GETTYSBURG NATIONAL PARK COMMISSION
Gettysburg, Pa., October 2, 1900.
SIR: The commissioners of the Gettysburg National Military Park respectfully submit the following report concerning their work, its condition and progress, with some suggestions as to what is needed for its further prosecution:
The total length of the avenues now on the battlefield, which are all constructed on the Telford system, is nearly 15 miles. An avenue, known at present as East Confederate avenue is just completed from the eastern border of the town across the intervening fields to Culp's Hill, and around the base of that hill to Spangler's Spring. It is 20 feet wide and nearly a mile and a half long, and follows substantially the battle line of Ewell's Confederate Corps. At its southeastern terminus it joins Slocum avenue, which marks the line of the Twelfth Corps along the summit of Culp's Hill.
The land along the summit of Seminary Ridge having recently been acquired by the conclusion of the long pending condemnation cases, a contract has been made for the construction of an avenue 20 feet wide and two miles in length along that ridge, and work thereon has begun. This avenue follows the Confederate line of battle, and when completed the entire line of Longstreet's and Hill's corps on the second and third days of the battle, including the part from which the charge of the third day was made, will be indicated and rendered easily accessible by a Telford avenue.
A number of other avenues should be constructed on the Telford system, among them Buford avenue on the first day's field; another along the line of the Twentieth Maine on Vincent's Spur and thence to Plum Run valley and Devil's Den; another along the line of Wright's Division from between the Round Tops southeastwardly across the Taneytown road, Pleasonton avenue and others connecting the cavalry fields and positions, both east and south of Gettysburg, with the infantry battlefield.
The Taneytown road from the borough line to a point beyond General Meade's headquarters should be converted into a Telford avenue, and so should the Mummasburg road from the end of Howard avenue to Buford avenue; also the Fairfield road from the south end of Reynolds avenue to Confederate avenue; the Wheatfield road across the entire battlefield from east to west, and the road leading from Crawford avenue to United States avenue.
POSITIONS OF TROOPS AND BATTERIES ESTABLISHED AND MARKED.
Gun carriages with mounted guns have been erected on the field since the Iast report.
The section of Calef's battery on Reynolds avenue has been marked by two 3-inch rifles mounted on iron gun carriages and by a monumental tablet with an appropriate inscription.
The section of Smith s New York battery on Crawford avenue in Plum Run Valley has been marked by two 10-pounder Parrotts mounted on iron gun carriages and by a monumental tablet with an appropriate inscription.
Two additional gun carriages mounted with Napoleons have been placed with Wilkeson's battery on Barlow's Knoll.
Two additional gun carriages mounted with 3-inch rifles have been placed with Wheeler's battery on Howard avenue.
Two additional gun carriages mounted with Napoleons have been placed with Dilgers battery on Howard avenue.
Two additional gun carriages mounted with 3-inch rifles have been placed with Reynold's battery on Reynolds avenue.
Two additional gun carriages mounted with 10-pounder Parrotts have been placed with Smith's New York battery on Sickles avenue near Devil's Den.
Two gun carriages mounted with light 12-pounders have been placed on Hancock avenue to mark the position of Ames's battery, heretofore marked by a small stone monument only.
One additional gun carriage mounted with a Napoleon has been placed with Heckman's battery at the junction of Carlisle and Lincoln streets in Gettysburg.
There are now 225 mounted guns on the battlefield, all of which have been placed by this commission.
Mounted guns had been placed on the field before the Government took charge of it, but the carriages were poorly constructed and the guns not of the same kind as those used in the battle. Now gun carriages constructed entirely of iron, closely resembling the wooden carriages have been substituted for the old, imperfect ones, and are also used for the many additional batteries set up by the commission; and the guns mounted on every battery of the field are of the same class and caliber as were used in the battle by each battery, respectively.
Since the last report the following tablets have been set up, viz:
Monumental tablets of iron with appropriate inscriptions have been erected on the knoll west of Plum Run valley and near the Wheatfield, to mark the positions of the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Fourteenth, and Seventeenth regiments, United States Infantry, of Burbank's and Day's brigades, Ayres's division.
The positions of the following Confederate brigades of Ewell's Corps have been marked by monumental tablets of iron erected along East Confederate avenue, with appropriate inscriptions describing the part
each took in the battle, with its numbers and losses, viz:
Jones's Virginia brigade, Nicholls's Louisiana brigade, Stuart's Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland brigades, Walker's Virginia brigade of Johnson's division.
Hoke's North Carolina brigade, Hays's Louisiana brigade, Smith's Virginia brigade, Gordon's Georgia brigade of Early's Division.
