History buffs will want to check out every detail in the new Gettysburg Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

Some of the artifacts will be new. Others will be familiar from the current center.

Here are five artifacts that you may want to slow down and appreciate:

--- This is a sapling crutch used by Pvt. George Kistler of the 140th Pennsylvania Infantry.

He pulled a sapling from the ground at the peach orchard and used it as a crutch to get to a medical station.

He then carved an armrest at one end so he could continue to use it while he recuperated.

--- This black felt slouch hat was worn by Union Gen. Abner Doubleday during the Battle of Gettysburg.

He was slightly wounded on July 3, 1863, by an artillery burst, which hit him in the neck. The hat shows the tear from the shell fragment.

--- The Journal of Death was kept by Dr. John Wiley O'Neal, a Gettysburg physician who oversaw the burial of Confederate soldiers from the Battle of Gettysburg.

It helped families identify the location of their loved ones a decade later when the Confederate dead were moved to Southern cemeteries.

--- Mary Himes Fox of New Bethlehem, Pa., made this patriotic apron to wear to the railroad station to say goodbye to her husband when he headed off to war with the Union Army.

--- A Gettysburg resident found this Valentine, "One Home One Heart," with a message on the back after the battle.

It reads: "July 2nd, 1863. Mr. Yankee: Your house is not torn up at all, compared with the way your Soldier did at Fredericksburg.


I only killed one goose + took one pair stocking. Rebel."

-- Compiled by Teresa Ann Boeckel, staff writer