Monday, January 2, 2012

Devil's Den at Gettysburg Battlefield - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Just outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the former Civil War battlegrounds there lies a valley strewn with large rocks and boulders that looks like the Devil may have designed it himself.  Long before the Battle of Gettysburg ever took place, locals have referred to this place as the Devil's Den.  Thousands of Civil War soldiers died in the valley where the Devil's Den is located.  However, not only is it said that many ghosts of the Civil War haunt this battle ground, but spirits from a time prior to the Civil War as well.
The Devil's Den at Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, PA

Long before the likes of Lee and Meade ever walked the Gettysburg Battlefield, a Native American battle took place here in which many warriors were killed.  Then in July of 1863 for three long days, the Confederate Army of the South met the Union Army of the North at this location as well as the surrounding hills in the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.  There were approximately fifty thousand casualties suffered on both sides including over seven thousand killed.  On the second day of battle, heavy fighting occurred at Devil's Den as the Union soldiers who held the hill defended against the attacking Confederates.  The Union troops eventually lost control of the hill only to retake it again after many were killed on both sides.  The valley which is home to Devil's Hill was nicknamed "Death Valley".  The dead lay strewn around Devil's Den for weeks and some were thrown into the rocky crevices instead of being buried.



The Devil's Den, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as it appeared in the 1860s
The Devil's Den immediately after the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War

Throughout the early to mid 1800s, there have been reported stories from locals about hearing the sounds of Native American war cries coming from the Devil's Den.  Some claimed to have even seen the apparitions of warriors as if they were in the last death throws of battle.  After the Civil War battle at Gettysburg, reports started coming in of sightings of what many believe to be the ghost of a Confederate soldier roaming the Devil's Den.  It is believed that he is from the Confederate Army because the apparition is usually dressed in the style that the Texas regiment wore at the time of the battle.  He has been described as usually wearing buckskin clothes, and having long hair underneath a hat in the style that the southerners used to wear in that time period.  Some say that the apparition appeared to be barefoot.  Most of the Confederate soldiers had poor or no shoes and were raggedly dressed which matches the often rough or scraggly look of the ghost.  Many have nicknamed the ghost at Devil's Den the "hippie" because of the way he looks.


A fallen soldier lies between the boulders of Devil's Den after the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Devil's Den at Gettysburg National Military Park today

There are numerous other ghosts that haunt the Gettysburg National Military Park as it is known as one of the most haunted places in the United States if not the World.  There are also various hauntings in the town of Gettysburg itself and ghost tours are given on a regular basis.

3 comments:

  1. I've been to the Gettysburg battlefield a few times and don't remember seeing or hearing about the Devils Den. guess I need to go back.

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    1. AKA: Little round top.

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  2. I can tell you from a first hand account that Gettysburg is haunted. I used to live there and would go there late at night. I remember I literally heard the battle replaying as it had 140 years prior. Very eerie, I would not recommend doing this, because unless your on a tour, it is illegal to go at night. But it put a good fright into me hearing men screaming and hollering, but I also know the difference between a residual and intelligent having. This my friend was a residual.

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