The Battle of Gettysburg
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From July 1-3, 1863, Confederate forces led by General Robert E. Lee clashed with the Union army led by General George Meade. The battle left more than 51,000 killed, wounded, or missing. Wounded soldiers were crowded into nearby buildings, and many of the dead lay in hastily dug and inadequate graves.

Pennsylvania's Governor Andrew Curtin responded to the crisis by purchasing 17 acres of land for a proper burial ground for the Union dead. Within four months of the battle, reinterment began on the land that became Gettysburg National Cemetery.

By the time of the dedication ceremony for the cemetery on November 19, 1863, less than half the Union battle dead had been removed from their field graves. Within a few years, however, the bodies of more than 3,500 Union soldiers killed in the battle had been reinterred in the cemetery. Following the war, the remains of 3,320 Confederate soldiers were removed from the battlefield to cemeteries in the South.

Today the cemetery is the final resting place for over 6,000 honorably discharged servicemen and their dependents from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War.

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Alexander Gardner (1821-1882). Harvest of Death, Gettysburg. July, 1863. Albumen print photograph. Plate 36 in Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War (Washington: Philp & Solomons, 1865-66)
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A copy for a good cause
Never forget what they did here
Ideas are always more than battles