Gettysburg - History

Gettysburg - History

Gettysburg

A city In southern Pennsylvania, site of one of the most important battles of the Civil War 1 3 July 1863. It was at the dedication of the National Cemetery on the battleground 19 November 1863 that President Lincoln delivered his immortal Gettysburg Address.

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cpl. 96; a. 1 30 pdr Parrott r., 2 12-pdr. r., 4 24-pdr.
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The first Gettysburg, formerly Douglass, then Margaret and Jessie, was built at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1858, and was captured as a blockade runner 5 November 1863 by Fulton, Keystone State, and Nansemond off Wilmington, N.C. She was purchased from the New York Prize Court by the Navy and commissioned Gettysburg at New York Navy Yard, 2 May 1864, Lieutenant Roswell II. Lamson commanding.

A fast, strong steamer, Gettysburg was assigned blockading duty with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and departed New York 7 May 1864. She arrived at Beaufort, N.C., 14 May and from there took station at the entrance to the Cape Fear River.

For the next 7 months, Gettysburg was engaged in the vital business of capturing blockade runners carrying supplies to the strangling South. She captured several ships, and occasionally performed other duties. On 8 October, for instance, she rescued six survivors from schooner Horne, which had capsized in a squall.

Gettysburg took part in the the attack on Fort Fisher 24 25 December 1864. Gettysburg assisted with the devastating bombardment prior to the landings by Army troops, and during the actual landings stood in close to shore to furnish cover for the assault. Gettysburg's boats were used to help transport troops to the beaches.

With the failure of the first attack on the formidable Confederate works. plans were laid for a second assault, this time including a landing force of sailors and marines to assault the sea face of the fort. In this attack, 15 January 1865, Gettysburg again engaged the fort in the preliminary bombardment, and furnished a detachment of sailors under Lieutenant Lamson and other officers in a gallant assault, which was stopped under the very ramparts of Fort Fisher. Lamson and a group of officers and men were forced to spend the night in a ditch under Confederate guns before they could escape. Though failing to take the sea face of Fort Fisher, the attack by the Navy diverted enough of the defenders to make the Army assault successful and insure victory. Gettysburg suffered two men killed and six wounded in the assault.

Gettysburg spent the remaining months of the war on blockade duty off Wilmington, and operated from April to June between Boston and Norfolk carrying freight and passengers. She decommissioned 23 June 1865 at New York Navy Yard.

Recommissioning 3 December 1866, Gettysburg made a cruise to the Caribbean Sea, returning to Washington 18 February, where she decommissioned again 1 March 1867.

Gettysburg went back into commission 3 March 1868 at Norfolk and put to sea 28 March on special service in the Caribbean. Until July 1868, she visited various ports in the area protecting American interests, among them Kingston, Jamaica, Havana, Cuba, and ports of Haiti. Between 3 July and 13 August, Gettysburg assisted in the laying of a telegraph cable from Key West to Havana, and joined with scientists from the Hydrographic Office in a cruise to determine the longitudes of West Indian points using the electric telegraph. From 13 August 10 to 1 October 1869, she cruised between various Haitian ports and Key West, again helping to maintain peace in the area and protecting American interests. Gettysburg arrived New York Navy Yard 8 October 1869, decommissioned the same day, and entered the Yard for repairs.

Gettysburg was laid up in ordinary until 6 November 1873, when she again commissioned at Washington Navy Yard. She spent several months transporting men and supplies to the various Navy Yards on the Atlantic coast, and 25 February 1874 anchored in Pensacola harbor to embark members of the survey team seeking routes for an inter-oceanic canal in Nicaragua. Gettysburg transported the engineers to Aspinwall Panama and Greystone, Nicaragua, and returned them to Norfolk 10 May 1874. After several more trips on the Atlantic coast with passengers and supplies, the ship again decommissioned 9 April 1875 at Washington Navy Yard.

Recommissioned 21 September 1875, Gettysburg departed Washington for Norfolk, where she arrived 14 October. Assigned to assist in another of the important Hydrographic Office expeditions in the Caribbean, she departed Norfolk 7 November. During the next few months she contributed markedly to safe navigation in the West Indies in surveys that led to precise charts She returned to Washington with the scientific team 14 June, decommissioning 26 June.

Gettysburg recommissioned 20 September 1876, for special duty to the Mediterranean, where she was to obtain navigational information about the coasts and islands of the area. Gettysburg departed Norfolk 17 October for Europe. During the next two years, she visited nearly every port in the Mediterranean, taking soundings and making observations on the southern coast of France, the entire coastline of Italy, and the Adriatic Islands. Gettysburg continued to the coast of Turkey, and from there made soundings on the coast of Egypt and other North African points, Sicily and Sardinia.

While visiting Genoa, 22 April 1879, G Gettysburg rescued the crew of a small vessel which had run upon the rocks outside the breakwater. Her iron plates corroded from years of almost uninterrupted service and her machinery weakened Gettysburg decommissioned 6 May 1879 and was sold 8 May 1879.


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History of Gettysburg

In 1761, one of these early settlers, Samuel Gettys, established a tavern in the area. Just twenty-five years later, his son James had laid out a town of 210 lots with a central town square on the land surrounding the tavern. The town today is Gettysburg. At this time, Gettysburg was part of York County. But by 1790, the growing population of the area decided to separate from York County.

A new county was approved by the state legislature in 1800 and was named after the President at the time, John Adams. Gettysburg was chosen as the county seat.

By 1860, the town of Gettysburg had grown to 2,400 citizens. Ten roads lead into the town, creating a few small but thriving industries. Approximately 450 buildings housed carriage manufacturing, shoemakers, and tanneries as well as the usual merchants, banks and taverns. There were also several educational institutions. These roads and industries would lead two armies into the county in 1863.

By the summer of 1863, the Confederate Army, led by General Robert E. Lee, had achieved many victories, and was ready to invade the North, moving both armies from the war torn Northern Virginia. By invading the north, and by chance securing a victory, it could cause disenchanted northerners to pressure the Lincoln Administration to seek a settlement toward peace, thus ending the war. This decision would lead the two armies to the small, rural town of South Central Pennsylvania – Gettysburg.

