Casey calls for legislation to preserve Gettysburg battlefield, rail station

By:  Paul Smith

As the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg nears, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced, today, that he has written a letter to the U.S. Senate’s Energy & Natural Resources Committee (ENR) urging the committee to take up his bill, the Gettysburg National Military Park Expansion Act, and move it through the committee process quickly. Casey’s bipartisan legislation would protect two historically significant properties, the Gettysburg Railroad Station and a forty-five acre property at the southern end of Gettysburg battlefield. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the Station served as transportation hub for thousands of troops and as a hospital for critically-wounded soldiers. The Gettysburg Foundation, a non-profit working in partnership with the park, has secured funds to purchase the Gettysburg Train Station from the Borough of Gettysburg and donate it to the NPS, following the passage of this legislation.

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 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 is necessary to obtain this property.