Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Prelude To Gettysburg / Gettysburg Showdown
One of the great debates of our Country's history and legacy is what scholars call "the two Civil Wars": the first a matter of campaigns, generals, and troop movements and the second focusing on the ways that the great conflict affected the daily rhythms of life on farms, and in communities.
Regardless, Gettysburg was the site of the largest battle ever fought on American soil and it involved a great deal more than the resources of one single, famous town.
In six counties near Gettysburg, civilians and militia answered the first call to arms and bravely endured relentless threats and the destruction of their property. Here, women raised funds to support the war and nursed tens of thousands of wounded soldiers left behind from the battles fought in the orchards and fields. Interestingly, part of the battlefield was owned by Freeman, Abraham Brien. Although a number of Gettysburg area Black men joined volunteer militias or USCT regiments during the war, no Black veteran was interred in Soldiers' National Cemetery until 1884. Still, free men and freed men alike enlisted to fight for their own rights, and children sacrificed their security, sometimes their lives. Their combined efforts provided the turning point for the Union cause.
After the battle the Confederate army retreated along different roads through Adams County. The pursuit by Union cavalry sparked several engagements, including a fierce skirmish at Monterey Pass, in the small community of Blue Ridge Summit near the border of Franklin and Adams county.
In a matter of three days, 165,000 troops converged on the small community of Gettysburg. By July 4, as the armies retreated, they left behind 22,000 injured soldiers (out of the 51,000 total human casualties), thousands of dead horses, ravaged fields, undrinkable water and little to no food. Gettysburg, a town of 2,400, found that every farm field was a graveyard and churches, public buildings, and even private homes were hospitals. Well past the date of President Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, men like Basil Biggs were still assisting moving slain soldiers to proper burials. It would be years before the southern soldiers' families made their way to Gettysburg to take their husbands, sons, and brothers home. This small southern Pennsylvania community would never be
Erected 2008 by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 48.699′ N, 77° 13.625′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker can be reached from Taneytown Road (State Highway 134), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located on a foot trail from the west parking area to the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The George Spangler Farm Civil War Hospital Site (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Gettysburg Address (about 500 feet away); Battery K, Fifth U.S. Artillery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battery F, Fourth U.S. Artillery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Artillery Brigade (approx. ¼ mile away); Henry Spangler Farm (approx. 0.3 miles away); 1st West Virginia Cavalry (approx. 0.3 miles away); Headquarters of Brigadier General Henry Hunt (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker.
On the Gettysburg Showdown side, a painting titled Battle of Gettysburg: Pickett's Charge is prominently displayed. In the lower left is a photo of Basil Biggs and family. Biggs had seen the farm he rented ruined by the invading Confederate army. Biggs was later one of the Black subcontractors that removed more than three thousand bodies killed during the battle of Gettysburg for reburial in the National Cemetery.
Regarding Prelude To Gettysburg / Gettysburg Showdown. This marker's text and layout is duplicated at several Pennsylvania Civil War Trails locations.
Related markers. Click list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers, tablets, and monuments for the Federal Rear Area.
Also see . . . Gettysburg National Military Park. National Park Service site. (Submitted on September 24, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,895 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 6. submitted on , by Henry T. McLin of Hanover, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.