General Lee&rsquos Army of Northern Virginia, with 75,000 men strong, was traveling north to central Pennsylvania. On June 30, Lee learned that the 95,000 men of the Union Army of the Potomac, led by Major General George G. Meade, were pursuing them. By July 1, both armies would converge on Gettysburg.

Lee ordered several brigades to travel east to scout location and forage for supplies for the southern troops. Northwest of Gettysburg, these brigades were met by their northern counterparts. A skirmish ensued and as the battle heated, word was sent back to both commanders that the enemy was found and reinforcements were needed. Over the next two days, Lee&rsquos army would be drawn to Gettysburg from the west and north, while Meade&rsquos would arrive from the south and southeast. Thus, a battle, not planned, would become by chance.

As southern forces continued a relentless attack against the entrenched Union troops, the additional arriving Confederate forces launched an all-out-offensive driving the Union forces through the streets of Gettysburg to a defensive line south of town on Cemetery Ridge. By the end of July 1, the 5-mile Confederate line traveled from Seminary Ridge on the west side of Gettysburg, through town and eastward toward the area called Culps Hill. As additional Northern reinforcement arrived on the field, they occupied a two-mile defensive position commonly referred to as a fishhook formation along Cemetery Ridge and Culps Hill.

July 2, battle was initiated by a series of uncoordinated and fragmented Confederate attacks on the Union defensive position south of the town. While simultaneous attacks were supposed to have occurred on Culps Hill and Cemetery Ridge, the attacks took place six hours apart and were unsuccessful. Though Union forces held onto Culps Hill, the Confederate forces did drive back the Union in areas referred to as the Peach Orchard, Wheatfield, Valley of Death and Devils Den with a staggering amount of casualties. The Confederate advance of the right flank had initially succeeded but was stopped by heroic efforts of Union forces in an area known as Little Round Top.

Believing his army was invincible and undefeatable General Lee decided his troops would attack what he thought to be the Union Line&rsquos weakest position on the following day. At the same time, General Meade held council with his Corp Commanders and decided to remain in a defensive position for the battle anticipated the next day. Thus the decision made by both commanders would lead to one of the most famous days of the American Civil War.

Several months later, as the citizens of the small town moved through the aftermath of the three-day battle, David Wills, a prominent Gettysburg attorney, was appointed as the state agent to oversee the establishment and construction of the Soldiers&rsquo National Cemetery, a final resting place for the Union dead at Gettysburg. David Wills was also responsible for the dedication ceremony, inviting President Lincoln to provide &ldquoa few appropriate remarks.&rdquo On November 18, 1863, President Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg. Staying with Wills, Lincoln is believed to have completed his final draft of the immortal Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg. On November 19, Mr. Edward Everett served as the main speaker of the dedication, with Lincoln delivering his very short, but lasting remarks.


Gettysburg

Historynet Image MHQ Home Page Cain at Gettysburg By Ralph Peters. 432 pp. Forge, 2012. $25.99. Reviewed by Noah Andre Trudeau I confess to being a fan of Civil War fiction involving real battles. Over the years I&rsquove come to.

Gettysburg Pictures, Photos, and Images

Images from the battle of Gettysburg, July 1 – Jul 3, 1863. The pictures, photos and images you see below are actual pictures taken from the battlefield during the battle. Pictures include a harvest of death, picture of John L Burns.

Gettysburg Maps

Two maps of the battle of Gettysburg. The first map depicts the battle itself, showing the positions of the Union and Confederate positions by day, July 1 – July 3, 1863. The second map shows the overall Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Gettysburg Casualties (Battle Deaths at Gettysburg)

Nearly one-third of the total forces engaged at Gettysburg became casualties. George Gordon Meade’s Army of the Potomac lost 28 percent of the men involved Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia suffered over 37 percent. Of.

Battle Of Gettysburg

Facts, Summary and HistoryNet Articles about the Battle Of Gettysburg during the American Civil War Gettysburg Facts Location Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County Generals Union General: George G. Meade Confederate General: Robert E.

Who owns Gettysburg?

Preservationists, residents, entrepreneurs and Civil War enthusiasts all want a stake in its legacy At times it seems as if there isn’t enough Gettysburg to go around, and almost 150 years after the nation-changing battle, the site.

Gaming board says no to Gettysburg casino

No gambling for historic Civil War town Preservationists claimed victory in Gettysburg this spring when for the second time in five years, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board rejected plans for a casino on the fringes of Gettysburg.

Sacred Trust: Gettysburg Perspectives Lecture Series

A Sacred Trust: Gettysburg Perspectives Lecture Series July 1, 2 & 3, 2011 At Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA The Gettysburg Foundation is pleased to.

World War Two in Gettysburg

Scrap drives, war rallies and German POWs took over America’s preeminent battlefield.

New Gettysburg Film from Ridley and Tony Scott

Scott brothers produce Gettysburg film for History channel The famed filmmaking Scott brothers—Ridley (Gladiator Black Hawk Down American Gangster) and Tony (Unstop­pable Man on Fire Top Gun)—have teamed with the cable channel.

Gettysburg’s Best and Worst Monuments

What are Gettysburg's best and worst monuments.

Stop the Gettysburg Casino: Our Gettysburg Legacy

For more information visit www.civilwar.org/nocasino .

Gettysburg is an Endangered Battlefield

A proposed casino near the site of Pickett’s Charge has landed the Gettysburg National Military Park on the Civil War Preservation Trust’s list of the 10 most endangered battlefields in 2010. In its annual report History Under Siege­.

Richard Ewell at Gettysburg

Second-Guessing Dick Ewell: Why didn’t the Confederate general take Cemetery Hill on July 1, 1863.

At Gettysburg with the Lousiana Tigers

The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign, June-July, 1863 By Scott L. Mingus Sr., Louisiana State University Press, 2009 The legendary Louisiana Tigers, one of the more feared units in the Army of Northern Virginia, get a welcome.

Gettysburg maps sesquicentennial strategy

Civil War battle strategy can be tricky enough itself to convey, but that wasn’t what was giving German journalist Hermann Schmid problems in Gettysburg last fall.


Battle History

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee's attempt to invade the North.

