Arrival at Gettysburg Station

On the Way to Gettysburg: Arrival at Gettysburg Station

History: Planning to address the crowds at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln traveled by train from Washington D.C., to Camden Station in Baltimore, to Hanover Junction and Hanover, Pennsylvania and arrived at the Italianate Villa-style Gettysburg Station on November 18, 1863 around 6:30 p.m.

Here at Gettysburg Station, President Abraham Lincoln had his first experience of the carnage that the Battle of Gettysburg inflicted, as there were still stacks of coffins lining the platform from a battle waged four months earlier. The three day Battle of Gettysburg claimed 55,000 casualties and the burying of them continued into November.

From the train station, Abraham Lincoln headed to the home of David Wills to stay the night. After Lincoln's Gettysburg Address the following day, he boarded his train back to Washington D.C. with the reassuring news that his son's sickness had subsided.

More to Explore: While in Gettysburg, start your tour at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, where the park offers a bookstore and an extensive museum about Gettysburg and the Civil War. Inside, the fully restored Gettysburg Cyclorama dramatically depicts "Pickett’s Charge," and the film “A New Birth of Freedom,” narrated by award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, focuses on the significance of Gettysburg.

While at the museum, partake in the refreshment saloon that offers snacks, sandwiches and drinks in a Civil War atmosphere. Then head out to see the battlefield on a ranger-led program, with the Licensed Battlefield Guide service, or on your own with the self-guided audio tour. Also offered are battlefield tours on horseback by private vendors. The town of Gettysburg is replete with gift shops, museums and ghost tours of a Civil War theme.

Photo Credits:

  1. "View of Gettysburg from Cemetery Ridge."
  2. "View of the crowd at the dedication for the Gettysburg National Cemetery."
  3. "Photograph of President Abraham Lincoln."Prints courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division