GETTYSBURG NATIONAL PARK COMMISSION,
Gettysburg, Pa., October 1, 1901.
SIR: The commissioners of the Gettysburg National Park respectfully submit the following report of the condition and progress of their work, with suggestions as to what is needed for its further prosecution. In accordance with your recent order, this report, unlike all previous ones, does not include our work to the present date, but to the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 1901.
The avenue known at present as West Confederate avenue and mentioned in our last report as being under contract has been completed. Like all the avenues, it is constructed on the Telford system and will last for centuries. It is 20 feet wide and over 2 miles long, running from the Hagerstown road near the seminary southward along Seminary Ridge, following the Confederate battle line of the second and third days, and for the first time rendering perfectly accessible to visitors the ground on which the Confederate column was formed and started on its charge of the third day. The southern terminus of this avenue is at the Wheatfield road, and there it makes connection with an avenue, also 2 miles in length and similar in construction, running along the line of General Longstreet on the second day, and then curving eastward to Round Top. It may not be amiss, as it shows the durable character of these works, to state the fact that the last-mentioned avenue was constructed six years ago, has been in use ever since, scarcely cost one cent for repairs, and is, if possible, in better condition today than when the Government received it from the contractor.
The completion of the West Confederate avenue not only makes accessible the lines and positions of the Confederate infantry and artillery on Seminary Ridge, but opens up a more satisfactory view of a large part of the Battlefield, including some of the most important and interesting Union positions, thereby enabling the military critic better than ever before to study the scene of the great conflict and many of its more prominent features from various points of observation.
Pleasonton avenue has been laid out by the engineer and is now being constructed. It runs from Hancock avenue, near the point where General Hancock was wounded, eastward to the headquarters of the cavalry on the Taneytown road, about one-third of a mile. The total length of the avenues now on the battlefield, all constructed on the Telford plan, is about 16 1/2 miles.
A number of other avenues should be constructed, among them Buford avenue on the first day's field, another along the line of the Twentieth Maine on Vincent's Spur of Little Round Top and thence to Plum Run Valley and Devil's Den, another along the line of Wright's Division, the left of the Sixth Corps, from between the Round Tops southeastwardly across the Taneytown road, and others connecting the cavalry battlefields and positions, both east and south of Gettysburg, with the battlefield of the infantry.
Under permit of the Secretary of War, the Taneytown road, from the borough line of Gettysburg to a point beyond General Meade's headquarters, will soon be converted into a Telford avenue. The same, in our judgment should be done with the Mummasburg road from the western end of Howard avenue to Buford avenue also the Hagerstown road from the southern end of Reynolds avenue to the Confederate avenue on Seminary Ridge, also the Wheatfield road across the entire battlefield front east to west and the road leading from Crawford avenue to United States avenue.
The flanks of the Union and of the Confederate armies respectively have been fixed and marked by iron tablets with suitable inscriptions.
The position of the One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment on Hancock avenue on the third day of the battle has been established and will soon be indicated by an appropriate and durable marker.
The spot where Gen. Daniel E. Sickles was wounded on the evening of the second day has been indicated by a handsome granite marker with an appropriate inscription.
Thirteen handsome and durable itinerary tablets have been erected at a similar number of towns and villages within a day's march of Gettysburg, with inscriptions setting forth the movements of the several corps, divisions, and minor bodies of troops constituting the Union Army on the days immediately before and after the battle, and specifying the date and the hour of such movements, respectively.
Preparations are being made to erect similar tablets at suitable points setting forth in like manner the movements, during the same period, of the several bodies of troops composing the Confederate army.