After his success at Chancellorsville in Virginia in May 1863, Lee led his army through the Shenandoah Valley to begin his second invasion of the North—the Gettysburg Campaign. With his army in high spirits, Lee intended to shift the focus of the summer campaign from war-ravaged northern Virginia and hoped to influence Northern politicians to give up their prosecution of the war by penetrating as far as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, or even Philadelphia. Prodded by President Abraham Lincoln, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker moved his army in pursuit, but was relieved of command just three days before the battle and replaced by Meade.

Elements of the two armies initially collided at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, as Lee urgently concentrated his forces there, his objective being to engage the Union army and destroy it. Low ridges to the northwest of town were defended initially by a Union cavalry division under Brig. Gen. John Buford, and soon reinforced with two corps of Union infantry. However, two large Confederate corps assaulted them from the northwest and north, collapsing the hastily developed Union lines, sending the defenders retreating through the streets of town to the hills just to the south.

On the second day of battle, most of both armies had assembled. The Union line was laid out in a defensive formation resembling a fishhook. In the late afternoon of July 2, Lee launched a heavy assault on the Union left flank, and fierce fighting raged at Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, Devil's Den, and the Peach Orchard. On the Union right, Confederate demonstrations escalated into full-scale assaults on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. All across the battlefield, despite significant losses, the Union defenders held their lines.

On the third day of battle, fighting resumed on Culp's Hill, and cavalry battles raged to the east and south, but the main event was a dramatic infantry assault by 12,500 Confederates against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, known as Pickett's Charge. The charge was repulsed by Union rifle and artillery fire, at great loss to the Confederate army.

Lee led his army on a torturous retreat back to Virginia. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle, the most costly in US history.

On November 19, President Abraham Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.

Military Situation

Shortly after the Army of Northern Virginia won a major victory over the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Chancellorsville (April 30 – May 6, 1863), Robert E. Lee decided upon a second invasion of the North (the first was the unsuccessful Maryland Campaign of September 1862, which ended in the bloody Battle of Antietam). Such a move would upset U.S. plans for the summer campaigning season and possibly reduce the pressure on the besieged Confederate garrison at Vicksburg. The invasion would allow the Confederates to live off the bounty of the rich Northern farms while giving war-ravaged Virginia a much-needed rest. In addition, Lee's 72,000-man army could threaten Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, and possibly strengthen the growing peace movement in the North.

Initial Movements to Battle

Thus, on June 3, Lee's army began to shift northward from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Following the death of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, Lee reorganized his two large corps into three new corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. James Longstreet (First Corps), Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell (Second), and Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill (Third) both Ewell and Hill, who had formerly reported to Jackson as division commanders, were new to this level of responsibility. The Cavalry Division remained under the command of Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart.

The Union Army of the Potomac, under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, consisted of seven infantry corps, a cavalry corps, and an Artillery Reserve, for a combined strength of more than 100,000 men.

The first major action of the campaign took place on June 9 between cavalry forces at Brandy Station, near Culpeper, Virginia. The 9,500 Confederate cavalrymen under Stuart were surprised by Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton's combined arms force of two cavalry divisions (8,000 troopers) and 3,000 infantry, but Stuart eventually repulsed the Union attack. The inconclusive battle, the largest predominantly cavalry engagement of the war, proved for the first time that the Union horse soldier was equal to his Southern counterpart.

By mid-June, the Army of Northern Virginia was poised to cross the Potomac River and enter Maryland. After defeating the U.S. garrisons at Winchester and Martinsburg, Ewell's Second Corps began crossing the river on June 15. Hill's and Longstreet's corps followed on June 24 and 25. Hooker's army pursued, keeping between the U.S. capital and Lee's army. The U.S. crossed the Potomac from June 25 to 27.

Lee gave strict orders for his army to minimize any negative impacts on the civilian population. Food, horses, and other supplies were generally not seized outright, although quartermasters reimbursing Northern farmers and merchants with Confederate money were not well received. Various towns, most notably York, Pennsylvania, were required to pay indemnities in lieu of supplies, under threat of destruction. During the invasion, the Confederates seized some 40 northern African Americans. A few of them were escaped fugitive slaves, but most were freemen all were sent south into slavery under guard.

On June 26, elements of Maj. Gen. Jubal Early's division of Ewell's Corps occupied the town of Gettysburg after chasing off newly raised Pennsylvania militia in a series of minor skirmishes. Early laid the borough under tribute but did not collect any significant supplies. Soldiers burned several railroad cars and a covered bridge, and destroyed nearby rails and telegraph lines. The following morning, Early departed for adjacent York County.

Meanwhile, in a controversial move, Lee allowed Jeb Stuart to take a portion of the army's cavalry and ride around the east flank of the Union army. Lee's orders gave Stuart much latitude, and both generals share the blame for the long absence of Stuart's cavalry, as well as for the failure to assign a more active role to the cavalry left with the army. Stuart and his three best brigades were absent from the army during the crucial phase of the approach to Gettysburg and the first two days of battle. By June 29, Lee's army was strung out in an arc from Chambersburg (28 miles (45 km) northwest of Gettysburg) to Carlisle (30 miles (48 km) north of Gettysburg) to near Harrisburg and Wrightsville on the Susquehanna River.

In a dispute over the use of the forces defending the Harpers Ferry garrison, Hooker offered his resignation, and Abraham Lincoln and General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck, who were looking for an excuse to get rid of him, immediately accepted. They replaced Hooker early on the morning of June 28 with Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade, then commander of the V Corps.

On June 29, when Lee learned that the Army of the Potomac had crossed the Potomac River, he ordered a concentration of his forces around Cashtown, located at the eastern base of South Mountain and eight miles (13 km) west of Gettysburg. On June 30, while part of Hill's Corps was in Cashtown, one of Hill's brigades, North Carolinians under Brig. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew, ventured toward Gettysburg. In his memoirs, Maj. Gen. Henry Heth, Pettigrew's division commander, claimed that he sent Pettigrew to search for supplies in town—especially shoes.

