Gettysburg National Military Park

In the summer of 1863, the farming community of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, became the site of the bloodiest battle in the Civil War. The fierce fighting left 51,000 casualties in its wake, turning farm fields into graveyards and churches into hospitals. The battlefield's first visitors were thousands of relatives searching for dead and wounded soldiers.

The preservation of the battlefield and the establishment of Gettysburg National Cemetery are a testament to the resolve of Gettysburg residents to not only rebuild their town but also to honor the fallen. Today, visitors who come to learn more about the battle can tour the battlefield and see more than 1,400 monuments and markers, or choose to walk with a ranger through Gettysburg National Cemetery.

Over the years, Gettysburg has continued to be a treasured and popular destination. As a result, the park has faced continuous threats from commercial development. At the end of the 19th century, developers built railroads and tourist facilities at the edge of sacred battlefield lands, but many of these inholdings were eventually sold to the government and removed.

The Park Service, with the help of a coalition of partners, recently completed an ambitious program to restore the battlefield grounds to the way they looked in 1863. Visitors can now understand how small features of the landscape, such as fences and orchards, played a large role in both the battle's outcome and the life and death of individual soldiers. Learn more about this major milestone for the park.

Read More in NPCA's Park Advocate Blog

Partners and Progress: Bringing 1863 Back to Life at Gettysburg

By Joy M. Oakes, Senior Director, Mid-Atlantic Region Twenty years ago, a 307-foot-high observation tower loomed over the historic battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Utility lines laced the sky, Civil War-era artillery carriages rusted in the fields, and the “Home, Sweet Home” motel welcomed overnight guests on the fields of Pickett’s Charge. Visitors crammed the park […]

Preserve Historic Station at Gettysburg

Gettysburg Train Station. Photo (c) Alan Spears/NPCAThe small train station was only about four years old when it was pressed into service during Robert E. Lee's invasion of the North in July 1863. The western terminus of the Gettysburg Railroad was first used as a field hospital, as so many places were while the battle raged nearby. Later, more than 15,000 wounded soldiers would be transported to care or home from this platform.

Sharing the “Real” Civil War

A sunset as seen from the Union position on Little Round Top, with a statue of Gen. Governeur Warren.Several years ago, Gettysburg National Military Park interpretive ranger and historian D. Scott Hartwig shared the following story. He was near the old Zeigler’s Grove visitors center when an English couple, spotting his Park Service uniform, stopped to ask a question. They had toured the battlefield, visited nearly every monument and statue, and seen the […]
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

mike

October 21, 2014

recently had the pleasure of meeting a woman that has a Maynard carbine, her husband who is a gunsmith (now in a nursing home)purchased it some time ago at auction. She is now interested in selling this weapon. It's in poor-fair condition, all parts intact, the metal and wood finishes are somewhat degraded by time and the elements. Markings (Edward Maynard-Patentee, May 27 1851.. Dec 6 1859.. Manuf. Massachusetts Arms Co., Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts)are all legible, interestingly, there is no serial number. A question from me, is the unique weapon of any value (other than a mantle decoration), and, if not would the Civil Ware Museum be interested in it as a donation/loan.

Cathy

August 1, 2014

My husband and I are heading to Rhode Island but thought we could make a quick stop in Gettysburg. From all the posts I'm reading, it sounds like we need more time than what we are allowing. We'll still stop by but sounds like we need another trip planned just for Gettysburg! Thanks for all the wonderful reviews!

Kris

July 29, 2014

This was my families first visit to Gettysburg. I was amazed at the history and the story behind the battle. I was very impressed with the National Park Service maintenance of the park grounds and their attempt at keeping the park as close to period as possible. The thing that most amazed me was the cleanliness, at all the stops along the driving tour there were very few garbage cans etc, yet the park was spotless. We throughly enjoyed the free ranger programs and had the great pleasure of having a Jr. Volunteer named Jordan with us for one of the programs at the National Cemetery that was truly a great guide. His enthusiasm for the topic and his interactions were top notch! I highly recommend this for a great patriotic and educational learning opportunity for the whole family! We hope to visit again.

Gordy

July 4, 2014

It has been my privilege and pleasure to serve the GNMP as a member of their " Park Watch " Volunteer Program. Being a part of this was immensely gratifying to me. Thank you for allowing me to participate

Rickyleebee

June 16, 2014

Just returned from visiting the Park. Went through it three times before coming home. This is an absolute treasure! Most memorable sight was the memorial for the North Carolinian infantry.

