Civil War diorama: Gettysburg on June 30, 1863, Part 2


A model passenger train sits at the Gettysburg Depot in this photograph by Larry Reber from of the Union Drummer Boy’s HO scale diorama of the town of Gettysburg on June 30, 1863. The actual last train from Gettysburg that afternoon carried several government officials to safety, as well as those citizens who wished to leave the area to avoid having to stay in their homes during the impending combat. Many of Gettysburg’s residents had already fled, although more than a thousand are estimated to have been present during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1-4.

Background post: Civil War diorama: Gettysburg on June 30, 1863

As mentioned in the previous post, this classic diorama dates from the early 1960s from the Charley Weaver Museum and is still be best 3D rendition of Gettysburg as it may have looked during the Civil War. However, the diorama is rife with factual errors, including the above scene. The train station was not painted a reddish color; see my previous post on the model diorama of the 1863 Gettysburg train station. The model uses a stock locomotive; it is not of the same make and model as what the actual railroad used in 1863, and it is painted in the livery of the Baltimore & Ohio RR instead of the Gettysburg Railroad. Still, for all of its faults, the diorama is well worth a look the next time you are in Gettysburg. Stop by the Union Drummer Boy on Baltimore Street.


A wider view of the train station and locomotive in the overall diorama. This general area is where part of the Union XI Corps retreated into Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, closely pursued by Doles’ Georgia brigade and the westernmost regiments of the Louisiana Tigers. Brig. Gen. Harry Hays reported his Tigers paused at the railroad tracks to reform their battle line before sweeping into the town.


Buford’s column was accompanied by Battery A, 2nd U.S. Artillery, a Regular Army unit that had been assigned to duty with the Union Army of the Potomac as horse artillery. Captain John Calef commanded the battery.


Carlisle Street (today’s Business U,S, 15) runs left to right in this photograph. Much of the Day 1 battlefield was well off to the left of this diorama, and the Day 2 and 3 fields to the right.

In the foreground is one of Gettysburg’s many alleyways, many of which were scenes of individual combat during the XI and I Corps’ hasty retreat toward Cemetery Hill. I cover this fighting in Volume 2 of Brothers Divided, the new series of Gettysburg-related scenario books from Ivor Janci for use with his Brother Against Brother and similar miniature wargaming rules sets.


Here is the map legend which hangs above the diorama on a northern-facing wall in the Union Drummer Boy.  Tim Smith of the Adams County Historical Society is working on what may be the best map depicting Gettysburg in 1863. Another map rendition is in the Rupp House, the headquarters for the Friends of Gettysburg.

Categories: Civil War dioramas, Civil War toys, Gettysburg | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Civil War diorama: Gettysburg on June 30, 1863, Part 2

  1. Anonymous

    sweet diorama. its real nicee

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