Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation

Table of Content

I.   Introduction

            On July 3, 1863, the Gettysburg Battlefield was a piteous sight following one of the severest battle in the civil war. The Union had triumphed in victory over the Confederate as the war gradually came to an end on the third day. Over 7,000 men were dead and another 30,000 were wounded. This was besides the amount of physical destruction that had occurred during the three-day battle that was pivotal to the Civil War. Contracts had to be given to bury the slain men most of whom were buried around where they fell. Two attorneys who lived in Gettysburg: David Wills and David McConaughy soon after started to work towards recovering the town which had previously held about 2,400 citizens prior to the battle. They also wanted to make sure that the memory of those who lost their lives was preserved.  After a while, Andrew Curtin who was the Pennsylvania Governor at the time put forth the state’s desire to give their men who had been buried by hired entrepreneurs a proper burial. This however took a different turn so that all the Union dead were honored by burying them in a cemetery at Gettysburg. Later, 600 acres of private land was purchased so that it would be preserved as a monument. This was the beginning of a series of developments in Gettysburg battlefield which was already turning into a tourist attraction. In 1864, Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association (GBMA) came into being and facilitated more improvements in the battlefield. The Association and the land that had been acquired were later taken up by the Grand Army of the Republic.

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            The Gettysburg battlefield became the first to be preserved in the United States as a memorial park. At the same time, it became the pioneer historic site in America to be owned by the government. Monuments and other symbolic placements such as tablets showing positions of army officials in the battlefield have been erected. Roads and other social amenities have also been improved in the preservation process.  To protect the battlefield, the Supreme Court ruled out that the acquisition of the battlefield by the state for preservation was ‘public use’ and the State therefore had a right to acquire land from private owners. Legal disputes have emerged ever since the preservation began. These conflicts are now more inclined towards commercial exploitation and conflicting civil war interpretations. This paper offers an insight into the Gettysburg battlefield preservation ever since David Wills and David McConaughty pioneered the restoration process. The various developments made on the land are discussed in this exhaustive research paper.

II.  Discussion

            The Gettysburg battlefield carries many memories of the civil war that new generations can learn American history from due to the preservation that was undertaken after the end of the battle (Lee, 2). Being the severest battle in the Civil war, many soldiers lost their lives and the destruction that occurred at Gettysburg was unbelievable (Library of Congress, 5). The battlefield was preserved so as to honor the soldiers who died for a good cause and to always remind the citizens of this battle. Pieces of privately owned land that fell in the vicinity of the battlefield were purchased by the government and preservationists (Halpert, 56). In a ruling made in the United States case against Gettysburg Electric Railway Company, the Supreme Court ruled that the government was allowed under the Act of 1888 to condemn private land if the purpose of the land was for public use (University of Missouri, 1). Following this ruling, the government could now comfortably purchase land private land for the preservation under the doctrine of eminent domain. Tablets showing the lines of battle and where famous soldiers and leaders stood during the battle now mark the Gettysburg battlefield. Monuments and houses where soldiers were treated after the battle can still be identified as a result of the preservation (Halpert, 59). There also exists a Visitor Centre. In total, the Gettysburg land covers 6000 acres in the form of park lands and welcomes over 2 million tourists per year (National Park Service). More than 1,400 monuments and markers adorn the extensive park and 50 kilometers of road have been constructed on the battlefield (Hawthorne, 17). Apart from these, more facilities have also been constructed to aid visitors who stream into the battlefield each year. Plans to replace woodlots and orchards which were destroyed have also been put in place and the area is woodier than in the immediate years after the war (Gettysburg Foundation, 2). Gettysburg Cyclorama; a huge painting that had been done with a 360 degree symmetry by Paul Philippoteaux from France in 1884 which was previously on the battlefield was restored in 2008 and taken to the Gettysburg museum for preservation (NPS, 1) .

