Reinforcing History

Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer

Author: Amy Worden

04/13/2008 - For almost 40 years, the visitor center here was more than just a front-row seat on the Gettysburg battlefield.

The complex, surrounded by acres of asphalt, sat directly on what many consider sacred ground: the Army of the Potomac's defensive line on bloody Cemetery Ridge, from which the Union troops fended off the Confederates during the first three days of July 1863.

The visitor center "was right in the middle of what we were trying to preserve and protect," said Scott Hartwig, supervisory historian at Gettysburg National Military Park.

The opening of the new $103 million Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center tomorrow is nearly the culmination of a 14-year plan to relocate the hub of tourist activity well away from the battle lines of the defining North-South clash of 160,000 men, and to restore Cemetery Ridge to the way it looked that summer 145 years ago.

Read the complete article Reinforcing History on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.

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