Defense of Cemetery Hill Rehabilitation Project
Cemetery Hill played an important role during the three day Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. But since 1863, fields became woods; the town expanded, and modern intrusions appeared, including nearby commercial development as well as the long-standing presence in Ziegler's Grove of the National Park Service’s visitor and Cyclorama centers, no longer open to the public in that location. These dramatic changes have hidden the site of important battle action under asphalt parking lots, concrete, brick and non-historic vegetation. Thus, it is nearly impossible to visualize today the conditions encountered by over 6,500 soldiers in July 1863. The events that occurred along the western slopes of Cemetery Hill and the northern edge of Cemetery Ridge had a significant impact on the Battle of Gettysburg and, ultimately, the cost of the Civil War.
One of the most important proposals in the Gettysburg National Military Park’s General Management Plan (executed in 1999), included the building of a new visitor center and museum complex and the removal of the former visitor facilities located along Cemetery Hill and Ziegler’s Grove.
The historic rehabilitation of Ziegler’s Grove honors the sacrifices and valor of the Union and Confederate soldiers who fought and died on this land. It is also central in the Gettysburg Foundation’s mission to educate Gettysburg’s millions of visitors about the battle, the causes and consequences of the American Civil War and the lasting significance of this critical time in our nation’s history.
Key Components of the Project
Rehabilitation of Ziegler’s Grove involves the following key elements:
- Removal of the existing visitor center, Cyclorama building and associated parking lots
- Burial of intrusive overhead utility lines
- Installation of new pedestrian pathways with interpretive signage throughout the historic area
- Restoration of historic typography
- Restoration of historic landscaping, including orchards and woodlots
- Reconstruction of missing walls and fence lines
- Relocation of monuments moved from their original placement
George Spangler Farm Rehabilitation
The Gettysburg Foundation, the non-profit, fundraising and management partner of the National Park Service at Gettysburg National Military Park, purchased the 80-acre George Spangler farm, a historically significant farm within the boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park, in April 2008. The Spangler farm served as a field hospital during and immediately after the Battle of Gettysburg,treating both Union and Confederate soldiers. It was here that one of the Confederacy’s most important generals, Lewis Armistead, died on July 5, 1863 as a result of his wounds. The Gettysburg Foundation is currently working to rehabilitate the property and to develop educational programming opportunities at this location.
Learn more about the history of the George Spangler farm.