The following letter
was written before the new NPS Superintendant,
Bob Kirby, visited the Tate Farm in Hunterstown on April 1st,
2010. Gettysburg/Hunterstown is proud to welcome such a fine person to oversee
our National Park here in Gettysburg!
Every year at this time there seems to be a renewed interest in
battlefield preservation. Whether it is "springtime" and folks are getting ready to make their trips to Gettysburg...
or perhaps it is that CWPT is getting ready to announce its
"10 Most Endangered Battlesites"....we are not quite sure.
Whatever the reason, we find it quite unusual that GB's NPS does not share the same concerns
as the people who have been mailing us daily concerning the protection of the "North Cavalry" battlesite here
In a recent article:
who has a Ph.D. in American history, said he enjoys wide support among Civil War historians, preservationists, and local business
leaders. They understand, he said, that a desire to protect Gettysburg's treasures and to provide the public
with high-quality interpretation of the Gettysburg campaign and its consequences has always motivated him."
In September of 2006, the Department of the Interior came to Hunterstown, took a tour and mapped out
the whole town
(and Fairfield) to include
them as part of the Gettysburg Campaign.
yet, there is no talk of any battlefield preservation for the Hunterstown area.
the historians are correct ...then, this tiny hamlet has had a HUGE impact on the outcome of the Gettysburg Campaign.
Several historians have stated that...IF Jeb Stuart's cavalry had reached Culp's Hill....then, perhaps the outcome of the Gettysburg
Campaign could have been quite different.
We believe, that if you indeed have "a desire to protect Gettysburg's
treasures" and if you are motivated " to provide the public with
high-quality interpretation of the Gettysburg campaign
and its consequences," then, we believe it behooves NPS
to tell the whole story of the Gettysburg Campaign.
When visiting the new Visitor's center, we noticed several battle
showing troop movements in the Day
1 and Day 2 sections,
and HUNTERSTOWN was not even seen on these maps...
but New Oxford and Abbottstown were?
Then, on another wall
is a map of sorts showing the Civil War Hospital sites in Hunterstown, about 7 or so.....
Two of which have received plaques from Historic Gettysburg-Adams County, but no mention of the battle here...
OR of the courageous acts of Norvell Churchill and the Michigan Cavalry....or Cobbs Legion that fought
This same cavalry then proceeds to East Cavalry battlefield,
and much is written of their brave efforts there....
not to mention its inclusion in the Gettysburg National Military Park.
In 2006, the Gettysburg Re-enactment highlighted the "Battle of Hunterstown." We extended an invitation
to you and Katie Lawhon to come out to Hunterstown for a tour. Perhaps "seeing" the area,
it would help with the interpretation of the battle here.
Unfortunately, you had to decline as you were "busy"
plans for the reenactment!
As a co-founder
of the Hunterstown Historical Society, we have found that it is a real balancing act, to portray both the town's
wonderful Civil War history and it's amazing personal history.
(i.e., The Studebaker Family is from
Eddie Plank's mother (a
McCreary) was from Hunterstown,
Wade's family is in the family tree of David Little, one of the original chairmakers in Hunterstown....
President George Washington stopped at the Tate Farm Blacksmith
shop on his way back from the Whiskey Rebellion....
One of Hunterstown's forefathers was the first
Senator who occupied the same position as our new
State Senator, Rich Alloway.
We feel, it is just as important to share the town's rich history from the mid 1700's when David Hunter first
laid the foundation for what is now known as Hunterstown (which incidently, almost became the county seat)...as it is to tell of the 5,000 cavalry that galloped right through this little hamlet on
July 2nd, 1863, who then charged the Confederate line as they were headed towards, what some have called "the
greatest battle of the Civil War"...Gettysburg.
That is why, this year's Annual Walking Tour of Hunterstown,
on July 2nd, 11:00 am, is being called...
"Hunterstown Heritage Day".
It is our desire, for history's sake, to "tell the
whole story" of this amazing little town!
only ask that the GB National Military Park does the same.
Thank you so much for
your time and consideration of this matter.
always, we invite you to visit Hunterstown.
all would be happy to show you around!