GETTYSBURG BATTLEFIELD COMMISSION,
Gettysburg, Pa., November 12, 1894.
SIR: The commission have the honor to submit their second annual report from October, 1893, to November 12, 1894. The blue prints taken from maps of original work projected by this commission, surveyed and completed and which are numerous, will be bound together and transmitted to the Secretary of War.
It is the policy of the commission to make the report one of progress.
From the date of the last report field work was continued until the beginning of snow, and also at intervals through the winter. Active operations in the field were resumed in March and have been continued to this date.
The work of the engineer department of the commission has been performed with great fidelity under the guidance of Bvt. Lieut. Col. E. B. Cope and Mr. S. A. Hammond, his able assistant, and includes a large amount of surveying and mapping of tracts of land for avenues, laying out, leveling, cross-sectioning, preparing maps and specifications of the avenues proposed and projected and sections of avenues for the use of contractors.
Attention has been given to surveys to harmonize conflicting property lines where the property bounded by one or more of such lines was about to be purchased for the United States; also careful surveys and maps of the present loop of the Gettysburg Electric Railroad have been prepared for the use of the Government.
A scheme for the complete and exhaustive topographical study of the field was begun last year and has been kept in view and continued whenever time and opportunity afforded, as follows: To make an accurate and complete instrumental survey of the entire battlefield, and to make it on a scale of 200 feet to the inch, consisting of 25 sheets, 27 by 28 1/2 inches, each representing a square of the field 5,400 feet wide east and west and 5,660 feet north and south. This map is intended to show the streams, roads, buildings of every description, monuments and markers, avenues, timber, earthworks, Stone walls, fence lines, and rocks; all the undulations will be shown by contour lines for every 4 feet difference of level. Much of this work actually done will appear by implication. Surveys have already been finished for three sheets. The proper mapping of the balance of the field work will engage the attention of the corps during the inclement winter weather. The office has also included besides original work copies of the large Warren map. During the past year a number of positions of troops have been marked by visitors to the field who were soldiers and took part in the battle, and where these positions were reliable they were located upon our base map.
On August 11 General Lewis, Colonel Tate, and Colonel Keenan, of North Carolina, visited the battlefield and located the position of many of the North Carolina troops. Gen. H. Heth, late of the Confederate States Army and of the Antietam Battlefield Commission, visited the field and located the position of the two batteries of his command from which the first shots were fired and that opened the battle upon the Confederate line.
On October 30 a committee of the Seventh West Virginia Infantry located their battle line on the Pfeffer property, near Ziegler's Grove.
It is the intention of the board of commissioners to address a communication to the governor of all the States, requesting them to name representatives of the organizations that were present, for the purpose of locating every movement made by troops during the battle.
One principal Confederate avenue has been decided upon. It reaches from the Hagerstown road to a point 2,470 feet beyond the Emmitsburg road, upon the ridge occupied by the main line of the Confederate army during the 2d and 3d of July, 1863. It has been divided into five sections. Section 4 is under contract and will be completed this early winter. Section 5 is also under contract.
It was found from the surveys made that an avenue 500 feet wide would include all the Confederate earthworks from the Hagerstown road to the Codori line, a distance of 3,500 feet. From this line south to the Wheatfield road an avenue 150 feet wide would embrace the principal works, except those that were located in Spanglers Woods. This part of the avenue would be 9,931 feet long, and the avenue between the extreme points named would contain 74 acres of ground. A calculation of the area of the avenue for different widths between the extreme points is as follows:
Acres. 60 feet wide, 13,341 feet long --------------- 8 1/2 100 feet wide, 13,341 feet long -------------------- 31 150 feet wide, 13,341 feet long -------------------- 46 1/2The principal avenue has been divided into five sections:
On April 11 drawings and specifications for bids on section 4 of avenue were furnished to the following contractors: L. E. Miller, Cape May, N. J.; R. W. Johnson, Wayne, Pa.; M. & T. E. Farrell, Westchester, Pa.; Patricinus McManus, Philadelphia, Pa.; James P. Mangen, Gettysburg, Pa.; B. B. Gonder, Strausburg, Pa.; Pollard Murtagh & Moore, Philadelphia, Pa.; Ward & Stricker, Harrisburg: Pa.; Hafer Brothers, Chambersburg, Pa.; Owen Patterson, Baltimore, Md.; Slayer & Boyer, Harrisburg, Pa.
From the 13th to the 21st of April a majority of those having received specifications for section 4 of the avenue visited Gettysburg for the purpose of viewing the locality, and were taken over the ground, and on the 21st five bids were handed in, namely, Slayer & Boyer, Harrisburg, Pa.; B. B. Gonder, Strausburg, Pa.; Farrell & Bro., Westchester, Pa.; Richard W. Johnson, Wayne, Pa., and P. McManus, Philadelphia, Pa.
On October 1 two bids were received for the construction of section 5 of avenue. These were opened on the 3d instant and considered by the commission.
During the year the following properties have been purchased by direction of the Secretary of War: The Bushman tract or farm, the Crawford tract, the Charles Starner tract, the Felix tract, the Mrs. Plank tract.
