Civil War  |  Historic Site

Gettysburg Battlefield: General Lee's Headquarters


401 Buford Ave
Gettysburg, PA 17325
United States

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Hours: Grounds and interpretive trail open daily from sunrise to sunset. See the 2024 Open House Schedule »

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.

Lee's Headquarters Gettysburg
Preserving Lee's Headquarters at Gettysburg

After completing the acquisition of Robert E. Lee's headquarters at Gettysburg, the American Battlefield Trust worked to restore the landscape to reflect its appearance on July 1, 1863.

Photo Credit: Lynn Light Heller

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.

Take a virtual tour of Lee's Headquarters

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.

Please enjoy this short, self-guided trail and remember to look both directions when crossing Buford Avenue. Wayside exhibits provide information and orientation along the way on this trail. Please remain on the marked trail throughout your visit and watch for ticks and other wildlife. There are no restrooms or drinking facilities at this site, so please be prepared in advance for your visit.

As staffing allows, the Seminary Ridge Museum will offer docent interpretive programing during Summer 2024 from 10 am to 3 pm every Friday, June 7 through August 23 and on several other weekend dates. Please note that all dates and hours are subject to change.

The building will also be open to the public on the following dates:

See our full events calendar »

Gettysburg Battlefield: General Lee's Headquarters: What's Nearby

Gettysburg, PA
Seminary Ridge Museum & Education Center
Gettysburg, PA

Related Battles

Adams County, PA | July 1, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Estimated Casualties

The Battlefields Today