These images commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. This was the last full- scale Civil War veterans’ reunion. In 1938, over 2,000 soldiers of the Civil War gathered together to shake hands under the tents, on the battlefield, and throughout the Gettysburg College campus. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Peace Light on July 3rd, 1938, before a crowd of approximately 200,000 people. It was a unique chance for generations of Americans to join together to commemorate the sacrifices of the Civil War with the participants, including two dozen veterans of the actual battle.
The originals photos were taken by the photographers of the United States Army Signal Corps. This is a sampling of over one hundred seventy photographs that were given to Gettysburg College President Henry W. A. Hanson in appreciation for the College’s contributions to the success of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The original album is housed in Special Collections, Musselman Library, Gettysburg College. The original caption for each photo is listed below.
This exhibit was created by Special Collections, Musselman Library, Gettysburg College as part of the Sesquicentennial commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg. This project would not have been possible without the tremendous support of Jane North and the Gettysburg College’s Sesquicentennial Committee; Jeffrey Gabel and the staff of The Majestic Theater; Larry Knutson of Americas’ Arts, LLC; and Katie Barako, Special Projects Coordinator for the President’s Office. Our special thanks to Patricia Lott and the family of Jim Lott for the donation of the aerial view of Gettysburg in 1938.
For more information and to see more images from President Henry W. A. Hanson’s album, please visit:
These images were the first items of the GettDigital Collection Civil War Reunions and Reminiscences. This growing digital collection illustrates the commemoration of the Civil War by its participants.