WAR DEPARTMENT, GETTYSBURG NATIONAL PARK COMMISSION,
Gettysburg, Pa., August 1, 1903.
SIR: The Gettysburg National Park Commission submit the following report of their work, its progress during the past year, and its present condition, with some suggestions as to what is needed for its further prosecution:
Buford avenue, mentioned in our last report as being in course of construction, has been completed. It runs from Reynolds avenue northwestward to the Mummasburg road along the line of the Union cavalry, which threatened the left flank of the Confederate infantry as it advanced into the first day's battle.
Stone avenue, which runs along the line of the Bucktail brigade from the Chambersburg pike to Reynolds woods, has been constructed.
Meredith avenue, which runs along the line of the Iron Brigade through Reynolds woods, has been completed to the southern border of those woods, but its further progress to a junction with Reynolds avenue, a distance of only 800 feet, has been thwarted for the present by the receivers of a speculative so-called "land improvement company," who refuse to grant right of way over, or convey title to, the small strip of land needed for said avenue except upon such inadmissible terms and conditions that very likely the Commission may have to institute condemnation proceedings in order to secure title to said land for the United States.
Wright avenue has been put under contract and its construction begun. It runs from the southern base of Little Round Top across the eastern slope of Big Round Top, and then curves eastward and extends to the Taneytown road, following the lines of Russell's and Grant's brigades of the Sixth Union Army Corps, these brigades having been placed in that position to guard against a possible flank movement of the Confederates around the south side of Round Top.
Several other avenues should be constructed, among them one running from the Wheatfield road near Plum Run along the line of the Pennsylvania reserves to Sickles avenue; another starting from a point on Sickles avenue and running across the western branch of Plum Run and along the line of General Brooke's brigade on the summit of Rose Hill; another running from the upper end of Crawford avenue northward to United States avenue, and another along the Confederate line of battle on the cavalry battlefield. The lands on which these avenues will be located belong now to the United States.
There should be an avenue on Oak Hill and vicinity following the lines and indicating the positions of the infantry and artillery of Rodes's division of Ewell's Confederate army corps as they debouched in a direction so threatening to the right flank of Reynolds's corps on the first day's field; also an avenue running from the Hanover road east of Rock Creek to Benners Hill, where a number of Confederate batteries were posted on the second and third days. The lands needed for the two last-mentioned avenues have not yet been, but should be, acquired by the United States, as also the grounds on both Oak Hill and Benners Hill, whereon the Confederate troops deployed and the batteries were operated. There should be a good road constructed from Gettysburg to the cavalry battlefield, about 3 miles east of the town, whither the present routes are extremely unsatisfactory.
TABLETS AND GUNS.
Gun carriages have been purchased and guns mounted thereon during the year as follows:
One 10-pounder Parrott to Maurin's battery.
Two Napoleons to Lewis's battery.
One 3-inch rifle to Moore's battery.
One 10-pounder Parrott to Moore's battery.
Two 12-pounder howitzers to Grandy's battery.
Two Napoleons to Brander's battery.
Two Napoleons to McGraw's battery.
Two 3-inch rifles to Zimmerman's battery.
Two 12-pounder howitzers to Crenshaw's battery.
Two Napoleons to Marye's battery.
One 10-pounder Parrott to Wyatt's battery.
Six 12-pounder howitzers of Poague's artillery battalion mounted in their old lunettes on the west side of Confederate avenue, north of Spangler's woods.
The number of guns, Union and Confederate, which have been mounted on the field by the Commission is 311.
The ten Confederate itinerary tablets which were being cast at the date of our last report have since been finished and erected on the west side of the Confederate avenue on Seminary Ridge, near the junction of said avenue with the Fairfield road. They record the location and movements of the several corps, divisions, and brigades of the Confederate army on each and every day from June 26, 1863, when the last of its forces crossed the Potomac into Maryland, until after the close of the battle and the retreat of the Confederates from Gettysburg July 5, 1863.
There have also been cast and erected along the avenues during this year twenty-three of what may be termed guide tablets, designed to give useful hints and directions to persons driving over the field.
The number of metallic tablets of all kinds which have been erected on the battlefield up to this date is 450.
ACQUISITION OF LANDS.
