Published Works

Andrist, Ralph K. The American Heritage History of the Confident Years. New York, 1973. Useful introductory material to relationship of Thaddeus Stevens and Edward McPherson in post-war Congress.

Bassler, J. H. "The Color Episode of the One Hundred and Forty-Ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers," Southern Historical Society Papers, XXXVII (1909), 266-301. Minute description of participation of 149th Pennsylvania color guard on McPherson Farm.

Beecham, R. K. Gettysburg: The Pivotal Battle of the Civil War. Chicago, 1911. Personal account and narrative of participation of 2nd Wisconsin Infantry in Herbst Woods, this book brings to light the often overlooked contributions of this regiment of the Iron Brigade.

Chamberlin, Lt. Col. Thomas. History of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Second Regiment, Bucktail Brigade. Philadelphia, 1905.

One of the better regimental histories, Chamberlin's book gives descriptive narrative of command participation as well as incidents befalling the common soldier. Speaks with authority of an eyewitness and with little of the bias of his comrade Huidekoper. Inclusive portrait photos and artist's renderings.

Clark, Walter. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 186l-1865 (transcribed excerpts). Raleigh, 1901.
Only truly good account of North Carolina's participation in the battle, Clark's book gives an in-the-rank look at the action whenever possible. This personal narrative is often the only eyewitness accounts that can be found describing the Confederate side of a particular action. That of the 26th North Carolina was the only one included in the excerpts that shed light on the fighting around Willoughby Run and Herbst Woods.

Coddington, Edwin B. The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command. New York, 1968. One of the best later-day analyses of the battle, this study is useful for overall perspective and editorial commentary, as well as excellent bibliographical and footnote information.


"A Complete Loss," Star and Sentinel, Tuesday, April 9, 1895, p. 3. Account of the fire which burned the old McPherson farmhouse; as the Republican mouthpiece in Gettysburg it gave more extensive coverage to McPherson's old farm than its Democratic counterpart The Compiler.

Dawes, Rufus R. Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers. Marietta, Ohio, 1890. Only outfit which fought at the railroad cut that has a usable history of the affair; many drawings and maps illustrate this regiment's participation, as well as an excellent narrative by the regiment's commander.

Doubleday, Abner. Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Campaigns of the Civil War, VI. New York, 1882. Although biased towards the contributions of the Union First Corps, as well as of the author himself, in disfavor of the Eleventh Corps, and O.O. Howard, Doubleday's history of the battle was one of the earliest by a top commander here. He relates incidents first brought to public attention in the book, and gives a detailed defense of his actions on July 1.

"Edward McPherson, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives," Star and Sentinel, October 16, 1867, p. 1. Contemporary account of McPherson's influence as Chief Clerk of the House.

Fox, William F. Regimental Losses in the American Civil War. Albany, 1889. Standard reference on battle losses, it does not include all regiments, and those Confederate regiments covered are dealt with sparsely.

Gardner, Leonard Marsden. "The Carnage at Gettysburg--As Seen by a Minister," Civil War Times, III, no. 4 (July 1961), pp. 12-14.
Gardner's visit to the battlefield on July 4 and 5, 1863 is described in his reminiscences; includes his visit to McPherson's barn before surgeons arrived.

Gettysburg Compiler. June 28, 1905, p. 3.
Only public notice found in Gettysburg periodicals of work to be undertaken by Commission at McPherson's barn during 1905.

Hall, Major Hillman A., et al. History of the Sixth New York Cavalry. Worcester, Massachusetts, 1908.
Narrative helpful in study of Buford's cavalry and the McPherson Farm area. Not much descriptive detail.


History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania. Chicago, 1886.
The reference work concerning early Cumberland Township and Gettysburg; references to McPhersons, McConaughys, Clarkson, Slentzes.

Hubler, Simon. "Just the Plain, Unvarnished Story of a Soldier in the Ranks: Exactly What a Corporal in the 143rd Pennsylvania Infantry Did, Thought, and Saw During the Three-Days' Battle," New York Times, June 29, 1913.
Eyewitness account by member of Bucktail Brigade of deployment along McPherson's lane and fighting on the farm.

Jacobs, Professor Michael. Notes on the Rebel Invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania and the Battle of Gettysburg, July lst, 2nd, and 3rd, l863. Philadelphia, l864.
Civilian eyewitness account of events around Gettysburg from June 26 through July 1 are most pertinent.

"Local Woman Fled with Mother to Seminary Here," 1938 newspaper clipping, p. 89 (GNMP vertical files).
Reminiscences by Sarah Slentz and quotations from one of her mother's letters to an earlier newspaper.

