Gettysburg NMP Battle Anniversary Programs

154th Anniversary Programs
Battle of Gettysburg: July 1-3, 2017

The three day Battle of Gettysburg marked a turning point not only in the course of the American Civil War, but also for the future of the United States of America. Join Park Rangers and Licensed Battlefield Guides during the 154th Anniversary for a series of free guided walks and talks that discuss, explore, and reflect on this important chapter in our nation’s history.

Click here for Schedule of Events

Lehigh Valley Civil War Days



Saturday, June 17, 2017


7:00 AM - Reveille


9:00 AM – Camps Open to the Public

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Activities on the Historic Street (See list of activities)

9:30 AM – Morning Assembly and Weapons Inspection (See the troops gather to receive their daily orders and have their weapons inspected)

10:15 AM – Battle talk on Battle of Hanover Courthouse (At the Battlefield)

10:45 AM – Battle depiction of Hanover Courthouse.

12:00 N – Medical Demonstration – (Now that you have seen the battle, see how the wounded were taken care of)

12:30 N – 5:00 PM – Entertainment at the Lyceum (See schedule of the events at the Lyceum)

12:00 N – 5:00 PM – Battling in the Trenches. (See how the soldiers fought during the latter part of the Civil War)

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Behind the Trench Tours on the hour both Union and Confederate trenches (Spectators are given the opportunity to visit with the troops in the trenches and learn what it was like to fight and live in them.)

2:00 PM – Rifle firing demonstration - See how actual rifles were loaded and fired. Also, learn the different ways a Civil War regiment fired. Learn why you should not stand in front of a rifle even though they are firing blanks.

3:00 PM – Artillery Demonstration - Learn about firing cannons and why you should not stand in front of a cannon even though they are firing blanks.

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM – Evening Concert at the Lyceum

7:00 PM –? - Dusk Tactical (REENACTORS ONLY – NO SPECTATORS)

8:45 PM – Artillery Night Firing (See the spectacular view as the cannons are fired in the dark)

9:45 PM – Camps Close to the Public


Sunday June 18, 2017


7:00 AM – Reveille

9:00 AM – Camps Open to the Public

9:30 AM – Morning Assembly and Weapons Inspection (See the troops gather to receive their daily orders and have their weapons inspected)

10:00 AM – Noon – Activities on the Historic Street (See list of activities)

10:00 AM – Noon – Battling in the Trenches. (See how during the latter part of the Civil War the soldiers fought)

10:30 AM – Noon - Entertainment at the Lyceum (See schedule of the events at the Lyceum)

10:30 AM – Noon – Behind the Trench Tours on the hour both Union and Confederate trenches (Spectators are given the opportunity to visit with the troops in the trenches and learn what it was like to fight and live in them.)

Noon – Event Ends – Camps Close to Public


Camp Geiger Historic Street


Please take time to stroll along the street and visit the displays


Field Hospital (See how the soldiers received medical treatment)

Laundress (Washboards and elbow grease - keeping your clothes clean)

U.S. Sanitary Commission (Supplying an army on the move)

Plus Much More!!!


One Hundred Nights of Taps play over Gettysburg National Cemetery

‘One Hundred Nights of Taps’ plays over Gettysburg

New, daily event, will bring iconic bugle call to Gettysburg National Cemetery

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania –   The notes of Taps will fill the air over the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, this summer as the famous 24-note call is sounded in honor of those who have served our nation.

The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, in partnership with Gettysburg National Military Park and Taps for Veterans, have announced “One Hundred Nights of Taps” each evening at 7 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day in the Gettysburg National Cemetery in Gettysburg.

“This is a unique opportunity for visitors to Gettysburg to reflect and honor those who not only fought during the American Civil War, but through all wars – before and after,” said Wendy Allen, Vice President of The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania and co-owner of the Lincoln Into Art gallery. “Gettysburg and the Gettysburg National Cemetery are special, solemn places, and we are humbled to bring this experience each and every night this summer.”