The Secretary of War has authorized the purchase of the McMillan tract and the Blocher tract.
All efforts to induce the Gettysburg Electric Railroad to vacate the lines of battle in what is known as the Loop, the Devil's Den, and through the Valley of Death having failed, the commissioners requested the Secretary of War to proceed to condemn. Proceedings were commenced in the United States circuit court at Philadelphia. After various delays, on June 8, 1894, the Attorney-General of the United States directed proceedings to be commenced against the electric railway at Gettysburg, under the joint resolution of Congress.
August 1, 1894, the first hearing before the jury in the trolley case was postponed at the request of the electric railroad until September 11, 1894. On September 11, 1894, there was a second hearing before the jury at Gettysburg, and which was continued until September 15, 1894, when they adjourned for argument in Philadelphia. The jury awarded the sum of $30,000 damages to the electric company. Upon November 12 the company appealed from this award as being inadequate, and the commission will appeal, with the approval of the Secretary of War, upon the ground that the damages are excessive and detrimental to the best interests of the United States.
On January 16, 1894, General Forney died at his home, Jacksonville, Ala. March 1894, Maj. William M. Robbins, of Statesville, N. C., whose service upon the field was with the Fourth Alabama Infantry, was appointed by the Secretary of War to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of General Forney.
At the annual meeting of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association a resolution was unanimously adopted, authorizing the executive committee to take the necessary measures to transfer the property of the association to the United States.
The commission respectfully request that the following may be submitted, with the approval of the Secretary of War, for the guidance of the Congress:
For continuing the work of surveying, locating, and preserving the lines of battle at Gettysburg, Pa., and for purchasing, opening, constructing, and improving avenues along the portions occupied by the various commands of the armies of the Potomac and Northern Virginia on that field, and for fencing the same; and for the purchase, at private sale or by condemnation, of such parcels of land as the Secretary of War may deem necessary for the sites of tablets, and for construction of the said avenues; for determining the leading tactical positions and properly marking the same with tablets of batteries, regiments, brigades, divisions, corps, and other organizations with reference to the study and correct understanding of the battle, each tablet bearing a brief historical legend, compiled without praise and without censure, $50,000, to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of War.
And the Secretary of War is hereby authorized to accept, on behalf of the United States, donations of land for road or other purposes.
On November 3, 1893, the field was visited by the Secretary of War and Mrs. Lamont. On July 14 and 15,1894, and again on August 14, 15, and 16, the Assistant Secretary of War, Joseph B. Doe, visited the field. The great interest always manifested by the War Department in the work of preserving the great battlefield of the war is extremely gratifying to the board.
JOHN P. NICHOLSON,
Wm. M. ROBBINS,
The SECRETARY OF WAR.
LIST OF BLUE PRINTS ACCOMPANYING THIS REPORT.
15.-The Crawford property.
16.-The Crawford property.
22.-New map of the field, central sheet.
25.-Confederate avenue, Section 4.
26.-John L. Sherfy tract.
27.-William Martin tract.
28.-Electric railroad tract.
29.-J. 0. Blocher tract.
30.-Israel Grenoble tract.
31.-Land company tract, No. 1.
32.-S. J. Drum tract.
33.-O. D. McMillan tract.
34.-Land company tract, No. 2.
35.-Barrett, heirs, tract.
36.-Electric railroad tract.
37.-R. E. Wible tract.
38.-George Wolf tract.
39.-John L. Sherfy tract.
40.-N. Flaharty tract.
41.-W. Martin tract.
42.-G. Spangler tract, No. 1.
43.-Land company tract, No. 4.
44.-G. Spangler tract, No. 2.
45.-S. J. Codori tract.
46.-Land company tract, No. 3.
47.-Confederate avenue, section 5.
48.-Plank and other properties.
50.-Positions of Confederate artillery.
51.-Positions of Confederate artillery.
52.-Electric railroad tract.
52A.-EIectric railroad tract.
52B.-Electric railroad tract.
53.-Electric railroad loop.
53A.-Electric railroad loop.
54.-A tract of land for the Buford statue.
55.-The site for the Reynolds monument.
56.-Property lines between Starner, Plank, and Wible.v 57.-Mrs. J. E. Plank tract.
58.-Detail drawings of gun carriages.
59 -Drawings of mounted gun.
60.-John L. Sherfy tract.
61.-Survey of the Wible farm.
62.-James Felix tract.
63.-George Wolf tract.
64.-O. D. McMillan tract.
65.-S. J. Drum tract.
66.-New map of the field, Peach Orchard sheet.
67.-New map of the field, Round Top sheet.
LIST OF PHOTOGRAPHS TO ACCOMPANY COMMISSIONERS' REPORT.
Laying foundation stone on section 4, Confederate avenue.
Cross section foundation pavement, section 4, Confederate avenue.
Putting 1 1/2 Inch stone on section 4, Confederate avenue.
Section 4, Confederate avenue, from Emmitsburg road.
Grading section 5, Confederate avenue, Emmitsburg road.
Grading on section 5, Confederate avenue.