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Part of Gettysburg Battlefield closed to public after unexploded shell is found on Little Round Top

The affected areas include Crawford Ave., Ayers Ave., South Sickles Ave. around Devil's Den, and South Confederate Ave.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. — A portion of the battlefield at Gettysburg National Military Park has been closed after the discovery of an unexploded shell at Little Round Top.

The shell was discovered Wednesday afternoon, the National Park Service said on the Gettysburg National Military Park's Facebook page.

The area was cleared, and all adjacent roads were temporarily closed to all visitors, the park said.

The affected areas included Crawford Ave., Ayers Ave., South Sickles Ave. around Devil's Den, and South Confederate Ave.

The park said it followed National Park Service protocols when an unexploded ordnance is found. The 55th Ordnance Disposal Company EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) team from Fort Belvoir, VA safely removed the shell. 

Earlier this afternoon, an unexploded ordnance shell was found within the Little Round Top rehabilitation project area....

Posted by Gettysburg National Military Park on Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The Little Round Top area was the extreme left of the Union lines during the second day of fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Confederate forces made several unsuccessful attempts to assault the Union's position there, but were thwarted by forces led by Colonel Strong Vincent, who was mortally wounded during its defense.

Little Round Top is also the most famous engagement of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, led by Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. The 20th Maine's decisive downhill bayonet charge is one of the most famous moments of the three-day battle, famously depicted in the 1993 film "Gettysburg."

The area was closed last summer for a $13 million, 18-month renovation project designed to address overwhelmed parking areas, poor accessibility and related safety hazards, "significant" erosion, and degraded vegetation.

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