Allen and the Lincoln Fellowship recruited renowned bugler and bugle historian Jari Villanueva to assemble a team of buglers for this 100-evening event. Among the buglers signed up to perform are military veterans, Civil War re-enactor buglers, community band members, high school and college students and music teachers.

“There is no greater way for buglers to express their appreciation to those who have served than to sound Taps,” said Villanueva. “For over 150 years, this call has defined our nation’s solemn tribute to Americans.

The evening bugle call will take place at the Soldiers’ National Monument within the cemetery – often believed to mark the location of President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address” in November 1863.

Gettysburg National Cemetery is home to more than 3,500 Union Army veterans as well as veterans from more recent wars. Visitors from around the world tour these hallowed grounds to pay respects to the fallen soldiers as well as honor one of America’s most famous speeches.

The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania was formed in 1938 to observe each anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, to fittingly commemorate the anniversary of the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery in Gettysburg and Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” In addition, the Fellowship, preserves and makes more readily accessible the landmarks associated with Lincoln’s life and ancestry within Pennsylvania and actively encourage the youth of Pennsylvania to embrace his ideals.

Recommended parking as at the Gettysburg National Cemetery Lot on Taneytown Road.

Taps for Veterans is an organization that facilitates locating competent, trained buglers to perform the honorable duty of sounding Taps at military funerals and ceremonies.

Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and their commemorations. Learn more at

For more information or to sign up to perform, visit

Destination Gettysburg, the official destination marketing organization, markets Gettysburg – Adams County as a premier travel destination, producing a positive economic impact.


NPS Archeological survey at Little Round Top is preparing the way for a prescribed fire this spring

Gettysburg National Military Park is planning a prescribed burn on the 52 acres on the west slope of Little Round Top this spring.  National Park Service (NPS) regional fire management specialists will assist the park with the prescribed fire, whose purpose is help maintain the open fields and meadows of the Gettysburg battlefield by reducing woody vegetation without the use of chemical or labor-intensive mowing or mechanical hand trimming. It will be the park’s fifth prescribed fire since 2013.The actual date of the fire will be announced in a news release but will likely be in April.  

 Before the prescribed fire takes place NPS Archaeologist Joel Dukes will be conducting an investigation of the Little Round Top slope. The archeology work will proceed over the next week.  The intent of the archaeological investigation is to build on previous studies from the western states where the effects of fire on battlefields have been studied.  Dukes will use the data that he gathers to provide the park with specific information to identify potential archaeological resources that may need to be protected from the impacts from fire. 

 To accomplish the research Dukes has pulled together a small group of experts in battlefield archaeology who have volunteered for the battlefield metal detection survey.  Many in the research group have been involved in previous NPS battlefield studies that have helped improve understanding--and in some cases have helped rewrite--what we know about those events.

 For battlefield sites it has been proven that metal detecting is a superior and cost effective method for locating and defining evidence for military action. This is a limited group of selected volunteers. Please note: the public is not permitted to use metal detectors within Gettysburg National Military Park.

 The NPS team will dutifully catalog and identify each item. Location is critical, so when an item is uncovered it is placed in a protective bag, assigned a unique catalog number, and a small flag is placed where it was located. This process ensures that the artifact's location can be later verified.

 After the survey, the artifact locations are entered into Geographic Information System (GIS), and a map of the survey site is created.  Location is the critical element of battlefield archaeology that enables us to expand our understanding of a battle. When the project is complete and the map is compiled, the distribution of artifacts can show fields of fire, areas of engagement, and unit positions.  All artifacts recovered during the project will be analyzed in a lab and returned to Gettysburg National Military Park.

 Little Round Top is the location of some of the most famous fighting of the Battle of Gettysburg.  Rising 164 feet above the Plum Run Valley to the west, Little Round Top became the anchor of the Union’s left flank and a focal point of Confederate attacks on the afternoon of July 2nd 1863. 

