Saving History: How We've Helped Preserve the Gettysburg Battlefield

Protecting Historic Landscapes
Hallowed Ground Magazine, 150th Anniversary Gettysburg

On the eve of the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War Trust and its preservation partners have saved more than 927 acres of hallowed ground at this iconic battlefield. For more information on our progress in preserving hallowed ground at Gettysburg and elsewhere, visit

Land Saved in Gettysburg Map

This 24-acre tract located near Barlow’s Knoll on the July 1 battlefield was protected in 1998 through a partnership between the Trust, the Conservation Fund, Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg (now the Gettysburg Foundation) and the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association.

In 2011, the Trust purchased this nine-acre property on the banks of Rock Creek, and transferred it to the National Park Service shortly thereafter.  The property, known historically as the Josiah Benner farm, included the antebellum home and well-documented spring house. On July 1, 1863, two Confederate brigades advanced over the Benner farm and elements of the 61st and 38th Georgia and the 6th and 9th Louisiana encountered sharp Union fire as they moved across the tract to attack Barlow’s Knoll.

The Trust, LCAC and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development used a $180,000 Farm and Ranchland Protection grant to place a conservation easement on this 145-acre property owned by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association in 2005. The Confederate left flank and the division of Maj. Gen. Edward “Allegheny” Johnson occupied this site during the Battle of Gettysburg. It also served as a Confederate field hospital and staging area prior to the fight for Culp’s Hill.

In 2013, the Trust purchased these two parcels totaling three acres, which we will hold and steward with the intention of transferring them to Gettysburg NMP in the future. This land near Spangler’s Spring includes the foundation and archaeological remains of the historic John Tawney farm. This area was occupied by Confederate sharpshooters arrayed against the Union position on the Baltimore Pike and skirmishers who harassed those in McAllister’s Woods.

The 135-acre Hoffman Farm is at East Cavalry Field, site of mounted combat on July 3, was preserved through a partnership between the Trust, the Conservation Fund and Friends of National Parks at Gettysburg, now the Gettysburg Foundation, in 1997.

Secured with assistance from LCAC and the Conservation Fund in 2003, this 45-acre tract of land is also known as East Cavalry Field. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the Shea Farm served as a field hospital and staging area for Union cavalry.

In 2005, the Trust and LCAC partnered to preserve 103 acres known as the Tawney Farm. The site once played host to a cavalry fight between Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's division and Union troopers under Brig. Gen. David Gregg’s command at East Cavalry Field on July 3, 1863.

The Trust partnered with the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation in 2004 to preserve one acre of land threated by potential development along the Baltimore Pike. This land was located between portions of the Union battle line that curved from Cemetery Ridge to Culp's Hill during the Battle of Gettysburg. The extreme right of the Union artillery line was located here on July 2, 1863. Today, this land is part of Gettysburg NMP.

This three acre property on the Baltimore Pike, near the park Visitor Center was held by the 107th New York on the night of July 2 and early in the Day on July 3. The 150th New York was also stationed here briefly, before marching toward the crest of Culp’s Hill. Several dozen Union burials occurred on and just off this property, and sever still-extant Confederate burials are located nearby.

Although measuring just less than one acre, this property is significant due to its location across from the entrance to the Park Visitor Center. The Trust secured the site, which contains the 10th Maine monument, in 2011 and hopes to turn it over to the National Park Service in the future.

The National Park Service, working with the Civil War Trust, acquired 5 acres of land on Powers Hill in 2010.  From this position, Union artillery batteries poured a devastating fire into Confederate forces attacking Spangler’s Spring and Lower Culp’s Hill on July 3, 1863. Due to the intensity of this barrage, one Confederate soldier referred to it as “Artillery Hell.”

In 2000, the Trust assisted the National Park Service in the strategic purchase of this half-acre near the location where Union artillery blasted Confederate positions during the Battle of Gettysburg. Elements of two regular army batteries commanded by Lts. David H. Kinzie and Sylvanus T. Rugg occupied the property. Due to the presence of Kinzie's battery on a knoll near the site, the area is often referred to as "Kinzie's Knoll."

The Civil War Trust purchased this one-acre tract along the Tawneytown Road in early 2013, promptly removing a non-historic home in preparation for transferring the property to the National Park Service. Soon, an NPS walking trail will travel across this property allowing visitors to move from the Visitor Center to Cemetery Ridge in greater safety.

Prior to its purchase by the National Park Service, with the assistance of the Civil War Trust, in 2011, this half-acre property was surrounded on three sides by parkland. It was also the last unprotected property on Granite Schoolhouse Road.

This 36-acre property preserved by the Trust in 2013 is directly across the Tawneytown Road from another Trust-preserved site. On July 3, this area represented the extreme left of the Union line and was held by Brig. Gen. David Russell’s brigade of the VI Corps. The Trust intends to transfer this property to Gettysburg NMP in the future.

Dating to 1997, this 24-acre tract on the Taneytown Road, between the Round Tops, is one of the Trust’s earliest successes at Gettysburg. It was preserved in partnership with Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg, now the Gettysburg Foundation.

The two-acre parcel, located only a half mile from Little Round Top and west of Devil’s Den, was a top land acquisition priority for historians and preservationists for many years — nearly one third of the Union Army marched beside and across this property on the double-quick up the Emmitsburg Road on July 1, 1863; the following day, it witnessed the first fighting at the Wheatfield and Devil’s Den.. Originally part of the historic Philip Snyder farm, the Trust secured the property in 2010, and then transferred it to the National Park Service. It lies directly along the Emmitsburg Road, and was subject to landscape restoration efforts.

In 2006, the Trust and long-time preservation partner, the Land Conservancy of Adams County (LCAC), joined forces with the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency to save 106 acres along historic Marsh Creek, near Longstreet's positions on July 2 and 3. In 1863, the house and barn located on the property were used as a Confederate hospital.

In 2011, the Trust assisted the Conservation Fund in the preservation and transfer of 95 acres of the former Gettysburg Country Club to the National Park Service. This land, originally part of the Emmanuel Harman farm, located along the Chambersburg Pike between McPherson Ridge and Herr’s Ridge, was the scene of intense fighting on July 1, 1863.  Eight Confederate brigades totaling more than 15,000 soldiers — more than 20 percent of Lee’s army — were positioned upon or fought from this land.

This 115-acre site, also known as the Fairfield Cavalry Field, was preserved through a partnership between the Trust and LCAC in 2003. On July 3, 1863, it witnessed an encounter between the 6th U.S. Cavalry and a Confederate cavalry brigade under command of Brig. Gen. "Grumble" Jones.

This land was secured by the Trust in 2005 and is now part of Gettysburg NMP, subject to a life estate. The area was in a critical situation, as development threatened to overtake the corner near Baltimore Pike and Hunt Avenue.

22The Trust’s acquisition of this 74-acre tract in 2013 greatly enhanced interpretation opportunities at South Cavalry Field, where sharp mounted combat occurred on the morning of July 3. The Trust will place a conservation easement, held by the National Park Service, on the property and investigate opportunities to keep the land in production as a working farm.

Our Sponsors

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software