About Gettysburg


Lieutenant General
Owner & Webmaster
Apr 1, 1999
Martinsburg, WV
About this Article

This is an article all about the history of the famous little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This article is a stepping off point that you can use to learn more about this town, and the famous battle fought here during the American Civil War.​

About the Town of Gettysburg

The first recorded settler in the area was Samuel Gettys, who built a tavern in 1761 for travelers, soldiers, and traders passing through the area. The area came to be known as Getty's Town, and by 1791 plans were made to erect buildings in the area that trustees agreed should be called Gettysburg.​
The town of Gettysburg is located in Adams County Pennsylvania, and is host to the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service. It is also the host to three institutes of higher learning: Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg College, and the Harrisburg Area Community College.​
The road system around Gettysburg is designed like the spokes on a wheel, radiating outward towards many of the important cities and towns in the region, including Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Harrisburg, PA, Carlisle, PA, Hagerstown, MD and Frederick, MD.​
Learn More:
Wikipedia: Gettysburg NMP

About the Battle

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought between the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by newly appointed Major General George G. Meade, and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee, on July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of the year 1863.​
Lee, who in a daring move, invaded the Northern state of Pennsylvania, was working his way back from the Susquehanna River in the general direction of Washington, DC when on July 1st some of his lead elements became engaged with Union troops between Cashtown, Lee's latest designated gathering point, and the town of Gettysburg.​
Over the course of three days of fighting, about 94,000 Union soldiers defended against the attacks of about 71,000 Confederate soldiers.​
Generally, the Union took a defensive approach to this battle, attempting to delay Confederate advances, and falling back to higher ground on the first day of battle, and later occupying the high ground between Culps Hill, Cemetery Hill, and Little Round Top to the East and South of town. This defensive position held on the 2nd and 3rd days of battle resembled a sort of fish-hook.​
The Confederates led by Lee attempted to push back and break the Union lines, with concentrated attacks on the flanks on the 2nd day, and a famous attack focusing on the center of the line on the 3rd day. This attack has famously become known as "Pickett's Charge".​
The Union was able to repel the majority of Confederate attacks during this battle, the defense during Pickett's Charge was particularly critical, striking a blow to Lee's army which it would never fully recover from. This defeat marked the "High Tide" of the Confederacy.​
After three days of fighting, casualties were very high, over 23,000 men on each side were injured, captured, or killed in the battle.​
Learn More:
CivilWarWiki: The Battle of Gettysburg

About Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address

On November 19th, 1863, four and a half months after the battle, the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg was dedicated. This location was to be used for the re-interment of Union soldiers buried at various locations around the battlefield.​
During this dedication ceremony, President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous "Gettysburg Address", explaining how important the soldiers sacrifice was to the country, and the hope that his words might give a better purpose to the war with the Confederates.​
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About the National Military Park Today

The Gettysburg National Military Park is located in and around the town of Gettysburg, it is made up of nearly 6,000 acres of land, with more than 1,300 monuments, 400 cannons, 148 historic structures, 41 miles of roadway, and is considered to be "one of the largest collections of outdoor sculpture in the world."​
The Military Park is free for all visitors.​
The Gettysburg Museum and Visitors Center, including the Gettysburg Cyclorama is located between the Baltimore Pike and Taneytown Road. There is a fee to view the museum and the Cyclorama.​
Learn More:

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Jun 16, 2013
If this has already been mentioned please excuse. Gettysburg Daily is back up and running. It's a
daily that comes to your inbox and tells all the local - cuse me, I just googled it and Mike Kendra
reviewed it back in 2010. The only thing I can add is it has been off line a couple of years and
it's great to have it back.


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!