Historical tablets of iron are being prepared and will soon be erected along the recently completed Confederate avenue on Seminary Ridge to mark the respective positions of Barksdale's Mississippi brigade and Wofford's Georgia Brigade, of McLaw's Division; of Kemper's, Garnett's, and Armistead's Virginia brigades of Pickett's Division; of Wilcox's Alabama, Perry's Florida, Wright's Georgia, Posey's Mississippi and Mahone's Virginia brigade; of Anderson's Division; of Archer's Tennessee, Pettigrew's North Carolina, Davis's Mississippi and North Carolina, and Brockenbrough's Virginia brigades of Heth's Division; of Scales's North Carolina, Lane's North Carolina, McGowan's South Carolina, and Thomas's Georgia brigades of Pender's Division. The tablets contain carefully prepared inscriptions describing the part taken in the battle by each brigade and stating its numbers and losses.
Guns of the same class and caliber as those which composed each of the batteries are also being placed along that avenue to indicate the position of each battery, viz:
Moody's Battery, 24-pounder howitzers.
Rhett's and Patterson's batteries, 12-pounder howitzers.
Stribling's Battery, 20 pounder Parrotts.
Wingfield's Battery, 3-inch Navy Parrotts.
Macon's, Ross's, Marye's and Brander's batteries, 10-pounder Parrotts.
Wyatt's, Zimmerman's, Grandy's, Lewis's, Maurin's, and Griffin's batteries, 3-inch rifles.
Miller's, Squires's, Richardson's, Norcom's, Caskie's, Blount's, Ward's, Brooke's, Graham's, Crenshaw's, McGraw's, and Moore's batteries, Napoleons.
The gun carriages are wholly of iron, and they are immovable, being fastened to large stones grouted in the ground. Historical tablets of iron are placed by every battery and artillery battalion, with inscriptions recording the part each took in the battle, the number of rounds fired the losses suffered, and other interesting details.
WORK OF ENGINEERS' DEPARTMENT-MAPS.
In addition to the multiplicity of other important duties and services of the engineer, Lieut. Col. E. B. Cope, and his assistants, which have been faithfully performed in the office and on the field, two large maps of the battlefield, on a scale of 600 feet to the inch, and embracing an area of 17 square miles, have been completed. One of them shows the topography of the battlefield with accuracy in every detail as it was in 1863 when the battle was fought, and on this the commission purpose having correctly indicated the positions of the troops on both sides engaged in the battle for every hour of July 1, 2, and 3, 1863. The other map, besides the topography in general, shows the timber, streams, fences, rocks, buildings, mounted guns, avenues, monuments, in short, everything on the battlefield as it is at the present time.
Much work has been and is still being done to restore in all respects the battlefield as it was at the time of the battle. One of the most important tasks is the preservation and restoration of the forests as they existed then, and much has been done toward accomplishing this object. Much has also been done toward rebuilding the stone fences enclosing the fields, nearly all of which served as breastworks and defenses for the troops of one or the other of the armies during the battle. Many thousands of yards of these stone fences and walls have been restored, a large portion of them during the present year.
WATER DRAINS ALONGSIDE THE AVENUES.
After constructing the Telford avenues along the lines of battle, as the ground here is almost all undulating, although, fortunately, in most places on the battle lines not steep, it was found absolutely needful to have good water drains along at least one, if not both sides of every avenue at almost all points, in order to prevent continual damage to them by washing from the frequent heavy rains. Fortunately we found on Big Round Top a well-nigh inexhaustible supply of stones of the exact size and thickness required to pave neatly and durably and without great expense or trouble, the drains alongside of our avenues, and elsewhere on the field where needed, and much of this work has been done this year, with most satisfactory results.
There are five regularly employed guards or watchmen on the battlefield. We have found them necessary to prevent desecration and injury of the public works on the battlefield by thoughtless or mischievous visitors, and particularly the mutilation of monuments by the sacrilegious relic hunters that sometimes infest the grounds with the sense of reverence wholly undeveloped.
ACQUISITION OF LANDS.
Since our last report conveyances have been executed for the Francis Althoff tract of 12.75 acres lying at the head of Plum Run Valley and adjoining the "Wheatfield," and also for the Basil Biggs tract of 48 acres lying between Hancock avenue and the Taneytown road, a short distance South of General Meade's headquarters.
