The land that Gettysburg is now on was bought from the Iroquois Indians by William Penn in 1736. Soon afterwards, about 150 Scot-Irish families moved into what was known as Marsh Creek. One of the settlers, Samuel Gettys, established a tavern in 1761. A few years later, his son James had laid out some land and had formed the beginnings of the town, which would later become Gettysburg.  This was a very small and quiet time at the outbreak of the American Civil War. in 1860, the town only had about 2,400 residents. There were only ten roads in and out of town, and there were only about 450 buildings.

In 1863, perhaps the most important battle of the Civil War took place on the hills of Gettysburg. The Union troops and the Confederate troops met for a three day battle that was one of the bloodiest in America's history. At the end of the battle, the tide of the war started to turn for the Union. Though the battle took place from July 1-3, 1863, President Lincoln did not give his famous Gettysburg Address until November 19, 1863, during the dedication of Gettysburg National Cemetery for the Union troops killed in the battle.

Gettysburg is now located in Adams County, to the west of the English Quakers and Germans. Today, it is a hotspot for tourists who wish to come and visit re-enactments, or just see the humbling ground where there were about 50,000 casualties (dead, wounded & missing). To get an idea of the magnitude of this, 58,000 U.S. troops died over 21 years in Vietnam. The Battle of Gettysburg took only three days.