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1 Jul 2019

The Legacy You’ve Built at Gettysburg

The Legacy You’ve Built at Gettysburg

In 1890, 27 years after the devastating battle that some see as the turning point of the Civil War, Senator Joseph Hawley of Connecticut described the potential of a national park at Gettysburg to “offer the grandest study in the world for students of the military art, and for lovers of patriotism and admirers of magnificent valor.” Five years later, Gettysburg National Military Park was born — but the work was just beginning.

From dance pavilions to train tracks, Gettysburg has faced some of the most destructive and invasive examples of development of any battlefield in America. As the scene of the largest battle ever fought in North America, perhaps it's not surprising that Gettysburg's fame sometimes makes it a target for exploitation. From 1972 to 2000, the 307-foot National Tower stood on private land on Cemetery Hill, spoiling the battlefield viewshed. In 2005 and again just a few years later, the Trust joined forces with local residents to block attempts to build a casino near the park.

Fortunately, supporters like you have stepped up time and time again, acre by hallowed acre, to save this sacred place. Our organization has had the awesome privilege and responsibility of working on multiple fronts, in partnership with the Park itself and other organizations, to secure as much of Gettysburg's history as possible. We're so grateful to have supporters who recognize that 2 acres at Oak Ridge may be as worthy of your generosity as 18 at Seminary Ridge, or a high-profile project like the restoration of General Lee's Headquarters. And that the family farm that held one of the largest Confederate field hospitals during the battle is too precious to lose. Every acre preserved helps us better understand the crucial history that made our nation what it is today.

Thanks in large part to generous patriots like you, Gettysburg National Military Park continues to serve the noble purpose Senator Hawley articulated over a century ago. With 1,039 acres preserved and counting, we look forward to continuing on this remarkable preservation journey for the next century and beyond!

Stop by to visit Lee's Headquarters for artillery demonstrations July 6-7. The house will also be open to the public July 1-3.

And if you go to the battlefield, don't forget to take our Gettysburg Battle App along with you. The Apple version has been recently updated to allow easy donations too.

Donate

American Battlefield Trust

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