News Stories
Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

USS Gettysburg Crew Completes Battlefield Preservation Projects

by Lt. Jamin M. Bailey, USS Gettysburg
27 August 2021

Sailors assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) gather at Little Round Top, a historic landmark from the Battle of Gettysburg, prior to a day of preservation projects in Gettysburg National Park. Gettysburg Sailors traveled to Gettysburg, Pa. for a three-day namesake visit, where they performed several community relations projects and connected with the Gettysburg community. (U.S. Navy courtesy photo)
SLIDESHOW | 2 images | GTY Sailors to Gettysburg Sailors assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) gather at Little Round Top, a historic landmark from the Battle of Gettysburg, prior to a day of preservation projects in Gettysburg National Park. Gettysburg Sailors traveled to Gettysburg, Pa. for a three-day namesake visit, where they performed several community relations projects and connected with the Gettysburg community. (U.S. Navy courtesy photo)
 Visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park were greeted with the unusual sight of camouflage-clad Sailors working alongside uniformed park rangers and staff there Aug. 19-21. 
 
The Sailors were part of a group of 64 crewmembers assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) visiting from Norfolk, Va.  They spent three days supporting historical preservation projects at the battle site alongside members from the Gettysburg Foundation and National Park Service.  
 
Each day during the visit, the crew worked several hours on park assignments before taking time  to tour the visitor’s center and museum.  They also went on guided tours of key sites around the famed grounds where soldiers fought and died 158 years ago.
 
Gettysburg Commanding Officer, Capt. Megan Thomas, expressed her appreciation for the educational, immersive experience.
 
“We greatly value our relationship with the Gettysburg Borough, the National Park Service, and the Gettysburg Foundation,” she said.  “The opportunity to have our officers, chiefs and crew not just see, but experience our namesake's history is a really special part of being aboard Gettysburg.”
 
Among other locations, the Sailors completed a few projects at the Spangler Farm, site of a field hospital during and after the battle.  Confederate Gen. Lewis Armistead died at the hospital, which treated over 1,500 soldiers from both sides of the conflict.  The crew repaired the entrance road, replaced a mulch trail through the woods linking the site to a bus access point, and cleaned up the barn and local area.

Brian Klinzing, Gettysburg Foundation director of strategic partnerships, expressed his gratitude to the crew for visiting their namesake and helping with its upkeep.
 
“The Gettysburg Foundation is honored to have among its volunteers, the crew of the USS Gettysburg and is thankful for the time they spent here helping us maintain the historic George Spangler Farm and Field Hospital,” he said.  “The crew’s spirit and dedication shown here at Gettysburg, represent the best traditions of the U.S. Navy and we look forward to working alongside them again soon.”
 
The ship’s Command Master Chief, Jaye Bell, reflected on the deep meaning of the visit for those involved, and the pride it invoked for the United States.
 
 “[Being here], you get to appreciate how brave America was to stand up to itself and champion its true ideals,” he said.  “Gettysburg showed us the way; it is our namesake and we will honor that in service and patriotism.”
 
In addition to their work at the Spangler Farm and the field hospital, the crew also helped make improvements to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, a site of intense fighting during the Gettysburg battle and the final resting place of over 3,500 Union soldiers.  It is also the place where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic Gettysburg Address.  There, Sailors cleaned up overgrown fence lines and a 100-yard-long flower bed, trimmed low-hanging branches, cleared weeds and undergrowth around trees and gravestones.
 
Park Superintendent Steven Sims was pleased by the Sailors’ contributions and anticipates a continued, positive relationship with the ship’s crew.
 
“The crew of Gettysburg has significant pride in their namesake and reflects their motto of ‘Deeds Not Words’ through their actions,” he said.  “It is wonderful to have them as part of our community and I look forward to many more visits in the future.”
 
USS Gettysburg was commissioned June 22, 1991, and is homeported in Norfolk, Va.  It is currently in the final stages of the Cruiser Modification and Service Life Extension Program, and is expected to return to sea in 2022.


 
Navy.mil  |  Navy.com  |  Navy FOIA  |  DoD Accessibility/Section 508  |  No Fear Act  |  Open Government  |  Plain Writing Act 
USA.gov  |  Veterans Crisis Line  |  DoD Safe Helpline  |  Navy SAPR  |  NCIS Tips  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us
 
Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic  |  1751 Morris Street  |  Norfolk, Virginia 23511-2808
Official U.S. Navy Website