On July 1st through the 3rd of 1863, Gettysburg was pushed into the nations spotlight. This three day battle resulted in 46,000 and 51,000 casualties between the two armies. In a town that only had 2,390 residents, this was a huge burden. In the months after the battle the population had the arduous task of burying the dead. The problem was not only the amount of dead that needed to be buried but where to bury them. This leads to the creation of the National Cemetery.
At the for front of this effort is David Wills, a Gettysburg lawyer. He suggested that the cemetery be one for the public instead of a private cemetery. As the plans for this came together, David Wills house became the meeting place for the planning if this endeavor.
November of 1863, only three months after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg to deliver his famous “Gettysburg Address”. He wrote his final draft the night before while staying at the Wills house. You can still walk through the bedroom where he wrote this!
This summer from June 9th to August 12th there is free admission to this museum. Its a great museum and in the heat of the summer is a perfect way to spend the afternoon. Two days ago Samantha and I visited the David Wills House instead of melting outdoors. I learned so much!
If you are interested in learning more about this site please visit the David Wills House!