The Gettysburg National Military Park is located at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place during the American Civil War in 1863, during the month of July. Gettysburg National Park is found just outside of the town of Gettysburg Pennsylvania and is located near the Gettysburg National Cemetery. The Gettysburg National Cemetery was dedicated to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.
Gettysburg National Park history commemorates the battle of Gettysburg and the soldiers who died throughout the length of the American Civil War. More than 7,000 soldiers were killed during the battle; almost nothing compared to the 30,000 soldiers who were wounded and after the battle depended on the care of the small number of citizens of Gettysburg. To help handle all of the wounded men and offer them proper care, an enormous tent-city was raised to the east of town where medical supplies and beds could be congregated. Soon after the battle, Gettysburg National Park history reflects that David McConaughty, an area lawyer, purchased just over 600 acres of land at the site of the battle for the burial of the slain soldiers and to be a landmark to honor their sacrifice. Today, this land remains the main site of the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Gettysburg National Park history also goes on to include public attention. Just after the battle, the site was a major hub for families searching for missing soldiers. Soon after the soldiers had mostly left the battle, veterans and area officials began rallying to create monuments at Gettysburg National Military Park. The first of these monuments was implemented in 1887 to honor the 1st Minnesota Infantry, which was completely destroyed on Cemetery Ridge on the second day of the war. As early as the late 19th century, the Gettysburg National park hosted the world's largest outdoor collection of bronze and granite status, all of which were erected as a tribute to fallen soldiers.
A number of reunions were also staged at the Gettysburg National Park; the two largest being at the 25th anniversary of the war in 1913 and again at the 75th anniversary of the war in 1938. A group of 65 men who had fought at Gettysburg gathered, with a median age of 94, at the battlefield for the final reunion. Today, the battlefield remains a popular place for veteran gatherings and some reenactments of the original Battle of Gettysburg. As a nationally preserved landmark, the park has enjoyed the attention of environmental and landscaping specialists and is today a beautiful park with plenty of trees and flowers.
Travelers hoping to visit the park will find that admission is free. The park is open daily from 6am until 10pm for visitors. There is also an official Visitor's Center on site, which is open daily from 8am until 6pm during the summer, and from 8am until 5pm throughout the rest of the year. Veteran holidays such as Memorial Day tend to be extremely busy days for the park, so keep this in mind as you plan your visit.
Many travelers coming to Gettysburg are interested in seeing additional sites related to United States history. From Gettysburg, Philadelphia is only a 2 hour drive by car and is home to some of the nation's biggest historical attractions, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.