Spangler Farm Civil War Field Hospital Programs

Image of the George Spangler Farm courtesy of the Gettysburg Foundation

The George Spangler Farm Civil War Field Hospital Programs

Summer Season Opens June 9, 2017

Gettysburg, Pa.– The Gettysburg Foundation will open the historic George Spangler Farm Civil War Field Hospital site to visitors on weekends, June 9 through August 13. Visitors will be transported back to July and August of 1863 as they walk in the footsteps of those who experienced the carnage left from the aftermath of the battle of Gettysburg. The George Spangler Farm is one of the best examples of a Civil War field hospital site on the battlefield today, where upwards of 1,900 men, including Confederate Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead, were treated for wounds both minor and fatal.

The Gettysburg Foundation offers experiential programs that build on the stories of the Spangler family and medical care of the wounded. Access to the farm is via shuttle bus from the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Regular programming takes place each morning and afternoon:

  • The Spangler Farm in 1863: Walk near the original farmhouse, summer kitchen and barn, and learn what civilian farm life was like for farmers like George Spangler and his family in the 1860s. Hear the story of a family and farm in crisis, and how the events of July and August 1863 served as a powerful point of passage for the Spanglers and many others whose lives were forever changed. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • An Army Field Hospital: Stand inside the barn in one of the best surviving examples of a farm used as a triage and treatment site during and after the battle of Gettysburg. Through the use of letters, diaries and personal accounts, “meet” some of the 1863 soldiers treated here and “hear from” the surgeons and nurse caregivers worked tirelessly among primitive conditions. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In addition, Living Historians from all over the United States present interactive programming the whole family can enjoy. The 2017 schedule is available on www.gettysburgfoundation.org. Among the highlights are:

June 9-11: The 2nd Corps Field Hospital Confederate States of America (CSA) will present an encampment depicting a Confederate field hospital.

June 16-18: Rex Hovey will represent stories of his great, great uncle, Dr. Bleaker Hovey, a surgeon from New York working at the Spangler Farm in July 1863. A special feature of this presentation is Dr. Hovey’s actual surgeon’s kit, still intact after 154 years.

July 28-30: The 9th PA Reserves Medical Unit will visit the Spangler Farm from the Pittsburgh area along with Living Historians presenting stories of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

August 4-6: Get a glimpse of nursing in the Civil War, with a Living Historian presenting stories of the day in the life of a battlefield nurse. She will demonstrate a nurse’s role and duties at a field hospital.

New for 2017: Special Programming throughout the summer season: Each program begins at noon and features physicians, Licensed Battlefield Guides and other experts.

  • June 24: Stories from Technical Advisor of PBS’ “Mercy Street”

  • July 3: “The Sick and Injured Troops: Medical Care, Then and Now”

  • July 8: “It Was Beyond Human Endurance: Hospitals in Gettysburg During and after the Battle”

  • August 12: “The Care of the Southern Wounded”

New and seasoned visitors of all ages will learn about 1860s farm life, artillery, Civil War medicine and field hospital systems by connecting with Living Historians who share the stories of the soldiers, military leaders, surgeons, chaplains and civilians who suffered the realities of war at the George Spangler Farm.

Though the Spangler Farm has undergone many changes over the last 152 years, its authenticity remains intact and its future is secure because of the generous donations of those who helped the Gettysburg Foundation purchase the 80-acre property residing within the boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park. Preservation, rehabilitation and restoration work on this national treasure continues, offering a new vantage point with which to help visitors understand the significance of the battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War on the development of our nation.

The George Spangler Farm is accessible Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, June 9 – August 13, via shuttle bus only from Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Shuttle tickets are available at the ticket counter in the lobby of the Visitor Center, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA. Adult ticket price is $5.50 and youth tickets (ages 6 to 12) are $2.25. Children under age 6 are free.

About Gettysburg Foundation

The Gettysburg Foundation is a non-profit educational organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to enhance preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg. The Foundation raised funds for and operates the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park. In addition to operating the Museum and Visitor Center, the Foundation has a broad preservation mission that includes land, monument and artifact preservation and battlefield rehabilitation—all in support of the National Park Service’s goals at Gettysburg. www.gettysburgfoundation.org.

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