Photos past and present of Gettysburg National Military Cemetery

Past


Present

Historical Background Component


Gettysburg National Military Cemetery is located on Cemetery Hill in Gettysburg Pennsylvania and was purchased shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg by Pennsylvania Governer Andrew Curtin. After the site was purchased, it was used to bury the fallen Union soldiers of the Battle of Gettysburg. Andrew Wills oversaw the construction and planning of the cemetery plot. The landscape architect William Saunders, who founded National Grange, designed the cemetery. The original name for the cemetery was "Soldier's National Cemetery at Gettysburg," but was later changed to "Gettysburg National Cemetery.

The park was structured around the central monument in the park: The Soldier's National Monument. This monument represented the victory of the Union at the battle of Gettysburg, and commemorated the dead soldiers that were buried in that cemetery. Graves were then placed around this monument in semi-circles to represent that all graves were considered equal. The graves were planned to be in a random order, however opposition from the states demanded that all the graves be grouped by state. There were also two separate sections for unknown soldiers, and one for the regular army. The park was completed in March, 1864. In later years, graves and sections were added for soldiers who died in battle in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, The Mexican-American War, and the Spanish-American War. Additionally, new monuments were added, such as The New York Monument, the first statue to Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds, the Friend to Friend Memorial, and the monument to Lincoln's address.

On Novemeber 19, 1863, the Gettysburg National Cemetery was dedicated. At this ceremony Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address. The park became a National Cemetery on May 1, 1872 when control of the park was handed off to the War Department. Currently it is administered by the National Park Service and contains the remains of over 6,000 people.



The Gettysburg Foundation is a foundation put together to fight to preserve Gettysburg and ensure the future of our nation's history.


"Our goal at the Gettysburg Foundation is to help provide for the preservation of this important site and every story that developed here. Thanks to a public-private partnership between the National Park Service and the Gettysburg Foundation, that goal is being reached."
http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/preserve/preserve.html


Public History Component


Control of the park is under the War Department but, it is currently administered by the National Park Service.

The Gettysburg Foundation was created to honor the bodies of the fallen soldiers, through various wars.
MISSION STATEMENT:
"The Gettysburg Foundation is a private, nonprofit educational organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to enhance the preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg."
http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/about/index.html



Battlefield Tours
-Reserve a Licensed Battlefield Guide Car Tour (2 Hour Tour)
-Audio Tours
-Walk-Around Tour

National Park Service Ranger Programs
Summer Ranger Programs

Special Events
Battlefield Photo Safari
Abraham Lincoln in Song
Friends of Gettysburg Volunteer Workday
A Lincoln Portrait; a performance
Book Signings in Museum Bookstore
Breakfast with Lincoln
A Night at the Ball
The Film and Cyclorama

Gettysburg National Military Cemetery should be preserved because it is one of the only national cemeteries that honors the battle at Cemetery Hill. The soldiers who died fighting for Gettysburg are buried in this landmark, along with other prestigious soldiers from other wars, such as Vietnam, World War I and II, and the Spanish-American War. Not only does this landmark commemorate the fallen soldiers, but it also brings tourists in from all around the world to see this landmark and bring business and trade into Gettysburg. Future families can come back to this cemetery generations from now to see the graves of their ancestors who fought in a battle that was monumental to the victory of the Union.

Problem-solving Component

One way to foster interest in the landmark is to have volunteers research the famous soldiers buried in the cemetery and dress up like them. They then would go to their grave site as a tour group would pass through and educate the group about the person's life and importance to the war effort. This would be interesting because it would provide the people with a sense that the soldiers were normal people like us, rather than some unknown person that died in the war.
One way to foster interest in the landmark is to have volunteers research the famous soldiers buried in the cemetery and dress up like them. They then would go to their grave site as a tour group would pass through and educate the group about the person's life and importance to the war effort. This would be interesting because it would provide the people with a sense that the soldiers were normal people like us, rather than some unknown person that died in the war.

Rob Kelly
Christine Mina