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View Full Version : Gettysburg battlefield acquires 95 historic acres



PoliCon
03-26-2011, 04:54 PM
Posted on Sat, Mar. 26, 2011


By Amy Worden

Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG - For the first time, Civil War buffs can now walk the land on Chambersburg Pike west of Gettysburg where Confederate and Union troops locked in a ferocious struggle at the start of the epic battle.

The 95-acre tract, scene of major fighting on July 1, 1863, has been made part of Gettysburg National Military Park at last.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Friday - weeks before the start of a series of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War - that the former country club land had been bought by the National Park Service from a conservation group.

The price was $1.6 million.

"Gettysburg will always have a sacred place in America's heritage for the pivotal role it played in our nation's history and for the enormity of the sacrifice that took place here," said Salazar, whose agency oversees the National Park Service. "With the addition of the Emanuel Harman Farm to the Gettysburg National Military Park, we are able to include another important chapter in the story that helped shape our country."

In 1863, Confederate brigades advanced and then retreated on Emanuel Harman's and Abraham Spangler's farmlands during an attack on the Union positions on McPherson and Seminary Ridges. For decades thereafter, the land was in private hands.

The property was developed in the 1950s as the Gettysburg Country Club, with a golf course. But the club closed in 2008.

The National Park Service tried for almost 20 years to acquire the property for preservation but could not reach an agreement with the country club board, said Gettysburg park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon.

Last year, after the club filed for bankruptcy, a Maryland developer bought it at a sheriff's sale and announced plans to build 200 houses. But preservationists prevailed in the end: The Conservation Fund, a national group, succeeded this year in reaching a sale agreement with the developer.

Civil War Trust president James Lighthizer applauded the sale, but cautioned that other privately owned sites within the park boundaries still needed permanent protection.

"We have been presented with the incredible opportunity to set aside some of the most blood-soaked ground still unprotected at Gettysburg," Lighthizer said. "Even as we celebrate this great success, we must remember that other vital pieces of the Gettysburg story are still vulnerable."

The Civil War Trust, the largest battlefield preservation group in the country, is pursuing the purchase of three other privately held properties within the battlefield.

Lawhon said the park service would let the golf course return to a meadow while researching how the site looked in 1863.

"We will look at mapping and photos to restore missing fences, farm lanes, and a stream," Lawhon said. "Our priority will be to bring back missing features."

She called the purchase an important development in the park's effort to eventually acquire all 900 acres within the battlefield that are still in private hands.

"When you consider the size of the parcel, the size of the battle, and the intensity of the fighting, it's a significant step," she said.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20110326_Gettysburg_battlefield_acquires_95_histor ic_acres.html

fettpett
03-26-2011, 05:06 PM
thats pretty cool....yeah, we need a history subforum :D

Rockntractor
03-26-2011, 05:08 PM
thats pretty cool....yeah, we need a history subforum :D

You would just spam it with UFO's and Big Feet!:rolleyes:

Bubba Dawg
03-26-2011, 06:05 PM
Sweet. Gotta go to Gettysburg.

fettpett
03-26-2011, 06:06 PM
You would just spam it with UFO's and Big Feet!:rolleyes:

no, thats if we had a Paranormal subforum

Phillygirl
03-26-2011, 06:14 PM
Sweet. Gotta go to Gettysburg.

You've never been?

Rockntractor
03-26-2011, 06:16 PM
Paranormal subforum

Wouldn't one be enough?:confused:

fettpett
03-26-2011, 06:38 PM
Wouldn't one be enough?:confused:

um...i suppose...i guess i never thought of the "it's the end of the world" subforum as a "paranormal" one....but then again anything that Poli posts in is "paranormal" too ;) :D

Rockntractor
03-26-2011, 06:40 PM
um...i suppose...i guess i never thought of the "it's the end of the world" subforum as a "paranormal" one....but then again anything that Poli posts in is "paranormal" too ;) :D

Subnormal.

fettpett
03-26-2011, 06:47 PM
Subnormal.

