Gettysburg National Military Park News Release
For Release: April 8, 2009
Contact: Katie Lawhon
Phone: 717/ 334-1124 x 3121
Gettysburg NMP Plants More Battlefield Orchards This Week
This week, Gettysburg National Military Park is replanting four more historic orchards in major battle action areas on the battlefield. Contractors for the National Park Service will replant 30 acres of orchards with hardy varieties of apple so visitors can better understand the fighting and see the battlefield through the eyes of the soldiers fighting in 1863.
The project includes replanting the largest orchard in the park – the McMillan Orchard which is 26 acres along both sides of West Confederate Avenue. In addition, the park is replanting the orchards at the Timbers Farm, Klingel farm and at the Spangler farm at East Cavalry Battlefield. The contractor is Hively and the trees are six varieties of hardy apple.
According to park historians, almost every farm of any size in 1863 Gettysburg had an orchard, usually of a size in proportion to the farmstead. The orchards played many roles during the battle–cover from observation or from fire for both troops and artillery batteries; concealment during movement; obstructions to observation or clear fields of fire; places to gather to rest or seek medical assistance.
Since 2000, the park has replanted 79 acres at 32 historic orchard sites. The goal is to replant a total of 160 acres of orchards throughout the major battle action areas of the battlefield. For more information go to www.nps.gov/gett