GETTYSBURG, Pa., Oct. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This morning on historic Seminary Ridge, the Civil War Trust joined preservation advocates and hundreds of supporters to announce the successful conclusion of a national campaign to preserve and restore the headquarters site of Gen. Robert E. Lee during the Battle of Gettysburg.
"Today, we gather to celebrate one of the Civil War Trust's keystone achievements," said Trust President James Lighthizer. "General Lee's Headquarters is an educational and commemorative site on par with the most historic landmarks in the nation, and its restoration is an accomplishment in which every individual and organization involved should take pride."
In addition to serving as the nerve center of Lee's army during the battle, some of the heaviest fighting on July 1, 1863, took place around an unassuming, two-story stone structure, known as the Mary Thompson House. The Union stand on the property delayed but could not halt an overwhelming Confederate assault on this strategic location. That evening, Lee established his headquarters on the site.
To return the property to its wartime appearance, 10 modern structures were removed, as well as several post-war additions to the headquarters building. Relying on post-war surveys and period photographs of the home and grounds, historic contours were added back to the site, as well as a garden, fencing and dog house. Twenty-four trees will augment the site in spring 2017 to recreate a historic apple orchard. Finally, a new interpretive trail explains the dramatic events at the headquarters from July 1-3, 1863.
The Trust's 2014 national campaign raised $5.5 million to acquire and restore the site. Major contributions and partnerships came from FedEx, the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Civil War Trails, and over 11,000 Trust members. The Trust was joined at the event by Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Ed Clark, Gettysburg Foundation President Robert Kinsley, Journey Through Hallowed Ground Chairman David Williams and Gettysburg Seminary President Rev. Michael Cooper-White.
The Civil War Trust is America's premier nonprofit battlefield preservation organization. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 43,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states. Learn more at Civilwar.org.
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SOURCE Civil War Trust