 In addition to the project at Little Round Top, the NP{S team will be conducting archaeological investigations at George Spangler Farm where the Gettysburg Foundation is planning to re-establish an historic orchard.  Spangler Farm was the site of hospital during the battle and the study will ensure that important archaeological features are not disturbed by the tree planting.

 Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and their commemorations. Learn more at

Price Of Senior Pass Going To $80; Buy It Now For $10

If you're 62 or older and don't have a senior pass to the national parks, get one now for $10 before they jump to $80/NPS

Editor's note: This updates with the possible financial impact to units of the National Park System that sell senior passes.

With President Obama having signed the National Park Service Centennial Act into law, the price of a senior pass to the national parks, good for your lifetime, will soon jump to $80. If you're 62 or older and don't yet have your pass, buy it now before the price increases.

"I can tell you that it is not immediately," Tom Crosson, the National Park Service's chief spokesman, said Monday when asked how soon the new price might take effect.

While in the long run the increase in cost is being counted on to greatly help the Park Service address its estimated $12 billion maintenance backlog, in the near term the legislation could in theory impact many park units to the tune of roughly $46 million or more a year. That figure jumps out when you multiply the number of senior passes sold at individual park units in fiscal 2015 -- 579,084 -- by $80, the new cost of a lifetime pass for seniors age 62 or older. With the bulk of the Baby Boom generation yet to reach retirement age, the loss of direct revenues to park units that typically sell senior passes could grow in the years ahead.

Of course, the revenue projections could vary quite a bit, depending on whether the majority of senior passes sold going forward are for a lifetime, or for a year. Seniors who don't want to pay $80 could purchase an annual pass for $20; if they then kept four years' worth of $20 receipts they could exchange them for a lifetime pass. Of course, while President Obama has signed the legislation boosting the cost of the senior pass, the new fee hasn't yet gone into effect, so those park travelers 62 and older who haven't already purchased a park pass can still get one for $10.

The legislation, drafted by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, calls for the deposit of up to $10 million generated from all Park Service sales of America The Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes into a Second Century Endowment for the Park Service to be managed by the National Park Foundation. Any revenues above $10 million would be deposited into a Centennial Challenge fund for projects in the parks. However, those dollars would need to be matched by private dollars before they could be spent.

Under that formula, the theoretical $46 million figure cited above would deposit $10 million into the Second Century Endowment and $36 million into the Centennial Challenge fund.

"The full $80 from sale of the lifetime senior pass and full $20 from sale of the new annual pass will be deposited in either the Second Century Endowment (amounts up to $10 million) or the Centennial Challenge Fund (amounts in excess of $10 million)," Elise Daniel, the committee's press secretary, said in an email. "This means that revenue from sales of the senior pass will not be used in the same way as revenue from sales of non-senior annual passes."

Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell on Monday applauded President Obama's signing of the legislation.

"As the National Park Service enters its second century protecting and preserving the places that help tell America's story, the Centennial Act underscores the importance of our national parks to all Americans," she said in a prepared statement. "This administration and this Congress have helped shape the next 100 years of the National Park Service by passing this landmark law. It strikes the right balance of dedicated funding for important visitor outreach initiatives, increases volunteer opportunities and bolsters educational resources to reach a 21st Century audience of park-goers. The Centennial Act is part of our contribution to preserve the legacy of some of our Nation’s greatest treasures for generations to come."

At the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition, officials were bewildered by Congress' decision to raise the cost of the senior pass.

"While there have been a multitude of bills introduced (and programs authorized) aimed at giving new groups free or reduced-cost access to the public lands - 4th Graders, military families, those with disabilities, veterans, volunteers - it is difficult to understand why Congress has taken this opportunity to reduce a long-standing benefit to seniors. The $20-$35 million in anticipated additional revenue (depending on whose estimate you choose) will make little dent in the Park Service's claimed maintenance backlog of $12 billion," the group said in a newsletter.

