The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association is continuing its campaign to preserve battlefield and Camp Letterman land east of the borough from extensive commercial and residential development.
GBPA President Barb Mowery said that the numerous agencies involved have made progress in identifying the challenges such development would present to the nearby Gettysburg National Military Park and preservation of remaining undeveloped battlefield ground.
Mowery said one new element is the discovery that forms to nominate the Camp Letterman site and the Wolfe farm to the NPS National Historical Registration office in the 1990s and up to the year 2000 did not advance beyond the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission.
“These documents especially note the significance of the Camp Letterman field hospital grounds and that their historical importance warrants their placement on the Nation Register,” said Mowery.
After the battle and the Confederate retreat, Camp Letterman was established in the area south of York Road (State Route 30) to treat thousands of wounded and dying soldiers of both sides. Triage procedures that were created to evaluate the wounded as they were brought into the camp are still in use by U.S, armed forces more than 150 years later.
Another concern is the former Wolfe Farm.
On the second day of the battle, Confederate artillery set up on the property and exchanged fire with Union batteries. Louisiana infantry regiments of Williams’ Brigade; the 1st, 2nd, 10th, 14th and 15th Louisiana and part of the 50th Virginia assembled and advanced through the farm and the adjacent Daniel Lady Farm, which is preserved by the GBPA.
Their target was the Union right flank on Culp’s Hill. After two days of desperate fighting to turn the Union right flank, the Confederate survivors retreated back across the Wolfe and Lady farms.
Mowery said the GBPA is spearheading action to complete the application process for the Wolfe Farm and Camp Letterman given final consideration for recognition on the Nation Register of Historic Places. She noted that numerous individuals and other interested organizations are also involved in the effort.
An application is also underway for the Daniel Lady Farm to received National Register designation.
In addition to the National Register action, the GBPA has established avenues of positive communications with most of the developers behind potential projects on the Wolfe Farm and other properties adjacent to the Lady Farm.
“Gettysburg should it come to fruition this level of cooperation would be a first for Gettysburg” said Mowery. “We hope this will ultimately result in solutions that balance historic preservation while assisting the local economy.”
Message from the President
We are on the verge of great accomplishments that should become public over the summer, perhaps even in the next few weeks.
The Board of Directors is continuing to be engaged in the crusade to preserve the Wolfe Farm and remaining undeveloped portions of the Camp Letterman Field Hospital.
In addition, we’re working to minimize the adverse impact of expected residential housing development on property just north of the Daniel Lady Farm.
There is progress in improving communications between GBPA and most of the developers. This is providing them with increased historical perspective of the impact of their proposals.
New this year at the Daniel Lady Farm is the Friday Night Music events.
We also have expanded the number of rustic camp sites for scouting units.
The Scouts have responded to the increased opportunities. 2017 is bustling and we’re already received applications for 2018.
Feedback from Scout leaders after encampments is overwhelmingly positive and is reflected in the farm’s increasing popularity. THE GOOD WORD IS OUT.
We’re anxiously awaiting the launch of our new website at www.gbpa.org. Preliminary designs show it will be far more attractive, better organized for easier use and virtually unlimited in its ability to host more dynamic features.
Watch for it to hit the internet on June 15.
See you at the farm,