A parcel of land has been purchased from Peter Swisher, containing 2.42 acres, situated along the eastern side of Sedgwick avenue, and on which were the headquarters of both General Sedgwick and General Sykes, just north of Little Round Top. And another parcel has also been purchased from said Swisher, containing 9.20 acres, situated west of Sedgwick avenue and adjoining the Althoff tract and Plum Run Valley. Numerous military movements took place on it, and its possession by the United States was important.
A proceeding, approved by the Department, was begun since our last report to condemn a parcel of land containing about 12 acres, situated near the Devil's Den and between the Round Tops. It is thickly covered with large bowlders and quite valueless intrinsically, but there was severe fighting on and over it in the afternoon of the second day. Moreover, its owner has permitted it to become the scene of revelries which many right-minded people consider a desecration of the ground consecrated by the blood of hundreds of heroes and patriots. The proceeding was begun under the jurisdiction of the United States circuit court for the eastern district of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, which appointed and qualified the jury of view; but the case was removed to the court of the middle district of Pennsylvania at Harrisburg, Pa., upon the creation of that district by the Iast Congress. The jury of view inspected the land and heard evidence in the case at Gettysburg on the 7th of May and rendered their verdict of $6,150 for the respondent, who has taken an appeal to the court in term. The Park Commission have also appealed on behalf of the United States, and the case stands for hearing at the next term of the court.
There are also other tracts and parcels of land which may have to be condemned and acquired by the Government to prevent them from being put to uses by the owners which would disfigure the battlefield, and they can not be purchased except at such exorbitant figures as no jury of view would sanction.
In conclusion, the Commission repeat that the thousands of visitors who throng the Gettysburg National Park, including great numbers of veterans from all sections of our country emphatically approve the Government's design to make this battlefield an enduring monument to American valor, and are gratified to see how successfully that design is being realized.
The commission respectfully ask for an appropriation of $75,000 for the next fiscal year.
JOHN P. NICHOLSON,
Wm. M. ROBBINS,
CHARLES A. RICHARDSON,
The SECRETARY OF WAR.
LIST OF BLUE PRINTS ACCOMPANYING REPORT OF 1901.
422.-Property conveyed by Simon J. Codori to Gettysburg Springs and Hotel Company.
423.-Design for monument.
424.-Map showing the property of W. H. Tipton on the Gettysburg battlefield and the occupation of said property by the troops of both armies during the battle; also location of said property with reference to the lands of the National Park.
425.-Bryan farm to be attached to lease.
426.-Biggs farm to be attached to lease.
427.-Masonheimer farm to be attached to lease.
428.-Smith farm to be attached to lease.
429.-Trostle farm to be attached to lease.
430.-Weikert farm to be attached to lease.
431.-Tracts of land belonging to Peter D. Swisher.
432.-Gettysburg battlefield, reduced scale.
433.-Plan for filling Quarry Hole in Trostle field along United States avenue.
434.-Pitzer's schoolhouse, D-2.
435.-South Taneytown road, E-4.
436.-Map of Gettysburg battlefield, 600-foot scale.
437.-South Cavalry field, F-2.
438.-North Rock Creek, A-4.
439.-North Middle, A-3.
440.-Herr Tavern, A-2.
441.-Hanover road, B-5.
442.-Wolf Hill, C-5.
443.-East Baltimore pike, D-5.
444.--Map showing the location of buildings on the Wm. H. Tipton property on the battlefield of Gettysburg.
445.-South Rock Creek, E-5.
446.-Peach orchard and wheat field, D-3.
447.-Map of Gettysburg battlefield 600 feet, as it was in 1863.
448.-Plan of Pleasonton avenue from Hancock avenue to Taneytown road.
449.-Property of J. Emory Bair and Calvin Gilbert.
450.-Property of heirs of Frederick G. Pfeffer, tract 4.
451.-Plan of Chamberlain avenue over Little Round Top.
MILITARY ORDER OF THE LOYAL LEGION OF THE UNITED STATES, COMMANDERY OF THE STATE OF COLORADO.