The lands acquired by the Commission prior to our last report amounted to 1,291.4541 acres. There have been acquired during the past year nine different tracts of land, several of them being quite small in area, but each embracing an important historic point on the battlefield. The largest one, containing 33 acres, lies on the cavalry battlefield, it being the ground on which the Confederate cavalry and artillery formed their lines and posted their batteries, a large portion of it being covered with its native forest, which should be preserved.
Another tract of over 10 acres lies just in rear of General Hood's line of battle of the second day. This also is covered with native forest, important to be preserved, but which would have been destroyed ere this if our Commission had not saved it by purchasing the land.
Another small tract, of 2 1/2 acres, lies on the eastern slope of Big Round Top, and its purchase was necessary to complete the line of Wright avenue.
Another acquisition, consisting of four small tracts amounting in all to over 10 acres, lies on both sides of Hancock avenue near its northern terminus, and the Commission felt in duty bound to secure it to prevent its being converted into a brickyard and put to other uses which would seriously mar and disfigure a very important and interesting portion of the battlefield. It has been secured for the Government, although in order to do so it became necessary to resort to condemnation proceedings.
The whole area of the lands now owned by the United States at Gettysburg, is 1,349.3548 acres, or 2.108 square miles.
There are a number of other tracts and parcels of land on the battlefield which should be secured for the Government in order to complete the Gettysburg National Park as it should be done. The Commission is now seeking, under the supervision of the War Department, to secure for the United States certain lands considered important for the proper development of the park and the preservation of the battlefield as it was in 1863.
SURFACE OF THE FIELD.
By far the larger portion of the battlefield retains its forests and cleared lands very much as they were in 1863, but a few important sections of the field have, since that date, been denuded of their forests. In several places where the trees have been only partially cut away nature is rapidly restoring the forest by a fresh undergrowth but where the ground has been left entirely bare, our Commission is taking much pains to reforest it. A great number of forest trees have been planted since the establishment of the national park-5,000 planted during the past year-and are growing fine.
On our application, through the Secretary of War, to the Chief of the Bureau of Forestry, Mr. H. B. Kempton, of that Bureau, came here early in May of this year, and made an examination for the purpose of determining what portions of the park should be reforested and how it could best be done, and of reporting his conclusions. His report has not yet been received.
But, even if no better plan is devised than our Commission has followed that of planting on the denuded grounds a large number of forest trees each year, it will not be a great while until the battlefield will be restored, as to field and forest, to the same condition substantially as at the date of the battle.
As has been stated in previous reports, great care is taken in laying out avenues, to avoid, as far as possible, locating them where their construction would necessitate much marring of the surface of the ground in order to grade them properly. Fortunately this has not caused serious embarrassment on the field of Gettysburg, because the lines of battle of both armies were usually formed along the summits of ridges and, in constructing the avenues along the battle lines, little difference of altitude was found and no heavy grading was required.
An equestrian statue of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum has been erected by the New York State Commission on the summit of Stevens's Knoll, and its dedication on September 20, 1902, was attended by many veterans of his command-the Seventh New York Infantry-and detachments of United States regulars.
The equestrian statue of Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock on East Cemetery Hill, which had been dismounted because of injuries to the pedestal and capstone by lightning, has been restored to its position, the injuries having been repaired at the expense of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
A monumental tablet, with suitable inscription, has been erected at the expense of the association specially interested in it, east of Hancock avenue in the field of the Meade statue, to mark the position of the One hundred and fourteenth Pennsylvania Infantry on the third day of the battle.
The monument and guns of the First New York Light Artillery (Fitzhugh's battery) have been moved, with the approval of the Secretary of War, from its former location near the junction of Hancock and Pleasonton avenues to a position on Hancock avenue to the left of the Eleventh New York Battery, upon satisfactory proof that this was the true position. The work of removal was done entirely at the expense of Colonel Fitzhugh.
WORK OF ENGINEERS' DEPARTMENT.
There has been erected on the field, prior to this year, 44,850 feet of pipe fencing, and, during this year, 12,500 feet, making 57,350 feet in all, or nearly 11 miles; and a contract has been made for the erection of over 2 miles more.
Of post and rail fencing there has been heretofore erected 26,620 feet, and, during this year, 10,500 feet, making 37,120 feet in all, or more than 7 miles.