i) Major Participants in the preservation

            Several people are said to have vigorously dedicated their energies towards the preservation exercise. Perhaps the most prominent were the pioneers of the preservation process and who played a great role in establishing the first steps towards the Gettysburg battlefield that we know of today. David McConaughy and David Wills are considered the very first people who immediately began to make plans for the recovery of Gettysburg when the war came to an end (Howthorne, 12). Both Wills and McConaughy were attorneys who lived in Gettysburg. Another individual is Andrew Curtin who was the Pennsylvania Governor at the time. On behalf of his state, Curtin gave Wills the responsibility to purchase a piece of land that would be used to re-bury the Veterans who had died during the battle in a more decent way (Byrne, 3). The dead soldiers had been buried haphazardly by entrepreneurs who had been contracted. Pennsylvania’s idea was seen as a good idea and consequently, not only the Pennsylvania veterans were honored but all the Union dead.  John Bachelder who was a Historian from New Hampshire is said to have sketched the original layout of the battlefield according to how the soldiers and their commanders aligned themselves in the battle lines (Halpert, 58). His sketches also showed the key locations in during the battle. It is from these sketches that the positions of monuments placed in honor of the soldiers were determined

            Two prominent Union generals are also said to have played a significant role in the preservation exercise. Samuel Crawford and Daniel Sickles who both fought in the battle of  Gettysburg played different roles in the preservation exercise. Crawford purchased 47 acres in his bid to promote the contributions he had made in the battle. The land that was later known as the Crawford Park included the Valley of Death and the Devil’s Den (Library of congress, 19). Crawford is well known for overseeing the building of a Memorial Hall which was located atop the Little Round Top. The building was more than 120 feet long and it is now one of the buildings that carry monuments and other reminders of the units that engaged in battle in this area. Sickle, a general of the III Corps was seriously wounded when the when commanding the corps on July 2. He however managed to make it and was the only living corps commander in 1913 when the 50th anniversary celebration was held (Library of Congress, 21). After the war, Sickle was a Congressman and played an important role in ensuring funding were committed towards the battlefield preservation and its development into a National Military Park. Sickle championed the law passed U.S Congress that gave power to condemn land from private owners at Gettysburg for the purpose of preservation (Halpert, 58). The War Department being a branch of the government could now easily obtain land which was used for the preservation of the Gettysburg battlefield.

            Many individuals and organizations still contribute towards the improvement and maintenance even today. The National Park Service often appeals for donations and willing visitors can deposit their contributions in boxes available around the park. The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association also organizes events which are directed towards raising funds for the Gettysburg battlefield preservation. This way, renovations are constantly conducted and improvements can be noticed in the battlefield.

            The Gettysburg Foundation together with well wishers has contributed significantly towards the development of the park. The Gettysburg Foundation is an official partner of GNMP. The organization seeks donations and so far they have managed to give $6 million towards the preservation of Gettysburg National Military Park (Gettysburg Foundation, 1). These go towards six categories as follows: preservation of monuments and restoration of cannon carriage, land preservation, museum artifacts, education, volunteer work and finally any other development deemed necessary (miscellaneous).

ii) Gettysburg battlefield preservation developments

1.      Gettysburg Soldier’s National Cemetery

            When the governor of Pennsylvania expressed the will of the State to find its veterans in order to give them a decent burial, Wills was given the duty of acquiring 17 acres of land. The land was next to the Evergreen Cemetery and this is where Pennsylvania veterans would be buried. This proposition however led to a change in priority and plans now envisioned on honoring all the Union members who died in the war. The Union dead who had been buried in shallow and inappropriate sites around the battlefield would be exhumed and buried again (Halpert, 59). Due to the large numbers, local entrepreneurs had been given the duty of burying the dead men and in their haste buried them in areas next to where they had died. The cemetery was therefore a means of giving them a decent burial. Wills, who was a local attorney not only purchased the land but also arranged for the construction of the cemetery and its dedication ceremony. David McConaughy however gets the attributes of having made the initial organizational efforts.

