Another attempt to locate the exact position of "A Harvest of Death".

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
There is an exhaustive treatment of the subject here. Harvest of Death Location
I'm hoping to be able to get back out there tomorrow, and was already planning to try places closer to the Chambersburg road. Thanks for posting that, it certainly looks like the right spot to me and it will be interesting to see how the photos compare now that the motel is gone.
 

cwbuff

Corporal
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Location
Virginia
I'm hoping to be able to get back out there tomorrow, and was already planning to try places closer to the Chambersburg road. Thanks for posting that, it certainly looks like the right spot to me and it will be interesting to see how the photos compare now that the motel is gone.
I have wondered why the author never went back to snap new pictures with the motel gone.
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
I made it back out to the battlefield to try the John Cummings location, which is just a little down the road from the Scott Hartwig spot. This location is right next to the location where General Reynolds was killed. I know there are different things that Garry Adelman disputes about this location, but after standing there with hard copies of the Gardner photos in my hand I have no doubts that this is the correct area. My color photos are followed by greyscale conversions of my photos. I cropped my photos a little to fit the same general outline of the Gardner photos, but made sure to keep the foreground the same in each of them.

50B.jpg

51B.jpg

FWRF new crop.jpg


50A.jpg

51A.jpg

100A.jpg
 

dahenry

Private
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Hi Rob,

Good work. That's the Mary Thompson house in the upper right hand corner of the first photo? Looks to be very close terrain wise. I'll see if I can find that fence line on the Bachelder maps.
How did you take the opposite direction shot, do you think it was in the neighborhood of 135 degrees clockwise from your first photo?

Dave
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
If indeed this location is opposite the east border of Herbst woods, then I believe we are looking mainly at the dead of the 151st Pennsylvania, although we cannot discount that some of the 142nd Pennsylvania might be included further south. When Federal units on both sides of the 151st fell back, the Confederates focused their attention on the 151st. Lieutenant Colonel George F. McFarland of the 151st wrote that while "we were holding the lines in our front in check handsomely, I could not close my eyes to the galling fire on both flanks, which was doing far more execution than that from the front ... the enemy's line on our left was slowly swinging around us ..." William Blodget of Company F wrote a memorable line to his wife: "Our poor boys fell around me like ripe apples in a storm."

Quotes taken from: Like Ripe Apples in the Storm, The 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers at Gettysburg, by Michael A. Dreese, Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2000, pp. 47-48.
 

rpkennedy

Lt. Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
May 18, 2011
Location
Carlisle, PA
If indeed this location is opposite the east border of Herbst woods, then I believe we are looking mainly at the dead of the 151st Pennsylvania, although we cannot discount that some of the 142nd Pennsylvania might be included further south. When Federal units on both sides of the 151st fell back, the Confederates focused their attention on the 151st. Lieutenant Colonel George F. McFarland of the 151st wrote that while "we were holding the lines in our front in check handsomely, I could not close my eyes to the galling fire on both flanks, which was doing far more execution than that from the front ... the enemy's line on our left was slowly swinging around us ..." William Blodget of Company F wrote a memorable line to his wife: "Our poor boys fell around me like ripe apples in a storm."

Quotes taken from: Like Ripe Apples in the Storm, The 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers at Gettysburg, by Michael A. Dreese, Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2000, pp. 47-48.
The stand of the Iron Brigade in Herbst Woods often overshadows the fact that the 151st Pennsylvania raced to their rescue and sacrificed themselves so that the remnants of the 19th Indiana and 24th Michigan could withdraw back to Seminary Ridge. I agree with you though, if this is the correct location for the picture, these would have been some of the dead of the 151st Pennsylvania with those of the 142nd in the background.

Ryan
 

dahenry

Private
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Don't you think we might be counting our chickens a little early? Plenty of time to figure out who was where, after all, people have been searching for "A Harvest of Death" for the last 158 years.
 

rpkennedy

Lt. Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
May 18, 2011
Location
Carlisle, PA
Since I have this information at hand, here are the known killed and mortally wounded for the 142nd and 151st Pennsylvania

142nd Pennsylvania
Colonel Robert P. Cummins (died 7/2)

Company A
Corporal Joseph Jones
Private Samuel D. Campbel (died 8/8)

Company B
1st Lt. Edward B. Hurst
Corporal Peter G. Mathews
Corporal Cyrus Walter
Private Enos R. Cramer
Private Adam G. Cramer
Private Samuel Cramer
Private Samuel Frinefrock
Private Levi B. May
Private Franklin Swain
Private Jacob B. Waltz

Company C
Corporal Joseph Bituer
Private Hiram Cupp

Company D
Sergeant Isaac Miller (missing)
Private Joseph D. Hammer (died 9/9)
Private George Lohr (died 7/31)
Private Gillian Miller (died 7/29)
Private Lee H. McKinley (died 8/10)
Private Hiram H. Statler (died 7/2)
Private Joseph Specht (missing)
Private James W. Taft (died 7/31)

Company E
1st Lt. Andrew G. Tucker (died 7/5)
Private David Root
Private George Stapleton (died 7/26)

