Located 50 miles northwest of Baltimore, the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was the site of the largest battle ever waged during the American Civil War. Fought in the first three days of July 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg resulted in a hallmark victory for the Union "Army of the Potomac" and successfully ended the second invasion of the North by General Robert E. Lee's "Army of Northern Virginia". Historians have referred to the battle as a major turning point in the war, the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy". It was also the bloodiest single battle of the war, resulting in over 51,000 soldiers killed, wounded, captured or missing.
The Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg was dedicated on November 19, 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln delivered his immortal Gettysburg Address. The cemetery contains more than 7,000 interments including over 3,500 from the Civil War.
Post-battle efforts preserved small portions of the battlefield as a memorial to the Union victory. On February 11, 1895, congressional legislation was signed to establish Gettysburg National Military Park as a memorial dedicated to the armies that fought this great battle. Gettysburg National Military Park incorporates nearly 6,000 acres, with 26 miles of park roads and over 1,400 monuments, markers, and memorials.