            The designing of the cemetery was done by a landscape architect known as William Saunders (Hawthorne, 11). The Soldier’s National Monument adores the centre of the cemetery and it was designed to promote the Union victory and the courage and valor of the dead soldiers. The solders’ graves were arranged in semi-circles around the monument to symbolize egalitarianism in the American society. All the graves were considered equal. Due to protests from the states, the plan to arrange the graves in random order was dismissed so that they were arranged according to states laying out a section for the unknown soldiers and one for the known (Hawthorne, 16). This cemetery has served to preserve the history of the battle and it is often considered better than when the men had been buried haphazardly. This is because their memories would have faded soon enough given that there were no graves set out for the individual soldiers.

            The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln in November 19, 1863 highlighted the ceremony in which the national cemetery was dedicated (Halpert, 57). The completion of the cemetery took place in March 1864 and it is during this time that the last of three thousand, five hundred and twelve members of the union were reburied. The cemetery was on May 1, 1872 turned into a National Cemetery and authority and control was taken up by the U.S War Department. Later, the World War I and the Spanish-American War added the number of graves at the cemetery following the deaths of American soldiers during battle. Over 6000 remains of individuals serving in various American wars now lie at this cemetery which is now referred to as the Gettysburg National Cemetery and is currently administered by the National Park Service as a component of the National Military Park (Hawthorne, 17). Numerous other monuments were also put up and such include the statue of Major General Reynolds, the New York monument, the Lincoln address monument and the friend to friend memorial among others.

2.      Gettysburg National Military Park

            The national cemetery had engaged the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association (GBMA) since 1864 and this time round, dedication towards the construction of the Gettysburg National Park was in full gear. The Grand Army of the Republic had taken control of the association in 1880. From 1887, appropriation of state funds meant to purchase land that would be used to preserve the memories of the battle began (Smith, 65). There are those important locations depending on the lines of battle that were the first to get the state funds. Culps Hill, Little Round Top and East Cemetery Hill were among the first pieces of land that the association acquired (Smith, 65). More directors were elected and this time the association sought support outside Pennsylvania in the Northern states. Also involved was the Grand Army of the Republic which showed great commitment in the preservation.  Several hundreds of acres of the Gettysburg battlefield had been acquired by the year 1890 with the Northern states together with the unions offering great help in the process (Smith, 66). Various individual volunteers and associations donated towards the preservation by buying land. Samuel Crawford is cited as one of the initial volunteers to purchase land to aid in the remembrance of the battle. He purchased 47 acres of land and this portion would later be called Crawford Park after him.

            In February 1895 that the Congress passed the act allowing the establishment of Gettysburg National Military Park (Lee, 2). This meant that the state would now offer more funding towards the preservation and the battlefield would now be turned into a national park. On May 22, 1895, GBMA decided to transfer the six hundred acre land that they had already acquired for the preservation to the government. So far, avenues amounting to 17 miles had already been constructed so that access to the various significant positions in the battlefield could be accessed (Lee, 5). The number of monuments had reached three hundred and twenty all of which had been erected by associations, individuals and the various states in honor of their slain men. All these were now to be left under the care of the government which added more land through other land purchases. The efforts of the GBMA were reinforced by the government which was at an advantage as it could easily acquire federal funds. Congressman Sickle played a significant role in this. The Administration of the park was given to the National Park Service in 1933 and it is now solely responsible for its maintenance with assistance from the GBMA (Lee, 4).


            The white frame house that the General Meade had used as his base was acquired and so were many important positions such as Wolf Hill, the Spangler’s spring and the Peach Orchard among others (Halpert, 61). The various houses and camps used by the soldiers and their commanders have also been preserved. Will’s house; in which Lincoln had spent the night the night before the cemetery dedication and which is on Gettysburg main square is now a landmark which the National Park Service administers (Lee, 6). It was a constant source of inspiration to preservationists given that Will was an ambassador or the preservation idea.

