In this critical effort to safeguard American history, we must always remember why we do what we do. Battlefield preservation isn't just about saving as many acres as possible — it's about the stories these acres help tell.
That's why I'm, frankly, elated to report that 18 acres of first-day battlefield at Seminary Ridge are forever safe thanks to your generous support. My friend, we've saved a lot of land at Gettysburg over the years — 1,040 acres and counting — but that doesn't make these 18 acres any less significant. In a way, the historical context that already exists at Gettysburg makes this victory all the richer.
Recognized as some of the bloodiest Gettysburg ground left in private hands, the land at Seminary Ridge witnessed the climactic scene of the first day's fighting. The determined defense on Seminary Ridge by men from the Union's Iron Brigade and other units enabled the army to regroup and hold Cemetery Hill, key to the ultimate Federal victory at Gettysburg.
I've said it before, but it bears repeating: without Seminary Ridge, you cannot tell the full story of Gettysburg, and without Gettysburg, you cannot tell the full story of the Civil War. Preserving these 18 acres helps ensure a more comprehensive understanding of this crucial piece of American history, while allowing generations present and future to honor the hundreds of soldiers who fought and fell on this very ground.
I can't overstate what a tremendous win this is for American history, and also for Gettysburg's oldest educational institution, the United Lutheran Seminary (established in 1826), which has faithfully maintained this land since that fateful July in 1863.
We couldn't have done this without our amazing supporters. Please take a minute to visit the Seminary Ridge Virtual Donor Wall and see the names of all Trust supporters who contributed $100 or more to this important effort. You can also visit our website to learn more about why these 18 acres are so significant.
With Deepest Gratitude,
American Battlefield Trust
P.S. Want to take a look at the land you have helped save? Check out successful Facebook Live Save Seminary Ridge Fun(d)raiser in which many of you participated!