Of stone fences, 21,292 feet have been rebuilt prior to the present year, and, during this year, 2,775 feet, making 24,067 feet in all, or more than 4 1/2 miles.
There are on the battlefield over 19 miles of Telford avenues along the battle lines, and the drains and gutters along them are being paved wherever needed. Up to the present time 35,000 feet, or over 6 miles, of this paving has been done in the most durable style. An almost unlimited supply of excellent flat stones, suited for this purpose, was found on the western slope of Big Round Top; and the avenues, with their gutters and drains paved therewith, will indeed last for years, scarcely needing any repairs.
A storage building, for the shelter and protection of the steam rollers, mowers, and other tools and implements belonging to the United States and used on the field, has been erected near the junction of Pleasonton avenue with the Taneytown road.
The Commission has advertised for bids to construct an iron bridge of ample span and height over the Western Maryland Railroad on Reynolds avenue, and a number of bids have been received but none as yet accepted.
An act of the legislature of Pennsylvania having conceded the privilege of converting any or all of the public roads on this battlefield into Telford pikes or avenues, and a permit having been granted our Commission to do this as to the Taneytown road from the town line southward at least as far as General Meade's headquarters, and also the Wheatfield road from Plum Run Valley across the battlefield to West Confederate avenue, it is our purpose to make these two improvements at as early a date as practicable.
Without undertaking to specify more fully all the details of interest respecting our work, we conclude this report with the statement of a fact very gratifying to us-that, of the many thousands of visitors from all sections of our country who throng the Gettysburg National Park each year, all express their hearty approval of the manner in which the Government of the United States is making of this battlefield a splendid and enduring national monument.
JOHN P. NICHOLSON,
WM. M. ROBBINS,
CHAS. A. RICHARDSON,
The SECRETARY OF WAR.
THIRTY-THIRD REUNION OF THE SOCIETY OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
GETTYSBURG, PA., September 19 and 20, 1902.
Gen. JAMES A. BEAVER. Mr. Chairman: I would like to offer a resolution, in view of the fact that we are in session at Gettysburg, and that is to commend the work of the present Gettysburg Battlefield Commission, and recommend to Congress future appropriations for the work. You have heard the report already made that there has been only about $400,000 expended, in comparison with the work which has been done elsewhere. I am very sure that every man who sees this will realize that the United States has received 110 cents for every dollar that has been expended, and it seems to me that it would be altogether inappropriate for us to adjourn without commending in some way the work of this Commission, and recommending to our representatives in Congress the care of this battlefield. I therefore move you, sir, the following resolution:
Resolved, That this society, the members of which have viewed with sincere pleasure the work of our battlefield commission, earnestly recommends to Congress the continued care and extension of the work of the Commission on this field.
The resolution was cheered and adopted.
JOHN R. BROOKE, President.
H. C. KING, Secretary.
At a regular encampment of U. S. Grant Post, No. 327, Department of New York, Grand Army of the Republic, held at its quarters in Brooklyn, N. Y., on the 28th day of October, 1902, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted, the adjutant being instructed to transmit duly authenticated copies of the same to the Secretary of War, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and the chairman of the Gettysburg National Park Commission:
Whereas many comrades of this post have visited the battlefield of Gettysburg; have driven over the beautiful avenues which follow the undulating lines of battle of the contending armies, and observed the substantial and permanent character of the roadways, bridges, fences, retaining walls, and observation towers; have noted how carefully the names of historic points on the field have been retained, the natural and artificial breastworks restored, and the ground, forests, roads, and streams preserved substantially as they existed at the time of the battle; have seen the appropriately inscribed iron tablets marking and recording the positions, formations, and movements of infantry, artillery, and cavalry commands-Union and Confederate-during, preceding, and after the battle; have admired the bronze statues of renowned officers
whose familiar names became household words on the day of Gettysburg; have looked with pride upon the hundreds of monuments of stone and of granite patriotically erected to commemorate regimental valor and prowess-although noting, with regret, the absence of regular army monuments-and, as veteran soldiers of the civil war, have contemplated with surprise and delight the character, scope, and extent of the
work so comprehensively undertaken and intelligently performed by the Gettysburg National Park Commission, under whose hands Gettysburg has already become the best plotted and marked of all battle grounds; therefore,
Resolved, That U. S. Grant Post, No. 327, Department of New York, Grand Army of the Republic, unreservedly approves the patriotic purpose of the National Government suitably and adequately to preserve the battle ground of Gettysburg as a National Park;
That we particularly and specially praise the skillful and faithful work of Col. John P. Nicholson, Maj. William M. Robbins, and Maj. Charles A. Richardson, the members of the Commission, through whom the successful realization of the purpose of the Government is being so thoroughly carried out;
That fully appreciating the splendid results already achieved, but realizing that much still remains to be accomplished before this noble project will be completed, this post earnestly expresses the hope that the Commission may continue to receive the liberal support of Congress, to the end that its work, when finally completed, may be a fitting and enduring memorial of the patriotism and valor of the American soldier.