Daniel's North Carolina brigades, O'Neal's Alabama brigade of Rodes's division.
Avenue tablets as follows: Four on Howard avenue, 4 on Reynolds avenue, 2 on Doubleday avenue, 1 on Robinson avenue, 1 on Wadsworth avenue, 1 on Neill avenue, 2 on Geary avenue, 1 on Coster avenue, 2 on Crawford avenue.
Caution tablets as follows: Five on Howard avenue, 2 on Doubleday avenue, 1 on Robinson avenue, 1 on Wadsworth avenue, 2 on Reynolds avenue, 2 on Geary avenue.
Direction and distance tablets have been placed, 1 on each of the 5 observation towers, giving the true direction and distance of each and all of the most important features and positions on the field as seen from each tower respectively.
Tablets have been erected marking important historic places on the battlefield, viz: Spangler's Spring, Culps Hill, Stevens Knoll, East Cemetery Hill, Ziegler's Grove, Bryan House, The Angle, George Weikert House, Trostle House, Excelsior Field, The Loop, Devil's Den, Little Round Top, The Wheatfield (2), Barlow's Knoll, Oak Ridge, Reynolds Woods.
There have also been erected on all the roads radiating from Gettysburg, 12 in all, handsome tablets of iron giving the distances to neighboring towns and villages more or less connected with the story of thebattle, viz:
On the Chambersburg pike from Gettysburg to Cashtown; from Gettysburg to Chambersburg.
On the Hagerstown road from Gettysburg to Fairfield; from Gettysburg to Monterey; from Gettysburg to Waynesboro; from Gettysburg to Hagerstown.
On the Emmitsburg road from Gettysburg to Emmitsburg.
On the Taneytown road from Gettysburg to Taneytown.
On the Baltimore pike from Gettysburg to Two Taverns; from Gettysburg to Littlestown; from Gettysburg to Westminster; from Gettysburg to Baltimore.
On Hanover road from Gettysburg to Cavalry Field; from Gettysburg to Bonneauville; from Gettysburg to Hanover.
On York pike from Gettysburg to New Oxford; from Gettysburg to York.
On Hunterstown road from Gettysburg to Hunterstown.
On Harrisburg road from Gettysburg to Heidlersburg; from Gettysburg to York Springs; from Gettysburg to Harrisburg.
On Carlisle road from Gettysburg to Carlisle.
On Newville road from Gettysburg to Newville.
On Mummasburg road from Gettysburg to Mummasburg; from Gettysburg to Arendtsville.
The number of tablets erected since last report is 86, and total now on the field 310.
WORK OF ENGINEER'S DEPARTMENT.
The Engineer, Lieut. Col. E. B. Cope. and his assistants, have continued their surveys within the limits of the battlefield, and maps of the area surveyed have been drawn, traced, and blue printed. They have also in progress a map drawn upon a scale of 600 feet to the inch, embracing the principal operations of both armies on this field. This map will be 45 inches long and 29 inches wide, embracing 17 square miles, with every detail of topography accurately represented.
It is the purpose of the commission to have the positions of every battery, battalion, regiment, brigade, and division at each hour of battle accurately placed upon the necessary number of copies of this map, viz:
Nine copies showing positions of troops at each hour from 9 a.m. to 5 P.M. of the first day's battle.
Twelve copies showing positions of troops at each hour from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. of the second day's battle.
Fourteen copies showing positions of troops at each hour from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. of the third day's battle.
The whole area embraced in this map has been surveyed and the map itself will be completed in the early part of the coming winter, so that the positions of the troops can be placed upon it.
PRESERVING AND RESTORING THE FIELD.
Much work has been and is being done to restore and preserve the features of the battlefield as they existed at the time of the battle. This includes the repairing and rebuilding of the stone fences and walls which served as important military defenses, the restoring and preservation of buildings, also the renewal of forests where they have been cut away since the battle. Thousands of young trees have been planted for this purpose and are growing finely. Much care is also taken to preserve and keep in good condition the forests which existed at the time of the battle on lands since acquired and now owned by the
Government. Particular care is also taken to avoid cutting away and changing the natural surface of the ground when constructing the avenues. Fortunately the lines of both armies mainly occupied ridges, slopes and valleys of such character that avenues can be constructed so as to follow those lines closely without seriously disfiguring the ground with cuts and fills in grading. Contracts also have been made for procuring the material and building 10,000 feet of post and rail fencing to inclose sundry tracts of Government land, and likewise for furnishing the structural steel tubing and erecting pipe fences where needed along the Telford avenues.
ACQUISITION OF LANDS.
