Washington, DC- Today U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which has already passed the House and is likely to pass the Senate this week, contains language that would expand Gettysburg National Military Park by 45 acres and add the Lincoln Train Station.
“This legislation will preserve an area of great national historical and cultural importance,” Senator Casey said. “Expanding this historical area will also contribute to the region’s economy as it continues to attract visitors from around the world who want to experience this significant time in American history.”
"The upcoming vote in the Senate to allow Gettysburg National Military Park to expand to include the historic train station and Plum Run should mark the culmination of a long bipartisan effort, said Senator Toomey. “Gettysburg National Military Park is an important part of our nation's history and encourages tourism and growth in the area. My thanks to Senator Casey and Congressman Perry for working with me on this important effort.”
“The Battle of Gettysburg marks a turning point in American history,” said Representative 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.” If the Senate and President Obama approve this as expected, I’ll be privileged that my first piece of legislation signed into law will be to help protect the Gettysburg Battlefield.”
The language in the bill 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.
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 at the Gettysburg National Cemetery.