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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan



Gettysburg National Battlefield Ghost

The battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3d. 1863

CREATED/PUBLISHED: New York : Published by Currier & Ives,

"Above the bayonets, mixed and crossed,
Men saw a gray, gigantic ghost
Receding through the battle-cloud,
And heard across the tempest loud
The death cry of a nation lost!
They went down! Without disgrace
They leaped to Ruin's red embrace;
They only heard Fame's thunders wake,
And saw the dazzling sun-burst break
In smiles on Glory's bloody face."
Pvt. Will Henry Thompson,
4th Georgia Infantry ;
"High Tide at Gettysburg


Three days of the bloodiest fighting of the American Civil War have forever etched these hallowed fields into the memory of a country and a people. But in the hundred-plus years since the last shot was fired and the last man fell, there continue to be reports from the fields of the fallen: reports of spectral armies still marching in step, of ghostly sentinels and horsemen, of mournful women in white, and the ghostly wails of orphans and animals alike.


The Gettysburg Battlefield was the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1 to July 3, 1863, in and around the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the county seat of Adams County, which had approximately 2,400 residents at the time. It is now the site of two historic landmarks: Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

The town was the center of a road network that connected ten nearby Pennsylvania and Maryland towns, including well-maintained turnpikes to Chambersburg, York, and Baltimore, so was a natural concentration point for the large armies that descended upon it.

To the northwest, a series of low, parallel ridges lead to the towns of Cashtown and Chambersburg. Seminary Ridge, closest to Gettysburg, is named for the Lutheran Theological Seminary on its crest. Farther out are McPherson's Ridge, Herr's Ridge, and eventually South Mountain. Oak Ridge, a northward extension of Seminary Ridge, is capped by Oak Hill, a site for artillery that commanded a good area north of the town.

Directly south of the town is Cemetery Hill, at 503 feet (153 m) above sea level, a gentle 80 foot (24 m) slope above downtown. The hill is named for the Evergreen (civilian) cemetery on its crest; the famous military cemetery dedicated by Abraham Lincoln now shares the hill. Adjacent, due east, is Culp's Hill, of similar height, divided by a slight saddle into two recognizable hills, heavily wooded, and more rugged. Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill were subjected to assaults throughout the battle by Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps.

Extending south from Cemetery Hill is a slight elevation known as Cemetery Ridge, although the term ridge is rather extravagant; it is generally only about 40 feet (12 m) above the surrounding terrain and tapers off before Little Round Top into low, wooded ground. At the northern end of Cemetery Ridge is a copse of trees and a low stone wall that makes two 90-degree turns; the latter has been nicknamed The Angle and The High Water Mark. This area, and the nearby Codori Farm on Emmitsburg Road, were prominent features in the progress of Pickett's Charge during the third day of battle, as well as General Richard H. Anderson's division assault on the second.

Dominating the landscape are the Round Tops to the south. Little Round Top is a hill with a rugged, steep slope of 130 feet above nearby Plum Run (the peak is 550 feet (168 m) above sea level), strewn with large boulders; to its southwest, the area with the most significant boulders, some the size of living rooms, is known as Devil's Den. [Big] Round Top, known also to locals of the time as Sugar Loaf, is 116 feet higher than its Little companion. Its steep slopes are heavily wooded, which made it unsuitable for siting artillery without a large effort to climb the heights with horse-drawn guns and clear lines of fire; Little Round Top was unwooded, but its steep and rocky form made it difficult to deploy artillery in mass. However, Cemetery Hill was an excellent site for artillery, commanding all of the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge and the approaches to them. Little Round Top and Devil's Den were key locations for General John Bell Hood's division in Longstreet's assault during the second day of battle, July 2, 1863. The valley formed by Plum Run between the Round Tops and Devil's Den earned the name Valley of Death on that day.

Northwest from the Round Tops, towards Emmitsburg Road, are the Wheatfield, Rose Woods, and the Peach Orchard. As noted by General Daniel E. Sickles in the second day of battle, this area is about 40 feet higher in elevation than the lowlands at the south end of Cemetery Ridge. These all figured prominently in General Lafayette McLaws's division assault during the second day of battle.

