The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the American Civil War. Many historians agree that it was on these hallowed grounds that our nation was saved.
The Battle of Gettysburg changed the direction of the war and the morale of the nation. After a long string of victories by the Confederacy, the war moved north as troops sought supplies and looked to secure key victories with Southern occupation in Union territory.
For three hot days in July 1863, this small Pennsylvania town was the scene of hard-fought battles, esteemed bravery and the bloodshed of 51,000 men. When the fighting ended, Gettysburg was crippled by the devastation and the thousands of wounded soldiers left behind. The 2,400 residents of Gettysburg were left with 22,000 dead and wounded soldiers, 5,000 dead horses and a town ravaged by war.
The American Civil War raged on for nearly two more years, but the Confederacy never recovered from the loss at Gettysburg.
Five months later, President Abraham Lincoln was invited to say “a few appropriate remarks” at the dedication of the cemetery created to bury Union dead. The monumental speech of a mere 272 words presented a chance for hope and healing.
After nearly 150 years, what happened in Gettysburg is not forgotten. Under any other circumstance, this would be a different country today had it not been for the heroic efforts on this land.
We invite you to walk in the footsteps of history. Whether you stand on Little Round Top and reflect on the sacrifices made in the valley below or walk among the unmarked gravesites in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, Gettysburg is a place that brings history alive.