Trinity United Church of Christ - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 49.719 W 077° 13.743
18S E 309245 N 4411116
Quick Description: Seems like all the churches & schools played a role in the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the Civil War. This church was no exception. It served as a hospital during the battle. A beautiful interpretive out front tells the tale.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 10/26/2010 7:34:27 PM
Waymark Code: WMA0JK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Turtle3863
Views: 5

Long Description:

There is a series of interpretives around these old streets which really brings this historic district to life. Each one tells a small story, which when woven together, give the tapestry of Civil War life in this town, especially during the historic Battle of Gettysburg. This church, like many other structures on the street and around town, also acted as war hospitals during the great battle. Each one is an historic Civil War site.

The SOH is along the High Street side of the church near the intersection. The sign reads:

The original German Reformed Church located here in 1814, served as a "Union brick church" with the town's Lutheran congregation until 1848. The core of the present building, erected in 1851, was newly refurbished at the time of the battle.

On July 1st, following the Confederate occupation of Gettysburg, Dr. Abraham Stout, Asst. Surgeon 153rd PA., opened the church for a hospital at the urging of one of his captors. It was a welcome action. Dr. Stout recalled, "In less than half hour it was filled with wounded, mostly Union men."

For several days surgeons worked at operating tables in the "lecture room." Citizen volunteer nurses recalled newly painted walls "splattered" and pews "soaked" with blood. "and they ha to bore holes in the floor to let the blood run away..." Eventually, many wounded were transferred to the public school next door.

Following the battle, the church served a more traditional role. Jenny Wade, the only civilian killed in the battle, was buried in the adjoining church graveyard. She was reinterred in Evergreen Cemetery in November 1865.

During the Battle, they hung a red banner from the former cupola to let folks know it was a hospital and to not shoot or bomb there. The church site reports In 1863 this building served as a hospital for wounded soldiers of both armies during the “Battle of Gettysburg.” In 1918 it served as a “Y” hut for the soldiers of Camp Colt during World War I. There is also an old metal plaque on the building (see gallery) which reads Civil War Building 1863. I have seen these on many of the buildings in the historic district and I'd wager this is a contributing structure but right now I have no way of confirming it.

Related Website: [Web Link]

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NorStar visited Trinity United Church of Christ - Gettysburg, PA 9/2/2014 NorStar visited it