When Pettigrew's troops approached Gettysburg on June 30, they noticed Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. John Buford arriving south of town, and Pettigrew returned to Cashtown without engaging them. When Pettigrew told Hill and Heth what he had seen, neither general believed that there was a substantial U.S. force in or near the town, suspecting that it had been only Pennsylvania militia. Despite General Lee's order to avoid a general engagement until his entire army was concentrated, Hill decided to mount a significant reconnaissance in force the following morning to determine the size and strength of the enemy force in his front. Around 5 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1, two brigades of Heth's division advanced to Gettysburg.

Opposing Forces

The Army of the Potomac, initially under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker (Maj. Gen. George G. Meade replaced Hooker in command on June 28), consisted of more than 100,000 men in the following organization:

  • I Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds, with divisions commanded by Brig. Gen. James S. Wadsworth, Brig. Gen. John C. Robinson, and Maj. Gen. Abner Doubleday.
  • II Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, with divisions commanded by Brig. Gens. John C. Caldwell, John Gibbon, and Alexander Hays.
  • III Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles, with divisions commanded by Maj. Gen. David B. Birney and Maj. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys.
  • V Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. George Sykes (George G. Meade until June 28), with divisions commanded by Brig. Gens. James Barnes, Romeyn B. Ayres, and Samuel W. Crawford.
  • VI Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick, with divisions commanded by Brig. Gen. Horatio G. Wright, Brig. Gen. Albion P. Howe, and Maj. Gen. John Newton.
  • XI Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard, with divisions commanded by Brig. Gen. Francis C. Barlow, Brig. Gen. Adolph von Steinwehr, and Maj. Gen. Carl Schurz.
  • XII Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum, with divisions commanded by Brig. Gens. Alpheus S. Williams and John W. Geary.
  • Cavalry Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, with divisions commanded by Brig. Gens. John Buford, David McM. Gregg, and H. Judson Kilpatrick.
  • Artillery Reserve, commanded by Brig. Gen. Robert O. Tyler. (The preeminent artillery officer at Gettysburg was Brig. Gen. Henry J. Hunt, chief of artillery on Meade's staff.)

During the advance on Gettysburg, Maj. Gen. Reynolds was in operational command of the left, or advanced, wing of the Army, consisting of the I, III, and XI Corps. Note that many other Union units (not part of the Army of the Potomac) were actively involved in the Gettysburg Campaign, but not directly involved in the Battle of Gettysburg. These included portions of the Union IV Corps, the militia and state troops of the Department of the Susquehanna, and various garrisons, including that at Harpers Ferry.

In reaction to the death of Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson after Chancellorsville, Lee reorganized his Army of Northern Virginia (75,000 men) from two infantry corps into three.

  • First Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, with divisions commanded by Maj. Gens. Lafayette McLaws, George E. Pickett, and John Bell Hood.
  • Second Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, with divisions commanded by Maj. Gens. Jubal A. Early, Edward "Allegheny" Johnson, and Robert E. Rodes.
  • Third Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill, with divisions commanded by Maj. Gens. Richard H. Anderson, Henry Heth, and W. Dorsey Pender.
  • Cavalry division, commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, with brigades commanded by Brig. Gens. Wade Hampton, Fitzhugh Lee, Beverly H. Robertson, Albert G. Jenkins, William E. "Grumble" Jones, and John D. Imboden, and Col. John R. Chambliss.

First Day of Battle (July 1, 1863)

Herr Ridge, McPherson Ridge and Seminary Ridge

Anticipating that the Confederates would march on Gettysburg from the west on the morning of July 1, Buford laid out his defenses on three ridges west of the town: Herr Ridge, McPherson Ridge and Seminary Ridge. These were appropriate terrain for a delaying action by his small cavalry division against superior Confederate infantry forces, meant to buy time awaiting the arrival of Union infantrymen who could occupy the strong defensive positions south of town at Cemetery Hill, Cemetery Ridge, and Culp's Hill. Buford understood that if the Confederates could gain control of these heights, Meade's army would have difficulty dislodging them.

Heth's division advanced with two brigades forward, commanded by Brig. Gens. James J. Archer and Joseph R. Davis. They proceeded easterly in columns along the Chambersburg Pike. Three miles (5 km) west of town, about 7:30 a.m. on July 1, the two brigades met light resistance from vedettes of Union cavalry, and deployed into line. According to lore, the Union soldier to fire the first shot of the battle was Lt. Marcellus Jones. In 1886 Lt. Jones returned to Gettysburg to mark the spot where he fired the first shot with a monument. Eventually, Heth's men reached dismounted troopers of Col. William Gamble's cavalry brigade, who raised determined resistance and delaying tactics from behind fence posts with fire from their breechloading carbines. Still, by 10:20 a.m., the Confederates had pushed the Union cavalrymen east to McPherson Ridge, when the vanguard of the I Corps (Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds) finally arrived.

North of the pike, Davis gained a temporary success against Brig. Gen. Lysander Cutler's brigade but was repulsed with heavy losses in an action around an unfinished railroad bed cut in the ridge. South of the pike, Archer's brigade assaulted through Herbst (also known as McPherson's) Woods. The U.S. Iron Brigade under Brig. Gen. Solomon Meredith enjoyed initial success against Archer, capturing several hundred men, including Archer himself.

General Reynolds was shot and killed early in the fighting while directing troop and artillery placements just to the east of the woods. Shelby Foote wrote that the Union cause lost a man considered by many to be "the best general in the army." Maj. Gen. Abner Doubleday assumed command. Fighting in the Chambersburg Pike area lasted until about 12:30 p.m. It resumed around 2:30 p.m., when Heth's entire division engaged, adding the brigades of Pettigrew and Col. John M. Brockenbrough.

As Pettigrew's North Carolina Brigade came on line, they flanked the 19th Indiana and drove the Iron Brigade back. The 26th North Carolina (the largest regiment in the army with 839 men) lost heavily, leaving the first day's fight with around 212 men. By the end of the three-day battle, they had about 152 men standing, the highest casualty percentage for one battle of any regiment, North or South. Slowly the Iron Brigade was pushed out of the woods toward Seminary Ridge. Hill added Maj. Gen. William Dorsey Pender's division to the assault, and the I Corps was driven back through the grounds of the Lutheran Seminary and Gettysburg streets.

