Today U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced legislation to incorporate two historically significant properties into the boundary of Gettysburg National Military Park. Congressman Scott Perry (PA-4) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. The two properties include the Lincoln Train Station, located in downtown Gettysburg, and 45 acres of land at the southern end of Gettysburg battlefield.
"I am calling on the Senate to pass this bipartisan, fiscally responsible legislation before the 150th Anniversary of the President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address this November 19th," said Senator Casey. "In addition to serving as a site of national historical and cultural importance, Gettysburg is also important to the economy of the region. I am committed to working with partners in the Commonwealth to make sure it remains this way for generations to come."
"Gettysburg National Park is an important part of our nation's history and of Adams County's local economy," Senator Toomey said. "With the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, I am happy to announce my support for the Gettysburg National Military Park Expansion Act. By expanding Gettysburg National Park, this bill will help preserve our national history and encourage tourism and growth in the area. I look forward to working with Senator Casey and Congressman Perry to pass this important legislation."
"The Battle of Gettysburg marks a turning point in American history," said Congressman Perry. "By preserving the Lincoln Train Station, I hope to inspire my fellow citizens to learn and appreciate the significance of the Gettysburg Campaign, the Gettysburg Address, the Civil War and the bravery of the soldiers who, in President Lincoln's words, "gave the last full measure of devotion.'"
This expansion effort is consistent with Gettysburg National Military Park's 1999 General Management Plan, the goals of the National Park Service and is supported by the Gettysburg Borough Council.
"The Gettysburg Foundation is grateful that we can help the National Park Service acquire important and significant properties, such as the Lincoln Train Station and Plum Run, which is also owned by the Foundation. We are committed, as a partner of Gettysburg National Military Park, to ensuring that the Train Station is preserved in perpetuity and is available for future generations to learn about the incredibly monumental 24-hour visit to Gettysburg by President Lincoln. His Gettysburg Address, which he delivered while here, still inspires and resonates in the hearts of Americans today," said Joanne M. Hanley, President, Gettysburg Foundation.
The Lincoln Train Station, located in downtown Gettysburg, was built in 1858 and is currently listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The station served as a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg and was the departure point for thousands of soldiers who were wounded or killed in battle. The Lincoln Train Station is also the site at which President Abraham Lincoln arrived on November 18, 1863, one day before he delivered the Gettysburg Address.
The legislation also expands the boundary of Gettysburg National Military Park to include 45 acres of land at the southern end of the battlefield where cavalry skirmishes occurred during the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. The land has environmental significance as home to wetlands and wildlife habitat related to the Plum Run stream that traverses the park. This 45-acre property is adjacent to current park land and was donated to the park's non-profit partner, the Gettysburg Foundation, in April of 2009. The Foundation plans to donate the parcel to the park once it's added to the park's boundaries; therefore, no federal land acquisition funding will be necessary to obtain this property.