After the battle, the Army of the Potomac and the citizens of Gettysburg were left with appalling burdens. The battlefield was strewn with over 7,000 dead men and the houses, farms, churches, and public buildings were struggling to deal with 30,000 wounded men. The stench from the dead soldiers and from the thousands of animal carcasses was overwhelming. To the east of town, a massive tent city was erected to attempt medical care for the soldiers, which was named Camp Letterman after Jonathan Letterman, chief surgeon of the Army of the Potomac. Contracts were let with entrepreneurs to bury men and animals and the majority were buried near where they fell.

Two individuals immediately began to work to help the town recover and to preserve the memory of those who had fallen: David Wills and David McConaughy, both attorneys living in Gettysburg. A week after the battle, Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin visited Gettysburg and expressed the state's interest in finding its veterans and giving them a proper burial. Wilson immediately arranged for the purchase of 17 acres (69,000 m²) next to the Evergreen Cemetery, but the priority of burying Pennsylvania veterans soon changed to honoring all of the Union dead.

McConaughy was responsible for purchasing 600 acres (2.4 km²) of privately held land to preserve as a monument. His first priorities for preservation were Culp's Hill, East Cemetery Hill, and Little Round Top. On April 30, 1864, the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association was formed to mark "the great deeds of valor ... and the signal events which render these battlegrounds illustrious", and it began adding to McConaughy's holdings. In 1880, the Grand Army of the Republic took control of the Memorial Association and its lands.

On November 19, 1863, the Soldiers' National Cemetery was dedicated in a ceremony highlighted by Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The night before, Lincoln slept in Wills's house on the main square in Gettysburg, which is now a landmark administered by the National Park Service. The cemetery was completed in March of 1864 with the last of 3,512 Union dead were reburied. It became a National Cemetery on May 1, 1872, when control was transferred to the U.S. War Department.

The removal of Confederate dead from the field burial plots was not undertaken until seven years after the battle. From 1870 to 1873, upon the initiative of the Ladies Memorial Associations of Richmond, Raleigh, Savannah, and Charleston, 3,320 bodies were disinterred and sent to cemeteries in those cities for reburial, 2,935 being interred in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond. Seventy-three bodies were reburied in home cemeteries.

Gettysburg National Military Park
Travel back in time to Civil War days.
97 Taneytown Rd.
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Located 50 miles northwest of Baltimore, the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was the site of the largest battle ever waged during the American Civil War. Fought in the first three days of July 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg resulted in a hallmark victory for the Union "Army of the Potomac" and successfully ended the second invasion of the North by General Robert E. Lee's "Army of Northern Virginia". Historians have referred to the battle as a major turning point in the war, the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy". It was also the bloodiest single battle of the war, resulting in over 51,000 soldiers killed, wounded, captured or missing.

View official Web site

Gettysburg National Military Park and Visitor Center

Open All Year
September through May 8 AM to 5 PM
June through August 8 AM to 6 PM

Cyclorama Center Museum
Open All Year 9 AM to 5 PM

Gettysburg National Military Park
United States Department of the Interior - National Park Service

Incidents of the war. A harvest of death, Gettysburg, July, 1863. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, reproduction number LC-B8184-7964-A DLC. No known restrictions on publication

Ghost of the Battlefield

Sometimes you can hear some of them howling and screaming at night when you walk past Willoughby Run, a small stream that cuts through the middle of town.

Virtually every house that was here at the time of the Battle, that is still here today, is said to be haunted. According to "The Ghosts Of Gettysburg" Author, Mark Nesbitt, Gettysburg is, acre for acre, the most haunted place in America. Experts attribute that to the fact that thousands of young men, 15 - 17 - 19, have been tragically and traumatically ripped from life through the ravages we've come to know as The American Civil War.

During the 130th anniversary of the battle, two reenactors were sitting on the top of Little Round Top, when they noticed what appeared to be another reenactor approaching them. One of the sitting reenactors was a professor of Gettysburg college and he was quite impressed with the man's kit.

The man who came up approached using lingo of that time and he said "Weren't Some fight we had today huh boys?" The other men nodded.

"Well" said the man,"You might need these here tomorrow" With that, the man reached in his kit and handed the boys some cartridges. The professor was deeply impressed, because the cartridges were tied the right way and sealed with the right amount of bees wax and he was going to say something when he felt the Minne ball inside.

BY FEDERAL LAW NO REENACTOR IS TO BRING LIVE ROUNDS ON THE FIELD!! When the men looked up, the reenactor disappeared.

