One million Civil War artifacts preserved at Gettysburg

Written by Matt Paul | Jul 3, 2013 11:42 AM

Photo by witf/Matt Paul

(Gettysburg) -- Thousands of people are flocking to the visitor center at Gettysburg National Military Park for the 150th anniversary of the three day battle.

The facility displays about 13-hundred historical items at any given time. But it barely scratches the surface of the entire collection.

Through the years, the park has acquired about one million artifacts, mostly by donation.

The National Park Service's Greg Goodell says each one helps to tell the comprehensive story of the Battle of Gettysburg.

"What you're looking at here, actually, is a Whitworth, breech-loading cannon," he says.

Thumbnail image for Archives4.JPG

Photo by witf/Matt Paul

At Gettysburg, there was a battery of four of them with the Army of Northern Virginia. Goodell says they were effective weapons because of their range and accuracy.

"If you can imagine, on July 1, a battery of these guns bombarding the very tail end of the federal line, almost a mile away, with stunning accuracy," he says, "You can see why these guns were so feared by those who were suffering their wrath."


Photo by witf/Matt Paul

Like all artifacts that aren’t on display, the cannon is meticulously cataloged and preserved in a basement storage space, where it’s exactly 70 degrees with 50 percent humidity all year long.

Published in Adams County, News

Tagged under , , , , , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »