Gettysburg National Cemetery

Gettysburg National Cemetery

Overview

The Gettysburg National Cemetery is located on Cemetery Hill
Cemetery Hill
Cemetery Hill is a Gettysburg Battlefield landform which had 1863 military engagements each day of the July 1–3 Battle of Gettysburg. The northernmost part of the Army of the Potomac defensive "fish-hook" line, the hill is gently sloped and provided a site for American Civil War artillery...

 in the Gettysburg Battlefield
Gettysburg Battlefield
The Gettysburg Battlefield is the area of the July 1–3, 1863, military engagements of the Battle of Gettysburg within and around the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Locations of military engagements extend from the 4 acre site of the first shot & at on the west of the borough, to East...

 near the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg is a borough that is the county seat, part of the Gettysburg Battlefield, and the eponym for the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. The town hosts visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park and has 3 institutions of higher learning: Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg College, and...

 and adjacent to Evergreen Cemetery (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
Evergreen Cemetery (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
Evergreen Cemetery is a privately-owned rural cemetery near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with 5 notable interments: John L. Burns , Steve Courson , Marianne Moore , Eddie Plank , and Oscar Shaw...

 to the south. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg , was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War, it is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac...

, with the support of Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, the site was purchased and Union
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 dead were moved from shallow graves and inadequate burial sites on the battlefield to the cemetery. Local attorney David Wills
David Wills (Gettysburg)
David Wills was the principal figure in the establishment of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As a result of his efforts, the Gettysburg Address was given by Abraham Lincoln. Wills was Lincoln's host while in Gettysburg, and the Gettysburg Address was completed in...

 was the man primarily responsible for acquiring the land, overseeing the construction of the cemetery, and planning its dedication ceremony, although the initial concept and early organizational efforts were led by rival lawyer David McConaughy
David McConaughy
David McConaughy was a noted attorney, cemetery president, and civic leader in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as well as a part-time intelligence officer for the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was a driving force behind the creation of the Gettysburg National Cemetery following the Battle...

.
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The Gettysburg National Cemetery is located on Cemetery Hill
Cemetery Hill
Cemetery Hill is a Gettysburg Battlefield landform which had 1863 military engagements each day of the July 1–3 Battle of Gettysburg. The northernmost part of the Army of the Potomac defensive "fish-hook" line, the hill is gently sloped and provided a site for American Civil War artillery...

 in the Gettysburg Battlefield
Gettysburg Battlefield
The Gettysburg Battlefield is the area of the July 1–3, 1863, military engagements of the Battle of Gettysburg within and around the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Locations of military engagements extend from the 4 acre site of the first shot & at on the west of the borough, to East...

 near the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg is a borough that is the county seat, part of the Gettysburg Battlefield, and the eponym for the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. The town hosts visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park and has 3 institutions of higher learning: Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg College, and...

 and adjacent to Evergreen Cemetery (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
Evergreen Cemetery (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
Evergreen Cemetery is a privately-owned rural cemetery near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with 5 notable interments: John L. Burns , Steve Courson , Marianne Moore , Eddie Plank , and Oscar Shaw...

 to the south. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg , was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War, it is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac...

, with the support of Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, the site was purchased and Union
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 dead were moved from shallow graves and inadequate burial sites on the battlefield to the cemetery. Local attorney David Wills
David Wills (Gettysburg)
David Wills was the principal figure in the establishment of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As a result of his efforts, the Gettysburg Address was given by Abraham Lincoln. Wills was Lincoln's host while in Gettysburg, and the Gettysburg Address was completed in...

 was the man primarily responsible for acquiring the land, overseeing the construction of the cemetery, and planning its dedication ceremony, although the initial concept and early organizational efforts were led by rival lawyer David McConaughy
David McConaughy
David McConaughy was a noted attorney, cemetery president, and civic leader in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as well as a part-time intelligence officer for the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was a driving force behind the creation of the Gettysburg National Cemetery following the Battle...

. The landscape architect
Landscape architect
A landscape architect is a person involved in the planning, design and sometimes direction of a landscape, garden, or distinct space. The professional practice is known as landscape architecture....

 William Saunders, founder of the National Grange, designed the cemetery.


Description


The Soldiers National Monument is at the center of 2 concentric semicircles of graves with sections for 18 Union states, along with a US Regulars section and 3 sections (north, south, & inner circle) for graves of the unknown. Subsequent sections outside of the semicircle have burials for Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 and World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 soldiers. Historic district contributing structures of the cemetery include the stone walls (CM01), iron fences and gates (CM02, CM03), burial and section markers (CM04, CM05, CM06), the brick sidewalk (CM07), and various monuments, memorials, and exhibits.