Col. JOHN P. NICHOLSON.
DEAR SIR: At the stated meeting of this commandery held February 2, 1901, Companion Westbrook S. Decker offered the following resolution:
"Resolved, That the members of this commandery of the Loyal Legion desire to convey to the Secretary of War their deep appreciation and gratitude for what has been accomplished by the War Department on the battlefield of Gettysburg. The faithful and skillful work of Col. John P. Nicholson, Maj. William M. Robbins, and Maj. Charles A. Richardson, the United States Commission, in locating and preserving the lines of battle and the laying out of avenues on those lines is worthy of the highest commendation. This commandery, appreciating the splendid work already done and realizing that the work has not reached completion, hope that the said members of the Commission be retained and that said Commission receive the continued support of Congress, to the end that the National Memorial Park may be completed as originally designed and a fit memorial of the brave men who fought on that historic field."
The resolution was unanimously adopted.
S. K. HOOPER,
HEADQUARTERS CORPORAL SKELLY POST No. 9, G. A. R.,
The Honorable The SECRETARY OF WAR,
Washington, D. C.:
At a regular meeting of Corporal Skelly Post No. 9, G. A. R., Department of Pennsylvania, held January 14, 1901, it was
"Resolved, That it was only right and proper that the soldiers of the late war of the rebellion living here on this most remarkable battlefield should add their commendation to the many tributes of respect and esteem already sent to you in behalf of the commissioners who have charge of the great work now going on under their able supervision. We therefore esteem it a great pleasure to commend in the highest terms the substantial manner in which the work is conducted by your commissioners, and as ex-soldiers and now citizens of Gettysburg and vicinity we do most respectfully pray that you will recommend a liberal appropriation for this Gettysburg National Park, that your commissioners may be in a position to secure the much needed property to complete the great task they have undertaken."
By order of the Post:
SIMON P. STOVER,
Attest: Wm. H. Rupp,
LIST OF PHOTOGRAPHS TO ACCOMPANY COMMISSIONER'S REPORT, 1901.
1.-Bridge over Culp's Run, East Confederate avenue.
2.-Culvert No. 1, East Confederate avenue.
3.-East Confederate avenue, showing paved gutter.
4.-Culvert No. 2, East Confederate avenue.
5.-East Confederate avenue, showing breastworks of Jones's Brigade rebuilt.
6.-East Confederate avenue, looking north.
7.-Smith's Brigade C. S. A., tablet, East Confederate avenue.
8.-Hancock avenue, looking south, showing new tube fence.
9.-Hancock avenue, looking north, showing new tube fence.
10.-Sedgwick avenue, stone wall rebuilt through Weikert farm.
11.-Sedgwick avenue, new fence and stone wall rebuilt along Swisher field.
12.-Marker where General Sickles was wounded, and Trostle Barn.
13.-Marker erected where Maj. Gen. D. E. Sickles was wounded.
14.-Wheatfield road, showing paved gutter and new post fence.
15.-Pleasonton avenue, showing foundation stones.
16.-West Confederate avenue, showing foundation stones.
17.-East Cavalry field, Gregg avenue.
18.-East Cavalry field, Cavalry shaft.
19.-East Cavalry field, Randol's Batteries E and G, First U. S. Artillery.
20.-Statue to John Burns on Stone avenue.
21.-Brander's Virginia Battery (Letcher Artillery), West Confederate avenue.
22.-Pleasonton avenue, looking east.
23.-Marye's Battery (the Fredericksburg Artillery), West Confederate avenue.
24.-Ward's Mississippi Battery (Madison Light Artillery), West Confederate avenue.
25.-West Confederate avenue, showing First Vermont and First New York monuments in Pitzer woods.
26.-West Confederate avenue, looking north from Pitzer Woods.
27.-West Confederate avenue, looking south, showing batteries of Dearing's Battalion.
28.-West Confederate avenue, looking south, showing batteries of Eshleman's Battalion.