As the fighting to the west proceeded, two divisions of Ewell's Second Corps, marching west toward Cashtown in accordance with Lee's order for the army to concentrate in that vicinity, turned south on the Carlisle and Harrisburg roads toward Gettysburg, while the Union XI Corps (Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard) raced north on the Baltimore Pike and Taneytown Road. By early afternoon, the U.S. line ran in a semicircle west, north, and northeast of Gettysburg.

However, the U.S. did not have enough troops Cutler, who was deployed north of the Chambersburg Pike, had his right flank in the air. The leftmost division of the XI Corps was unable to deploy in time to strengthen the line, so Doubleday was forced to throw in reserve brigades to salvage his line.

Around 2 p.m., the Confederate Second Corps divisions of Maj. Gens. Robert E. Rodes and Jubal Early assaulted and out-flanked the Union I and XI Corps positions north and northwest of town. The Confederate brigades of Col. Edward A. O'Neal and Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson suffered severe losses assaulting the I Corps division of Brig. Gen. John C. Robinson south of Oak Hill. Early's division profited from a blunder by Brig. Gen. Francis C. Barlow, when he advanced his XI Corps division to Blocher's Knoll (directly north of town and now known as Barlow's Knoll) this represented a salient in the corps line, susceptible to attack from multiple sides, and Early's troops overran Barlow's division, which constituted the right flank of the Union Army's position. Barlow was wounded and captured in the attack.

As U.S. positions collapsed both north and west of town, Gen. Howard ordered a retreat to the high ground south of town at Cemetery Hill, where he had left the division of Brig. Gen. Adolph von Steinwehr in reserve. Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock assumed command of the battlefield, sent by Meade when he heard that Reynolds had been killed. Hancock, commander of the II Corps and Meade's most trusted subordinate, was ordered to take command of the field and to determine whether Gettysburg was an appropriate place for a major battle. Hancock told Howard, "I think this the strongest position by nature upon which to fight a battle that I ever saw." When Howard agreed, Hancock concluded the discussion: "Very well, sir, I select this as the battle-field." Hancock's determination had a morale-boosting effect on the retreating Union soldiers, but he played no direct tactical role on the first day.

General Lee understood the defensive potential to the Union if they held this high ground. He sent orders to Ewell that Cemetery Hill be taken "if practicable." Ewell, who had previously served under Stonewall Jackson, a general well known for issuing peremptory orders, determined such an assault was not practicable and, thus, did not attempt it this decision is considered by historians to be a great missed opportunity.

The first day at Gettysburg, more significant than simply a prelude to the bloody second and third days, ranks as the 23rd biggest battle of the war by number of troops engaged. About one quarter of Meade's army (22,000 men) and one third of Lee's army (27,000) were engaged.

Second Day of Battle (July 2, 1863)

Little Round Top, Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill

Plans and Movement to Battle

Throughout the evening of July 1 and morning of July 2, most of the remaining infantry of both armies arrived on the field, including the Union II, III, V, VI, and XII Corps. Longstreet's third division, commanded by Maj. Gen. George Pickett, had begun the march from Chambersburg early in the morning it did not arrive until late on July 2.

The Union line ran from Culp's Hill southeast of the town, northwest to Cemetery Hill just south of town, then south for nearly two miles (3 km) along Cemetery Ridge, terminating just north of Little Round Top. Most of the XII Corps was on Culp's Hill the remnants of I and XI Corps defended Cemetery Hill II Corps covered most of the northern half of Cemetery Ridge and III Corps was ordered to take up a position to its flank. The shape of the Union line is popularly described as a "fishhook" formation. The Confederate line paralleled the Union line about a mile (1,600 m) to the west on Seminary Ridge, ran east through the town, then curved southeast to a point opposite Culp's Hill. Thus, the Union army had interior lines, while the Confederate line was nearly five miles (8 km) long.

Lee's battle plan for July 2 called for Longstreet's First Corps to position itself stealthily to attack the Union left flank, facing northeast astraddle the Emmitsburg Road, and to roll up the U.S.line. The attack sequence was to begin with Maj. Gens. John Bell Hood's and Lafayette McLaws's divisions, followed by Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson's division of Hill's Third Corps. The progressive en echelon sequence of this attack would prevent Meade from shifting troops from his center to bolster his left. At the same time, Maj. Gen. Edward "Allegheny" Johnson's and Jubal Early's Second Corps divisions were to make a demonstration against Culp's and Cemetery Hills (again, to prevent the shifting of U.S. troops), and to turn the demonstration into a full-scale attack if a favorable opportunity presented itself.

Lee's plan, however, was based on faulty intelligence, exacerbated by Stuart's continued absence from the battlefield. Instead of moving beyond the U.S. left and attacking their flank, Longstreet's left division, under McLaws, would face Maj. Gen. Daniel Sickles's III Corps directly in their path. Sickles had been dissatisfied with the position assigned him on the southern end of Cemetery Ridge. Seeing higher ground more favorable to artillery positions a half mile (800 m) to the west, he advanced his corps—without orders—to the slightly higher ground along the Emmitsburg Road. The new line ran from Devil's Den, northwest to the Sherfy farm's Peach Orchard, then northeast along the Emmitsburg Road to south of the Codori farm. This created an untenable salient at the Peach Orchard Brig. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys's division (in position along the Emmitsburg Road) and Maj. Gen. David B. Birney's division (to the south) were subject to attacks from two sides and were spread out over a longer front than their small corps could defend effectively.

Attacks on the Union Right Flank

About 7:00 p.m., the Second Corps' attack by Johnson's division on Culp's Hill got off to a late start. Most of the hill's defenders, the Union XII Corps, had been sent to the left to defend against Longstreet's attacks, and the only portion of the corps remaining on the hill was a brigade of New Yorkers under Brig. Gen. George S. Greene. Because of Greene's insistence on constructing strong defensive works, and with reinforcements from the I and XI Corps, Greene's men held off the Confederate attackers, although the Southerners did capture a portion of the abandoned U.S. works on the lower part of Culp's Hill.

