The Soldiers' National Monument is at the center of "two semi-circular sections" with 18 Union states' areas, 1 U.S. Regulars area, and 3 areas for graves of the unknown.
|Established||1863 November 19|
|Owned by||Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District|
|Size||17 acres (6.9 ha)|
|Find a Grave|| Gettysburg National Cemetery|
Gettysburg National Cemetery is a United States national cemetery created for Union/Federal casualties of the July 1 to 3, 1863 Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War (1861-1865). It is located just outside Gettysburg Borough to the south, in Adams County, Pennsylvania. The land was part of the Gettysburg Battlefield, and the cemetery is within Gettysburg National Military Park administered by the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior.
Originally called Soldiers' National Cemetery, U.S. 16th President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, served 1861-1865), delivered his Gettysburg Address at the cemetery's consecration, November 19, 1863. That day is observed annually at the cemetery and in the town as "Remembrance Day" with a parade/procession and memorial ceremonies by thousands of Civil War reenactor troops, both Union Army/United States Army and Confederate States Army and descendants heritage organizations led by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).
The cemetery contains 3,512 interments from the Civil War, including the graves of 979 unknowns. It also has sections for veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1917-1918), and other wars, along with graves of the veterans' spouses and children. The total number of interments exceeds 6,000.
Battlefield monuments, memorials, and markers are scattered throughout the cemetery, and its stone walls, iron fences and gates, burial and section markers, and brick sidewalk are listed as contributing structures within Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District.
The centerpiece of Gettysburg National Cemetery is Soldiers' National Monument (1869), a 60-foot-tall (18 m) granite monument designed by sculptor Randolph Rogers and architect George Keller. It is surrounded by concentric semicircles of graves, divided into 18 sections for Union states (1 each), a section for United States Regulars, and 3 sections for unknown soldiers.
Battlefield monuments within Gettysburg National Cemetery include those of the 1st United States Artillery Battery H, the 2nd Maine Battery, the 1st Massachusetts Battery (Cook's Battery), the 1st Minnesota Infantry, the 1st New Hampshire Light Battery, the 5th New York Independent Light Artillery, the 136th New York Volunteer Infantry, the 1st Ohio Battery H, the 55th Ohio Infantry, the 73rd Ohio Infantry, and the 75th Pennsylvania Infantry; and markers for the 1st Ohio Battery I and the 3rd Volunteer Brigade Artillery Reserve (Huntington's Brigade). Other monuments include the New York State Monument (1893), the Kentucky State Monument (1975), the Lincoln Address Monument (1912), the Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial (1994), the Major-General John F. Reynolds Statue (1872), and the Major-General Charles Collis Memorial (1906).
Union remains were transferred from the Gettysburg Battlefield burial plots (e.g., on Cemetery Hill) as well as local church cemeteries, field hospital burial sites (e.g., Camp Letterman & the Rock Creek-White Run Union Hospital Complex), the "USA General Hospital, York, Pa." and the Valley of Death where unburied soldiers decomposed in place.Samuel Weaver, as "Superintendent of the exhuming of the bodies", personally observed the contractor's workers opening graves, placing remains in coffins, and burying them in the cemetery,:158 and at least 1 reinterment was from the neighboring Evergreen Cemetery (Adams County, Pennsylvania).
