The Hospital on Seminary Ridge at the Battle of Gettysburg


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About the Book

“Old Dorm,” which served as the first classroom and dormitory of the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary, is a familiar tourist site—Union Cavalry General John Buford directed the opening stages of the battle of Gettysburg from the building’s distinctive cupola and some of the bloodiest fighting of the three-day conflict took place on Seminary Ridge. However, few visitors realize the building’s important role as the second largest hospital at Gettysburg, both during and after the battle. During the peak occupancy, 600–700 wounded soldiers from both armies were cared for at this site.
This work presents the history of the Gettysburg Seminary during the Civil War and the important cast of characters that have passed through its halls by utilizing the firsthand accounts of soldiers, civilians, surgeons, and relief agency personnel. Also included is the prewar and postwar history of the Seminary, as well as information about President Samuel S. Schmucker and the abolition movement.

About the Author(s)

Michael A. Dreese is the author of five books and numerous journal articles on topics including Pennsylvania and the American Civil War. An award-winning photographer, he is the president of the Friends and Descendants of the 151st Pennsylvania, and vice-president of the Susquehanna Civil War Round Table. He lives in Kreamer, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Michael A. Dreese

Foreword by Frederick K. Wentz

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: 59 photos, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [2002]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2360-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0771-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Foreword     1
Introduction     3

Prologue     7
1 The Seminary Comes to Gettysburg     13
2 A House Divided     22
3 Wolf at the Door     30
4 The Armies Converge     43
5 July 1, 1863: The Battle Opens     59
6 The Hospital During the Battle: July 1–July 4, 1863     91
7 The Hospital Period: July 5–September 1863     118
Epilogue     150

Appendices     167
Notes     171
Index     197

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Dreese combines medical, theological, and Civil War history…Wentz provides an insightful foreword”—Civil War Book Review
  • “this book is a solid piece of Gettysburgiana…Dreese covers a lot of territory…engagingly written, this book would work well in both young adult and adult nonfiction collections”—Colorado Libraries;
  • “outstanding…the author omits nothing…comprehensive”—The Civil War News
  • “Dreese gives a good balance between civilian and soldier accounts form both sides that it is hard not to feel something as you go through the pages of this book…highly recommend”—Gettysburg Chronicle
  • “[a] stirring account…well-researched…presents the history of the Gettysburg seminary…firsthand accounts of soldiers, civilians, surgeons, and relief agency personnel”—Adams County Historical Society
  • “a meticulously detailed and thoroughly researched history combined with the strong narrative structure of a well-crafted novel…well illustrated…readers will find themselves looking forward to each successive turn of the page…excellent”—Sightlines
  • “well-written…detail[s] the beginning of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg…well-researched…informative…should be read by everyone with an interest in the Civil War”—Juniata Sentinel
  • “both Union and Confederate patients…numerous pictures of soldiers…excellent modern photographs”—The Daily Item
  • “highly readable”—Bucknell World.