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2021 News

Living History at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital, July 2021

June 30, 2021

Ticketholders at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center have the opportunity to experience the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital throughout the 2021 summer season. The historic site is open for visitors Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on the Battle Anniversary, July 1-3, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., through Aug 15, 2021.

In July 1863, George Spangler’s thriving family farm was transformed into a field hospital for more than 1,900 wounded Confederate and Union soldiers. A strategic location on the Gettysburg battlefield, the site also served as an artillery reserve, ammunition reserve, provost guard and a temporary cemetery for both Union and Confederate soldiers.

Today, the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital stands as one of the best surviving examples of a corps-level field hospital used during the Battle of Gettysburg. Meticulously renovated and restored, the historic site features original buildings from the battle for visitors to explore. A reproduction Civil War Wheeling (Rosecrans) ambulance wagon is on display inside the barn. The Wheeling (Rosecrans) ambulance wagon was used during the Civil War to transport the wounded.

Visitors to the historic site have the opportunity to interact with living historians and learn about Civil War medicine, medical techniques, the role of surgeons and caregivers, soldiers’ experiences, the humanity of citizens, the Spangler family and the role of civilians during and after the battle.

Docents are available for questions. Civil War era encampments are on-site. Living historians from across the U.S. camp at the farm and provide visitors a glimpse of what happened there in 1863.

July 2021 Living History Schedule

Battle Anniversary Weekend, July 1-4 (Timed shuttle tickets available and suggested.):

  • Historians from Civil War Historical Impressions: A special battle anniversary encampment is on-site. See Union and Confederate soldiers, Gettysburg civilians, generals and surgeons. Guests have the opportunity to walk through the camps and see history come alive.

July 9-11:

  • Reynolds Battery: Blacksmiths will demonstrate techniques of drawing, upsetting, bending, twisting, punching and double striking as used during the Civil War to repair Artillery and Cavalry equipment. One of only a few units in the country that use a replica (1849) of the traveling blacksmith forge while participating in reenactments East of the Mississippi River, Reynolds Battery's traveling forge has been featured on the C-Span network’s "American Artifacts." A large group of living historians will be on-site displaying a 3" ordinance rifle (cannon) and portraying camp life with a cook, leather worker/harness maker, medical staff with equipment, wounded soldiers, drummer and music, a Confederate grave digger and a carpenter.
  • We the People Living History Association: Non-profit living historians group depicts civilian life in support of the war effort during the Civil War era with an emphasis on the United States Sanitary Commission.

July 16-18:

  • Society of Civil War Surgeons: Living historians portray Civil War surgeons, and demonstrate and discuss various surgical procedures, and Civil War era medicines and how they were used.

July 23-25:

  • The Healing: Conversations Between Nurses North and South: A unique portrayal of women who pioneered professional nursing and served during the War Between the States.
  • Dr. Willen & Company: Union surgeon, civilian nurse and hospital steward discuss Civil War medicine and accurately portray Civil War medical personnel with expert explanations on all phases of Civil War medical care.

July 30-Aug. 1:

  • Citizens of Gettysburg: Civilians, attired in authentic Victorian period clothing, recreate the experience of Civil War era civilians and provide ‘first person impressions.’
  • 150th PA Volunteer Infantry “Bucktails” Co. C & K Civil War Field Hospital: Living historians portray two of four companies recruited from Crawford County, Pa., and the personnel who served in the Hospital Department during the Civil War.

Sunday Special Programming

On Sundays throughout the summer season, Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC) presents an exciting new addition to the summer programming at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital. HGAC interprets the design, construction and use of this stunning expression of an iconic, vernacular architectural form—the Pennsylvania Bank Barn.

In the decades leading up to the fateful summer of 1863, and for well over 100 years afterwards, the George Spangler barn served as the hub of a thriving, active farm. Its restoration in the past decade—from a dilapidated structure in danger of collapse to a visage of its original glory—revived an important, tangible component of American history in its own right.

Admission to the historic site is included with the purchase of a ticket to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center programs. Those with a Friends of Gettysburg membership receive complimentary admission to the site during regular summer weekends. Guests may drive directly to the property where on-site parking is available.

The living history schedules for August will be released mid-July. For tickets and announcements, visit

Visit or call 877-874-2478 for information and tickets for tours, events and programs offered by the Gettysburg Foundation.