            Monuments and avenues

            The Gettysburg battlefield is adorned by more than 1,400 monuments, tablets and markers (Gettysberg Foundation, 1). All these have been built in memory of the Union that recorded victory over the Confederates. This is considered the largest outdoor sculpture collection in the world. Symbols depicting courageous soldiers and monuments with the participants of the battle are among the monuments likely to be found in the military park. The erection of these monuments and markers can be said to have been inspired by John Bachelder who was a Historian from New Hampshire (Hawthorne, 16). He made a survey of the battlefield and effectively identified the key locations on the site. On the day he arrived to Gettysburg battlefield, most of the soldiers were not yet buried and some of the convalescing officers were still around. He helped them around while they pinpointed major locations where important events took place. He then sketched these locations which would later produce the map of the Gettysburg battlefield. Balcheder also interviewed Union officers from every regiment and battery during the 1863-64 winter and invited over 1000 officers who included forty nine generals to tour the site together with him (Hawthorne, 17). It was not until 1880 however that the government hired Balcheder to come up with an official survey. Detailed maps that showed the location of troops and battle lines in each of the battle phases were drawn. These maps served an important role during the placement of monuments because they acted as a guide to the planners of the Gettysburg battlefield. In honor of the 1st Minnesota Infantry, a marble urn placed in the National Cemetery became the first monument to be erected on the battlefield (Gettysburg Foundation, 1). This monument was put in place because Cemetery Ridge is where this gallant regiment was annihilated on second of July. Veterans continued putting up more monuments in honor of the soldiers’ bravery. Flank markers were usually used to mark the end of the battle lines while monuments were conveniently placed at the centre of the unit’s line (Gettysburg Foundation, 1). The government also joined the citizens in erection of monuments. No single regiment, division, battery or brigade from the union lacked a monument at the site. Veterans identified the various places in which they stood and where their fellow companions were killed and monuments were erected there in their honor making a huge collection of granite and bronze statues (Halpert, 63). At first, no Confederate monuments were put in the park. This however changed starting in the 1880s when the Union bitterness had faded and Confederate sculptures started being erected as well.

            When the GBMA handed over the park to the government, 17 miles of avenues meant to lead visitors towards important sites had been constructed in the park. The park now has 50 kilometers of road within the park that makes it quite easy for tourists to go around the park. Modern buses such as the double decker battlefield tours take visitors around easily as they watch the various sites of the battlefield.

            Later Developments

            The Gettysburg Military National Park has undergone many improvements through addition of amenities and general renovations to keep the park enticing to tourists. Protection of buildings, landscapes, structures and monuments as well as their rehabilitation is the duty of the NPS (National Park Service) so that commemoration of the battle does not fade away.  This has however been marred with the conflicts about what should be preserved and what should not as some propose modernization of the park (Halpert, 71). Preservationists however argue that a lot of modernization will erase the significance of the park which is supposed to preserve the history of the battle. The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association together with the National Park Service has exerted efforts in preventing the erosion of the original look of the park as during the war period (Library of Congress, 24). In 1999 for example, a general management plan was established in a bid to get the intrusions out of the park and restore it to the pre-1900’s look (Latschar, 1). In the plan which detailed the management of the park in the next fifteen to twenty years, a new Visitor Centre proposed in the plan and a museum would reflect the history of the park while maintaining the objectives set forth by the National Park Service. These included preserving the museum collection, protecting the Cyclorama painting, improvement of educational experiences available for visitors coming to the park and restoring Cemetery Ridge Union battle line (Latschar, 1). There were two buildings; the old Visitor Center and the Cyclorama Centre and parking lots which needed to be removed from the Cemetery Ridge (Gettysburg Foundation, 2). This is because it is at this location that over 900 soldiers were wounded, died or were taken to captivity. The New museum and Visitor Centre would replace these two buildings.