"Why making the parks more expensive to visit constitutes a 'celebration' is a mystery to me," said WSNFC President Kitty Benzar. "Compare that to Canada, which is observing their 150th birthday by making all their national parks free in 2017."


Preservation project at Gettysburg’s Eternal Light Peace Memorial

Preservation project at Gettysburg’s Eternal Light Peace Memorial begins today

 Gettysburg, Pa. (September 5, 2016) – Beginning today, September 6, the Eternal Light Peace Memorial at Gettysburg National Military Park will close for a months-long preservation project. National Park Service preservation experts from the Historic Preservation Training Center will dismantle and reset all plaza stones, granite capping stones, stairs, and flagstone walkways; selective repointing of the memorial shaft; and cleaning of all masonry on the monument and its bronze urn.

 During the majority of the work, the gas flame will continue to burn, with some planned outages.

 Park visitors may continue to park at the Peace Light but the area immediately surrounding the memorial will be closed through the rest of 2016.

 The memorial was dedicated in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 75th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg.  For more information please contact 717/ 334-1124, or visit  

 Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history. 

Gettysburg Cemetery Ridge rehabilitation

Gettysburg NMP

The rehab of Cemetery Ridge will begin July 11 -

NPS announces detours, temporary parking and cemetery access


The parking area and sidewalks for the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park along Taneytown Road will close on July 11 for up to six months for a construction project, National Park Service officials have announced. To accommodate national cemetery visitors during the project, a number of detours and temporary access points have been established.

 Parking - Temporary grass and gravel parking lots for the National Cemetery will be designated on the east side of Taneytown Road, across from the existing lot, and at the intersection of Taneytown Road and Hunt Avenue.

 Pedestrian Access - Because of sidewalk closures on the west side of Taneytown Road, pedestrian access to the national cemetery will be through a new gate through the stone wall on the south side of the cemetery, directly accessible from the temporary parking area.  All existing cemetery gates will remain open during cemetery hours. Pedestrians using the trail from the park Museum and Visitor Center will be rerouted onto a new temporary grass trail on the east side of Taneytown Road.   

 Handicapped accessibility - Visitors with mobility impairments may obtain special permission from Park Rangers in the Museum and Visitor Center to drive into the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

 Auto Tour Route - Cars following the Gettysburg National Military Park’s auto tour route will be directed from Hancock Avenue to Steinwehr Avenue to Taneytown Road to the temporary parking lot for the cemetery (Auto Tour stop 16).  Buses, RVs and large vehicles will follow detour signs on a special route via Steinwehr Avenue to Queen Street, to Fairview Avenue, to Gettys Street, to Washington Street, to Taneytown Road to the Hunt Avenue temporary parking area.  These large vehicles must take special care when parking at Hunt Avenue due to wet areas on the left and right side of the entrance.

 Local traffic detour - Local traffic that uses this area for access between Taneytown Road and Steinwehr Avenue will be redirected to the intersection of Taneytown Road and Steinwehr Avenue or Wheatfield Road.

 Freedom transit – The Gold Line shuttle’s cemetery stop will be relocated to the temporary parking lot.


Bicycle traffic – Bicyclists, including users of the Gettysburg Inner Loop bike trail, will stay on Steinwehr Avenue to the intersection with Taneytown Road and proceed to the bike racks inside the Taneytown Road entrance to the cemetery.

 Project background – This $1.5 million dollar project will rehabilitate Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg National Military Park, bringing back missing features on the historic landscape at the center of the Union Army’s battle line and reduce the size of a parking area at Ziegler’s Grove.  The nonprofit Gettysburg Foundation provided a grant of $900,000 to match National Park Service funding of $600,000.  Special funding from the National Park Service was made available as a National Park Service Centennial initiative. 

 Details about the project are available on “From the Fields of Gettysburg,” the official blog of Gettysburg National Military Park, (click here) or go to:



An award-winning preservation company has been hired to restore Bethlehem's Civil War Monument, though the city is still soliciting contributions to pay for the work.

