Jul 14


Construction equipment west of Geary Avenue, near Pardee field, placing the water line between the Spangler’s Spring restroom and Cemetery Hill. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.

A National Park Service contractor has begun the process of digging and bulldozing their way across the battlefield with the goal of restoring water to a restroom facility that has been unused for eight years. Ignoring its own General Management plan from 1996, the Park Service is bringing water to a “non-historic” building that should be removed (according to the General Management Plan).

We believe the restroom should be removed and Port O Potties left in place, as the NPS has managed to do for the last eight years or so.  The restroom will be open only seven to eight months out of the year.

From the Landscape Treatment portion of the General Management Plan for Gettysburg National Military Park: ““Non-historic or modern structures are eliminated. Although modern intrusions, especially from state roads and automobiles, are a fact of life on the battlefield, NPS will not condone or perpetuate modern intrusions within the Major Battle Action Area of the park.”

“Gettysburg National Military Park welcomes public input regarding park operations and proposals. There are several ways for your voice to be heard, by comment cards that you can fill out during your visit or by e-mail on the park contact page.”

Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325


As part of this project that costs $295,767 or $49,294.50 for each of the six toilets/sinks that it will service, the backhoes dig the trench, the water line is laid, and then gravel is placed on top. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



“The primary duty of the National Park Service is to protect the national parks and national monuments under its jurisdiction and keep them as nearly in their natural state as this can be done in view of the fact that access to them must be provided in order that they may be used and enjoyed. All other activities of the bureau must be secondary (but not incidental) to this fundamental function relating to care and protection of all areas subject to its control.” – Stephen Mather, internal NPS document, February 1925. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



The trench goes in front of the monument to the 5th Ohio Infantry Regiment, which had 299 men engaged in this position on July 2nd and 3rd, 1863. The National Park Service General Management Plan for Gettysburg, includes the following prescription for the park in its Treatment Philosophy: “Resources, including historic structures, landscapes, archeological sites and collections that contribute to the significance of the park are stabilized, preserved and maintained in good conditions. This prescription is very important [...]” This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



Here is some finished work in front of the large star shaped monument to the 147th Pennsylvania Infantry regiment, who had 298 men engaged here on July 2nd and 3rd, 1863. “Who will gainsay that the parks contain the highest potentialities of national pride, national contentment, and national health? A visit inspires love of country; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness…. He is a better citizen with a keener appreciation of the privilege of living here who has toured the national parks.” – Stephen Mather, NPS Director, 1917-1929. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



Continued in the same Landscape Treatment from the NPS: “Nearly every landscape feature, natural and cultural, small scale or large scale, influenced the battle in some way. From a farmer’s fence to the largest hill, military leaders and units were forced to react to the surrounding landscape in planning and conducting battles.” The left flank marker to the 5th Ohio is on the left. The monument to the 29th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, which had 15 members killed, 43 wounded, and 8 missing/captured is in the background. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



The back of the left flank marker to the 5th Ohio.  Confederates charged from the high ground in the background towards this position the morning of July 3, 1863. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



The monument to the 29th Pennsylvania is in the background. When the 29th Pennsylvania returned to this position the evening of July 2nd, someone shouted for a good Union “hurrah” to announce to the brigade of George Sears Greene that the 29th had returned to its former position in this area.  The Confederates were now occupying the 29th’s former position, however, and fired a volley from behind a stone wall only 25 paces in front of the 29th. 14 members of the 29th were killed or wounded in that volley. So this isn’t an important place. Let’s just dig it up. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



“Leave only footprints. Take only memories” is the National Park Service warning to visitors to this hallowed ground. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



“The National Park Service will continue to work closely with its partner, the Gettysburg Foundation, in our campaign to restore Gettysburg’s historic integrity and preserve its remarkable resources. The park’s battlefield rehabilitation program has provided our visitors with a view of the battlefield not seen in over 100 years and a better understanding of the course of events during those three bloody days in July 1863, while creating a sustainable environment with improving wetlands, water quality and wildlife habitat.” — the new Superintendent, Gettysburg National Military Park. We didn’t understand that they were going to improve the water quality by digging unnecessary water lines. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



Here it wasn’t enough to keep the waterline that’s not needed by the roadway, or buried under the road. They have decided to make another path the size of a road through the woods in the right background. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



Gettysburg National Military Park Regulation: “Collecting of natural and cultural objects, including plants, animals, minerals, stones from walls, or other objects is strictly prohibited.” However, if an NPS contractor gets rid of these plants and minerals, that’s acceptable. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



When the Confederates attacked from left to right in this area the morning of July 3, 1863, the Confederates began taking heavy fire as soon as they left their position on the left. The 147th Pennsylvania and 5th Ohio (monuments visible here to the right of the road) opened on the Confederates when they were 100 yards away. “The death shriek rends the air on every side,” wrote one Maryland soldier of the carnage here. A member of the 37th Virginia wrote that after going a “considerable distance,” the enemy fire wiped out every man in his company except himself and another soldier. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



The 29th Pennsylvania, the bottom of whose monument is visible in the center background, got some revenge here the morning of July 3rd. When the Confederates charged, the Pennsylvanians waited until the Confederates were within 50 yards, then their “whole line up and let them have it.” Some of the Confederates advanced almost into the Union lines here, but most of them were either killed, wounded, or retreated. Before the Union soldiers were ordered to cease firing, many bullets hit the Confederate wounded as they were laying in this area. One soldier remembered how as he lay here, he could distinguish the different sounds made by balls that hit bodies from those that hit the ground. But why should we remember this. Let’s bring water that hasn’t been needed to a structure that shouldn’t be here. To see LBG Charlie Fennell’s description of the Pardee field fighting, click here. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.



Continued in the same Landscape Treatment from the NPS: “Non-historic or modern structures are eliminated. Although modern intrusions, especially from state roads and automobiles, are a fact of life on the battlefield, NPS will not condone or perpetuate modern intrusions within the Major Battle Action Area of the park.” Hmm. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, June 30, 2010.



They have not yet reached Steven’s Knoll, foreground, or East Cemetery Hill, background. And we know nothing important happened here. This view was taken facing south at approximately 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.


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