:D lol

Bubba Dawg
03-26-2011, 06:54 PM
You've never been?

Not enough to count. Saw it briefly but it was on the way to somewhere. It was look, go, look, go and then we had to leave.

I want to go and stay a couple of days and walk the fields as much as i can.

Zathras
03-26-2011, 07:05 PM
Not enough to count. Saw it briefly but it was on the way to somewhere. It was look, go, look, go and then we had to leave.

I want to go and stay a couple of days and walk the fields as much as i can.

If you're going to visit do it during the 4th of July weekend. That's when they hold a big reinactment of the battle.

Bubba Dawg
03-26-2011, 07:17 PM
If you're going to visit do it during the 4th of July weekend. That's when they hold a big reinactment of the battle.

That would be really sweet. Reenactors really get into and do an amazing job on theses battles.

Chuck58
03-26-2011, 10:07 PM
Great news about the purchase.

We've been to Gettysburg many times over the past couple of decades. The reenactments are great, although I seriously doubt the original soldiers looked anywhere close to as well fed as the people portraying them. Still, if you're going I'd do it during one of the reenactments.

Other times of the year is for really getting 'into' the place, seeing the battlefield and experiencing that strange feeling everybody gets. I'm not into the paranormal thing but knowing what went on there, and at other battlefields, there's a sense of something at all of them.

Here's a fairly well known picture. It's a Brady photo of 3 Confederate prisoners who were captured at Gettysburg. So far as is known, it's the only picture of Confederate infantrymen in full battle gear.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_473nrD5vEv8/SkoJL9HrjcI/AAAAAAAABtk/iDf_As9rHqQ/s400/gettysburg-

Novaheart
03-26-2011, 10:10 PM
Sweet. Gotta go to Gettysburg.

Don't build a vacation around it. If it's on the way someplace or not too far out of the way, then it's interesting, but as far as destinations go, there isn't much there.

When I was a teenager we used to go up there for lunch, but we only walked the battlefield once or twice and then it was kind "Now what do you want to do?"

Now, something that it very cool to do, is put a canoe over at White's Ferry and paddle up the Potomac. There is some interesting stuff to see along the way and it's beautiful, especially when it's a warm day with ice flows coming down the river.

Chuck58
03-26-2011, 10:56 PM
Don't build a vacation around it. If it's on the way someplace or not too far out of the way, then it's interesting, but as far as destinations go, there isn't much there.

When I was a teenager we used to go up there for lunch, but we only walked the battlefield once or twice and then it was kind "Now what do you want to do?"

Now, something that it very cool to do, is put a canoe over at White's Ferry and paddle up the Potomac. There is some interesting stuff to see along the way and it's beautiful, especially when it's a warm day with ice flows coming down the river.

Good point. Unless you're an fanatic on history or the War Between the States, it isn't a place to spend weeks. I could, but we limit it to a couple or three days, then head on north. My wife has family in Maine, and I can't escape going. I see it as penance for my many sins.

Zathras
03-26-2011, 11:29 PM
That would be really sweet. Reenactors really get into and do an amazing job on theses battles.

True. If youve seen the movie Gettysburg the great majority of the soldiers in that film were reinactors, including the all of the cannons you see in the bombardment just prior to Pickett's Charge.

Chuck58
03-26-2011, 11:39 PM
True. If youve seen the movie Gettysburg the great majority of the soldiers in that film were reinactors, including the all of the cannons you see in the bombardment just prior to Pickett's Charge.

Was that a great scene or what? My favorite part of the movie, a lot of which could have been cut and replaced with better scenes that weren't included. It brings home something else too: I did my year in Vietnam, and saw my share of action. I don't know if I'd have the kind of courage it takes to charge into cannister and musket fire like they did. Not just at Pickett's Charge but in all those battles.