Just at dark, two of Jubal Early's brigades attacked the Union XI Corps positions on East Cemetery Hill where Col. Andrew L. Harris of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, came under a withering attack, losing half his men however, Early failed to support his brigades in their attack, and Ewell's remaining division, that of Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes, failed to aid Early's attack by moving against Cemetery Hill from the west. The Union army's interior lines enabled its commanders to shift troops quickly to critical areas, and with reinforcements from II Corps, the U.S. troops retained possession of East Cemetery Hill, and Early's brigades were forced to withdraw.

Jeb Stuart and his three cavalry brigades arrived in Gettysburg around noon but had no role in the second day's battle. Brig. Gen. Wade Hampton's brigade fought a minor engagement with newly promoted 23-year-old Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer's Michigan cavalry near Hunterstown to the northeast of Gettysburg.

Longstreet's attack was to be made as early as practicable however, Longstreet got permission from Lee to await the arrival of one of his brigades, and while marching to the assigned position, his men came within sight of a Union signal station on Little Round Top. Countermarching to avoid detection wasted much time, and Hood's and McLaws's divisions did not launch their attacks until just after 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.

Third Day of Battle (July 3, 1863)

Culp's Hill, Pickett's Charge and Cavalry Battles

Lee's Plan

General Lee wished to renew the attack on Friday, July 3, using the same basic plan as the previous day: Longstreet would attack the U.S. left, while Ewell attacked Culp's Hill. However, before Longstreet was ready, Union XII Corps troops started a dawn artillery bombardment against the Confederates on Culp's Hill in an effort to regain a portion of their lost works. The Confederates attacked, and the second fight for Culp's Hill ended around 11 a.m. Harry Pfanz judged that, after some seven hours of bitter combat, "the Union line was intact and held more strongly than before."

Lee was forced to change his plans. Longstreet would command Pickett's Virginia division of his own First Corps, plus six brigades from Hill's Corps, in an attack on the U.S. II Corps position at the right center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. Prior to the attack, all the artillery the Confederacy could bring to bear on the U.S. positions would bombard and weaken the enemy's line.

Largest Artillery Bombardment of the War

Around 1 p.m., from 150 to 170 Confederate guns began an artillery bombardment that was probably the largest of the war. In order to save valuable ammunition for the infantry attack that they knew would follow, the Army of the Potomac's artillery, under the command of Brig. Gen. Henry Jackson Hunt, at first did not return the enemy's fire. After waiting about 15 minutes, about 80 U.S. cannons added to the din. The Army of Northern Virginia was critically low on artillery ammunition, and the cannonade did not significantly affect the Union position.

Pickett's Charge

Around 3 p.m., the cannon fire subsided, and 12,500 Southern soldiers stepped from the ridgeline and advanced the three-quarters of a mile (1,200 m) to Cemetery Ridge in what is known to history as "Pickett's Charge". As the Confederates approached, there was fierce flanking artillery fire from Union positions on Cemetery Hill and north of Little Round Top, and musket and canister fire from Hancock's II Corps. In the Union center, the commander of artillery had held fire during the Confederate bombardment (in order to save it for the infantry assault, which Meade had correctly predicted the day before), leading Southern commanders to believe the Northern cannon batteries had been knocked out. However, they opened fire on the Confederate infantry during their approach with devastating results. Nearly one half of the attackers did not return to their own lines. Although the U.S. line wavered and broke temporarily at a jog called the "Angle" in a low stone fence, just north of a patch of vegetation called the Copse of Trees, reinforcements rushed into the breach, and the Confederate attack was repulsed. The farthest advance of Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead's brigade of Maj. Gen. George Pickett's division at the Angle is referred to as the "High-water mark of the Confederacy", arguably representing the closest the South ever came to its goal of achieving independence from the Union via military victory. Union and Confederate soldiers locked in hand-to-hand combat, attacking with their rifles, bayonets, rocks and even their bare hands. Armistead ordered his Confederates to turn two captured cannons against Union troops, but discovered that there was no ammunition left, the last double canister shots having been used against the charging Confederates. Armistead was shortly after wounded three times.

There were two significant cavalry engagements on July 3. Stuart was sent to guard the Confederate left flank and was to be prepared to exploit any success the infantry might achieve on Cemetery Hill by flanking the U.S. right and hitting their trains and lines of communications. Three miles (5 km) east of Gettysburg, in what is now called "East Cavalry Field" (not shown on the accompanying map, but between the York and Hanover Roads), Stuart's forces collided with U.S. cavalry: Brig. Gen. David McMurtrie Gregg's division and Brig. Gen. Custer's brigade. A lengthy mounted battle, including hand-to-hand sabre combat, ensued. Custer's charge, leading the 1st Michigan Cavalry, blunted the attack by Wade Hampton's brigade, blocking Stuart from achieving his objectives in the U.S. rear. Meanwhile, after hearing news of the day's victory, Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick launched a cavalry attack against the infantry positions of Longstreet's Corps southwest of Big Round Top. Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth protested against the futility of such a move, but obeyed orders. Farnsworth was killed in the attack, and his brigade suffered significant losses.

Casualties

The two armies suffered between 46,000 and 51,000 casualties. Union casualties were 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured or missing), while Confederate casualties are more difficult to estimate. Many authors have referred to as many as 28,000 Confederate casualties, and Busey and Martin's more recent 2005 work, Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg, documents 23,231 (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured or missing). Nearly a third of Lee's general officers were killed, wounded, or captured. The casualties for both sides during the entire campaign were 57,225.

The following tables summarize casualties by corps for the Union and Confederate forces during the three-day battle.

Confederate Casualties
Confederate CorpsKilledWoundedMissing
First Corps161742051843
Second Corps130136291756
Third Corps172446832088
Cavalry Corps66174140
Union Casualties
Union CorpsKilledWoundedMissing
I Corps66632312162
II Corps7973194378
III Corps5933029589
V Corps3651611211
VI Corps2718530
XI Corps36919241514
XII Corps20481266
Cavalry Corps91354407
Artillery Reserve4318712

Confederate Retreat

The armies stared at one another in a heavy rain across the bloody fields on July 4, the same day that the Vicksburg garrison surrendered to Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Lee had reformed his lines into a defensive position on Seminary Ridge the night of July 3, evacuating the town of Gettysburg. The Confederates remained on the battlefield, hoping that Meade would attack, but the cautious Union commander decided against the risk, a decision for which he would later be criticized. Both armies began to collect their remaining wounded and bury some of the dead. A proposal by Lee for a prisoner exchange was rejected by Meade.

