The Daily Telegraph 30 August 2010 by Nick Allen in Los Angeles Battle lines are being drawn over plans to build a casino close to Gettysburg, the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. Opponents say the plan would be a desecration of sacred ground. The American Legion veterans' organisation called it a "national disgrace" but supporters argue it will boost the local economy and help to halt a decline in visitors to the battlefield. The proposed Mason-Dixie Resort and Casino, which would have 600 slot machines and 50 gambling tables would be half a mile from what is now preserved as the 6,000-acre Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. But opponents say the battle took place over a wider area than the borders of the park and the casino would be right next to the scene of a Union Cavalry advance where a number of soldiers are buried in unmarked graves. More than 160,000 men fought at Gettysburg, often described as the turning point of the war, from July 1 - 3 1863, with about 8,000 Union and Confederate soldiers losing their lives. Four months later, President Abraham Lincoln honoured the dead at a local cemetery and delivered the Gettysburg Address, in which he redefined the purpose of the war. The Pennsylvania Gaming Board will decide if the casino can be built.