The Lutheran Theological Seminary served Union and then Confederate soldiers as both an observation tower
and field hospital during the three days battle. Brigadier General John Buford would at times watch the days action from the
Seminary's cupola. Along Seminary Ridge, during the latter half of July 1st, the remaining men of the Iron Brigade attempted
another stand during their fighting withdrawal from Major General Dorsey Pender's Division of Lt. General A. P. Hill's Corps.
General Pender's men would contribute to spurring the Union retreat in this afternoon's fighting but the next day, a shell
fragment would slash the general's leg. He would die July 18, 1863.
Ironically, the Seminary's founder,
Samuel Simon Schmucker, was a staunch abolitionist who could not have predicted the role
these buildings and grounds would play in the largest battle ever fought on North American soil. He did however use the Seminary,
along with hidden rooms in his own basement, as a stop on the Underground Railroad, providing temporary safety for slaves fleeing
bondage. Union soldiers destroyed anti-slavery materials found there to avoid their falling into Confederate hands. For two months
after this horrific battle, soldiers from North and South attempted to recover within the sturdy walls of the Seminary now turned