City Council recently voted unanimously to authorize the administration to enter into a contract with Conservation Solutions Inc., Washington, D.C., to make the needed repairs to the statue honoring Capt. Jonathan K. Taylor. The cost of repairs is estimated at $20,000.

The 129-year-old statue was removed from Bethlehem's Rose Garden a year ago because it had begun to lean backward and city Parks Department officials feared that it might topple.

Conservation Solutions has a world of experience in preservation, having won awards for its work in restoring the D.C. War Memorial in Washington; Cleopatra's Needle, an Egyptian obelisk located in New York's Central Park; and the exterior of the New York Public Library.

Capt. Taylor was a Bethlehem resident who fought with Company C of the 129th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, in the Civil War. He was gravely wounded when he was shot through the lung during the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia on Dec. 13, 1862.

He died more than three months later on March 28, 1863, and was buried in God's Acre, the Central Moravian Church cemetery on West Market Street between Main and North New streets.

Cast of 99.3 percent zinc by the Monumental Bronze Co. of Bridgeport, Conn., the statue was shipped in pieces by train to Bethlehem before its dedication on Oct. 11, 1887. The ceremony was preceded by one of the largest parades in the city's history, including more than 3,000 Civil War veterans, numerous regional civic societies, 18 brass bands and then Pennsylvania Gov. James A. Beaver.

Initially erected on West Market Street, next to the cemetery where Capt. Taylor was buried, the statue was moved to the Rose Garden in 1967 when city officials became concerned about vehicular traffic downtown.

In 1994, when the city did a $40,000 facelift of the monument, it was given an appraised value of $250,000.

As it turns out, the statue was one of more than 100 Civil War era monuments cast from the same mold. The statues were commonly known as "The American Soldier." But the base of these monuments are prone to failure under the weight of the soldiers atop.

Taylor's statue began to lean, prompting city officials to remove it from the Rose Garden last year.

The Civil War Roundtable of Eastern Pennsylvania, a local group that has done conservation work in Gettysburg and in more nearby places, contributed $2,000 to the project, but the city continues to solicit contributions.

Donations, which are tax deductible, can be sent to City of Bethlehem, Department of Parks & Public Property, 10 E. Church St., Bethlehem, PA 18018.

Daryl Nerl is a freelance writer.

Note: we are working with City officials and hope to announce plans to hold a rededication ceremony for the Monument in the Fall.



Gettysburg Brush Cutting Report

 The day dawned with drizzle, but as our thirty-nine intrepid volunteers arrived at the Leister Farm/Meade’s Headquarters site on April 23 the rain stopped and the weather just kept improving. In only 2 and ½ hours we dismantled historically inaccurate fencing on the west side of the Taneytown Road from Meade’s Headquarters all the way to the Hummelbaugh Barn. We trimmed brush away from the stone wall on which that fence was placed for the entire length of that fence line. We also trimmed another hundred yards or so of brush away from an east-west stone and rail fence line. On the east side of the Road we replaced portions of the fence. It was a daunting endeavor and I would have been happy had we completed the task in 3 ½ hours if at all. Park Service Supervisory Facility Operations Specialist Randall Hill stated that we did a wonderful job!

Give the following Round Table troopers a pat on the back and maybe an adult beverage when you next see them; Paul Bartlett, Chuck Cannon, Mike Cavanaugh, Jim Duffy, Jeff Heller, Kim Jacobs, Dick Jacoby, Tony Major, Bob McHugh, Ed Oechsle, Sam Parker and Dr. Gerry Sherwin,

In addition to our members, John Duffy brought 14 scouts from Troop 89 in New Tripoli and Bob McHugh brought 5 Saucon Valley High School students to swell our ranks. Members of the Weaver, Root and Schenkel families rounded out our platoon of workers.