Company F
Private Joseph Ream
Private Joseph Sivits

Company G
Corporal Matthew G. Allegar (died 8/6)
Corporal James D. Connelly
Private Joseph L. Jaggers
Private Henry ****ter

Company H
Sergeant William Whaley (died 7/27)
Private James Cooley
Private William Harvey
Private John B. Stouffer

Company I
Sergeant William Reynolds
Private James Bower (died 7/20)
Private Samuel J. Colburn
Private James Hill
Private George R. Lockwood
Private W.W. Shelmadine (missing)
Private Augustus V.Turner

Company K
Captain Charles H. Flagg
Private William Phillipi (missing)
Private Peter Smith
Private William Vanbuskirk
Private Andrew Weiscarrier

151st Pennsylvania
Company A
Corporal Hugh T. McCrady
Corporal Thomas D. Allen
Private Henry V. Brown
Private Charles F. Fish
Private Seth Shove
Private Andrew Shoemaker

Company B
Sergeant Thomas M. Beardsley
Sergeant Henry Smith
Private Charles Blackmore
Private Solomon B. Brink
Private George W. Parr

Company C
Private Henry Tupper

Company D
Sergeant Abraham C. Freet
Sergant James M. Dunn
Corporal George H. McCahren
Private Benjamin Armstrong
Private Nathan H. Beisser
Private David Fry
Private Ephraim Guyer (died unknown date)
Private John Haines
Private David H. Ingraham
Private Samuel Leister
Private John Westley

Company E
1st Lt. Aaron S. Seaman
Corporal William F. Seaman
Corporal Henry M. Miller
Private Reuben Beechert
Private William H. Butler
Private Lewis Gambler
Private Solomon Huy
Private Benneville Harner
Private William H.M. Kutz
Private Allen Miller
Private Aaron Sands

Company F
Private James Cotton (died 7/4)
Private James Green
Private Marcus Jaquay
Private Wilbur Kimball
Private Frank Lyon (died 7/19)
Private Daniel Porter (missing)
Private Robert Young

Company G
Private Thomas B. Faber (missing)
Private Jacob Gehret
Private John E. Geiss
Private J. Hummelberger
Private A.L. Kleinginner

Company H
Corporal John H. Sheaffer (died 7/3)
Private John Bender
Private Jacob Loeb (missing)
Private George Livengood (died 7/8)
Private William T. Strause (died unknown date)
Private Adam Seigfried (died 7/3)
Private Henry M. Weaber (died 7/6)
Private William S. Wentz

Company I
Corporal Jacob R. Haertter (missing)
Private Patrick Brenan (missing)
Private William Borrell (missing)
Private Henry Felon (missing)
Private William Manning (missing)
Private John Maclure (missing)
Private Anson C. Miller
Private Jacob Zimmerman (died 7/14)

Company K
2nd Lt. Charles A. Trexler
Sergeant Alexander Seiders
Corporal Cyrus Lutz (died 7/8)
Private Peter Drumheller
Private Jonathan Eagan
Private Nicholas Ginder
Private Adam Keennor
Private David Scheimer (died 7/26)
Private Frank P. Vendlin (died 7/17)
Private Frank B. Weaber (died 7/27)

Ryan
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
Hi Rob,

Good work. That's the Mary Thompson house in the upper right hand corner of the first photo? Looks to be very close terrain wise. I'll see if I can find that fence line on the Bachelder maps.
How did you take the opposite direction shot, do you think it was in the neighborhood of 135 degrees clockwise from your first photo?

Dave
Yes, that is the Thompson house. I didn't have a compass or anything, but, yes, I would guess them to be 135 degrees apart clockwise. You can get a reasonably good feel for it since the park road is close and has such a long straight stretch to compare your direction to.

Please share what you find on those old maps.

I don't want to completely dismiss all of the issues with this location, but I have visited all of the various other sights identified by Frassinito and the depth perception in all of them look odd compared to modern photos. There are some of them that I would have a hard time believing are a match if it wasn't for the distinctive rocks.

I also can't explain why Gardner failed to photograph the Seminary, etc. However, it's possible that some glass plates got broke, who knows? People don't always do what seems obvious in hindsight and Gardner didn't know the history of the battle like we do.
 

cwbuff

Corporal
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Location
Virginia
John Cummings states in the link I posted above: "I stated it publicly in April 2016, on location, in the presence of NPS Historian John Heiser, and numerous other attendees. I am very convinced that the dead seen in these images are members of the 151st Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. Initially I would have thought them to be the dead of the 24th Michigan, but what I understand now shows me that the Iron Brigade skirted to the north of this location, falling back, past the 151st Pennsylvania who were going to take the brunt of Virginia and North Carolina units pressing through the woods. The 151st Pennsylvania made their stand on the crest, in front of the edge of the woods where Reynolds fell, until falling back across the field bordered by fences to the north and south. This field is the reason why the "Field Where Reynolds Fell" captioning is derived by Gardner."
 

dahenry

Private
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Rob,

I had a look at my (reproductions) of the 1876 Bachelder maps, they show a roughly parallel fence line about 850 feet south of the Chambersburg Pike running all the way from Seminary Ridge to Willoughby Run. The maps of the first day's actions in Issue Number One of the Gettysburg Magazine confirm the same fence line, I'll try to scan and post that image.
But something else that both both maps indicate is that there were open fields or pasture land north of the Chambersburg Pike, from just west of the Thompson house to Willoughby Run.