THE COOL BEAST

May 13, 2014

#coolest park ever

Anna

May 12, 2014

Seems like Gettsburg is a good place to see. Might go some day!

the cool guy

May 12, 2014

hi hi hi hi i loved this park me and my family visted it last summer. it was a summer never to forget!

Rick

December 11, 2013

'Why would this park grant a special-use permit to the KKK so they could hold a rally?' <- Because the United States Constitution (what's left of it) says so and it's public land. All freedom has an upside and a downside.

Cookie

December 3, 2013

It is my understand that the "Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tours" is a separate entity, and not affiliated with the National Parks Service. Our small group traveled by tour bus arranged through the National Park Visitor Center. There was handicap accessibility. http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/18/ticket-prices-and-packages#TICKETS How to Buy Tickets Online: Buy By Telephone: toll-free 877-874-2478, international or local 717-334-2436 E-mail: reservations@gettysburgfoundation.org In Person: at the Visitor Center ticket counter Group Sales: see the Group Visits page. I hope this was of some help to you.

Rita

November 14, 2013

We tried to tour this National Park but my handicapped husband was not allowed on the bus which is owned by the "Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tours". They said they had no room for his walker so we had to cash in our tickets. Is this 2013 or 1960? I'm very surprised that our national park system would hire or allow someone with this attitude.

Tmac

November 11, 2013

went to Gettysburg for the first time last year~~loved it soo much had to go to the 150th anniversary in July. Gettysburg has a very special place in my heart & memories. I'm sure I'll be going back as soon as I can. The people are warm & welcoming! We need to preserve all of our history! not destroy it! I'm a very proud Southerner. Gettysburg is definitely a historical treasure! PS, the "republs" as you call them are not the ones to blame for what happened.....you really need to find out the facts before you open your mouth!!

NPCA

October 3, 2013

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects American’s freedom of speech. Many groups including NPCA request permission to demonstrate, or otherwise communicate our views, in national parks and other federal locations. The First Amendment guarantees that opinions, however disagreeable, may be expressed.

Les

October 2, 2013

Why would this park grant a special-use permit to the KKK so they could hold a rally?

jules

July 3, 2013

As a child, my family went to Gettysburg at least twice a year. I still remember how it took my breath away. How I held my breath when I saw

Historian

April 28, 2013

Leave it to a myopic liberal to blame Republicans for park funding problems. Last time I checked they control the White House and the senate and have not passed a budget in years.

Barry

August 20, 2012

I had not been to the battlefield park in some years but did visit this past weekend (August 17, 2012). I was quite shocked at the overall condition of the parkland between Seminary and Cemetary Ridges (Pickett's Charge area). The overgrowth of brush and small trees not to mention creeping vines and grasses proved disappointing and not as I recall my last visit some years ago. I suspect funding or lack of it is behind this level of care. It saddened me to see this.

Sgt Ferg

June 2, 2012

I am concerned that since a third of the horse trails around Little and Big Round Top that the parke service will not re-opeen them. Why not? Thousands enjoy riding along the back part of the park and are able to visit one of the most historic spots here! PLEASE KEEP THEM OPEN!

Anonymous

February 6, 2012

Why do the repubs want to destroy things we hold sacred for money. Makes me wonder if they have some skeletons in their closets that they don't want people to know about. Like maybe some shady deals their grandparents were involved in to make money.

JackK

November 10, 2011

Gettysburg is a fantastic site. If you want to go somewhere beautiful and full of history, Gettysburg is the place. Rain or shine, there is ALWAYS something going on! Out of 5 stars, i give it a 25 star rating.

David

November 10, 2011

Had never been to Gettysburg before August 2010. We only toured the visitor center for about 4 hours and did not have nearly enough time. You can spend 2 days just in the visitor center with all of the terrific interactive learning opportunities and well presented displays. The Cyclorama is very impressive, a must see. We will be making plans to return to this national treasure for several days so that we can take in the full experience of Gettysburg.

Mickey

November 10, 2011

We never cease to be in wonder at all there is to see and do at Gettysburg. Join the Foundation and you can go to the musueam for free. It truly is inspiring. From the Living history programs to the Illumatorium in Nov. We keep learning something new each time we come. Thank you.

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