Lee started his Army of Northern Virginia in motion late the evening of July 4 towards Fairfield and Chambersburg. Cavalry under Brig. Gen. John D. Imboden was entrusted to escort the miles-long wagon train of supplies and wounded men that Lee wanted to take back to Virginia with him, using the route through Cashtown and Hagerstown to Williamsport, Maryland. Meade's army followed, although the pursuit was half-spirited. The recently rain-swollen Potomac trapped Lee's army on the north bank of the river for a time, but when the Union troops finally caught up, the Confederates had forded the river. The rear-guard action at Falling Waters on July 14 added some more names to the long casualty lists, including General Pettigrew, who was mortally wounded.

In a brief letter to Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck written on July 7, Lincoln remarked on the two major Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. He continued:

Now, if Gen. Meade can complete his work so gloriously prosecuted thus far, by the literal or substantial destruction of Lee's army, the rebellion will be over.

Halleck then relayed the contents of Lincoln's letter to Meade in a telegram. Despite repeated pleas from Lincoln and Halleck, which continued over the next week, Meade did not pursue Lee's army aggressively enough to destroy it before it crossed back over the Potomac River to safety in the South. The campaign continued into Virginia with light engagements until July 23, in the minor Battle of Manassas Gap, after which Meade abandoned any attempts at pursuit and the two armies took up positions across from each other on the Rappahannock River.

The news of the Union victory electrified the North. A headline in The Philadelphia Inquirer proclaimed "VICTORY! WATERLOO ECLIPSED!" New York diarist George Templeton Strong wrote:

The results of this victory are priceless. . The charm of Robert E. Lee's invincibility is broken. The Army of the Potomac has at last found a general that can handle it, and has stood nobly up to its terrible work in spite of its long disheartening list of hard-fought failures. . Copperheads are palsied and dumb for the moment at least. . Government is strengthened four-fold at home and abroad.

— George Templeton Strong, Diary, p. 330.

However, the Union enthusiasm soon dissipated as the public realized that Lee's army had escaped destruction and the war would continue. Lincoln complained to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles that "Our army held the war in the hollow of their hand and they would not close it!" Brig. Gen. Alexander S. Webb wrote to his father on July 17, stating that such Washington politicians as "Chase, Seward and others," disgusted with Meade, "write to me that Lee really won that Battle!"


American Civil War

Please note: The audio information from the video is included in the text below.

The Battle of Gettysburg took place on July 1-3, 1863 in and near the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This battle was one of the most important battles of the Civil War for the North. Robert E. Lee had invaded the North and was trying to defeat the Union Army once and for all. However, the Union Army held him off and sent him retreating. This was a major turning point in the war.

The Confederate Army was led by General Robert E. Lee along with General's Longstreet and Pickett. The Union Army was led by General George Meade.

The Battle took place over three days. On the first day the armies were still coming together. The Confederates outnumbered the Union the first day and caused them to retreat through the town of Gettysburg to the south side of town. General Lee wanted his men to continue the attack and finish off the Union troops. However, his men delayed and the Union had the opportunity to dig in and set up their defenses.

By the second day, the armies from both sides were now at full force. The Union had around 94,000 soldiers and the Confederates around 72,000. Lee attacked and there was fierce fighting throughout the day with both sides taking heavy losses. The Union lines held.


First page of John Hay's
draft of the Gettysburg Address

from the Library of Congress

The third day, General Lee decided to make an all or nothing attack. He felt if he could win this battle, the South would win the war. He sent General Pickett, with 12,500 men, on a direct charge at the heart of the Union Army. This famous attack is called Pickett's Charge. Pickett's men were defeated with over half of them injured or killed. General Lee and the Confederate Army retreated.

The Battle of Gettysburg was the deadliest battle of the Civil War. There were around 46,000 casualties including nearly 8,000 deaths.

General Meade and the Union Army were exhausted and had many casualties and deaths of their own to deal with. They did not pursue Lee's Army. President Lincoln was disappointed that Meade did not pursue General Lee as he felt the entire Confederate army could have been defeated and the war ended that day.

Later that year, on November 19, 1863, President Lincoln attended the dedication of the Soldier's National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His speech was short and lasted only two minutes. Not much was thought of the speech at the time, but today it is considered one of the greatest speeches ever given.


Welcome to Gettysburg, PA

Welcome to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the turning point of the Civil War occurred from July 1 – 3, 1863. Travel through the Gettysburg National Military Park, with over 1,000 monuments and cannon along over 40 miles of scenic roads – a battlefield shrine to the Union and Confederate soldiers who fought here.

Visit the scene of the Gettysburg Address, Picket’s Charge, General Robert E. Lee’s Headquarters, Little Round Top, and the Devil’s Den. You can even meet Abraham Lincoln! In Gettysburg, you can eat authentic Civil War era foods, sleep in a restored historic inn, and discover over 25 museums and resort attractions — some unlike any in the world.

Come see all that Gettysburg has to offer – and rekindle your patriotism at the same time!


THE BATTLE

When news reached southern Pennsylvania that Lee’s army was on its way, residents fled. The area was mostly deserted by the time the Confederate soldiers appeared—except for the Union Army awaiting their arrival. Tipped off by intelligence reports, the Yankees were able to predict when the southerners would arrive—and had camped out in Cashtown to wait for them.

At first the Confederates outnumbered the Yankees. Overwhelmed by the sheer size of the southern army, the Union was forced to retreat from Cashtown to Gettysburg and wait for more troops. There, led by General George Meade, the Union regrouped and set up renewed defenses.

By the second day the Yankees numbered around 94,000 soldiers the Confederates around 72,000. General Lee attacked first. Both sides took heavy losses, but Meade’s Union defense lines held strong.

On the final day of the battle, General Lee decided to stage an aggressive attack. He sent General George Pickett—with approximately 12,500 men—on a direct charge against the Union Army. Pickett’s attack ultimately failed, resulting in over half of his men being injured or killed. General Lee and the Confederate Army retreated.