Malone, Dumas, ed. Dictionary of American Biography, 22 vols. New York, 1946.
Brief but fact-filled history of Edward McPherson's life--his publications, jobs, education, &c.

Marye, Lt. John L. "The First Gun at Gettysburg, 'With the Confederate Advance Guard'," The American Historical Register (July l895), 1225-1232.
Marye commanded the battery which fired the first artillery shots of the Battle of Gettysburg.

McClean, William. "The Days of Terror in 1863," Gettysburg Newspaper Clippings, VI ("Relating to the Battle"), 155.
One of the first civilian visitors to McPherson barn after the battle, McClean recounts his experiences there.

McPherson, Edward. "Local History," Star and Sentinel, May 14, 1895, p. 1.
McPherson's contribution to the local history included, in this account, a chronology of road development in the county.

New York Monuments Commission. New York at Gettysburg, 3 vols. Albany, 1900. Contains short histories of New York regimental participation in the battle; handy reference for commission-accepted "numbers engaged", as well.


Nicholson, John P., ed. Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, 2 vols. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1904.
Dedicatory addresses at Pennsylvania regimental monuments, includes narrative accounts of unit participation as well as indication of numbers engaged and losses in the battle.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, XXVII, 3 parts.
Parts 1 and 2 are most pertinent, with reports filed by regimental, brigade, divisional and corps commanders concerning battle, including some descriptive detail and numerical data. The sourcebook on the campaign.

Smith, Donald L. The Twenty-Fourth Michigan of the Iron Brigade. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1962.
A newer regimental history, it is acceptable for use by those unable to acquire the regiment's official history. Too unbalanced in favor of subject regiment with little credit to rest of Iron Brigade.

Tevis, C. V. and D. R. Marquis. The History of the Fighting Fourteenth. Brooklyn, New York, 1901.
Because this book covers the history of the 14th Brooklyn from its inception up to the Spanish-American War, its scope is too large for minutiae on any one battle. Not enough detail on this unit's most important contributions in the beginning of the battle near McPherson's quarry, nor even at the railroad cut. Highly romanticized (but inaccurate) painting of cut action included.

"Two Dwellings Burned," Gettysburg Compiler, Tuesday, April 9, l895, p. 3. Less detailed, but still informative, account of McPherson farmhouse conflagration.

Vautier, John D. "At Gettysburg: The Eighty-Eighth Pennsylvania Infantry in the Battle," The Press, November 10, 1886 in Gettysburg Newspaper Clippings, VI ("Relating to the Battle"), 124-126. Although the 88th Pennsylvania did not fight on McPherson's Farm, this reminiscence tells of a "hospital aid" at McPherson's on July 2.

Walker, J. A. "Some Stirring Incidents," Philadelphia Times, Saturday, March 17, 188? in Gettysburg Newspaper Clippings, VI ("Relating to the Battle"), 13-14.
Walker was a member of the 45th Georgia and a member of a Confederate burial detail who visited the McPherson farmhouse and meadow on the evening of July 1.


Unpublished Works

Approvals of Requests, 1895-1918, GNMP library.
The Approvals are in some cases the only records available on contracts issued and work done in the Park which needed the approval of the Secretary of War.

Bachelder, John B. Papers. New Hampshire Historical Society microfilm, GNMP library, reel #3, letters.

The Bachelder papers include numerous letters to the historian with personal narrative of regimental and company participation in the battle; most useful for unpublished accounts by participants.

Glatfelter, Charles. "Extracts from the Road Docket and Quarter Sessions Docket, Lancaster and York Counties, Pennsylvania" (unpublished paper, Adams County Historical Society, 1974).
Time-saving manuscript of early 18th-century road petitions in what was to be Adams County. Unfortunately, the researcher must be familiar with 18th and early 19th century place names and resident's properties to be able to ascertain exact location of roads.

Metzger, Frank R. "The Honorable Edward McPherson, Citizen of Gettysburg" (unpublished paper, Adams County Historical Society, 1933).
Early study of Edward McPherson, but before the McPherson Papers were donated by Donald McPherson to the Library of Congress. Could be more thorough, but good introductory study.

Nicholson, John P. Journal (unpublished, GNMP library, 1893-1921).
An excellent daily notation of business transacted by the Gettysburg National Park Commission. Some days there are no entries, when Nicholson was absent in Philadelphia or Washington.

