History & Relevance
At Gettysburg, the history of the 1863 Civil War battle has been researched and discussed by many noted historians and scholars. Many consider the Battle of Gettysburg to be a turning point in the Civil War (1861-1865). The Battle of Gettysburg brought the Union victory, placing the Confederacy on the defensive. The battle ended Gen. Robert E. Lee’s most ambitious attempt to invade Union territory. The Battle of Gettysburg has often been referred to as the “High Water Mark of the Rebellion.” The three-day battle resulted in 51,000 casualties (killed, wounded, captured or missing).
Heritage and Lasting Significance of Gettysburg History
Gettysburg history cannot be overlooked in terms of the extent of sacrifice — unprecedented in American history. More men fought and died during the Battle of Gettysburg than in any other battle fought in America before or since 1863.
From July 1-3, 1863, Gettysburg was a place of division and conflict. But, in the decades following the battle, Gettysburg became a symbol of healing and reconciliation. At Gettysburg, history was recorded when Abraham Lincoln offered words to heal a war-weary nation with his Gettysburg Address. Years later, soldiers from both sides returned to Gettysburg to shake hands across stone walls that had divided them decades ago.
Today, Gettysburg embodies the ideals of courage, sacrifice and patriotism. In short, Gettysburg is the place where all Americans can honor those Union and Confederate soldiers who fought at Gettysburg.
Thanks to veterans of the past and concerned citizens today, more than 1,400 monuments and memorials have been erected and preserved to honor those who fought and died at Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Foundation, in partnership with the National Park Service, has been working since 1989 to ensure that this hallowed ground will be preserved, unimpaired, for future generations.
Preserve Gettysburg History: Join the Friends of Gettysburg
For more than two decades, the Friends of Gettysburg, the membership base of the Gettysburg Foundation, have worked tirelessly to care for the Gettysburg battlefield by building and painting fences, restoring monuments and cannon carriages, donating priceless land and artifacts and raising funds to support battlefield rehabilitation efforts. These individuals didn’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for Gettysburg history to be preserved by someone else — they got involved in the work of preserving Gettysburg history.
Become a member of the Friends of Gettysburg and join more than 45,000 members worldwide who have visited this hallowed ground, realized its importance and got involved in the work of preserving Gettysburg’s heritage and lasting significance.
An extraordinary evening of performance, film, food,Details
living history, and dancing
One Hundred Fifty Years of History: Talks and Book SigningsDetails
At a time of crisis, the fate of the nation restedDetails
in the hands of a few
Be transported back in time to July and August of 1863Details