Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania


Gettysburg National Military Park Tour Roads

Photo from the Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress


Street View 


Constructed between 1882 and 1917, the avenues of the Gettysburg National Military Park serve as the main interpretative system for the three days of battle which took place between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia on 1, 2, and 3 July 1863, as a part of the American Civil War. The park was authorized as a National Military Park by the federal government in 1895 to represent the significant engagement in the East, one of five major battlefields to commemorate the Civil War. The battlefield has been under the control of three successive organizations, the Gettysburg Memorial Association (1864-1895), the War Department (1895-1933), and the National Park Service (1933-present), all of which have altered, added to and maintained the avenue system. For the most part, the avenues were constructed along the battle lines of the Union and Confederate Armies to show those armies' defensive positions prior to each day's fighting.The War Department laid out and improved the greatest number of avenues, most using the Telford method of road construction. In the early twentieth century the Telford avenues of Gettysburg were recognized as some of the finest roads in the country. The avenues were significant because they combined an awareness of advanced road-building technology with a sensitivity to the landscape on which they were constructed. This Telford construction survives as the solid base for many of the avenues in the park today, so while they are hidden, they continue to serve as material evidence of historic road building and of the veterans' vision of how they wanted their war efforts and comrades to be remembered. The early interpretive road system for the park combined the existing system of public roads, farm lanes and other historic traces with avenues laid out across the valley wherever the lines of battle formed. Tracing the development of this road system becomes a journey into the park's evolving interpretation of the Battle of Gettysburg and how the entire landscape is integral to that interpretation. -- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER PA-485)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966
Reference number
Areas of significance
Military; Politics/Government; Landscape Architecture; Conservation; Archeology - Non-Aboriginal
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; B - Person; C - Design/Construction; D - Information Potential
Property type
Historic functions
Cemetery; Battle site; Park
Current functions
Museum; Park; Monument/marker; Agricultural fields
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1863; 1864; 1893
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 135
Contributing structures: 277
Contributing sites: 112
Contributing objects: 929
Non-contributing buildings: 197
Non-contributing structures: 64
Non-contributing sites: 99
Non-contributing objects: 6

Update Log 

  • June 21, 2012: New Street View added by wdzinc