Along the eastern front of the cemetery was the Baltimore Pike and the entranceway to the grounds. To enhance this approach to the grounds, an ornamental iron fence and gateway was erected. (This fencing and gateway may have been cast by the firm of Robert Wood & Company of Philadelphia, who made the similar Antietam National Cemetery gates.) This fencing was the last to be put up, since it seems to have arrived from the foundry too advanced into winter of 1864-1865 to be easily and safely erected. As of March 6, 1865 the iron gateway and fencework were on hand and ready to be set up, but the weather prevented the corporation from doing so.1 It was not until later in the spring that the fencing was eventually erected; in any case the gates, gateposts (two surmounted by gilded iron eagles and four by draped urns), and fencing were up by the time of the July 4, 1865 ceremonies at the laying of the cornerstone of the Soldiers' National Monument.2
2 Photograph entitled "Robertson's Artillery, Gettysburg, Pa., July, 1865" in MOLLUS collection, oversize Gettysburg book, Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks.
. . . . Large, heavy, and elaborately constructed iron gates demand heavier and more massive supporting pillars, ornamented to correspond with the style and finish of the gate. The main or principal entrance gate to any place, even of the most humble description, should be placed on a line receding more or less from the line of the outside or public road, being connected with the latter by a curved line of fence. The extent of this recess will vary with the extent of the place, facilities of position, and size and style of the gate; but ten to thirty feet may be given as a range. Even in places of quite limited extent, the former distance will be sufficient to give a decided effect, without encroaching too severely on the grounds, and will establish a largeness of expression to the whole surroundings. In placing posts for gates the mistake is frequently made of setting them parallel to the public road instead of having them at a right angle to the road to which they properly belong. 3
6 See "Map of the Grounds" by William Saunders, showing plot of cemetery graves, drives, planting, walls. (Appendix C).
"We made the condition, that, the state (or states) enclose only on the Taneytown road (west) and on the North and South; leaving the line on the East without any enclosure--that line adjoining our Cemetery ground--and thus leaving the site proposed and our Cemetery grounds in one common enclosure.
". . . . Our great desire in (while not embarrassing the title on the tenure and use of the grounds sold, with any restrictions or regulations) to have the glorious dead of the Battles of July, buried within the enclosure of our Cemetery, so as to appear as if part of it, and to enhance the interest of our ground with the glorious memories of these Battles, and the ashes of the heroic dead.
"The Cemetery is the common burial ground of our whole community, and our entire people feel the most deep interest in this proposition and hope that you will gratify their wishes."7
8 "Private and Confidential" letter of McConaughy to Curtin, August 5, 1863 (negative photocopy, David Wills correspondence, GNMP vertical files).
9 William Saunders, "Memoirs" (handwritten photocopy, GNMP vertical files).
11 D. A. Buehler and Edward G. Fahnestock to Governor Curtin, August 14, 1863 (negative photocopy, David Wills correspondence, GNMP vertical files).
12 McConaughy to Curtin, August 14, 1863, Ibid. This resolution stated that the board concurred that "D. McConaughy make the proposition, and upon its acceptance convey these lands in fee simple, at the cost prices, to the State of Pennsylvania, for the purpose of the burial of said dead; with the condition that, in enclosing the said lands, an open iron railing enclosure of ordinary height be made and maintained by the state or states interested, upon the division lines between said lands and the grounds of the Ever Green Cemetery." Minutes of the Proceedings of the Evergreen Cemetery Association, August 14, 1863.
Within a day or two after McConaughy and Wills transacted the land exchange, William Saunders appeared in Gettysburg at the urgent request of David Wills. Saunders, landscape gardener for the U. S. Department of Agriculture, 15 had been asked to help Wills in selecting appropriate ground for the proposed cemetery,
14 Curtin to Wills, August 31, 1863 in Revised Report, p. 167; McConaughy to Curtin, July 25, 1863 in David Wills Correspondence, GNMP vertical files.
15 His position was that of "Superintendent of Garden and Grounds."
After the dedicatory ceremonies of November 19, 1863, work proceeded as weather permitted in the reburial of Union dead. Started on November 1, the disinterment and reinterment continued until mid-March of 1864, when all known bodies (3,512) had been removed to the National Cemetery. 18 Landscaping and planting of the grounds, laying out drives and walks, and erecting the enclosures for the cemetery took next priority. 19
17 Wills to Curtin, August 17, 1863 in Revised Report, p. 166.
18 Adams Sentinel, March 22, 1864.
19 Wills wrote on July 22, 1864 that all his workers, the bankers, and the postmaster had been driven off by the approach of rebels under Early, and that he had just returned to work in the cemetery with "12 masons and about 20 laborers." Lehigh University microfilm.
21 Letter from Secretary of War Communicating Report of Inspector of National Cemeteries 1870-1871, Senate Executive Document No.79, 42nd Congress, 2nd Session, p. 16; and "Letter from Secretary of War Communicating Report of Inspector of National Cemeteries for the Year 1874," Senate Executive Document No. 28, 43rd Congress, 2nd Session (Washington, 1875), p. 11. The entire expense of the dividing railing fence was borne by the Soldiers' National Cemetery corporation. Minutes of the Proceedings, June 14, 1865.
22 Adams Sentinel, May 9, 1865; Gettysburg Compiler, May 8, 1865.
Saunders' own thoughts about fencing as it pertains to landscaping were penned six years after the origins of the National Cemetery:
"Whatever materials may be used for outside fences, they should be strong and substantial. Inside fences for such purposes as that of separating the lawn from the vegetable garden may be of lighter construction. . . .
"Even in those happy communities where cattle are not permitted to run at large, some kind of fence will be necessary to designate boundary lines of property. . . . Well-defined boundary lines to property greatly enhance its enjoyment, especially when applied to lawns and gardens.
"For this purpose the live fence is by far the most appropriate, and that formed of evergreen plants the most permanently beautiful. The Siberian arbor vitae, Nootka cypress, and hemlock spruce are among the best for northern climates. In the South the Chinese arbor vitae, Japan euonymus, and other evergreen shrubs may be added to the list. If deciduous plants are preferred, , elaeagnus, Japan privet; and, if a somewhat formidable fence is desired, the Osage orange and honey locust will answer that purpose. . . .
"In grounds of very limited dimensions, where the boundary lines are at no great distance from the house, an evergreen hedge set inside the fence will afford great relief to the eye and form a background, as it were, to the shrubbery and flower borders. The stiff line of the hedge can be modified in appearance by planting small, diversified groups of shrubs, or low-growing evergreens along its front. A continuous border varying in width and of curving outline, running in a direction parallel with the hedge, and thickly planted with flowering shrubs of variety, interspersed with such flowering herbaceous perennials as holly hocks, phloxes, chrysanthemums, delphinums, etc., is one of the best modes of treating a small pleasure garden and lawn."
Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture for the Year 1869, pp. 172-173.
25 Sen. Ex. Doc. No. 79, 42nd Congress, 2nd sess., p. 16.
26 Adams Sentinel, May 9, 1865; Gettysburg Compiler May 8, 1865. Powers quarried and cut granite for years in the Gettysburg area, but was seemingly not engaged in construction or masonry work during these, his later, years.
27 1860 US Census, Gettysburg Borough, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
28 Adams Sentinel, May 9, 1865.
29 History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania (Chicago, 1886), p. 491.
The enclosures were all finished by the time of the dedication ceremonies for the laying of the cornerstone of the Soldiers' National Monument on July 4, 1865.