We are happy to announce a new temporary exhibition, “A Rough Course Life: The World of the Civil War Soldier,” opening at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center in Summer 2022. The curatorial staff of Gettysburg National Military Park, assisted by staff of the Gettysburg Foundation, are working together to open the new exhibit. The exhibit will allow our local visitors and visitors from afar to come, see and experience something new. It has been three years since we had a new exhibit in our Gilder Lehrman Changing Gallery, and we are excited about the upcoming opening.
The new exhibit will focus on what soldiers endured during the American Civil War—explaining what they left behind to join their respective ranks of the Union and Confederate armies and how the war defined their lives during and after the war. We will use artifacts, documents and works of art from the collections of Gettysburg National Military Park and the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia to tell their stories. The Gettysburg Foundation acquired the Philadelphia Collection, and we are thrilled to have some of the items on display in the new exhibit. As we get closer, we will announce the opening date.
As we look forward to the summer season here in Gettysburg, the Gettysburg Foundation is pleased to host Family Day at Spangler, a free, one-day event from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, May 28, 2022, at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital. Family Day at Spangler provides an educational day for families to experience and learn about the 80-acre historic site that served as the Union 11th Army Corps Field hospital during the battle and housed some 1,900 wounded Union and Confederate soldiers. The event marks the first opportunity for the public to visit the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital this year. Admission to Family Day at Spangler is free, and visitors from near and far will have the unique opportunity to learn and explore the site.
Guests will have the opportunity to interact with a living historian portraying Father William Corby, a Catholic Priest, and chaplain of the 88th New York Infantry, who witnessed the carnage of Gettysburg and survived the battle. Living historians with the Blue & Gray Hospital Association, an official living history group of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, will also be on-site. Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC) will present information on historic barn preservation. HGAC interprets the design, construction, and use of the iconic Pennsylvania Bank Barn.
Families will have the opportunity to hear stories about the civilian role during and after the battle and the Spangler family. See and explore Civil War-era reproductions and even treat yourself to a local favorite, Mr. G’s old-fashioned ice cream. Visitors to the special Family Day may drive directly to the property and park free on-site.
In addition to Family Day, consider visiting the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital during the summer season on weekends with living history and programming from June 10-12 through Aug. 12-14, 2022. Admission to the historic site is included with your purchase of a ticket to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center experiences. Access to the site is free for Friends of Gettysburg.
Wayne E. Motts
President and CEO, Gettysburg Foundation
First appeared in the Gettysburg Foundation's column in the May 23, 2022, edition of the Gettysburg Times.