How Steinwehr Avenue Got Its Name

Did you know that the famous Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg, the street where the reenactors march on Remembrance Day each year, is named after Baron Adolph Wilhelm August Friedrich von Steinwehr?

Union Civil War General Steinwehr was a German officer who immigrated to the United States and was active in the American Civil War. Steinwehr commanded the XI Corps (containing many German immigrants) at both Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. According to reports from General Howard, Steinwehr’s actions at Chancellorsville were said to have been “cool, collected and judicious”.

At the battle of Gettysburg, his men sacrificed themselves as the Union was retreating to buy time for the others to escape.

Following the war, General Steinwehr was a cartographer and professor. He wrote A School Geography, Embracing a Mathematical, Physical and Political Descriptions of the Earth and co-authored The Primary Geography and An Elementary Treatise on Physical Geography. He was also the editor of The Centennial Gazetteer of the United States.

Steinwehr died in Buffalo, NY in 1877 at age 54.

Article by Bob O’Connor Civil War Examiner

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