Major-General John F. Reynolds (1872) by John Quincy Adams Ward
Symbols: +-interments ?-structures §-superintendents
|1863-07-01||Union artillery in the summit's cornfield at the subsequent cemetery site counterfired on Confederates west of Gettysburg at the seminary and railway cut.On July 2, Confederate sharpshooters in Gettysburg were "picking off" Federals on the hill.|
|8,900 dead soldiers were on the battlefield, and townspeople and farmers buried some of them at battlefield sites (e.g., along fences and stone walls).|
|1863-07-07||The local Provost Marshal solicited "Men, Horses, and Wagons...to bury the dead" in various Gettysburg Battlefield plots.|
|1863-07-10||The last "Rebel dead" were interred on the battlefield (horse carcasses remained to be buried).|
|[when?]||Battlefield land preservation began by August 5 with attorney David McConaughy's purchases including "the heights of Cemetery Hill" which he planned for a soldiers' cemetery where lots could be purchased for reinterring soldiers.|
|1863-07-20||"Peter Thorn", [sic] who was deployed from Gettysburg in a combat unit, began weekly newspaper ads for "removals into Ever Green Cemetery".|
|1863-07-24||David Wills, a Gettysburg attorney, recommended a state-funded cemetery at the south slope of East Cemetery Hill "on the Baltimore turnpike, opposite the Cemetery":4--the open, sloped tract of 8 acres (3.2 ha) was sold by Peter Thorn in 1899.|
|1863-07-28||State funds regarding "Pennsylvanians killed [were for] furnishing transportation for the body and one attendant" to home cemeteries (600-700 coffins were used.)|
|1863-08-14||Wills, after being designated Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin's agent, purchased McConaughy's summit tract and a day or so later[who?] a 2nd tract "between Evergreen and the five-acre tract of Miller's apple orchard":6 totalling 17 acres (6.9 ha) for $2,475.87 ($51,410 in 2019 dollars).|
|1863-08-21||Wills had contacted William Saunders about designing the cemetery.|
|1863||The reinterment contract was issued and required wooden boards nailed to the head of the coffins to protrude from the ground for displaying identities.|
|1863-10-17||+ In a former cornfield of the battle, the 1st reinterments (Cpl Story & Pvt James) were from the 1804 "United Presbyterian Burying Ground".:140 The "Associate Reformed Graveyard" closed in 1899 (at least five others are identified as reinterred from that graveyard.)|
|1863-11-16||? A flagpole was erected "near the stand prepared for the world-renowned Orator, Hon. Edward Everett". The 12 ft × 20 ft (3.7 m × 6.1 m) "platform" was "on the spot where the monument is to be built..."fronting away from the cemetery [toward the subsequent] vast audience" (in Evergreen Cemetery).|
|1863-11||Joseph Becker sketched the flagpole, the "grand stand" ("speaker will face this way"), and East Cemetery Hill graves.|
|1863-11-19||¶ President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address after the Everett oration at the Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.|
|1863-11-24||+ 1188 remains, including 582 unknown, "had already been interred in the Cemetery".|
|1863-12-07||Wills advertised for farmers to report graves on their property.|
|1863-12-17||The Board of Commissioners of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg was organized at Harrisburg and incorporated on March 25, 1864.|
|1864-02-03||Michigan appropriated the first payment from a state for the cemetery. By the federal turnover in 1872, 18 states had contributed $129,523.24.:26|
|[when?]||The "city of Boston" exhumed 158 soldiers' remains for reinterment in Massachusetts.:161|
|1864-03-19||+ Samuel Weaver reported 3,512 total Union bodies "taken up and removed to the Soldiers' National Cemetery" October 27-March 18.:161|
|1864-03-21||+ Wills identified the cemetery had 3,564 total burials, including those buried directly in the cemetery (not exhumed):175 (e.g., Major George Tate's leg amputated at a hospital was buried in the cemetery which he annually visit from Massachusetts.)|
|1864-12||+ 37 more bodies had been located and reinterred, the stone walls had been completed (the lodge nearly so), and the "main avenue" was "ready for macadamizing".|
|1865||Wills had iron fencing erected between the Soldiers' and Evergreen cemeteries contrary to the condistion when Pennsylvania purchased McConaughy's tract.|
|1865-03-06||? The cemetery's 3 stone walls and the brick "gate house" (lodge) were complete, and the gate was ready to be erected.|
|1865-05||§ Daniel K. Snyder was appointed the cemetery superintendent, and was replaced in November by Sgt John McAllister.:21|
|1865||? The wooden marker boards for each grave were replaced with gravestones (the CCC reset gravestones into concrete in 1934).|
