Civil War  |  Historic Site

Gettysburg Battlefield: General Lee’s Headquarters



Website: Gen. Lee’s Headquarters at Gettysburg

Hours: Grounds and interpretive trail open daily from sunrise to sunset. See the Open House dates for 2021 »

Heritage Site— Lee's Headquarters at Gettysburg
Five interpretive signs tell the story at Gen. Lee's Headquarters. Jim Campi, American Battlefield Trust

Located on the Chambersburg Pike on top of Seminary Ridge, this 4-acre property was the headquarters site of Gen. Robert E. Lee during the Battle of Gettysburg.

The site includes a small stone house which, at the time of the battle, was the home of 69-year-old widow Mary Thompson. The property surrounding the house played a pivotal role in the severe fighting on July 1, 1863 and was a key position in the Confederate line for the rest of the engagement.

In the decades after the battle, the Thompson house and adjacent property became a popular attraction, then host to a museum and motel complex; but in 2014 the Civil War Trust announced plans to buy and restore the property as much as possible to its 1863 appearance. The Trust worked diligently to rehabilitate the home, return the landscape to its Civil War appearance, and install a new interpretive walking trail on the property — which opened on October 28, 2016.

Today, visitors to the site can enjoy the self-guided interpretive trail, with five signs explaining the dramatic events at the headquarters from July 1-3, 1863. The Mary Thompson house itself has been carefully restored to its wartime appearance and will be open to the public only on special occasions. Eventually, Lee’s Headquarters will be donated to the National Park Service for incorporation into the existing military park.

Open House Schedule (dates subject to change):

As staffing allows, the Seminary Ridge Museum will offer docent interpretive programing throughout Summer 2021 on Fridays, from 10am to 3pm. The building will also be open to the public on the following dates:

  • Sat., May 15, 2021: Open House, 10 am – 3 pm
  • Sat., June 26, 2021: Open House, 10 am – 3 pm
  • Sat., July 3, 2021: Open House, 10 am – 3 pm
  • Sat. & Sun., July 10-11, 2021: Confederate Artillery Demonstrations at 11 am, 1 pm & 3 pm
  • Sat., August 21, 2021: Open House, 10 am – 3 pm
  • Sat., September 11, 2021: Open House, 10 am – 3 pm
  • Sat., October 9, 2021: Open House, 10 am – 3 pm
  • Sat., November 20, 2021: Remembrance Day Open, 10am – 3pm
  • Sat., December 11, 2021: Holiday Open House, 10am – 3pm

See our full events calendar »