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THE ROSENSTEEL COLLECTION OF GETTYSBURG ARTIFACTS

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The Rosensteel's Gettysburg National Museum
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after 1971 - the Gettysburg Visitor Center & Museum

 Probably the most famous of the early collections was begun by John Rosensteel, a teenage boy at the time of the battle, who began to collect artifacts from the battlefield at some point after the great armies had left the bloodied fields behind.  In 1884, Rosensteel would make his growing collection the nucleus of a new "Round Top Museum."  The museum, housed in Rosensteel's home which sat at the eastern base of Little Round Top, was a part of a growing "tourist" complex which included an inn, a restaurant and a dance pavillion.  The collection, which was maintained by George Rosensteel after John's death, continued to grow in the 20th century.  A large variety of collections of Gettysburg artifacts that had been found by local residents were sold or given to the Rosensteels, including items found by John Cullison, who likely started to pick up relics from the battlefield in the 1930s, and Lawrence Monroe.  Thousands upon thousands of Gettysburg relics found their way to the Rosensteels and many of them continued to be displayed in the Round Top Museum (until 1964) or in the Gettysburg National Museum and Electric Map which sat just north of Cemetery Ridge between the Taneytown and Emmitsburg Roads.  In 1971, Gettysburg National Military Park acquired the Gettysburg National Museum and, ultimately, most of the Rosensteel collection was bequeathed to the park as well.  The brick building that housed the Gettysburg National Museum became the Gettysburg Visitor Center and Museum.  Visitors to Gettysburg before 2008 almost certainly saw this building and likely visited the museum and got the chance to see a portion of the incredible collection of battlefield relics that the Rosensteels had accumulated.  In today's modern Visitor Center, the Rosensteel Collection is still the center of the museum holdings - in fact, the Gettysburg National Military Park website claims that the Rosensteel Collection is one of the largest collections of Civil War relics in the United States.

  Not all of the relics that the Rosensteels accumulated went to the National Park Service, however.  Members of the family held onto some of these relics and, over the years, many of them have found their way into the collector's market.  Almost all of these were acquired directly from the Rosensteels by the Horse Soldier.  Rosensteel relics are eagerly sought by Gettysburg collectors because of their history.  I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to acquire many relics that were originally part of this famous collection.  Fortunately, the Rosensteels kept the relics that they acquired in separate containers, each identified by who found them and the location where they were found (if that information was given to them).  I feel privileged to have acquired relics from a variety of prominent locations on the battlefield, most of which were found by John Cullison, Lawrence Monroe and Ronald Hardman.  When I look at and hold these relics, it always brings back fond childhood memories of the countless times I stared at the Rosensteel relics in the old Gettysburg Visitor Center Museum.  I am also happy to be able to offer some of these relics for sale.

To see the Rosensteel items that I am currently offering for sale, please click here - Rosensteel Collection.     





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