Tragedy Strikes Gettysburg Civil War Chapel: Fire Destroys Chapel and Surrounding Buildings, FBI and ATF Asked to Investigate

Dec 03, 2010, 11:33 ET from Liberty Institute

GETTYSBURG, Pa., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Around 3:30 a.m. today, the Gettysburg Log Chapel, a reconstructed Civil War chapel, burned to the ground.  The reconstructed Chapel was built four years ago with permits from the Borough and received the Chamber of Commerce's Beautification Award earlier this year.  The Chapel stood to offer visitors the same hope and peace that Civil War chaplains extended to men who fought and died on the battlefield.

Just over two weeks ago, Liberty Institute sent a letter to the Borough on behalf of the Chapel following the Borough's notice to vacate.  The many supporters of the Civil War Chapel also announced the launch of a public campaign to help save the Chapel and are asking people to sign a petition of support. Visit for more information.

In regard to the fire, Liberty Institute released the following statement:

"Earlier this morning we were shocked to learn that the Gettysburg Log Chapel and several other buildings were destroyed or severely damaged by fire.  The circumstances of the fire are under investigation, but it appears that the fire may have been deliberately set.  We contacted the FBI and have been told that ATF and other officials from the National Church Arson Task Force are joining the investigation.  Burning down a church is a federal crime under the Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996.  

The Gettysburg Log Chapel closed for the season in November per an agreement with Borough officials, and was secure and unoccupied at the time of the fire.  Our prayers go out for those who have been affected by the fire, and for the First Responders on the scene."

To stay up-to-date on the story, visit  

Editor's Note: B-roll and photos of the original Chapel are available.

SOURCE Liberty Institute