|[specify]||+ A Union soldier buried July 5, 1863, at South Mountain's Monterey toll house was reinterred at the cemetery (his wife visited both sites for the 1913 reunion).|
|1865-07-04||? The "Exercises Incidental to the Laying of the Corner Stone" for the Soldiers' National Monument were conducted after designs had been requested in 1864.:35|
|1867-06-19||To plan the transfer to the federal government, the "Board of Managers" appointed a committee (Blake, Carr, Ferry, Hebard, McCurdy, Selleck, and Wills).|
|1867-06-20||The Committee of Arrangement of the Board of Commissioners of the National Cemetery met Governor Geary, who with General Grant visited the cemetery.|
|1867||? The marble urn in the National Cemetery was dedicated to the 1st Minnesota Infantry.|
|1869-07-01||? The Soldiers' National Monument was dedicated after the crowning statue of the Genius of Liberty had arrived in October 1868. On August 26, the "Plenty" statue was added to the monument, and the "Peace" statue was added between[specify] August 30, 1869, and September 21, 1887.|
|c. 1870||? The 2nd floor of the stone "gatehouse" (Greek Revival architecture) was expanded with a Mansard roof.|
|1870-07-14||"A Resolution Authorizing the Secretary of War to take charge of the Gettysburg and Antietam National Cemeteries" passed.|
|1871-07-22||The commissioners met ""to close up the business of the Board preparatory to its transfer to the National Government".|
|1872-05-01||Pennsylvania ceded the cemetery to the Department of War (the board of commissioners expired.)|
|1872-08||§ Charles Stambaugh became the superintendent until July 1873.:26|
|1872-08-31||? The Reynolds statue cast from bronze cannon tubes:25 (Robert Wood & Co. foundry, J. Q. A. Ward design) was erected on a dark Quincy granite pedestal.:17|
|1878-10||? 50 new iron settees were placed in the cemetery.|
|1879-05||? The 1st rostrum of 20 ft × 40 ft (6.1 m × 12.2 m) was being completed by P. J. and J. J. Tawney, with 12 brick columns and a 5-foot-high (1.5 m) high floor. In addition to Decoration and Dedication days' observances, the building was used during military camps (e.g.,1882 Camp Burnside) and 1890 Camp Abe Patterson).|
|1881-06||+ 20 skeletons plowed up on the Gelback Farm along the Emmitsburg Road were reinterred.|
|1882||? 17 tablets were erected to display stanzas of Bivouac of the Dead (only 8 remain).|
|1882-05-10||+ During Grand Central Avenue (now Hancock Avenue) construction, remains of a US soldier found on the Leister Farm were interred in the Cemetery.|
|1884-11-08||+ First and only African-American veteran of the Civil War, Henry Gooden of the 127th Regiment United States Colored Troops, is buried among U.S. Regulars in the Civil War section.|
|1887-10-01||§ Battlefield guide and assistant superintendent William Holtzworth replaced Supt. Nicholas G. Wilson who resigned to become the GBMA superintendent.|
|1889||+ Remains found during avenue construction were reinterred in the cemetery, and the cemetery gate to the Taneytown Road was planned.|
|1889-09||Joseph H. Smith constructed the "grand stand...for use on Thursday, Pennsylvania Day ... on the large lawn in front of the rostrum".|
|1890||? Two "Act of Congress Tablets" were placed in the cemetery to commemorate the February 22, 1867 "act to establish and perfect National Cemeteries" (the congressional reburial program had been resolved on April 13, 1866).|
|1891-02||? The cemetery's Taneytown Road (west) entrance was built at the summit curve of the Gettysburg Electric Railway.|
|1891||§ Calvin Hamilton resigned as local school board president and became the cemetery superintendent after 2 years as assistant to W. D. Holtzworth.|
|1892||? William H. Tipton photographed the cemetery's summer house near the west gate.|
|1893-07-02||? After an October 1890 objection by Wills had been resolved, the IonicNew York State Monument was unveiled with the "statue of "Victory" in the presence of at least 12,000 persons". The ceremony concluded with an artillery salute by Battery C.|
|1899||+ Remains found at the United Presbyterian Cemetery during construction of the shirt factory were reinterred in the cemetery.|
|1899-09-23||+ Remains of 18 soldiers found on Culp's Hill were reinterred in the cemetery.|
|1900||+ Remains found by fence builders on a farm were reinterred in the cemetery.|
|1903||? A larger Gettysburg Rostrum was built 36.8 ft × 22 ft (11.2 m × 6.7 m) with a sod platform to replace the original 1879 rostrum.|
|1904-05-30||¶ President Theodore Roosevelt delivered the Decoration Day address after detraining near the McPherson Ridge railway cut.|
|1905||The lodge at the Baltimore Pike entrance was dismantled (teacher Ruth Hamilton at the High Street School had lived at the lodge).|
|1906||? $6000 was appropriated for a new lodge for the superintendent (Wm. H. Johns was the contractor.)|