History


Transferred from temporary graves on the Gettysburg Battlefield
Gettysburg Battlefield
The Gettysburg Battlefield is the area of the July 1–3, 1863, military engagements of the Battle of Gettysburg within and around the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Locations of military engagements extend from the 4 acre site of the first shot & at on the west of the borough, to East...

, 3,512 Union soldiers were buried in the rural cemetery
Rural cemetery
The rural cemetery or garden cemetery is a style of burial ground that uses landscaping in a park-like setting.As early as 1711 the architect Sir Christopher Wren had advocated the creation of burial grounds on the outskirts of town, "inclosed with a strong Brick Wall, and having a walk round, and...

 (979 unknown).

Consecration: The November 19, 1863, "Consecration of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg" included the Edward Everett
Edward Everett
Edward Everett was an American politician and educator from Massachusetts. Everett, a Whig, served as U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator, the 15th Governor of Massachusetts, Minister to Great Britain, and United States Secretary of State...

 oration and Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

's Gettysburg Address
Gettysburg Address
The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the most well-known speeches in United States history. It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery...

. The cemetery was completed in March 1864 with the last of 3,512 Union dead were reburied.
Over 6,000 burials subsequent to the initial Union burials included veterans of the Mexican-American War.
valign=top style="background:silver" | Chronology (This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.)
Date Event
1863-12-07 David Wills
David Wills (Gettysburg)
David Wills was the principal figure in the establishment of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As a result of his efforts, the Gettysburg Address was given by Abraham Lincoln. Wills was Lincoln's host while in Gettysburg, and the Gettysburg Address was completed in...

 advertised for farmers to report graves on their property (e.g., at field hospitals and on the battlefield).http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=KxMmAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FP0FAAAAIBAJ&pg=6791,8888719&dq=samuel-weaver+gettysburg&hl=enhttp://news.google.com/newspapers?id=oC0yAAAAIBAJ&sjid=T-UFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5437,6923315&dq=samuel-weaver+gettysburg&hl=en
1863-12-17 The Board of Commissioners of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg was organized at Harrisburg
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 49,528, making it the ninth largest city in Pennsylvania...

 and incorporated on March 25, 1864.
1864-03-19 Samuel Weaver reported 3,512 total Union bodies on the battlefield had been exhumed October 27-March 18.
1864-03-21 David Wills identified the cemetery had 3,564 total burials, including the 3,512 exhumed.
1865-03-06 The cemetery's iron fence along Evergreen Cemetery
Evergreen Cemetery
Evergreen Cemetery may refer to:In the United States* Evergreen Cemetery * Evergreen Cemetery , listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Cochise County, Arizona...

, the 3 stone walls, and the brick "gate house" were complete (the gate was ready to be erected.)
1865-07-04 The "Exercises Incidental to the Laying of the Corner Stone" for the Soldiers' National Monument were conducted.
1867-02-22 Legislation for "Act of Congress Tablets" placed 2 in the cemetery to commemorate establishment & protection of National Cemeteries.http://www.hscl.cr.nps.gov/insidenps/report.asp?STATE=&PARK=GETT&STRUCTURE=station&SORT=&RECORDNO=109
1867 The marble urn in the National Cemetery was dedicated to the 1st Minnesota Infantry.http://www.gettysburg.stonesentinels.com/MN/1MN.php
1869-07-01 The Soldiers' National Monument with crowning statue of the Genius of Liberty was dedicated.
1869-08-26 The "Plenty" statue was placed on the Soldiers' National Monument.
The "Peace" statue was placed on the Soldiers' National Monument.
The cemetery's bronze Reynolds statue by the Robert Wood & Co. foundry (design by J. Q. A. Ward) was erected on a pedestal of dark Quincy granite
Quincy Quarries Reservation
The Quincy Quarries, in Quincy, Massachusetts, were the site of the first railroad in the United States and produced granite for over a century. The quarries are now open to the public as a recreation area.-History:...

.
1870 A congressional bill passed for federal acquisition of the Gettysburg & Antietam cemeteries.http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bTFiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=eXUNAAAAIBAJ&pg=4645,1911981&dq=soldiers-monument+gettysburg&hl=en
Pennsylvania ceded the cemetery to the War Department
United States Department of War
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department , was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army...