The Battle of Gettysburg remains the deadliest battle of the Civil War. As many as 23,000 Yankees and 28,000 Confederates were killed, wounded, or captured over the course of just three days.


Reverend Alexander Dobbin and The Historic Dobbin House

"Four Score and Seven Years" before President Lincoln delivered his immortal Gettysburg Address (1863-87=1776), Gettysburg's oldest and most historic building, the Dobbin House, was built. Just imagine the residents of the then eighty-seven year old house who probably sat on the balcony to watch as Lincoln delivered his speech on a bluff a few hundred yards away at the National Cemetery!

Reverend Alexander Dobbin, who built the Dobbin House, was an early frontier pioneer who helped settle and civilize the area. Born in Ireland in 1742, he grew to be a man of keen foresight, a person highly respected by his peers, an educator of men of stature, a Minister and a rugged individual who played a major role in the founding of Gettysburg. After studying the classics in Ireland, Dobbin and his bride, Isabella Gamble, set sail for a new life in the New World. Shortly after his arrival in America, he became pastor of the Rock Creek Presbyterian Church, located one mile north of what is now Gettysburg.

In 1774, the Dobbin purchased 300 acres of land in and around what is now the town of Gettysburg and commenced construction of a farm and the Dobbin House, for use as their dwelling and as a Classical School, today's equivalent of a combined theological seminary and liberal arts college. Dobbin's school was the first of its kind in America west of the Susquehanna River, an academy which enjoyed an excellent reputation for educating many professional men of renown.

Rev. Dobbin needed a large house for his school and family, for his Irish wife had borne him ten children before her early death. He remarried to the widow, Mary Agnew, who already had nine children of her own!

Rev. Dobbin, a short, stout, smiling gentleman who wore a white wig, became a highly respected community leader, as well as minister and educator. He worked diligently to establish in 1800 an autonomous Adams County, which originally was a part of neighboring York County. Thereafter, he was one of two appointed commissioners to chose Gettysburg as the new county seat.

In the mid-1800's, a secret crawl space, featured in "National Geographic", served as a "station" for hiding runaway slaves on their perilous journey to freedom on the "Underground Railroad." After the battle of Gettysburg ceased, and the armies had departed, it served as a hospital for wounded soldiers of both the North and the South.

Today the historic house appears virtually the same as it did over 200 years ago. Its native stone walls, seven fireplaces, and hand carved woodwork have been painstakingly restored to their original beauty and character, with interior decor in the traditional eighteenth century manner. Many of the home's antique furnishings are identical to those listed in the inventory of Rev. Dobbin's estate. The china and flatware exactly match fragments which were unearthed during the re-excavation of the cellar. The servant's period-clothing is completely authentic right down to the tie on pockets!

As a truly authentic colonial tavern, patrons of the Dobbin House may "eat, drink and be merry". Our recipes have been published in "Bon Appetite" and "Cuisine" magazines. Truly a visit is more than a superior culinary delight, it is an enchanting journey back to the charming quaintness and lively spirit of Gettysburg's and America's beginnings!

National Register of Historic Places (U.S.A.)
Registered Historic Landmark (PA)
Mobil Guide

89 Steinwehr Avenue (Business Route 15 South)
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Phone: 717-334-2100 Fax: 717-334-6905

Copyright © 1996 - 2012 Dobbin House Inc. All rights reserved.


Gettysburg Orphanage – History

Located on the edge of the original battlefield along Steinwehr Aveneue and Cemetery Hill, the orphanage stands as a reminder of the brutal past that, not only those fighting in the war but also, those who lost parents, family, and loved ones also felt the horrors of the war. The war did not simply end for the residents of Gettysburg, rather it lived on with the death of crops and income, through the fatalities of families, and the destruction of homes. The Children’s Orphanage should be seen as a tribute to those who suffered after the war and well after, even if they were too young to take part in the tragedy that struck our nation.

After the Civil War, there were children left without families, homes, and necessities. Children were taken in by relatives, neighbors, or left on the street. After a local petition, the Children’s Orphanage was opened in 1868 and housed 22 kids. A year later, the count grew to 60 children, overcrowding the two-story building. Accommodations were made and a new wing was added, but by 1870 nearly all funding was depleted. With the number of children in the building, a disciplinarian was hired: Rosa Carmichael.

Six years after her appointment, Rosa was charged with numerous accounts of cruelty and aggravated assault. The abuse was the main action that led to her indictment. The original file was based on a 16-year-old boy’s escape from the orphanage, in tattered clothing, no shoes, and missing part of his arm. This boy also told the story of two girls who were forced to wear boys’ clothing while being locked in the dungeon to shackles.

As Rosa’s sentencing continued, her punishments grew crueler and more regular. She even hired an older teenager to beat the children who misbehaved. Rosa locked a 4-year-old boy out in the cold of winter in an outhouse. He was released when bystanders heard his screams. She had girls stand on desks in one position until they passed out from exhaustion. Rosa had a 5’ x 8’ dungeon built in the basement with shackles and torture devices which lead to an unknown number of children’s’ deaths.

Although adamantly claiming slander & falsehoods, Rosa was charged and removed from her position – as well as being removed from the town. The orphanage closed in 1878.

The orphanage was eventually turned into a Civil War Museum based on soldier’s lives during the time. The owner, Cliff Arquette, was also an actor. Cliff would allow for tours of the basement for curious tourists while he would narrate the tours themselves.

In 2014, the museum closed permanently and is now occupied by Ghostly Images Tours and Gift Shop.

Paranormal Experiences

It is claimed that many visitors to the old orphanage hear the crying and pitter-patter of footsteps echoing in the halls. Laughter has also been heard within these walls, while some guests have felt tugs on their clothing. Children in worn clothing have been spotted throughout the building when no children had been on the premises. It is rumored that Rosa has been seen peering out of windows and walking the grounds behind the house. The shackles have been heard rattling when no breeze is active in the basement. The overall ambiance of the building is said to be an overwhelming sadness and a feeling of despair.


Watch the video: Gettysburg - Main Title