AUGUSTUS C. TATE,
Attest: PHILIP S. CLARK, Adjutant.
Length of avenues on the Gettysburg battlefield (in) Feet.
Howard avenue from Harrisburg road to Mummasburg road 5,750
Reynolds avenue from Buford avenue to Hagerstown road 5,250
Buford avenue from Mummasburg road to Reynolds avenue 3,435
Seminary avenue from Chambersburg pike to Hagerstown road 2,500
Slocum avenue from Baltimore Pike to Spangler's spring 6,373
East Confederate avenue from Gettysburg to Spangler's spring 7,241
Hancock avenue from Taneytown road to United States avenue 7,825
Meade avenue from Taneytown road to Hancock avenue 950
Pleasonton avenue from Taneytown road to Hancock avenue 1,594
United States avenue from Hancock avenue to Emmitsburg road 4,150
Sedgwick avenue from United States avenue to Wheatfield road 2,841
Sykes avenue from Wheatfield road to Round Top 2,997
Wright avenue from Chamberlain avenue to Taneytown road 3,000
Crawford avenue from Devil's Den to Wheatfield road 3,530
Sickles avenue from Devil's Den to Emmitsburg road 6,515
West Confederate avenue from Hagerstown road to Wheatfield road 10,470
Section 4, West Confederate avenue from Wheatfield road to Emmitsburg road 3,700
Section 5, West Confederate avenue from Emmitsburg road to section 6 2,470
Section 6, West Confederate avenue from section 5 to section 7 1,840
Section 7, West Confederate avenue from section 7 to section 8 2,850
Section 8, West Confederate avenue from section 7 to Sykes avenue 1,617
Warren avenue from Sykes avenue to Crawford avenue 1,550
Chamberlain avenue from Sykes avenue southerly to Sykes 1,050
Stone avenue from Chambersburg pike to Reynolds woods 900
Meredith avenue from Reynolds woods to Reynolds avenue 1,950
Wadsworth avenue from Doubleday avenue to Reynolds avenue 900
Doubleday avenue from Mummasburg road to Wadsworth avenue 2,150
Robinson avenue from Mummasburg road to Doubleday avenue 950
Wheatfield avenue from Excelsior field to Wheatfield woods 1,100
Reynolds Branch avenue in Reynolds woods 492
Geary avenue from Slocum avenue to Spangler's spring 2,036
Or 18.825 miles.
List of photographs to accompany report of Gettysburg National Park Commission, 1903.
2. Stone avenue, from Reynolds Grove.
3. Meredith avenue, looking south.
4. Paved gutters on West Confederate avenue.
5. Poague's howitzers and earthworks, West Confederate avenue.
6. Itinerary tablets, Army of Northern Virginia, West Confederate avenue.
7. Storage building, Pleasonton avenue.
8. Statue to Maj. Gen. H. W. Slocum, Stevens Knoll, looking southwest.
9. Statue to Maj. Gen. H. W. Slocum, looking east.
10. Building between the Round Tops.
11. Infantry tablet, Army of Northern Virginia, West Confederate avenue.
12. New fencing on Howard avenue.
13. New fencing on Slocum avenue.
14. New fencing on Gregg avenue.
15. New fencing on Gregg avenue.
16. One hundred and fourteenth Pennsylvania marker, Hancock avenue.
17. View of completed bridge over Plum Run, looking north.
18. View of completed bridge over Plum Run, looking south.
Blueprints accompanying the report of the Gettysburg National Park Commission of 1903.