|1908||Memorial flags were 1st used on the graves.|
|1912-01-24||? The Lincoln Address Memorial was erected on the cemetery grounds "near site of original summer house".|
|[specify]||"A 205' macadam roadway [was] graded and piked around the Lincoln Memorial in 1909 [sic]."|
|1914-04||§ Major M. M. Jefferys succeeded Calvin Hamilton as superintendent and the Jefferys family moved into the lodge,|
|1915-05||The "Three-Mile Picture Show" named for the length of film recorded wreath-laying at the Lincoln Address Memorial by local "colored residents".|
|1915-05-06||+ Remains of a soldier discovered at Menchey's Spring on the base of East Cemetery Hill were reinterred in the cemetery.|
|1915-05||§ Acting superintendent Harry E. Koch replaced Major Jefferys who resigned during illness while at "Johns Hopkins hospital".|
|1915-09||§ Superintendent Austin. J. Chapman (1915 to 1918) prohibited hackmans' jitneys from carrying more than 15 persons into the cemetery.|
|1928||¶ President Calvin Coolidge delivered the Memorial Day address in the rostrum.|
|1928-09||? The brick comfort station at the cemetery opened and closed in 1931 (the 1st Gettysburg Parkitecture comfort station was built in 1933.)|
|1930||¶ President Herbert Hoover delivered the Memorial Day address at the rostrum that had been temporarily extended by Army Quartermasters.|
|1930-08-31||§ James W. Bodley retired after serving as superintendent since 1918.|
|1933-06-10||Executive Order 6166 combined management of the cemetery and military park with the Department of the Interior:viii (9 others cemeteries transferred on July 28).|
|1933||? Lafayette Square fencing was moved to the cemetery after 1888 legislation had moved it to East Cemetery Hill in 1889 (installed by Calvin Gilbert).|
|1936||+ A U.S. Colored Infantry soldier that died after the Civil War was reinterred from Yellow Hill Cemetery (Biglerville) into the cemetery.|
|1938||The National Park Service planted 200 rhododendron plants in the cemetery.|
|1942||§ Captain Earl Taute was the cemetery superintendent.|
|1947/8||+ 850 World War II dead were reinterred "from European and South Pacific theaters".|
|1949||Federal appropriations of $10,000 was planned for adding 5 acres (2.0 ha) to the cemetery.|
|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."|
|1955||The Oscar-nominated The Battle of Gettysburg documentary filmed the cemetery.|
|1963||¶ President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a dignitary in the Remembrance Day activities at the cemetery.|
|1963-11-19||Bethlehem Steel deeded 5 acres (2.0 ha) "to enlarge the present cemetery" during a luncheon for the Lincoln Fellowship's 25th anniversary.|
|1967-04-15||A design for the annex between the north wall of the cemetery and Steinwehr Avenue had plans for 1666 graves.|
|1968-02||+ The first burial was completed at the annex (a 22-car parking lot had been contracted on January 23, 1968).|
|[when?]||+ The last interment was made in the original cemetery area (closed October 27, 1972, except for spouse interments).|
|1972||The last formal speaker for a Decoration Day ceremony at the cemetery was in the rostrum.|
|1976-08||The National Park Service acquired the 4th of 6 houses along Steinwehr Avenue east of the Taneytown Road for the cemetery annex.|
|1980||? The cemetery's 1864 stone walls were reconstructed.|
|1993-08-21||? The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial in the annex was dedicated by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.|
|1997-07-01||+ Remains of a soldier discovered in 1996 during Seminary Ridge excavation were interred in the cemetery.|
The stand was erected on the spot where the monument is to be built, in front of which are two semi-circular sections.(cited by Tilberg 1970) Klement pp. 186-7, reference 23 cites Tilberg's "summary of study of location of Gettysburg Address platform"--perhaps referring to Tilberg's newspaper article:
...slain in the first day's battle and had lain for days [behind enemy lines] in the sun and rain until recognition was impossible.
The heavy rains that followed the battle washed down and lodged in these [Valley of Death] places other corpses from positions higher up the flat. These bodies were never recovered, but gradually decomposed, whilst the bones were washed away or covered with rubbish.
the Soldiers' National Monument now towers over the well-manicured lawn of what was once a cornfield and apple orchard.
The Federal soldiers in the [Evergreen] Cemetery laid many of the tombsones on the ground to prevent injury... Thursday [July 2] Confederates...had their sharpshooters...picking off Federal soldiers on the hills [sic] to the north of the cemetery.
...rows of graves ranged along the line of the stone or wooden fences
the heights of Cemetery Hill and the granite spur of Round Top ... purchased by Mr. D. McConaughy.
