March 19, 2009 |
Despite multimillion-dollar efforts to restore its Civil War landscape, Gettysburg battlefield has again been designated an endangered landmark. The Civil War Preservation Trust placed the battlefield on its top-10 endangered list - for the fourth time in nine years - because of concern over encroachment on two sides: tourism-related development to the east near the new visitor center, and the uncertain fate of a 130-acre, bankrupt country club on the west. Both areas were scenes of notable clashes during the 1863 battle but are not protected from development.
October 8, 1993 |
There are at least two Gettysburgs. There's the one that happens every year on the anniversary of the battle. People who have driven from Indiana with all five kids in the car swarm over the battlefield, buying souvenirs and T-shirts, while serious collectors dicker over Maxwell House canfuls of Minie balls. It's a magnificent festival. The rest of the time, the battlefield is a different place - a near- churchlike place of reverent consideration of history. Standing at the top or bottom of the hill that once was covered with the bodies of those who made Pickett's charge brings reflections on bravery, honor, duty and the waste of life that would bring a tear to the coldest eye. I often sit at the bottom of Little Round Top, where my great-grandfather's Alabama regiment tried, on the second day, to dislodge the Maine heroes who had beaten them to it. That hill looks impossible to climb on a beautiful fall day without pack or musket and especially without angry folks at the top shooting down.
July 5, 2013 |
GETTYSBURG - For a moment, the line was quiet. As the sun beat down on the field, a row of men dressed in gray adjusted muskets, hoisted flags, and wiped sweat from their foreheads. Then, with a whoop, they were off across the field, followed by ranks and ranks behind them. But the majority of the crowd sprinting across the battlefield Wednesday afternoon was decidedly and defiantly anachronistic: middle-aged men in T-shirts, children riding on parents' shoulders, young women in sundresses, and more than a few amateur photographers with cellphone cameras.
December 7, 2015 |
Compared with what Union and Confederate soldiers suffered those three deadly days in July 1863, conditions on the Gettysburg battlefield were a dream for these troops. The temperature was a no-jacket-required 72 degrees. Food was plentiful. Suffering amounted to sore feet and low cellphone batteries by the time Ed Ruggero and his brigade concluded their daylong assault at McPherson Ridge, the Peach Orchard, Little Round Top, and the site of Pickett's Charge. Then again, this mission was not to conquer and destroy, it was how to lead in 21st-century corporate America.
September 3, 2012 |
GETTYSBURG, Pa. - A twig snaps and brush rustles in woods on the Gettysburg battlefield. My horse does not flinch. It's nothing more than a small animal scurrying away. But on a hot summer day nearly 150 years earlier, it could have been the enemy. The rolling farmland that is Gettysburg can be toured in a number of ways, but on horseback you can transport yourself to the vantage and vulnerability of a Civil War officer on horseback directing his troops in the three-day battle. On a recent family trip, my husband, our daughters, ages 9 and 14, and I toured the battlefields on horseback with a licensed Gettysburg battlefield guide.
July 7, 2016
By Mark Edward Lender Our country just marked the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with the customary parades, fireworks, and family gatherings that have become American traditions. As welcome as these celebrations are, we should take a few moments to reflect upon the fact that - just 50 miles from Independence Hall, where that momentous document was signed - a modern academic institution is destroying the battlefield where the declaration's lofty ideals were secured by our nation's first soldiers.
December 28, 2007 |
Members of an elite corps of Civil War historians who take visitors on in-depth tours of the Gettysburg battlefield claim new rules being imposed by the National Park Service will threaten their nearly century-old organization. The park service, as part of its reorganization ahead of the opening of the battlefield's new visitor center in April, established a new tour schedule and reservation system and changed how and when the licensed battlefield guides get paid. The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides says the new system effectively ends their ability to control their work schedules and will reduce the number of tours they give.
July 6, 2013
The most mistaken passage of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address predicted: "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here. ... " Of course, remembering Lincoln's 272 words proved to be far easier than preserving the great battlefield he stood upon. One hundred fifty years after the Civil War's most pivotal and bloody battle, government officials and preservationists have not only expanded the hallowed ground dramatically, from the 17-acre cemetery Lincoln dedicated to the nearly 6,000 historic acres the national park encompasses today.
June 24, 2013 |
GETTYSBURG - During the monumental battle fought here 150 years ago, Powers Hill played a key role as a signal station and artillery position guarding the main route to Washington. Over time the fields turned to forest and few visitors made the short trek up the boulder-filled hill at the southeastern corner of Gettysburg National Military Park for the view. Because there wasn't one. Before last year you could not see the battlefield for the trees. Today, after trees have been clear-cut, a nonhistoric house demolished, and a small parcel of land purchased, a visitor can stand beside the boulders, look out across the Baltimore Pike clear over to Culp's Hill and understand exactly what was at stake.
March 12, 2013 |
The Gettysburg Cyclorama building is history. In a cloud of concrete dust, the 50-year-old battlefield landmark came tumbling down Saturday after a 14-year struggle over its fate. At once reviled by Civil War buffs and beloved by fans of modern architecture, the circular structure, designed by the world-famous architect Richard Neutra, was built to house the massive Cyclorama painting depicting the most important moment of the Battle of Gettysburg. By design, it occupied a prime piece of real estate on the battlefield, marking the Union line on Cemetery Ridge where Northern troops repelled Confederate forces during the climactic clash known as Pickett's Charge on the battle's final day, July 3, 1863.