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Discovering Witness Trees with Peter Lukacs

Open book on table - A Field Guide to The Witness Trees of Pickett’s Charge

On your next visit to Gettysburg, don’t miss the opportunity to view the Witness Trees that stood sentinel those three historic days in 1863.

Like many, I didn’t realize the number of Witness Trees still standing today; I figured there were about 20 or so. That was until I met Peter Lukacs. 

Since moving to Gettysburg a few years ago, Peter has made it his mission to discover and document Witness Trees throughout Gettysburg. His passion and energy in his research of these trees is unmatched, and his attention to detail leaves no doubt about his findings. 

Through Peter’s extensive research online and in the archives at Gettysburg National Military Park, he has found numerous long-hidden historical photographs in which he has been able to identify scores of new Witness Trees on the battlefield. We suspect many more may be found as Peter’s research continues. 

Historic image of witness trees in Gettysburg
Then and now of witness trees in Gettysburg

I’d like to congratulate Peter on the release of his first booklet, A Field Guide to The Witness Trees of Pickett’s Charge. In this booklet, Peter provides extensive details of trees that witnessed both the battle’s initial fighting on July 1, 1863, in Herbst Woods and the desperate attack of 12,000 Confederates against the Union line on Cemetery Ridge two days later. In future editions, he plans on sharing information about the Witness Trees found at Culp’s Hill, the Wheatfield and Rose Woods, and Little Round Top.

It's always a pleasure to “talk shop” with Peter and discuss his latest discoveries on the battlefield. I find it remarkable that, after 161 years, there is still so much to be learned in this special place. 

Interested in purchasing A Field Guide to The Witness Trees of Pickett’s Charge, Book 1 of the Gettysburg Witness Tree Series? Visit to get your copy today.

Open book showing witness trees in Gettysburg, PA


And, as always, I’m happy to discuss woodworking projects using Witness or Battlefield Tree wood culled from Gettysburg or your own wood. Email me at to get the conversation started today.

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