Big Round Top
Big Round Top Land Preservation in Gettysburg
In April 2009, Wayne and Susan Hill donated 45 acres of wetlands containing wildlife habitat to the Gettysburg Foundation. The land sits near the eastern base of Big Round Top at the southern end of the battlefield, adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park and within the Battlefield Historic District.
“The Gettysburg Foundation is honored to receive this donation to ensure that another key piece of land associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and within the Battlefield Historic District will be preserved for future generations,” said Barbara J. Finfrock, Vice Chair of the Board of the Gettysburg Foundation.
Wayne Hill is a former board member of the Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg (now the Friends of Gettysburg). He is the owner of Gettysburg Construction Company and, as a developer and life-long resident of the Gettysburg area, realizes both historic and environmental value of wetlands adjacent to Big Round Top and Gettysburg National Military Park.
“I have a great affinity for the park and the Foundation,” said Hill, “so I’m happy we were able to make this donation. The land is a natural, beautiful spot, and now we’re sure it will stay that way.”
Big Round Top and the Battle of Gettysburg
On July 2, 1863, Union skirmishers would have been in this area below the base of Big Round Top. About 1,900 Union cavalry and artillery units lined up here before they attacked the right flank of the Confederate army on July 3, according to park historian John Heiser.
The preservation of this wetland area is important not only because it protects natural wildlife habitats, but it also adds to the interpretation of the battle.
Streams, creeks and runs, often surrounded by wetlands, influenced the movement of troops. During the battle, waterways would have been crossed and recrossed by the armies, as the cooling waters relieved battle-weary and wounded soldiers from the July heat.
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