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The Story of Gettysburg Sentinels: Chapter 2

Gettysburg Sentinels was founded in 2007 by Lieutenant Colonel William Hewitt. Hewitt served in the United States Army for 31 years in intelligence, armor, and cavalry. He also taught at the U.S. Army Command, conducted seminars, and wrote articles and manuals. In between all of this time serving his country, Hewitt also pursued woodworking as a hobby.

Lieutenant James Hewitt, Founder of Gettysburg Sentinels
Lieutenant James Hewitt, Founder of Gettysburg Sentinels

The Founding of Gettysburg Sentinels

The company was formed after Hewitt questioned what was done to the wood harvested at the Gettysburg National Military Park. When he learned that the wood was ultimately discarded, he purchased the wood from tree removal companies. Using his woodworking skills, he took the discarded sentinel tree wood and used it to create functional, unique pieces of art. The story of the battle and those who fought and died there lives on in the hands of those who purchase these keepsakes.

The Passing Down of Gettysburg Sentinels

Bill and his friend Greg Allen spent many years together bonding over woodworking. However, as Greg continued to work with Bill, the lieutenant colonel’s interest in the local history of Gettysburg also spiked Greg’s own interests. After Greg retired in January of 2022 from the business he had created with his wife, Bill sold the company to him. The purchase of Gettysburg Sentinels opened a new world and mission for Greg as he took up the mantle of telling the history of the Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of the wooden sentinels.

Greg Allen: Current Owner

Greg Allen, current owner and operator of Gettysburg Sentinels, has lived near the Gettysburg battlefield for almost 40 years with his wife Tina. While running Graphcom, the marketing company he started in the early 1980s, he engaged in woodworking as a hobby. As a woodworker for over 40 years, Greg spent time making things like bookcases and furniture, but never sold any of his creations. That has certainly changed since the purchase of the company in 2022!

Taking up the Torch

Despite Greg’s decades of practice as a woodworker, using the wood from the witness trees and battlefield trees was a completely new experience. Greg had used lumber yard wood when pursuing his hobby, but when using specific wood acquired from the Gettysburg trees, he has to work with what the wood gives him. As a result, the pieces created might incorporate things like spalting and knots. However, that lends to the uniqueness of these wooden works of art; their imperfections tell the story of the tree.

History in Your Hands

Our company was started by answering a question: What happens to trees that are removed from the Gettysburg National Military Park? The answer led to the creation of a company that takes pride in working with wood that might have stood sentinel over the Gettysburg battlefield. From paper weights and bottle stoppers to engraved plaques and executive pens, you can be confident that any object that you purchase from our shop will be the product of hours of time and dedication. With 40 years of woodworking experience and the desire to tell the story of Gettysburg in a unique way, each item crafted has its own story to tell.


Take a moment to look at our unique hand-crafted items made from the wood of the Battle of Gettysburg. Each piece is made with care and attention to detail and is a perfect addition to any history enthusiast's collection. They also make wonderful gifts!

Order now and own a piece of history!

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