The relics were brought back to camp for us to see and they have been DNA tested to 1863!

This story along with others is published in George Coco's book, Ghosts of Gettysburg.

Very many ghosts of civil war soldiers have been seen here including entire battles being observed by witnesses.

The fields of Gettysburg were littered with the bodies of the dead, slowly decaying in the heat of the Pennsylvania summer. The people of the town were also left with thousands of the wounded to attend to and homes and businesses were quickly turned into field hospitals. "Wounded men were brought into our houses and laid side-by-side in our halls and rooms," one local woman recalled. "Carpets were so saturated with blood as to be unfit for further use. Wall were bloodstained, as well as books that were used as pillows".

The event which created the lore and legend of the Devil’s Den is undoubtedly the fighting which took place here on July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. However, stories surrounded the place long before the battle was ever fought.

Also according to local legend, the name "Devil’s Den" was actually in use before the battle took place. Most everyone, in their letters home and in the explorations of the battlefield after the fighting, referred to the rocks as a "desolate and ghostly place" or mentioned the "ominous" character of the rocks. Many others felt that the rocky outcropping actually marked the entrance to a cavern and while no cave exists here, those who visit the location can understand the mistake. The rocks are piled so high that the crevices between them seem to plunge down into total darkness.

But how the area got its name remains a mystery. Many believe that the strange atmosphere of the area itself may have contributed to the designation. Another legend persists that the Devil’s Den was always known for being infested with snakes. The legends say that one gigantic snake in particular eluded the local hunters for many years and they were never able to capture or kill him. He was allegedly nicknamed "the Devil" and thus, the area of rocks was called his "den".

No matter how the area got its name, it was apparently already considered a strange and "haunted" spot before the battle, at least according to Emmanuel Bushman. In the years which would follow, the Devil’s Den would gain an even more fearsome reputation.

The dead also lined the streets and walkways of Gettysburg, rotting in the summer sun. "Corpses, swollen to twice their original size," wrote a Federal soldier, "actually burst asunder.... several human, or inhuman, corpses sat upright against a fence, with arms extended in the air and faces hideous with something very like a fixed leer..."

The Triangular Field , situated one hundred yards southwest of the Devils Den is notorious for supernatural activity. It is common for recording equipment to either malfunction or cease to work at all.

Visitors to the battlefield have reported the sounds of gunshots and drum rolls emanating from the wooded area of the field. Others have reported the apparitions of sharpshooters among the tree line, taking careful aim at an enemy absent for over a century.

The local author/historian mentioned earlier, escorted a television camera crew out to the field for a special on Gettysburg ghosts. A prior equipment check showed everything was in working order. At the moment they entered the field, all equipment malfunctioned. As they exited the field, the cameras began working again. They entered and exited the field numerous times, only to have this bizarre pattern continue. As they filmed the field just outside of it’s perimeter, they were disappointed to learn that no film recorded of the field itself came out.

The Devils Den is a large patch of rocks where many Confederate sharpshooters took refuge in order to exact their death toll upon Union officers atop the hills of Little and Big Round Tops. In 1970, a tourist approached a park ranger and inquired about stories of Gettysburg being haunted. The Park Service cannot answer such questions but the ranger asked ‘why?’ The woman stated as she was taking photographs of the Devils Den, a man suddenly appeared beside her and said, “What you’re looking for is over there.” Pointing northeast toward the Plum Run, she turned to look and the man vanished. The ranger asked for a description, and she felt he looked ragged and like that of a hippie. Barefooted with torn butternut shirt and trousers, wearing a big floppy hat. This was often the attire of Confederate Texans. A few weeks later, the same ranger was approached by yet another visitor with the same question. The man said he was taking pictures and a man mentioned to look elsewhere and disappeared. His description was identical to the woman’s.

The Little Round Top is an unimpressive hill overlooking the Devils Den and the wheatfield. As the extreme left flank of the Federal lines, it has had its share of carnage. During the filming of the movie Gettysburg, many re-enactors would find themselves with some down time. Although the movie was not filmed on the battlefield, it was not uncommon for these extras to walk upon the battlefield in their period uniforms. One small group of men found themselves atop the Round Top, admiring the view as the sun began to set. A rustling of the leaves behind them alerted them to the presence of a stranger. From the brush emerged a rather haggard looking old man, dressed as a Union private. The man was filthy and smelled of sulfur, a key ingredient of the black powder used in 1863. He walked up to the men and as he handed them a few musket rounds, he said “Rough one today, eh boys?” He turned and walked away. As the re-enactors looked upon the musket rounds, they looked up to see the man had vanished. When they brought the rounds into town, they were authenticated as original rounds 130 years old! Many visitors have reported the smell of gunpowder, and have heard gunshots and screams from the Little Round Top over the years.

