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The 155 Gettysburg guides are licensed by the National Park Service and are the only people allowed to give paid tours of the Gettysburg battlefield.

Park rangers at Gettysburg and Antietam also give programs on the battles, but their offerings are restricted by their numbers — just 18 year-round rangers at Gettysburg and six at Antietam.

“We’re limited by the fact that we have to respond to everybody and kind of give a general overview of the battle,” Antietam Superintendent John W. Howard said. “Now we have an option. We can say, ‘Get hold of the guide service.’ ”