Gettysburg is a borough and the county seat of Adams County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The Battle of Gettysburg (1863) and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address are named for this town. The town hosts visitors to the Gettysburg National Battlefield in the Gettysburg National Military Park. As of the 2010 census, the borough had a population of 7,620 people
Between July 1 and 3 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg, one of the largest 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 managed to escape 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.
Main article: Gettysburg furniture companies
The furniture manufacturing industry successfully occupied folk in Gettysburg for the first half of 1900s. 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. However, the 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 Pennsylvania.
Gettysburg manufacturing associated with tourism included a late 19th-century foundry that created 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.).