A ghost of Gen. William Barksdale's dog has also been seen the dog died trying to get message to another general. Triangular Field - Located above the Devil's Den, Confederate sharpshooters have been sighted on the rocks down at the bottom of the field, at the end of the woods, prepared to shoot. They have also been heard resounding their famous "rebel yells" and have been known to actually cause "impressions" in the grass, coming towards visitors in the field. Union cannon can be heard as well as screaming and moaning of wounded/dying soldiers all throughout the field. Union soldiers have been sighted at the left of the gate-entrance of the field and have been known to approach visitors. Incidentally, many visitors have experienced their photographic equipment does NOT function in the Triangular Field ~ no matter how new or state-of-the-art their equipment may be! Distant drums have been reportedly heard by many, many visitors here.

The Wheatfield - One of the bloodiest battle scenes during the war was the Wheatfield. On occasion you can still hear the war being fought. Sounds of fire crackling, and tin cups clinking can be heard, also the sound of a phantom horse can be heard approaching you.

Confederate Soldiers dead at Gettysburg, July, 1863. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

National Park Service
Gettysburg National Military Park
97 Taneytown Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325
phone: (717) 334-1124
fax: (717) 334-1891

Operating Hours & Seasons

The park is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. April 1 to October 31, and 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. November 1 to March 31.

The park visitor center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with summer hours from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.

The Cyclorama Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., April through November 20, 2006. The center will be closed from November 21,2006 through May 1, 2007.

SOLDIERS' NATIONAL CEMETERY (Gettysburg National Cemetery)
The Soldiers' National Cemetery is open at dawn and closes at sunset daily.

Fees & Reservations

fees & reservations includes:

Entry to the park is free of charge.

Electric Map Program
There is a charge for the Electric Map program at the park Visitor Center: $4.00 for adults (ages 17-61 years) $3.00 for children (ages 6-16 years) $3.00 for senior citizens (62 years and older) Children under 6 years old admitted for free. Group Rates: $3.00 per adult.

Licensed Battlefield Guides
Guides may be reserved in advance for organized bus groups by calling toll free at 1-877-874-2478 or 1-866-889-1243. A guide may also be reserved for individuals in cars and must be made seven days prior to your visit. A car reservation for 1-6 people is $60 per vehicle. Guides can also be reserved on the day of your visit, on a first come-first served basis.
Guide fees: 1-6 people= $45.00, 7-15 people= $65.00, 16-49 people= $100.00, 50+ people= $135.00. Additional information on the guide service is available here.

For Group Reservations and Tour Group Operators: To reserve Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, tickets for the Electric Map Program and group tours to Eisenhower National Historic Site, please use the new toll-free number at 1-877-874-2478 or FAX at 1-717-338-1244. For further information on tickets and group reservations, contact the Gettysburg Foundation at e-mail us.

McMillan Woods Youth Campground
For scouting and youth groups that visit Gettysburg National Military Park, we offer McMillan Woods Youth Campground, located on West Confederate Avenue in the park. The camp area is open from mid April through October each year. Any organized youth group with adequate adult supervision (minimum of one adult for every 10 youths) is welcome to use the camping area.

Camping is free with sites reserved through an annual lottery. Reservations for this year's camp season can be made by downloading a 2007 camp reservation form (pdf) or by calling Staci Burchett at (717) 334-1124, extension 423. Reservation requests must be submitted between November 1 and January 6. Camp reservations will be awarded by a random lottery drawing on February 1. You will be notified with a confirmation and camping permit by February 28 if your requested date was accommodated. After February 28, any sites that are left for the remainder of the camping season will be given away on a first come, first served basis. There is no penalty for early submissions but there is no guarantee of first choices for early submissions.

There is no commercial camping available in the park.



Though the battles have long ago ended and the sound of cannons and muskets is but a distant memory, there are some souls who are still waiting for the call to “Retreat” – and for them, it may never come!

Make plans to visit a Haunted Battlefield today!