Papers of Edward McPherson, Extracts. (Library of Congress microfilm, Adams County Historical Society).
The Library of Congress collection of McPherson papers includes most family papers from the 1740s to the 1930s. Within this collection are estate papers, farm accounts for 1875, legal documents such as contracts, deeds, wills, letters, &c. The extract on microfilm held by the ACHS deals exclusively with John McPherson's struggles to get Adams County partitioned from York.

Receipt Book, Finished Sept. 6, 1918 (GNMP library).
Receipts and order numbers for various articles purchased by the Commission. Only known receipt book; none for earlier or subsequent years.

Robbins, William Mack. Journal. (Unpublished handwritten journal, photocopied by permission of granddaughter, GNMP library).
Robbins' journal is of a more personal nature than Nicholson's and in many cases more informative, since Major Robbins took time to put down lengthy descriptions of conversations with visiting veterans, &c. While Nicholson was concerned with the amount of work done each day, Robbins was more concerned with the flavor of each day. His impressions about the weather, Yankee tourists, church sermons, fellow officers, &c are enlightening, whereas Nicholson's observations are only factual.


Public Documents

Annual Reports of the GNMP Commission, 1895-1920.

These were the official reports submitted by the Commission to the Secretary of War; they included a general overview of work done by the Commission and its employees during the year, and included blueprints (separate bound volumes) and photographs to illustrate said work. In the McPherson study, the photographs are the only record of work done on the barn.

Cumberland Township tax records, 1799-1895. Adams County Historical Society.
The tax records reflect the changes in ownership and property over the years of the McPherson Farm study. The farm is within Cumberland Township.

Deeds, Adams County Courthouse. Deed Books B, L, Z, and AA.
The deeds that are recorded are the only source wherein the changing boundaries of the farm can be ascertained. The 1846 transfer from Clarkson to J. B. McPherson was the only one to enumerate the buildings on the farm at the time.

Gettysburg Borough Tax Records, 1857-1863. Adams County Historical Society.
These records showed the ownership of land in the borough by Edward McPherson; also the place of his residence, when not in Washington.

"Historic Structures Report--Part 1: McPherson Barn," GNMP files, 1959 approval date.
This very short and oft-times inaccurate document is illustrative of the inattention given to historic structures' research in the past. Not usable.

Edward McPherson, Claims file (National Archives, photocopy and transcription in GNMP files).
The McPherson claims files first gave the researcher the lead that John Slentz was tenanting the farm. Not very informative other than for good description of 1863 fencing.

Sessions Dockets B, C, and D (vault, Adams County Courthouse, clerk of courts records).
These dockets contain general court transactions such as for burglary, assault and battery, &c, as well as road petitions and petitions for damages because of new roads. McConaughy's petition for redress because of the Cashtown Pike is included within these, but the results of the petition could not be found. (These documents on county litigation provide a very insightful look into county history, often overlooked in conventional studies. They should be closely examined because they yield new material on battlefield residents anterior to 1863, as well as the formation of the roads-- such as the Taneytown and Millerstown/Wheatfield Roads.)


Sheads, J. Melchior and J. Roger Dunn. "Historian's Report: Old McPherson Farm House." (GNMP files, no date.)
This provided a helpful interview with the former Sarah Slentz and her brother about the war-time appearance of the McPherson farmhouse.

John Slentz, Claims file (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, photocopy and transcription in GNMP files).
Slentz's claim file is one of the most complete we have ever encountered, listing multitudinous personal goods as well as including a description of livestock and crops. Coupled with the subsequent newspaper articles about his daughter (Sarah) it is a most useful document in helping to rebuild the Slentz lifestyle.

U.S. Census for 1800, Pennsylvania, York County, Cumberland Township (National Archives microfilm, GNMP library).

U.S. Census for 1810-1850, Pennsylvania Adams County, Cumberland Township and Gettysburg Borough (National Archives microfilm, Adams County Historical Society).

U.S. Census for 1860, Pennsylvania, Adams County, Cumberland Township (GNMP library).
The census records were helpful in determining residency, familial pattern, occupation, and relative wealth for the numerous owners and occupants of the McPherson Farm from 1798 - 1863.

U.S. Direct Tax for 1798, Cumberland Township, York County, Pennsylvania (National Archives microfilm, GNMP library).
This "window" tax gives valuable information concerning a landowner's principal buildings--size, composition, windows--as well as information concerning neighboring owners.

Will Book F, Adams County Courthouse.
This will book contains the last will of John B. McPherson and the transaction which would transfer his landholdings to his son Edward at his death.