Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg, Pa.
July 19, 1927

QM 319-12 A-C

Subject: Annual Report.

To: The Quartermaster General, U. S. A., Washington, D. C.

Sir: We are forwarding herewith report of park activities for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1927, as requested in your letter of July 7th.

James B. Aumen,
Asst. Supt.



Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1927.

To the Quartermaster General.


We have the honor to submit the annual report of the activities of the Gettysburg National Military Park for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1927:

By the death of the Superintendent, Colonel E. B. Cope, on May 28th, the Assistant Superintendent, James B. Aumen, was directed to act as Superintendent until a successor was appointed to take the place of Colonel Cope and report for duty.

On June 27th, Colonel E. E. Davis, who had been appointed arrived here and assumed charge of the Park as Superintendent.


No additional monuments were erected during the year. On September 28th, 1926, a Commission representing the State of North Carolina, visited the field and selected a tentative site for a state monument on the Confederate line of battle on East Confederate Avenue.

No new markers were erected, nor any additional tablets. A number were damaged by motor traffic during the year, but all have been repaired and are now in good condition.


There are 22.12 miles of avenues within the limits of the Park; these require much attention and expense for their upkeep and maintenance. They were built before the motor-propelled vehicles had come into use and up to that time were considered models of the best type of road building. They were built on the Telford system with an excellent base of 8" stones, then chinked and covered with successive layers of crushed stone of different sizes, thoroughly compacted with a heavy roller and when completed had a depth of about 14 inches. While the horse drawn vehicles were the only means of conveyance, little damage was done to the surface of the avenues by traffic thereon. But, since the advent of the automobile and the truck all this has been changed, and the means formerly used for the maintenance of the avenues has been found to be inadequate to meet present conditions and preserve them from disintegration.

During the year a start was made in this direction. A contract was made with the M. & T. E. Farrell Company, the lowest bidder of West Chester, Pa., to re-surface Seminary and part of West Confederate avenues for a distance of 12,270 feet, at a cost of $5,114.18. These are now in good condition, but, unless other avenues are similarly treated it is only a question of time they will be beyond repair. With the excellent base to start with, by re-surfacing they can be kept in good condition for many years; this however, can only be done by a more liberal appropriation for this purpose, as the regular appropriation is required for salaries, wages and other objects of expenditure.


The usual amount of spring, summer and autumn mowing was done. This is accomplished by the use of both horse drawn and motor power mowers. The mounds surrounding monuments and markers are kept in order with hand lawn mowers.


No new wood fence was erected during the year. Owing to the destruction of the chestnut timber by blight, in this locality, it is not possible to get sound material for the purpose of fencing, therefore this type of fencing will soon have to be discontinued and other material used instead. Repairs were made to the post fencing and it is now in good condition. Where new farm fencing was required woven wire material was used.


In addition to the gun carriages, pyramids, caissons and limbers, much other painting was done during the year. All the iron tablets and stands, railings on bridges and retaining walls, hitching rails, guard rails, shells and pipe fencing, were painted. Tenant houses where necessary were also painted.


There are 18 farms within the Park with an area of 1400 acres. Three are without buildings. 17 are under lease and 1 vacant, as there was no applicant for it. The leases were issued on April 1st, for a period of five years. There was only one change of tenants, this was at the Weikert Farm where Mr. Hewitt quit farming, and Mr. Redding took his place. The farms are under the supervision of William C. Storrick, who issues the leases, collects the rents and directs the tenants in the operations of the farms. The usual system of crop rotation as followed in this vicinity is carried out on these farms. James B. Aumen, Assistant Superintendent, has needed repairs made to the farm buildings.


Several tracts of United States land not under lease, heretofore have been cultivated to produce forage for the horses kept for use of the Superintendent in his duties in the Park. As these have been disposed of this practice will be discontinued.


More than a mile of concrete gutter was laid during the year to replace the old flag-stone gutters that had been laid more than 30 years ago. This work was done under the supervision of the Assistant Superintendent, who has charge of the workmen and guards while in the discharge of their duties in the Park.


Since the advent of the motor-propelled vehicles great changes in the number of tourists who visit the Park has been brought about. The many approach roads leading here and their fine condition for travel along with its historical importance, has made Gettysburg the Mecca for tourists from all parts of the country. It is not unusual to see twenty or more States represented here in a single day. The actual number is not known, but, taking the guide reports as a basis on which to make an estimate, the number for the last year was upward of 750,000. While this has been a source of profit to Gettysburg in many ways, it has been the cause of much additional wear on the avenues of the Park and these can only be kept up by a system of re-surfacing from year to year in order to keep them in good repair.


At the beginning of the year 98 guides were licensed to conduct tourists over the field and give them an explanation of the strategical and tactical movements of the armies in their movements North and an account of the engagements here July 1, 2, and 3, 1863. With the approval of the Department an official card containing a set of Rules and Regulations for the operations of the guides as well as for the benefit of the tourists was put into operation at the beginning of the year. The guides are required to give one of these cards to each tourist party before starting for a tour of the field. The system is working very satisfactorily and many expressions of approval have been received from both tourists and guides.

Respectfully submitted,

James B. Aumen,
Asst. Superintendent