The Gettysburg Foundation will open the historic George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital on Friday, June 26. The site will be open to visitors on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. through August 9.
Admission to the site is included with the purchase of a ticket to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center programs and access to the site is free for those with a Friends of Gettysburg membership.
The outdoor, open-air experience transports visitors back to 1863 as they walk in the footsteps of those who experienced the disruption and carnage of the Battle of Gettysburg. Docents will be available for questions.
“We are excited to reopen this historic site. We know the experience will be different this year; however, our open-air setting provides an authentic experience while being mindful of visitor safety,” said site coordinator Paul Semanek.
The home of George and Elizabeth Spangler, the farm is one of the best examples of a Civil War field hospital site on the battlefield today. During the battle, more than 1,900 soldiers – both Union and Confederate – received care at the farm. The site also served as an artillery reserve, ammunition reserve, provost guard and a temporary cemetery for both Union and Confederate soldiers. The Gettysburg Foundation acquired the George Spangler Farm property in 2008.
“The site not only served a vital role in battle, it also served as the Union Army’s 11th Corps field hospital during and after the Battle of Gettysburg. Perhaps the most well-known soldier treated here was Confederate General Lewis Armistead, who passed away in the summer kitchen,” added Semanek.
Today, in addition to providing visitors with an opportunity to learn more about Civil War medicine, the site also houses the Gettysburg Foundation’s executive leadership program: In the Footsteps of Leaders.
“The property is both a step back in time and a classroom for today’s leaders,” said Gettysburg Foundation senior director of partnerships, Brian Klinzing. “Through the generosity and efforts of donors, Friends, philanthropic foundations and corporate partners, the award-winning restoration efforts on the summer kitchen, smokehouse and Pennsylvania bank barn are truly remarkable.
“The newly completed farmhouse - the Kinsley Leadership Center - is our on-the-battlefield headquarters for the Foundation’s executive leadership program where we provide an immersive leadership experience based on the real-life decisions made during the Battle of Gettysburg,” added Klinzing.
In accordance to state, federal and CDC mandates, visitors, staff and volunteers will need face coverings in enclosed areas on the property and should follow appropriate social distancing guidelines.