Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Legislation Would Add 45 Acres, Train Station to Gettysburg Park It's Casey's Third Attempt at Additions

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Legislation Would Add 45 Acres, Train Station to Gettysburg Park It's Casey's Third Attempt at Additions

Article excerpt

Like any determined military general, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is trying, for a third time, for a victory in adding to the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Mr. Casey, D-Pa., is seeking to add the Gettysburg train station and 45 acres where cavalry battled to the 5,000-acre park. The train station, restored in 2006 at a cost of $2.8 million, is an 1856 brick building that became a makeshift hospital for the wounded soldiers during the decisive Civil War conflict. It served as a way station for dead veterans' coffins being shipped home for burial. On the third and final day of the battle, wounded soldiers climbed into the station's bell tower to watch cannons exploding over Pickett's Charge.

On Thursday, Mr. Casey, along with Pennsylvania's Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, introduced legislation to include the station and the 45 acres within the boundaries of the park. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania's Republican congressman from its 4th District, introduced companion legislation in the House.

Mr. Casey is urging Congress to pass the legislation before Nov. 19, the date in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln arrived and gave the famous two-minute speech that dedicated the Soldiers' National Cemetery.

"This is the 150th anniversary of both the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address, so it's very significant this year," said Alex Miller, a spokeswoman for Mr. Casey.

"Sen. Casey has also invited President [Barack] Obama to be the keynote speaker at the November event for the Gettysburg Address anniversary. The president has yet to respond either way, but the event is several months away," Ms. Miller added.

The bill was never voted on by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. But the committee's new chair is Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon.

Joanne Hanley, president of the Gettysburg Foundation, said the train station is "where President Lincoln began and departed his 24- hour seminal trip to Gettysburg. …

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