.http://www.nps.gov/history/crdi/publications/CRM_Vol2_01_Articles.pdf
1882 The poem Bivouac of the Dead
Bivouac of the Dead
The Bivouac of the Dead is a poem written by Theodore O'Hara to honor his fellow soldiers from Kentucky who died in the Mexican-American War...

 was placed in the cemetery on 17 tablets (only 8 remain).
1887 A battlefield guide was appointed the superintendent of the "National Soldier's Cemetery at Gettysburg".
1893 The New York State Memorial was unveiledhttp://www.dcmemorials.com/index_indiv0007024.htm with "the beautiful statue of “Victory” in the presence of at least 12,000 persons".
1900 Remains found by fence builders were interred in the cemetery.http://books.google.com/books?id=majmwEcrFPMC&pg=PA53
1903 The rostrum
Rostrum
Rostrum may refer to:* A piece of furniture suitable for holding papers used by a person who is addressing a group; a lectern* Australian Rostrum, an association of Australian public speaking clubs...

 was added to the cemetery grounds.http://www.encore-editions.com/detroit-publishing-co/images/rostrum-in-soldiers-national-cemetery-gettysburg
1908 Memorial flags were 1st used on the graves.http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=hJAlAAAAIBAJ&sjid=BPMFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6548%2C1653769
1912 The Lincoln Address Memorial was added to the cemetery grounds.http://www.hscl.cr.nps.gov/insidenps/report.asp?STATE=&PARK=GETT&RECORDNO=509
1928 President Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

 delivered the Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 address in the rostrum.http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=VZ0lAAAAIBAJ&sjid=gfYFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2055,909610&dq=sixth-field-artillery+gettysburg&hl=en
1928 The brick comfort station at the cemetery openedhttp://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0aslAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XvwFAAAAIBAJ&pg=7106,2407061&dq=comfort-station+gettysburg&hl=enhttp://news.google.com/newspapers?id=gtMlAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F_gFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4331,3813554&dq=gettysburg+comfort-station&hl=en (closed 1931).http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=L4olAAAAIBAJ&sjid=s_IFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1277,3946534&dq=comfort-station+gettysburg&hl=en
1933 Control of the Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg National Military Park
The Gettysburg National Military Park is an administrative unit of the National Park Service's northeast region and a subunit of federal properties of Adams County, Pennsylvania, with the same name, including the Gettysburg National Cemetery...

 was transferred to the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

.
1933 Lafayette Square
Lafayette Square
Lafayette Square may refer to a place in the United States:*Lafayette Square, Los Angeles, California, a neighborhood in the mid-city section of L.A.*Lafayette Square, New Orleans, Louisiana, in the Central Business District*Lafayette Square, St...

 fencing was moved to the cemeteryhttp://www.hscl.cr.nps.gov/insidenps/report.asp?STATE=&PARK=GETT&STRUCTURE=&SORT=&RECORDNO=102 (originally placed in 1889 on East Cemetery Hill
Cemetery Hill
Cemetery Hill is a Gettysburg Battlefield landform which had 1863 military engagements each day of the July 1–3 Battle of Gettysburg. The northernmost part of the Army of the Potomac defensive "fish-hook" line, the hill is gently sloped and provided a site for American Civil War artillery...

 by Calvin Gilbert).
1955 The American Legion Tablet was placed in the cemetery to honor the "efforts of American fighting forces in preservation of freedom of all men."
The annex between the north wall of the cemetery and Steinwehr Avenue was dedicated.
1980 The cemetery's stone walls were reconstructed.http://www.hscl.cr.nps.gov/insidenps/report.asp?STATE=&PARK=GETT&RECORDNO=100
1993-08-21 The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial
Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial
The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial is a Gettysburg Battlefield monument depicting the "Armistead-Bingham incident" after Pickett's Charge in which Union Army Captain Henry H. Bingham assisted mortally-wounded Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead, both Freemasons...

 was dedicated in the cemetery annex by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
1997 Remains of a soldier discovered during Seminary Ridge
Seminary Ridge
Seminary Ridge is a dendritic ridge which was an area of Battle of Gettysburg engagements during the American Civil War and of military installations during World War II.-Geography:...

excavation were interred in the cemetery.http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=1930+gettysburg&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ncl=dJ1qKz6T7Mtg7tM&hl=en&ei=lSthTcOiBYLWtQOGmeXWCA&sa=X&oi=news_result&ct=more-results&resnum=5&ved=0CDsQqgIwBA