As previously mentioned, the title to the five tracts of land on Seminary Ridge embraced in the condemnation cases has at length been secured to the United States. One of the respondents some time since withdrew from the contest, executed conveyance of his tract, and was paid the sum awarded him by the jury. The other respondents, having sought a new trial and failed to secure it, being served with a rule to show cause why the court should not render judgment vesting in the United States the title to their respective tracts of lands and directing the money awarded therefor by the jury to be paid into court for them, ceased to contend further and consented to such judgment, which has now been rendered and executed. These five tracts contain 105.79 acres on Seminary Ridge, where an avenue 2 miles long is now being constructed, as previously mentioned herein.
Since the last report 22 acres of land lying along the north side of United States avenue and embracing important military positions have been purchased from the Swisher heirs.
Also 40.95 acres have been purchased from the Culp heirs, and it is upon this land, together with a tract previously purchased from S. M. Bushman, that the East Confederate avenue has just been constructed.
Also the Francis Althoff tract of 12.76 acres and the Basil Biggs tract of 48 acres, both tracts purchased, but the conveyances have not yet been delivered.
There are other important tracts and parcels of land which should be owned by the United States, but the acquisition of them must await further appropriations by Congress.
There are also certain Tracts and parcels of land which should by all means be acquired by the Government, in order to prevent them from being put to uses such as are contemplated by the owners, which would seriously mar and disfigure the park and battlefield, and they can not be acquired by purchase except at prices absurdly exorbitant, but must be secured, if at all, by condemnation. Such proceedings will be instituted by the commission, with the approval of the Secretary of War. Part of the appropriation which has been asked for by the commission for the next fiscal year is asked for with a view to the institution of such proceedings, which is of vital importance.
The commission are proud to be able to say that the multitudes of visitors who throng the Gettysburg National Park, including thousands of veterans of both armies that fought here, are not only unanimous in approving the Government's design to make this battlefield a splendid monument to American valor, but are equally emphatic in their commendation of the manner in which that design is being carried out.
(Resolutions expressing commendation of the work are attached.)
The commission asks for an appropriation of $80,000 for the next year, and they earnestly hope that the sum appropriated may not fall below that.
JOHN P. NICHOLSON, Chairman
Wm. M. ROBBINS,
CHARLES A. RICHARDSON,
The SECRETARY OF WAR.
RESOLUTIONS OF ARMY VETERAN ASSOCIATIONS.
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE THIRD ARMY CORPS UNION,
Gettysburg, Pa., May 22, 1900.
The veterans of the Third Corps of the Army of the Potomac, having revisited the battlefield of Gettysburg and observed the restoration of the field and its earthworks and the tablets and cannon to indicate the positions and movements of troops, and the permanent avenues along or near the lines of battle so graded and constructed as to make the most difficult part of the field accessible, do therefore now at the annual meeting of the Third Army Corps Union, held at Gettysburg, Pa., this 22d day of May, 1900,
Resolved, That we hereby express our high appreciation of the work done by the Gettysburg National Park Commission as to its thoroughness, permanence, economy, accuracy and appropriateness, that we ask Congress to make liberal appropriations sufficient to enable the commission to secure the lands needed for the park and to complete at an early day the work provided for by the national-park act.
JOSEPH H. TWICHELL, President.
Wm. H. HOWARD, Secretary.
SOCIETY OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
The following was unanimously adopted:
"The Society of the Army of the Potomac wishes to express to the Secretary of War its great appreciation of the work accomplished by the War Department on the Gettysburg battlefield, and to commend the United States commission, Col. John P. Nicholson, Maj. William M. Robbins, and Maj. Charles A. Richardson, for the faithfulness with which they have preserved and are marking the lines of battle of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia, and making avenues of the highest character, and the skill with which the entire work is being done.
The society asks that the continued aid of Congress be given to the commission that they may be enabled to complete the great undertaking consistent with its conception and so make the National Memorial Park at Gettysburg worthy of the fame of the men who fought there in 1863."
W. J. SEWELL, President.
HORATIO C. KING, Secretary.
THIRTY-FOURTH ANNUAL ENCAMPMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC,
Gettysburg, Pa., June 6-7, 1900.
"Resolved, That we have noted with great satisfaction the progress of the work of the United States commission on the battlefield of Gettysburg, and we earnestly commend their great work to the Secretary of War and to the Congress of the United States, and we hope that liberal appropriations may be made to acquire and to improve the lands necessary to complete the admirable plans which the commission has adopted.
Resolved, That copies of the foregoing resolution be properly attested and forwarded to the Secretary of War and to the presiding officers of the Houses of Congress."
The resolutions were unanimously adopted.
