Gettysburg: Devil’s Den
The boulders of Gettysburg’s Devil’s Den and nearby Plum Run are significant “major battle action” areas of the Gettysburg battlefield. Benning’s and Law’s Confederate brigades advanced across the area while attacking the lines of the Union army on July 2, 1863. Gettysburg National Military Park’s General Management Plan calls for a multi-year battlefield rehabilitation effort that will return key areas of the battlefield — as closely as possible — to their 1863 appearance.
In July 1863, Devil’s Den at Gettysburg was more clear of trees than it is today. Over the years, trees had grown where there were none during the battle. The new growth severely limited the interpretation of this key area of the battlefield, obscuring sight lines and making it impossible for visitors to envision the terrain as the soldiers saw it.
Rehabilitation work — non-historic vegetation removal in Gettysburg at the Devil’s Den area — had exposed utility lines and the comfort station at the base of Big Round Top that were previously obscured. The overhead utility lines provided electricity to the Bushman and Slyder farms and to the Althoff and Trostle farms, north of Devil’s Den.
The Gettysburg Foundation, the non-profit partner of the National Park Service at Gettysburg, raised the funds to remove these modern intrusions at Devil’s Den. The comfort station, and the intrusive utility lines that supply power to it, were removed in spring 2010. The Foundation has also assisted the park with burying the intrusive overhead utility lines in several areas in the southern part of the battlefield near the historic Althoff, Slyder and Trostle farms.
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