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Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“...sights and sounds...too horrible to describe...”

 
 
"...sights and sounds...too horrible to describe..." Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, April 4, 2009
1. "...sights and sounds...too horrible to describe..." Marker
Inscription. Four years after Gettysburg became the county seat in 1800, the first Adams County Courthouse was placed in Lincoln Square (one block to your right). In 1859 this larger building was erected to serve the growing populace.

The arrival of the Union and Confederate armies in the summer of 1863 forced the courthouse into unconventional uses. On June 26th, Confederate troops temporarily held the town and according to Margaretta Kendelhart, "...Rebels...occupied the Court House during the night..."

Five days later the great battle at Gettysburg began. The carnage created a new role for the courthouse, one of an army hospital. Beginning on July 1st, the grim work of the surgeons continued well after the armies departed.

Fannie Buehler, living opposite the courthouse (at 112), vividly described the scene: "The sights and sounds at the Court House for a week after the battle are too horrible to describe... Limbs were amputated amid the cries and groans of suffering humanity... Loads of arms and legs...were carted outside of town to be burned or buried."
 
Erected by Main Street Gettysburg.
 
Location. 39° 49.77′ N, 77° 13.875′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the
Marker in Front of the Courthouse Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, April 4, 2009
2. Marker in Front of the Courthouse
intersection of Baltimore Street (Business U.S. 15) and West Middle Street, on the right when traveling south on Baltimore Street. Click for map. Located in front of the courthouse. 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. Adams County World War Memorial (here, next to this marker); Adams County (a few steps from this marker); Politics and "Penelope" (within shouting distance of this marker); "...the busiest scene I ever witnessed..." (within shouting distance of this marker); The Camp Colt Officers Club (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "uncertainty and dread" (about 300 feet away); Gettysburg Address Memorial and Abraham Lincoln Statue (about 300 feet away); “ . . . I Am Going To Die” (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. On the upper right is a drawing of The first courthouse in Lincoln Square. Augustus Kollner sketch looking towards Chambersburg Street, May 1840. Below it is a photo of The second Adams County Courthouse, ca. 1915. The rear "T" section was added in 1909.
 
Categories. GovernmentWar, US Civil
 
The Courthouse Today Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, April 4, 2009
3. The Courthouse Today
Plaques on the Front of the Courthouse Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, April 4, 2009
4. Plaques on the Front of the Courthouse
On the southeast face of the courthouse are National Historic Register, Manor of Maske, Grand Army of the Republic, and World War I plaques.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,436 times since then and 130 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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