3.      The Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Centre

                  With an aim to protect and preserve all relevant literature and artifacts on the Gettysburg battle, the museum at the National Military Park was set up. The new museum and Visitor Centre opened in September 2008 was established following the 1990 management plan geared towards preserving more of the Gettysburg battle and maintaining the park in its commemoration (Fuchs, 1; Latschar, 1). The move was seen as important because the park contained numerous collections all which needed to be maintained under proper conditions and which needed better displays for the visitors to easily access them. The park which held 350,000 printed text documents, 38,000 artifacts, photographs, paintings and other historical pieces of work did not have an adequate way of preserving and displaying these documents (NPS, 1). New facilities and conditions to be established in the museum therefore provided a perfect opportunity to make the access to the records easier for the visitors. The museum which is built using the 19th century architecture and style blends well with surrounding buildings which makes it appear natural. On the interior however, modern technology has been installed so as to help visitors easily access and explore the history of the Gettysburg battle. The museum was strategically located so that it would not interrupt the natural landscape of the park. This is unlike the Cyclorama Centre and the previous Visitor Centre which lie on Cemetery Ridge; a Union battle line. Numerous records consisting of writings and paintings made by surviving soldiers, great writers and painters are well displayed in the museum. The great Cyclorama painting is also part of the collection after it was restored and moved from the park into the museum (Fuchs, 2). The painting is said to have been in a bad state because of variations in climate and movement from one place to another which had taken toll on it. The painting was therefore defaced and visitors could not easily make out the original appearance of the painting. Proper techniques inside the museum have been designed to ensure that room temperature is maintained and hence the painting does not have to suffer the conditions again. The Visitor Centre gives the tourists a tour of the battlefield even before the actual tour can be made (Fuchs, 1). This is done through the use of advanced technology which enables computer based research. Movies on the battle are also available so that there is an easier connection between the literature and what actually happened (Fuchs, 1). Videos have been collected in which diaries and letters dating back to the historic times are read. Acoustic replays also adorn the visitor’s centre all meant to enhance the exhibits provided at the museum. At the entrance of the museum, a gift shop that sells books, novelties and other kinds of souvenirs has been opened. This has made it better for the visitors and the National Park Service hopes to get more revenue as more visitors are now expected. The building of the museum cost $135 million to build (Fuchs, 1). These funds were primarily obtained from the individual and organizational donors. Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation was responsible for raising these funds to make the facility which would also house the park offices, education classrooms for students, library and the archive centre.  In future, there are plans to create an amphitheater which will be used for evening programs. A youth campground is also one of the future plans of the Visitor Centre (NPS, 1).

iii) Economic significance of Gettysburg battlefield preservation

            The Gettysburg battlefield has become a major tourist attraction keeping the history of the civil war fresh in those who visit the battlefield. Family generations visit to witness or to commemorate the death of their family members where the uneventful action had occurred (Smith, 63). As a result of this, many complimentary businesses have developed around the sight to tap tourists coming to the Gettysburg battlefield. Perhaps the most prominent commercial tourist attraction site before it was acquired by the government was the Round Top Park and the Tipton Park.

Round Top Park

            The Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railroad constructed a spur in 1884. This spur came from town passing through the Pickett’s Charge field and then to the Little Round Top on the eastern side (Halpert, 7). To gain advantage from the many visitors that frequented Gettysburg battlefield, the 13 acres at the terminus were bought. On this land, the Round Top Park was build with a pavilion, kitchen, two wells and a photo studio among other buildings. Problems at the park started streaming in when the gambling, prostitution and alcohol abuse started. This park together with the railroad property was sold to the GNMP Commission in 1896. The Commission maintained the park and even added a Casino in 1913 (Halpert, 7). This park attracted a larger number of visitors than before mostly due to automobiles which transported them to the destination. The site however came down when the train tracks were taken off in 1939. The dance hall was also torn down and so were the pavilions bringing thus reducing the number of tourists.

