Botanist William Saunders designed that layout of trees in Soldiers’ National Cemetery. He selected the species of trees and designed their placement to frame the semi-circular graves of about 3,600 Gettysburg soldiers. In this article, we offer a collage of photographs.
Dedicated on November 19, 1863, and the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Soldiers’ National Cemetery is the first United States cemetery developed on a battlefield. In short, the cemetery was established for the burial of Union soldiers mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. The cemetery shares its southern boundary with Gettysburg’s Evergreen Cemetery.
The work was sponsored by Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin with the help of Gettysburg attorney, David Wills. Wills purchased seventeen acres of land from donations made by the states of Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Trees in Soldiers’ National Cemetery – A Photo Gallery
While bicycling Gettysburg in October 2015, I photographed one tree for every labeled species in the cemetery.
Although the national cemetery does not permit bicycles, two bicycle racks are available for your use—one at the Baltimore Street entrance and the other at the Taneytown Road entrance. Please respect this sacred space and walk the grounds.
In the photo gallery below, hover over each image with your mouse (or gently press the image on your mobile device) to learn the tree’s species. How many species can you count?Back to Study Notes