McConaughy, who held key topographic features of the battlefield in trust for the GBMA, was reimbursed for his prior purchases from commonwealth appropriations in 1867-68(cf. HAER No. 485 p. 43 claims McConaughy was paid in 1868 when the GBMA received $6,000 from the state.) ( [hyperlink needed]
Shall the bones of those who turned the battle from the gate in that fearful struggle of three days at Gettysburg be left for men to plough up in their fields and to wagon over on the roads around that town?(letter included in report, p. 60)
For Sale or Rent. - My Property on Baltimore pike, below Evergreen Cemetery, right hand side; 10 acres, improved with 2-story House, Stable, Hog Pen, &c. Lot of Fruit, never-failing well of Water at Kitchen door. Peter Thorn, Residence on Middle St., next door Dr. Diehl's office. 12-12-4f.
|url=(help). Salt Lake City. June 25, 2000.
A cornfield was turned into a cemetery for 3654 known Union soldiers.
In 1899, [sic] soldier remains were unearthed in preparation for construction of the new shirt factory.14 These remains were moved to the National Cemetery
The stand on which President Lincoln stood...was 12 ft. wide and 20 ft. long, and facing to the North West. It was located 40 feet North East of the outer circle of Soldiers' Graves as shown by pencil mark(cited by Tilberg 1970)
I was able to have placed the Illinois section... On one side of our Illinois section is a large one, containing the graves of the unknown, and on the other that of the State of Virginia. It was upon the ground in the centre reserved for the monument that the platform from which the addresses were delivered was placed. This platform fronted away from the cemetery proper, giving room for the vast audience of people in front of and facing it.Check date values in:
|date=(help) citing for quotation:
work on the re-setting of 5,200 feet of head stones in the National cemetery will ge under way within a week ... many of which are either leaning or have fallen over altogether, will be reset in concrete. ... The work will be done by enrollees of the two civilian conservation corps camps on the battlefield
for distribution to the Board of Commissioners of the Cemetery.
visited the apple orchard,[where?]peach orchard, wheatfield, Round Top... The positions of the above-named corps were fixed. ... Over one hundred stakes were driven at important points. ... and the places where General Sickles, Hancock and Graham were wounded... General Hll...fixed the position...which opened the battle... The hop at the Springs Hotel...netted about $200, which is to be devoted to the Soldiers' Home, near Cemetery Hill.
The battle monument is not yet finished
Wills indited to the Secretary of War...occupation of any portion of the cemetery by...any particular State for memorial structures.
July 23rd 1880. Board met at the Head-Quarters of the Grand Army of the Republic on East Cemetery Hill. ... July 12, 1889 ... sealed proposals for...the erection of a gate way at Hancock Avenue.Check date values in:
Major Wm. D. Holtzworth, the well-known Battlefield Guide, has been appointed by the War Department.col. 2
By the end of the Civil War, 14 national cemeteries had been established pursuant to this act; however, none of these original 14 remains in the jurisdiction of the National Park.
Calvin Hamilton has resigned the principalship of the public schools of this place to accept the office of assistant superintendent of the national cemetery here.Missing or empty
at the spot where Gen. Greene's brigade, 1,300 strong, repelled Johnston's Confederate division, which numbered at least 10,000.
Fence builders in 1900 came upon the remains of soldiers who had been buried on this farm.
entrance way disfigured for years with a partly dismantled lodge.Check date values in:
...appropriation for the construction of roads in Cumberland township, which, owing to the fact that the Lutheran seminary, Pennsylvania college and County Almshouse, as well as the great amount of government property situated therein, gives this township very little or no revenue in the matter of taxation, as all the above institutions are exempt from taxation.
for photographing the Lincoln mounment [sic] in the upper end of the National cemetery and as the picture is being taken a number of colored residents of town will pass before it and each will lay a wreath of flowers on the monument of the emancipator of their race.
repairing a pipe wall at the foot of East Cemetery Hill, unearthed the remains of a Union soldier, Thursday. Embedded in one of the bones of the forearm was a bullet.
The first modern public comfort station in the national military park reservation was opened Saturday in the national cemetery.(reprinted in 1943)
Of the 24 sections in the cemetery, 18 are filled with Union Civil War dead.
|Illustration of consecration|
|1st lodge as modified & 2nd flagpole|
|1882 cemetery image on interpretive display|
|1913 reunion flags on gravestones|
|1955 helicopter footage (minute 9)|