JAS. F. MORRISON, Commander
THOS. J. STEWART,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
[Extract from the proceedings, of the Thirty-fourth National Encampment, Grand Army of the
Republic held at Chicago, Ill., August 29 and 30, 1900.]
THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON RESOLUTIONS.
The committee recommended that the following, submitted by Past Commander in Chief Wagner, be adopted, and the recommendation was concurred in:
The Thirty-fourth National Encampment, Grand Army of the Republic, desires to put upon record the following statement of the condition of the work of marking the battlefield of Gettysburg, and to congratulate the United States commission having charge of the work upon its successful prosecution:
We also respectfully request the Congress of the United States to make continued liberal appropriation for the further necessary securing of the land occupied by the armies fighting this battle and for the proper marking thereof."
UNITED STATES PROPERTY IN THE GETTYSBURG NATIONAL PARK, ALSO THE PROGRESS OF THE WORK IN MARKING THE BATTLEFIELD BY THE GETTYSBURG NATIONAL PARK COMMISSION.
One thousand two hundred and twenty-one acres of land have been acquired by the commission, upon which have been erected by States and military organizations 447 monuments, principally granite and of large dimensions and appropriate designs.
Twenty-four Telford avenues, 13 miles long in the aggregate, have been completed by the commission.
One Telford avenue is under construction 1 1/3 miles long; another Telford avenue, 2 miles long, is about to be placed under contract.
By the spring of 1901 there will be completed 16 miles and over of the very best quality of Telford avenues upon the field.
Twenty-two avenues 14 miles in length are yet to be built to complete the road system contemplated.
Five steel towers have been erected, and 96 battery positions have been marked with 225 guns mounted upon iron gun carriages.
Two hundred and ninety-five tablets of large size and appropriate design have been set up to mark the positions of Confederate batteries, battalions, regiments, and brigades.
Two hundred and fifty-four stones, mounted with shells, 10 inch and 13 inch, have been set up for various purposes on the field, particularly to protect the curves of avenues.
LEO RASSIEUR, Commander in Chief.
FRANK M. STERRETT, Adjutant-General.
LIST OF PHOTOGRAPHS TO ACCOMPANY COMMISSION'S REPORT.
Hurt's Hardaway (Alabama) Artillery of Whitworth guns in Shultz's Grove.
Style of tablet adopted showing distance to other towns.
Cunningham's battery, Seminary avenue.
Dilger's First Ohio Battery, Howard avenue.
Stevens Knoll, showing position for statue to General Slocum.
Spangler's Spring foot of Culp's Hill.
Entrance to East Confederate avenue from Slocum avenue.
Style of tablet adopted to mark historical places.
Smith's Fourth New York Battery, west of Devil s Den.
Section of Smith's Fourth New York Battery, Crawford avenue.
Semmes's brigade tablet, Confederate avenue section 4.
Benning's brigade tablet, Confederate avenue section 5.
Twelfth United States Infantry tablet, Day's brigade, in grove south of Wheatfield.
Eleventh United States Infantry tablet, Burbank's brigade, in grove south of Wheatfield.
Tablet marking Excelsior field.
LIST OF BLUE PRINTS ACCOMPANYING REPORT OF 1900.
398.-Plan of avenue through United States and Masonheimer properties.
399.-Position of Fourteenth Vermont monument.
400.-Map showing property of F. Althoff and surrounding United States properties.
401.-Property of Swisher heirs.
402.-Property of Francis A. Althoff.
403.-Tracts of land belonging to heirs of Henry Culp.
404.-Middle Willoughby Run, C-2.
405.-Position on Culp's Hill of the One hundred and forty-seventh New York marker.
406.-Proposed avenue around First Vermont Cavalry monument.
407.-Map showing all the property of the Gettysburg Springs and Hotel Company south of the Fairfield road.
408.-Plan of culverts 1 and 2 to be built on avenue through Culp property.
409.-Plan of arch bridge over Culp's Run.
410.-Tract of land belonging to heirs of Henry Culp.
411.-Post for fencing.
412.-Plan of avenue through Culp property.
413.-Gate adopted for the Gettysburg National Park.
414.-Proposed piking of the intersection of East Middle and Liberty streets at the entrance to East Confederate avenue.
415.-Design for bridge on Reynolds avenue over Western Maryland Railroad.
416.-Property of George E. Stock in Butler township.
417.-Stonework for the spring on Hancock avenue.
418.-Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles wounded July 2, 1863, marker.
419.-Lands belonging to the Fred. Pfeffer heirs near Ziegler's Grove.
420.-Plan of boring holes in iron posts on retaining wall.
421.-Plan of Confederate avenue along Seminary Ridge from section 1 to section 4 Wheat-field road.