Updated May 26, 2023
About Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg’s history is influenced by the fight, which took place on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863. Gettysburg National Military Park preserves that history today. Few people think about the history of the Military Park and the labor that went into its ongoing upkeep.
A Supreme Court ruling, a contentious tower, and a long-forgotten FantasyLand are all part of the GNMP’s past. The GNMP influenced the Gettysburg region and Adams County’s history.
The GNMP’s early history follows that of the National Cemetery. Likewise, David McConaughy and David Wills bought land in 1863 for a National Cemetery consecrated later the same year on November 19 by Abraham Lincoln in his inaugural address.
On May 1, 1872, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery passed the federal government. On April 30, 1864, David McConaughy and other significant local businesses founded the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association. Its stated goal was “to hold and protect the Gettysburg battlegrounds… Memorial structures, and to honor noble achievements.”
Major General GK Warren
- Main army Engineers surveyed the combat fields between 1868 and 1869.
- The Minnesota Urn was the first monument erected in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. It was constructed in 1867 to commemorate fallen colleagues by 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment members.
- The marble tablet atop Little Round Top, which marked the location of General Strong Vincent’s grave, was the first memorial monument constructed outside of the cemetery.
- A memorial at the Wheatfield commemorated Colonel Fred Taylor’s death. The 2nd Massachusetts Infantry received the first regimental memorial erected in the GNMP. It was made of metal and stone and installed near the battleground of Spangler’s Spring. Some monuments, of course, sparked debate.
- The most well-known conflict involved the 72nd Pennsylvania Volunteers. They stated they battled in a forward position near the “Bloody Angle” at the top of a stone wall but that their tomb was too far beyond. The “Bloody Angle” was born out of this disagreement. The regiment was finally given a front position after an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
- In May 1893, Secretary of the Interior Daniel S. Lamont and President Abraham Lincoln established the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission to build a National Military Park in Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Battleground Memorial Association surrendered its property to the Federal Government, and the United States War Department took over the battlefield.
- The Gettysburg Electric Train Company intended to train lines over the battlefield the following year, which resulted in another Supreme Court dispute. According to a United States Supreme Court ruling on January 27, 1896, private property could be criticized for protecting the GNMP.
- There have been numerous presidential dedications over the years, and the town received 2,041,378 tourists on the hundredth anniversary of the war.
Visiting the Battlefield and the Park
- More men died during the War of Gettysburg than at any other battle. These peaceful undulating pastures now pay mute homage to this sacrifice. Many Union troops died here, interred in Soldiers’ National Cemetery, where Abraham Lincoln presented the Gettysburg Address, saluting the warriors who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
- Gettysburg has been the subject of much writing and discussion. The battlefield, which looks much like it did in 1863, is the most significant tangible link to three days in July. Fences, hills, rocks, artillery, and even monuments provide opportunities to contemplate and attempt to comprehend what occurred here.
- Begin the journey at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Conference Center, where one may see the Gettysburg Museum of a Revolutionary War and the film “A New Birth of Freedom.” A bookstore, museum store, food service, certified battleground guide, events, and touring Eisenhower National Historic Site knowledge are also available.
- Follow the Self-guiding Auto Tour to tour the battlefield. Driving around the battlefield takes two to three hours. Most of the numbered locations have displays and tablets that describe significant battle actions from the three days of the conflict.
- During the summer, park rangers deliver talks about the fight and its impact on soldiers, civilians, and the nation. Walking the battlefield and getting a sense of the area remains the most excellent way to gain insight into what transpired here.
- The National Cemetery Trail starts and finishes at the National Cemetery driveway. , where Union troops had buried, and Abraham Lincoln presented the Gettysburg Address.
Regulations and Safety Recommendations of Gettysburg National Military Park
- The visitor center does not allow bags or backpacks for protection reasons. Please store them in the trunks or somewhere else in the vehicle. Check the park’s website for gun rules.
- Monuments and cannons denote sites and commemorate tremendous sacrifices. They are priceless historical artifacts. Please appreciate and contribute to their preservation. Do not stand, climb, or hang from them.
- Historic architecture, displays, flora, wildlife, and metals must all be left alone. Collecting relics or using a detector in the park is illegal—only picnic in designated places. On park roads, use utmost caution, especially at frequently frequented crossings. Follow speed limits.
- Be cautious at blind corners and on one-way streets. Park only in specified locations or on the pavement; do not park on the grass or the shoulders. Bicyclists ride on the right and with traffic. Keep a close eye on children, especially near roadways and monuments.