In the fight over the casino project at Gettysburg, the argument has often been made that the soldiers themselves would frequent the casino had it been here during the Battle.
Well, the casino was not here during the Battle, but later in the nineteenth century there were dance halls and gambling parlors, along with the requisite houses of ill repute smack dab on Little Round Top. That’s right, on Little Round Top. They probably weren’t much more than what you would have seen out west at the time, a wooden platform, with a large canvas tent, and perhaps a wooden front. And no, Dan Sickles probably was not involved.
Sickles, in spite of later embezzling funds for his own Third Corps monument at Gettysburg, was a driving force in Congress to get Federal dollars for Battlefield preservation. Samuel Wiley Crawford led a group of veterans in the effort to acquire the land on Little Round Top and removed the ‘dens of iniquity’ perched thereon. This group was also instrumental in driving the trolley line that bisected the Battlefield from the ‘sacred ground’. In 12 foot squares, one at a time the men bought the land and eventually had enough to force their will on the local entrepreneurs who were running their ‘businesses’ on the memory of the men who fought and died here. They used their own money when Federal and State funds were not available.
So the next time someone tells you the men who fought here would have visited the casino during the Battle, you can tell them two things:
We support the Roadmap to Reform!
“Kick the hubris out of Harrisburg!” --
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