National Military Park is located in
Adams County, Pennsylvania. The museum and visitor center is
located at 1195 Baltimore Pike (Route 97) with a back entrance
from the Taneytown Road (State Rt. 134). From North or South,
follow US 15 to Gettysburg and watch for signs to direct you to
the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center. The signs are
near the exit at Rt. 97. Go north on Route 97 and look for the
visitor center entrance, which will be on your left at the
stoplight. From East or West, drive into Gettysburg on US Rt. 30,
turn South on Baltimore Street (Rt. 97), and follow signs to the
entrance of the visitor center, which will be on your right at the
The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War,
the Union victory in the summer of 1863 that ended General Robert
E. Lee's second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often
referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy",
it was the war's bloodiest battle with 51,000 casualties. It also
provided President Abraham Lincoln with the setting for his most
Fought over the first three days of July 1863, the Battle of
Gettysburg was one of the most critical battles of the Civil War
having occurred at a time when the fate of the nation hung in the
balance- the summer of 1863. Often referred to as the "High
Water Mark of the Confederacy", it was the culmination of the
second and most ambitious invasion of the North by General Robert
E. Lee and the "Army of Northern Virginia".
"Army of the Potomac", the Union army that had long been
the nemesis of Lee, met the Confederate invasion at the crossroads
town of Gettysburg and though it was under a new commander,
General George Gordon Meade, the northerners fought with a
desperation born of defending their home territory. The Union
victory at the Battle of Gettysburg resulted in Lee's retreat to
Virginia and an end to the hopes of the Confederacy for
In the aftermath of the battle, every farm field was a
graveyard and every church, public building and even private homes
were hospitals. Medical staff were strained to treat so many
wounded scattered about the county. To meet the demand, Camp
Letterman General Hospital was established east of Gettysburg
where all of the wounded were eventually taken to before transport
to permanent hospitals in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. Union surgeons worked with members of the U.S. Sanitary Commission
and Christian Commission to treat and care for the over 20,000
injured Union and Confederate soldiers that passed through the
hospital's wards, housed under large tents.
By January 1864, the
last few remaining patients were gone and so were the surgeons,
guards, nurses, tents and cookhouses. Only a temporary cemetery on
the hillside remained as a testament to the courageous battle to
save lives that took place at Camp Letterman.
There are two picnic areas in the park behind the National Park
Service Visitor Center and on South Confederate Avenue. Open fires
are not allowed in park picnic sites.
Operating Hours & Seasons
PARK GROUNDS AND ROADS
The park is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. April 1 to
October 31, and 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. November 1 to March 31.
The park visitor center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to
5:00 p.m. with summer hours from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.
The Cyclorama Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,
April through November 20, 2006. The center will be closed
from November 21,2006 through May 1, 2007.
SOLDIERS' NATIONAL CEMETERY (Gettysburg National Cemetery)
The Soldiers' National Cemetery is open at dawn and closes at