A Victory for Conservation at Gettysburg

The house in the photo (next to the cannon) is the  Mary Thompson House in Gettysburg, PA. In 2015 the house and grounds were purchased by the Civil War Trust and the effort was undertaken to return the house and the grounds to what they were in July 1864 when the town of Gettysburg became the site of the largest battle ever fought in North America.

Before the restoration work could be done in earnest several things needed to be done. First a Quality Inn that stood on the grounds needed to be torn down, honestly no real loss there.  Behind the house, not pictures (sorry I was on a bus that was moving) is a restaurant and brew pub which will be removed. This provides quite a challenge as it butts right up against the house in the rear.

Once that is done they will start (have started) remaking the landscape surrounding the house to way that it originally stood. Luckily there are a number of photos from about the right time as well as artist renderings. It should be noted that with the purchase the house has received a permanent easement for the first time and will be secure for many generations to come.

It is very important to note that when the Trust purchased the property on January 7, 2015 it did so with nearly 4.5 million dollars that were raised by private contributions. This was truly a piece of history saved by the people and for the people.

Oh, I nearly forgot. What makes this house so important? Well on the evening of July 1st, 1864 in the aftermath of the first days battle General Robert E. Lee arrived at the house and made it his headquarters for the rest of the battle.  We should all agree that for the sake being able to show future generations the story of those three days in July that was money well spent and victory for the cause of conservation.

Want to know more about the Civil War Trust? Maybe donate? Click here. We at Historia Militaris are members and always contribute whenever we can to this worth cause.