            Tipton Park

            Tipton Park was owned by William Tipton between 1894 and 1917 and was located at the battlefield’s edge so that it was easy to access. Tipton’s property was however acquired by the state in 1917 as the government aimed to expand the park further (Hawthorne, 18). The acquisition was granted following the Supreme Court’s ruling that will be discussed later in The U.S versus Gettysburg Electric Railway Company. Tipton Park attracted many tourists who frequented the park taking their time to relax and refresh themselves there.

            Other Commercial activities

            Many investors have come up with creative ways of taking advantage of the preservation of the battlefield as a historic sight. They take advantage of the visitors by providing basic services that tourists may require such as accommodation, dining services and transport services among others. Most of these commercial developments are established in undeveloped areas of the battlefield most of which were Confederate positions and which Veterans never bothered to recognize (Smith, 58). Examples of hotels include the PA Hotels, Bed and Breakfast, Battlefield Motel, 1863 Inn of Gettysburg  among others. These offer accommodation, dining and children activities so that the visitors can fully enjoy their stay and visits at the park. Campsites that mostly attract students as they tour the battlefield include Gettysburg Battlefield Resort, Granite Hill Campground, Gettysburg Campground, Artillery Ridge, Round Top Campground among others (Smith, 58). While many tourists may come to see the battlefield, they are attracted to such facilities and the various activities offered such as skiing and other games give the visitors a variety. Transport companies escorting the tourists to their destinations also make a lot of money so that the preservation of the battlefield can be said to be quite beneficial to the economy. While citizens get income from the various commercial activities, the government also gains from taxes levied on these incomes. Charges at the museum entrance and tour guidance also earn the National Park Service income.

iv) Challenges in Gettysburg battlefield preservation

            When the preservation of Gettysburg battlefield became apparent in the 1890s and the government became committed in acquiring private land in an aim to take up the entire battlefield, controversy and curious questions arose. Many felt that the government was doing the right thing while others raised the question of whether the land for the battlefield preservation could actually be deemed as land for public use as provided by the 1888 Act (Byrne, 4). This Act passed by the Congress in 1888 provided that the government could condemn or purchase land meant for public use in the form of erection of public buildings or other approved public use (University of Missouri, 1). These controversies bore a great impact on the state’s attempt to preserve the Gettysburg battlefield as the state’s acquisition of land was challenged by some private owners. One such example is the Gettysburg Electric Railway Company.

            U.S vs. Gettysburg Electric Railway Co.

            The need to preserve the Gettysburg battlefield was so intense that everything possible was done to obtain the land from private owners. Some were however challenging such as the Gettysburg Electric Railway Company land. The Gettysburg Electric Railway Company had braced themselves to construct the railway line that would go through the Gettysburg battlefield; an intrusion into the developments that GBMA intended to make (Halpert, 18). This raised concern among GBMA members more so because the railway would pass through the rocky outcrop which was an key portion in the battlefield having been defended by Devil’s Den; a section of the Union soldiers (Byrne, 4). The railway construction posed danger on the preservation because the battlefield’s main features were likely to be destroyed by the activities of the railway. The government defended the action using the August 1888 Act that gave authority to the government to condemn land for public use or for building public buildings and the Sundry Civil Appropriation Act of 1893 which provided that the secretary of war could erect fences, improve avenues, plant tablets to show positions of various commands present in the battlefield, with the intent of preserving the battlefield (University of Missouri, 1). The company was awarded $30,000 for the land but appealed against the United States. The Supreme Court ruled against the company citing the application of the act and the government’s right to acquire land in by the doctrine eminent domain (University of Missouri, 1). This set a precedent so that the state was able to acquire extensive pieces of land to make the 6000 acre ground on which the Gettysburg Battlefield national park lies today.

