11 June 2010 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 5 comments

The imbeciles who want to place a casino half a mile south of the battlefield of Gettysburg have now engaged in a campaign of disinformation, referring to South Cavalry Field as “a satellite area of the battlefield.” This intentionally misleading statement is an effort to warp the truth, and I could not allow it to pass unchallenged.

I responded, and wrote a letter to the editor of the Frederick News-Post that was published today:

Gettysburg casino near hallowed ground?
Originally published June 11, 2010

When President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address, he explained: “We can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”

As a published historian of the Battle of Gettysburg, I could not agree more. Indeed, I am the author of an award-winning book that is to this day the only volume specifically dedicated to the actions that took place on South Cavalry Field at Gettysburg.

And so, I was appalled to read in the June 2 edition of The Frederick News-Post (“Casino proposed for area south of Gettysburg”) that the proponents of a casino half a mile from the Gettysburg battlefield callously disregarded the southernmost portions of the battlefield — where a desperate cavalry fight raged on July 3 — as just a “satellite area” of the actual park.

This was a protracted and ferocious fight. It occurs to me that to the descendants of soldiers who fell there, it wasn’t a sideshow to the “real” battle. American soldiers died on that ground, and to suggest otherwise only underscores the disregard these misguided investors have for our national treasure.

The simple truth is this: The consecration of that ground with the lifeblood of the American soldier is an immutable fact, far above anyone’s poor power to add or detract.

ERIC J. WITTENBERG

Columbus, Ohio

I could not permit that blatant lie to stand unrebutted. Hopefully, this will help to set the record straight about what happened on that important piece of battlefield ground. Thanks to Nick Redding of the CWPT for bringing the original lie to my attention so that I could respond in a timely fashion.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Todd Berkoff
    Mon 14th Jun 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Eric —

    Perfect response. Thank you for doing this. Shame on those people.

    – Todd

  2. Chris Evans
    Mon 14th Jun 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Pitiful behavior by these people. That is great that you wrote such a response.
    Chris

  3. Sat 19th Jun 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Your expertise in Civil War cavalry history makes your response much more credible than the average letter to the editor. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  4. Jean Clayton
    Thu 22nd Jul 2010 at 9:27 am

    Thank you for your response regarding the lies regarding the proposed casino….Indeed shame on these people who want to place this casino on “Hallowed Ground.”

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