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Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania

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  • Captain Edward Fletcher Satterfield, (CSA) (1837 - 1863)
    Captain Edward Fletcher Satterfield (CSA) Confederate Officer. Satterfield, of the 55th North Carolina Infantry, was killed during Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, on July 3, 1863, as he approach...
  • Pvt. Henry Myers, USA (1817 - 1899)
    An 1880 census says he was a hotel keeper.Henry Myers was born March 20, 1817 in Pennsylvania. He was the son of Jacob and Mary (Toot) Myers. He married Lydia (Epley) Myers in 1837. They had 12 childre...
  • Paul Orner Carbaugh (1899 - 1985)
    GEDCOM Note ===Paul O. Carbaugh, 86, 336 Boyer Nursery Road, Biglerville, died Wednesday at Green Acres Nursing Home. Born in Adams County, he was the son of the late Franklin J. & Annie M. (Orner) Car...
  • Amelia Ethel Criswell (1880 - 1970)
    GEDCOM Note ===Mrs. Amelia E. Criswell, 90, Arendtsville, died at 8:30pm Thursday at the Warner Hospital where she had been admitted as a patient Tuesday. Born in Franklin Twp., she was a daughter of t...
  • Donald William Howe (1943 - 2004)
    Son of William & Blanche Carbaugh Howe

In 1761, Irishman Samuel Gettys settled at the Shippensburg-Baltimore and Philadelphia-Pittsburgh crossroads, in what was then western York County, and established a tavern frequented by soldiers and traders. In 1786, the borough boundary was established, with the Dobbin House tavern (established in 1776) sitting in the southwest.

As early as 1790, a movement seeking to split off the western portion of York County into a separate county had begun. A commission was drawn up to fix the site of the new county's seat; they ultimately chose a location in Strabane Township (now Straban Township), just northeast of Gettysburg. In 1791, additional trustees were appointed to plan for the construction of public buildings in the town of Gettysburg instead of in Straban. On January 22, 1800, the Pennsylvania Legislature created Adams County, with Gettysburg as its county seat.

In 1858, the Gettysburg Railroad completed construction of a railroad line from Gettysburg to Hanover, and the Gettysburg Railroad Station opened a year later. Passenger train service to the town ended in 1942. The station was restored in 2006. In 2011, Senator Robert Casey introduced S. 1897, which would include the railroad station within the boundary of Gettysburg National Military Park. By 1860, the borough had grown in size to consist of "450 buildings [which] housed carriage manufacturing, shoemakers, and tanneries".

Between July 1 and 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg, one of the bloodiest battles during the American Civil War, was fought across the fields and heights in the vicinity of the town.

The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of Robert E Lee, experienced success in the early stages of the battle but was ultimately defeated by the Army of the Potomac, commanded by George G. Meade. Lee executed an orderly withdrawal and escaped across the Potomac River without being drawn into another battle. Meade was heavily criticized by President Abraham Lincoln for his cautious pursuit and failure to destroy Lee's retreating army.

Casualties were high with total losses on both sides – over 27,000 Confederate and 23,000 Union. The residents of Gettysburg were left to care for the wounded and bury the dead following the Confederate retreat. Approximately 8,000 men and 3,000 horses lay under the summer sun. The soldiers' bodies were gradually reinterred in what is today known as Gettysburg National Cemetery, where, on November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln attended a ceremony to officially consecrate the grounds and delivered his Gettysburg Address.

A 20-year-old woman, Jennie Wade, was the only civilian killed during the battle. She was hit by a stray bullet that passed through her kitchen door while she was making bread on July 3.

Physical damage can still be seen in some of the houses throughout the town, notably the Schmucker House located on Seminary Ridge.

The furniture manufacturing industry employed people in Gettysburg for the first half of the 20th century. The "Gettysburg Manufacturing Company", formed in 1902, was the first company established in the borough for the purpose of manufacturing residential furniture. Other companies soon followed. The borough's industry reached peak production and success about the 1920s. This important industry declined from 1951, when the three main companies either moved, closed or were sold. The Gettysburg Furniture Company factory closed in 1960, becoming a warehouse and distribution point for other furniture factories outside of Pennsylvania.

Gettysburg manufacturing associated with tourism included a late 19th century foundry that manufactured gun carriages, bridgeworks and cannons for the Gettysburg Battlefield, as well as a construction industry for hotels, stables, and other buildings for tourist services. Early tourist buildings in the borough included museums (like the 1881 Danner Museum), souvenir shops, buildings of the electric trolley (preceded by a horse trolley from the Gettysburg Railroad Station to the Springs Hotel), and stands for hackmen who drove visitors in jitneys (horse-drawn group taxis) on tours. Modern tourist services in the borough include ghost tours, bed and breakfast lodging, and historical interpretation (reenactors, etc.).

Gettysburg is the site of the Eisenhower National Historic Site that preserves the home and farm of Dwight D. Eisenhower.