After a short break we headed in bright sunlight to the Cannon Restoration facility on Seminary Ridge where Lucas Flickinger gave us an informative tour. We came away with an enhanced appreciation for the ongoing never ending maintenance and restoration work that the folks at Gettysburg National Park do every day. We really appreciate his taking time from his weekend to give our volunteers a special treat.

Special thanks go to Dick Jacoby who coordinated the fence crews, Bob McHugh who brought ice water to keep us all going, Mike Cavanaugh for traffic duty and Tony Major and Jeff Heller, aka Mathew Brady for making a photographic record of the day.

In addition to helping Gettysburg National Park tell the story of this historic event the most gratifying part of the day was the inclusion of 18 young people in our number. Some folks today are dismissive of our young as lazy with no interest in our common past. We are happy to report that the torch of historic preservation is being passed to some exceptional young people.


Ed Root.

Karl Lehr: A legacy of honor, commitment, and generosity

Long time Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania member Karl passed away at the age of 93 on February 19, 2009. Karl led a full and distinguished life. Born in Allentown, he was a 1936 graduate of Muhlenberg College. During World War II, Karl held the rank of Technical Sergeant and was a part of history during three major invasions. As a member of the First Signal Detachment on the USS Ancon, flagship for the landing at Omaha Beach, he was at Normandy on June 6, 1944. He had also taken part in the earlier landings at Sicily and Salerno, Italy in 1943. Karl later became Sergeant of the Eiffel Tower Guard and was a staff member of the U.S. Army University in England. Post-war he was a Fulbright teacher in Cologne, Germany in 1957-58 and his teaching career in New Jersey and Illinois spanned 42 years.

Karl joined the Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania about 30 years ago. He immediately became an active member serving on numerous committees. He was also a field trip co-chair and submitted items to our newsletter. Karl was generous in many ways including his time and knowledge. He spoke to our group on the subject of “From Pea Ridge to Atlanta” and became part of a Resource Committee of members who volunteered to speak to outside groups or share knowledge with those who needed assistance in a quest for information. He served on our Board of Directors and as such helped form our Preservation and Restoration Committee in 1983. Round Table records show Karl’s commitment to historic preservation through signed petitions to save the Grove Farm at Antietam and monetary donations to various organizations as threats to our historic sites became known.

Karl may have left us, but his legacy of honor, commitment and generosity remains. His financial legacy to the Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania is the amazing amount of $123,955.31! The Board of Directors and the Preservation and Restoration Committee, led by Jack Minnich, determined to honor Karl in the best possible way and that is to further the cause of historic preservation. Consequently, we have added to Karl’s legacy for a total of $128,000.

That money will be distributed by the Round Table in Karl’s name to the following organizations:

Central Virginia Battlefield Trust
$53,000 to help save 93 acres on the Wilderness Battlefield.

Richmond Battlefield Association
$53,000 to help save 13 acres at Fussell’s Mill and 4 acres at Malvern Hill.

Civil War Preservation Trust
$22,000 to help save 10 acres at Manassas.

These three organizations have a proven track record in successful historic preservation as well as the efficient use of donations. In many cases they have entered into cooperative agreements. They are not competitors, but kindred souls serving a common cause. One result of their success is the ability to obtain matching grants. Because of those matching grants, Karl’s gift to the Round Table has grown to $463,000!!!! We can think of no better way to remember and honor Karl Lehr than to preserve and protect the historic legacy of our nation for future generations.

The Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed in 1978 dedicated to serving the broad community’s education needs concerning the American Civil War and to historic site preservation. Since its inception and prior to Mr. Lehr’s gift, over $120,000 (not including matching funds) has been raised to support numerous preservation and restoration projects. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the Civil War. Our membership of over 175 consists of students, scholars and “just people” interested in learning more about the Civil War. Dinner meetings are held monthly from September through June in Allentown, PA. and include a speaker on various topics of interest to Civil War/American history enthusiasts.
For more information, contact Jeff Gates at (610) 966-5773 or by email