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Evergreen Cemetery is a 29.12 acre, private, historic, rural cemetery on a ridge in Gettysburg Borough and Cumberland Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Founded nine years before the Battle of Gettysburg and the adjacent Soldiers' National Cemetery, Evergreen became the eponym for Cemetery Hill, a landform most noted as the keystone of the Union position during the epic Battle. The dedication address at Evergreen (known at the time as Ever Green) was given by Revered J.H.C. Dosh in 1855. Dosh asked about the cemetery, "could a more lovely spot have been chosen?"
Contributing ground to an "inevitable artillery platform" and receiving Confederate artillery fire in return, Evergreen experienced three days as battlefield, and its temporary condition inspired a Union officer to lament: "A beautiful cemetery it was, but now is trodden down, laid a waste, desecrated. The fences are all down, the many graves have been run over, beautiful lots with iron fences and splendid monuments have been destroyed or soiled, and our infantry and artillery occupy those sacred grounds where the dead are sleeping. It is enough to make one mourn." Four and a half months later, the Gettysburg Address was delivered from a platform in Evergreen Cemetery.
Following a November 29, 1853, meeting to establish the Evergreen Cemetery Association of Gettysburg, the members' 1st payments were due April 3, 1854. Opening ceremonies on November 7, 1854, included the "Sale of Lots" (118) after the 1st interment on October 29. The association managed the property and oversaw selection of its caretakers (the gatehouse was the caretaker residence.)
During the Battle of Gettysburg, "Federal soldiers in the Cemetery laid many of the tombstones on the ground" to limit damage, and some of the XI Corps batteries and infantry used the grave monuments "for shelter from the enemy's fire". Two Confederates mortally wounded during the battle were buried in Evergreen cemetery, and the speaker's platform that was used by President Abraham Lincoln to deliver his Gettysburg Address at the Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg was located on the grounds of the Evergreen Cemetery. From 1893 to 1916, the Gettysburg Electric Railway operated along the east and south of the cemetery. After the trolley railway was razed in 1917, Evergreen Cemetery expanded southward.
In 1972, the "Evergreen Cemetery archway house" was designated an historic district contributing structure by the Gettysburg council (1 of 38 outside of the borough). Civilian remains in 1992 at the site of the 1804 Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church cemetery were reinterred at Evergreen Cemetery.
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