Dave
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
I got curious about the question of Gardner's movements leading up to the taking of these photos and got out Frassanito's books again. It has been a long time since I last read them and had forgotten most of the details.

The first thing worth sharing is that these photos were actually taken by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, a member of Gardner's team which also included James F. Gibson and Gardner himself. All three of them took photos at Gettysburg.

The assumption that they traveled up the Emmitsburg road is due to a photograph of an Inn in Emmitsburg along with a note by Gardner that it was the location where one of his team was detained by Confederate cavalry. That only one of them was detained seems to be an indication that they didn't travel together.

Frassanito notes that there are two different darkroom wagons present in different photos taken at Gettysburg. He guesses that perhaps they used one for preparation of the glass plates and the other for development. However, he specifically says that is just a guess which leaves open the possibility that they were actually split up into two teams taking photographs. FWIW, I have personally watched a gentleman take and process glass plate photos using a small cart pulled behind a motorcycle, so the equipment doesn't necessarily take up a lot of space.

For me, all of this adds up to the thought that the location of the photos should depend upon whether the evidence in the photos indicates a match, or not, and that arguments based upon the potential movements of the photographer doesn't carry much weight since we don't seem to really know that much.

Ironically, re-reading Frassanito answers the question of why the Seminary cupola wasn't photographed. He specifically states several times that Gardner had the habit of photographing dead bodies rather than landmarks because he had previous success selling such photos after Antietam.
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
Rob,

I had a look at my (reproductions) of the 1876 Bachelder maps, they show a roughly parallel fence line about 850 feet south of the Chambersburg Pike running all the way from Seminary Ridge to Willoughby Run. The maps of the first day's actions in Issue Number One of the Gettysburg Magazine confirm the same fence line, I'll try to scan and post that image.
But something else that both both maps indicate is that there were open fields or pasture land north of the Chambersburg Pike, from just west of the Thompson house to Willoughby Run.

Dave
If I am understanding what you are saying correctly, the maps do not indicate any trees along the railroad cut?
 

dahenry

Private
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Not until you get to the eastern end of it, north of the Thompson house. When you decided to take more pics I should have consulted the maps first, just wasn't thinking (pm sent).

Dave
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
Here is a comparison of the current landscape to the Warren Map. My arrows showing where I took the photos aren't the best, but I'm sure you get the idea. Also, don't get too wrapped up in my arrows marking the exact spot where I was standing, it's kind of hard to compare an overhead map to what I was seeing on the ground. That is approximately where I was at, but not necessarily the exact spot.

I think the trees north of the Thompson house are actually a pretty good match to where the current trees are located and would work just fine. The thing that gives me pause is the fence that should be visible in the other photo looking south. There is something that sort of looks like a fence line, but it is not very distinct.

Gettysburg Maps.jpg
 

neyankee61

Corporal
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
One huge problem in trying to pinpoint the location is that after 158 years the landscape of the battlefield has changed so much. Gone are the fencelines, trees and swales. Years of farming, natural erosion, buildings added and subtracted, and yes tanks moving across the land have altered it. At the 125th NPS event the Confederates walked from the VA monument to the High Water Mark. We as Federal troops stood at the stone wall and waited. We had a clear view of them the entire way. Compare this to eye witness accounts that mention the on coming Confederates disappearing from view or seeking protection in swales that no longer exist.
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
One huge problem in trying to pinpoint the location is that after 158 years the landscape of the battlefield has changed so much. Gone are the fencelines, trees and swales. Years of farming, natural erosion, buildings added and subtracted, and yes tanks moving across the land have altered it. At the 125th NPS event the Confederates walked from the VA monument to the High Water Mark. We as Federal troops stood at the stone wall and waited. We had a clear view of them the entire way. Compare this to eye witness accounts that mention the on coming Confederates disappearing from view or seeking protection in swales that no longer exist.
An east-west road later ran right through this vicinity between the town and Katalysene Springs hotel built in Herbst (Reynolds) woods, for at least 47 years (1869-1917).

By the way, I do find it interesting that the Warren map (post #37 above) shows three vegetation clumps along the east-west fence, one of which could nicely correspond with the two large trees appearing together in the image looking NE (#25 post).
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
An east-west road later ran right through this vicinity between the town and Katalysene Springs hotel built in Herbst (Reynolds) woods, for at least 47 years (1869-1917).

By the way, I do find it interesting that the Warren map (post #37 above) shows three vegetation clumps along the east-west fence, one of which could nicely correspond with the two large trees appearing together in the image looking NE (#25 post).
I noticed that about the trees on the map too.

If you scroll up and look at my modern photos I think you can still see discolored land where that road ran.
 
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