No. 477. Tract of land belonging to Robert Sheads.
No. 478. Tract of land belonging to J. S. Forney.
No. 479. Tract of land conveyed by heirs of Amos Leister.
No. 480. Tract of woodland conveyed by Benjamin F. Redding.
No. 481. Tract of land belonging to William A. Himes and J. E. C. Miller in Mount Pleasant Township.
No. 482. Tract of land belonging to William A. Himes and J. E. C. Miller in Mount Pleasant Township.
No. 483. Retaining wall on Stone avenue.
No. 484. Storage building and plan for cannon platform.
No. 485. Springs road from Seminary avenue to Willoughby Run.
No. 486. Military map showing the operations of the Union and Confederate armies from Fredericksburg, Va., to Harrisburg Pa., 1861 to 1865.
No. 487. Stadia rod.
No. 488. Profile of railroad cut at crossing of Reynolds avenue.
No. 489. Plan of Wright avenue from Chamberlain avenue to Taneytown road.
No. 490. Drawings accompanying application for space within War Department exhibit at the St. Louis Exhibition, 1904.
No. 491. Plan for floor space in four compartments in the War Department exhibit at the St. Louis Exposition. One of the compartments, 20 by 25 feet-500 square feet-to be set apart for the use of the Gettysburg National Park Commission.
List of tablets on the battlefield of Gettysburg marking organizations of the Union Army.
BATTERY TABLETS. Wilkinson; Kinsey; Kinsey, second section; Rugg; Taft; Taft, second section; Stewart; Dilger; Bancroft; Eakin; Edgell; Butler; Woodruff; Martin; Cushing; Wier; Thomas; Hazlett; Turnbull; Seeley; Williston; Heaton; Calef; Pennington; Randol; Graham; Elder; Watson; Calef, second section; Smith, second section .........................................................................................................................................................30
UNITED STATES CAVALRY TABLETS.
First, Second, Fifth, and Sixth Cavalry 4
UNITED STATES INFANTRY TABLETS.
Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Fourteenth, and Seventeenth Infantry 10
ITINERARY TABLETS OF MOVEMENTS OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
On East Cemetery Hill, Gettysburg battlefield 9
At Two Taverns, Pa. 2
At Littlestown, Pa. 1
At Hanover, Pa. 2
At Manchester, Md. 2
At Westminster, Md. 2
At Uniontown, Md. 1
At Middleburg, Md. 1
At Taneytown, Md. 2
At Fairfield, Pa. 1
At Emmitsburg, Md. 2
At Hunterstown, Pa. 1
DISTANCE AND DIRECTION TABLETS.
On roads radiating from Gettysburg. 12
List of tablets on the battlefield of Gettysburg marking organizations of the Army of Northern Virginia.
On East Confederate avenue: Hays, Gordon, Hoke, Jones, Nicholls, O'Neal, Daniel, Steuart, Walker, Smith 10
On West Confederate avenue: McGowan, Thomas, Brockenbrough, Lane, Davis, Mahone, Scales, Pettigrew, Posey, Archer, Wright, Garnett, Armistead, Kemper, Perry, Wilcox, Wofford, Barksdale 18
ARTILLERY BATTALION TABLETS.
On West Confederate avenue: Dance, McIntosh, Garnett, Pegram, Lane, Poague, Dearing, Eshleman, Alexander, Cabell, Henry 11
Smith, Cunningham, Johnson, Hurt, Rice, Wallace, Watson, Griffin, Maurin, Lewis, Moore, Grandy, Brander, McGraw, Zimmerman, Crenshaw, Marye, Ross, Wingfield, Graham, Wyatt, Brooke, Ward, Patterson, Blount, Macon, Caskie, Stribling, Norcum, Richardson, Squires, Miller, Rhett, Moody,
Taylor, Parker, Jordan, Woolfolk, Carlton (first section), Manly, Carlton (second section), McCarthy, Frazer, Latham, Bachman, Garden, Reilly 47
CONFEDERATE ARMY DIVISION TABLETS.
At Black Horse Tavern 1
On Seminary avenue 1
On Confederate avenue: June 26, 27, 28, 29, 30; July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 10