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Gettysburg National Cemetery

Gettysburg National Cemetery paranormal

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Location submitted by: sdonley on 04/02/2014
DBA Approved: Y

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Gettysburg National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 3,500 Union soldiers killed in the Battle of Gettysburg, a Union victory often cited as a turning point in the Civil War.

1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg , PA 17325
Phone: 717-334-1124
Open to the public: Yes

Lat: 39.811577
Lon: -77.22595990000002

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 6
History: 1
Stories: 1
Claims: 6
Evidence: 0
Resources: 1
Retrievals: 8235
Vistor Rating: 0.0
Votes: 0

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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.

Gettysburg National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 3,500 Union soldiers killed in the Battle of Gettysburg, a Union victory often cited as a turning point in the Civil War. Numerous monuments stand in both the cemetery and battlefield to commemorate the Union and Confederate troops who fought there. At the cemetery's dedication on November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln rose to deliver "a few appropriate remarks," now known as the Gettysburg Address. His two-minute speech served as a reminder of the sacrifices of war and the necessity of holding the Union together. Today, the battlefield and national cemetery form the Gettysburg National Military Park, a National Park Service unit dedicated to preserving and interpreting the battle, its aftermath, and the repercussions of Lincoln's famous words. A visitors center and museum offer tours and auto, cycling, and hiking paths to park guests. The Gettysburg National Cemetery is one of 14 national cemeteries managed by the National Park Service.

In June 1863, Confederate forces under the command of Robert E. Lee pushed into Union territory. The Confederacy hoped that by bringing the war into the northern states, northern politicians would abandon the war and normalize the South's secession. Union forces responded to the invading army, culminating in a confrontation near the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

For three days, more than 150,000 soldiers clashed in a series of Confederate assaults and Union defenses. On the third day of the battle, Lee ordered an assault on the Union's center, a move now known as Pickett's Charge. More than 12,500 Confederate soldiers marched on the Union position, coming under intense artillery fire. Union guns decimated the attacking Confederates, injuring or killing nearly 50 percent of the approaching brigades. The charge's strategic failure and loss of men forced Lee into retreat. Three days of fighting at Gettysburg took a horrible toll on both sides, 10,000 soldiers killed or mortally wounded, 30,000 injured, and 10,000 captured or missing.

After the battle, bodies lay scattered throughout Gettysburg's farmlands. Burial work commenced quickly as fears of epidemic rose. The dead were hastily buried in shallow graves on the battlefield, crudely identified by pencil writing on wooden boards. Rain and wind began eroding the impromptu graves, and Gettysburg's citizens called for the creation of a soldiers' cemetery for the proper burial of the Union dead.

With the support of the Pennsylvania Governor, a committee formed to select an appropriate site for the cemetery and oversee the interment of Union remains. The site chosen encompassed the hill from which the Union center repulsed Pickett's Charge. State-appropriated funds purchased the property, and the reburial process began four months after the battle on October 27, 1863.

Confederate burials did not receive placement in the national cemetery. Efforts in the 1870s by Southern veterans' societies eventually relocated 3,200 Confederate remains to cemeteries in Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas, such as Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. A few Confederates do remain interred at Gettysburg National Cemetery.

A few weeks after the burial process started, a dedication ceremony was held at the yet to be completed Soldiers' National Cemetery. The cemetery committee chose Massachusetts statesman and orator Edward Everett to deliver the main speech. The committee asked President Abraham Lincoln to deliver "a few appropriate remarks." At the November 19 ceremony, Everett spoke for two hours on the causes of war and the events that led to the Battle of Gettysburg. After his remarks, Lincoln rose and spoke for two minutes; his brief speech today is known as the "Gettysburg Address." His speech honored the brave men who fought and invoked their sacrifice as a cause to continue fighting for the preservation of the nation.

Landscape architect William Saunders designed the cemetery as a wide semi-circle, radiating from a central point to be decorated with a grand monument. The cemetery's sections were divided by state; smaller states closest to the monument and larger states along the outer portions. Reinterments continued through March 1864.

Construction of the cemetery's Soldiers' National Monument began in 1865 and culminated with a dedication ceremony on July 1, 1869. The Batterson-Canfield Company provided the design of the monument, a granite memorial with a shaft rising from a four-cornered pedestal and decorated with sculptured by Randolph Rogers. At the sides of the pedestal are four marble statues representing war, history, plenty, and peace. The statue "Genius of Liberty" crowns the monument's shaft. The monument is notable as being near the location of the dais of the dedication ceremony where Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. Numerous smaller monuments also dot the cemetery's landscape, including a memorial to the Union soldiers of New York and a monument to President Lincoln.

By 1872, construction of the cemetery was complete, and administration of the national cemetery transferred to the Federal Government. In 1879, the cemetery erected a rostrum near the Taneytown Road entrance. While far from the site where Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, the brick rostrum served as a platform for other presidents attending memorial ceremonies at Gettysburg, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Added by: sdonley on 04/02/2014 DB#:181


Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.

I am a huge Civil War buff, so I travel to Gettysburg a lot. I always stay in the same hotel downhill from the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Last October I went there with a friend of mine. Around ten at night on our second night there, I decided that I'd take a trip to the cemetery. I climbed up the muddy hillside and got about 500 feet into the cemetery when I heard this weird chiming noise. I looked around for its source, and about 150 feet to my left was this pulsing, shimmering blue ball of light. It started floating towards me about four feet off of the ground. I got to the hill and slipped all the way down it on my butt. I heard that noise again, this time really close. I picked myself up and made my way running to the hotel room. I was pounding on the door. My buddy Dave opened the door and I pushed my way past him into the hotel room. I’ll still go back to Gettysburg but I won't stay in that hotel or go back to that cemetery again. –Lucas Reeves

Added by: sdonley on 04/02/2014 DB#:1133

Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact, and we will review and add your information.

Claim # Added Added By Claim
1779 04/02/2014 sdonley Weird chiming noises have been heard in the cemetery at night.
1780 04/02/2014 sdonley A blue ball of light has been seen in the cemetery at night.
1781 04/02/2014 sdonley People have reported seeing what they thought were reinactors of various soldiers during the day.
1782 04/02/2014 sdonley Shadow figures have been reported slipping behind trees.
1783 04/02/2014 sdonley People have reported the feeling of being watched.
1784 04/02/2014 sdonley Many people have captured orbs on their cameras when taking photographs within the cemetery.

Paranormal Evidence

Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.

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Additional Resources

This is a collection of Internet resources for this location. This section will house links to other websites that contain information related to history, claims, investigations, or even the location's website.

1893 Site Plan of Gettysburge National Cemetery
Added: 04/02/2014 By: sdonley
Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, this is the original site plan and layout for the National Cemetery.

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