            Recent Issues

            The preservation is currently being challenged by modern ideas with conflicts being raised about what should be preserved and which parts of the battlefield ought to maintain the original look. The GBPA has worked tirelessly for forty years to ensure that modern developments do not overshadow the preservations that have been made so that future generations can have a glimpse at the sacrifices made towards freedom (Gettysburg Foundation, 1) . Among the most recent disputes include the Gettysburg National Tower erected on private land. The association sought a court order to acquire the piece of land and the erected 393 feet tower was brought down in the full view of the public at a public ceremony on July 3, 2000 (Smith, 69). The owners were compensated with $3 million after the land was seized by the National Park Service in what was referred to as the power of eminent domain. The old Visitor Centre and the Cyclorama Centre which used to lie on a battle line on the Cemetery Ridge were demolished after the construction of the new museum and Visitor Centre (Latschar, 1). Developments to preserve the Cemetery Ridge are underway and so are other significant areas which have been intruded by buildings and features that were not originally there. The aim is to get a the park to look as similar as possible to what it looked like after the war.

            Preservationists are now calling upon the authorities to preserve Letterman Camp as a battle site because many soldiers who fought in the battle were treated here. Little evidence of the camp remains besides a US War Department marker (National Park Service, 5). Most of the land has been consumed by commercial developers. The letterman camp is one site that remains significant to the Gettysburg battle history. At the end of the war, many wounded soldiers needed medical attention and nearby churches, homes and barns formed a convenient location to attend to the soldiers. Doctor Jonathan Letterman is the one who was left to take care of most patients in the Gettysburg area (National Park Service, 2). He was the Army of Potomac medical director and his surgeons and staff had difficulties treating the numerous patients. He hastily organized for medical supplies and additional staff who treated the injured before they were rushed to permanent hospitals. The temporary camp was named after him and a site to build a hospital at a site near Gettysburg was chosen. This site is not preserved as a symbol of the Gettysburg war.

III.  Conclusion

             The battle of Gettysburg was of great importance in the American history and the soldiers who fell during the war are said to have died for a worthy cause. All this however could not mean much today had it not been for the preservation of the battlefield. The various artifacts, pictures and information available at the museum form a good source of historic information. New generations can get a glimpse of the history of the country so that it is kept so fresh. The informative writings around the Gettysburg military National Park give visitors an idea of the arrangement of the battlefield at the time. Monuments honoring some of the major contributors during the war help to preserve history. From the findings of the research paper, many individuals and organizations that can collectively be referred to as preservationists were dedicated to the preservation of the battlefield which is now the Gettysburg National Military Park. With the continuous development in the park such as the building of the new museum, and conservation of precious evidence, the Gettysburg battlefield is not likely to be erased from the American history.

The Gettysburg battlefield preservation has not only preserved the American history but also become one of the most understood battlefield settings in the world.

Word Count: 5582

IV.  Works Cited

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Gettysburg Foundation. The Gettysburg Battlefield Rehabilitation Project: An Overview Retrieved on July 8, 2009 from;q=cache:VcT-  



Lee, Ronald, F. The Origin and Evolution of the Military Park Idea. U.S: National Park             Service. Retrieved on July 7, 2009 from


Library of Congress. (1864). American Civil War Battle Gettysburg Pennsylvania July 1-3         1863. US: Library of Congress.

Fuchs, Monika. New Museum and Visitor Centre: National Military Park’s Cyclorama    Restored. Retrieved on July 8, 2009 from http://us-civil-  

Halpert, Grimsley. Preserving Battlefields. Journal of American History. Paper presented at        the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association Hilton Bonaventure,             Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 27, 2008

Hawthorne, Frederick. Gettysburg: Stories of Men and Monuments, Association of Licensed      Battlefield Guides, 1988.

Latschar, John. The 1999 General Management Plan. Gettysburg National Military         Park.    Retrieved on July 8, 2009 from

National Park Service (NPS). Camp Letterman General Hospital. US: National Park Service.

NPS. The New Museum and Visitor Centre at Gettysburg National Military Park. Retrieved       on July 8, 2009 from     home.htm

Smith, Belle. Gettysburg after the Gettysburg battle. Gettysburg: National Military Park,             2001.

University of Missouri (UMKC). US v. Gettysburg Electric R. Co. Retrieved on July 8, 2009     from


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