it in Korea. I spent all of 2012 in Korea. The author of that book immortalized the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment and its commander, Colonel (later General) Joshua Chamberlain, who was an academic, a professor, before the war, and spoke several languages.
Related: I wrote in post-103 about Lincoln's humility displayed in his correspondence with General Grant, along with my amateur social analysis of American personality virtues
Related: I wrote in post-102 about the man who may well be the worst commander of the U.S. Civil War.
Related: I wrote in post-14 about a 'relative' who was killed at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862. I consider him to be the first person bearing my surname to have lived in the USA, and will continue to think so until I see contrary evidence.