- Apr 7, 2012
In re-reading my last post (to neyankee61) I think an apology is in order. It sounds very abrupt and dismissive. I know I wouldn't have wanted to receive such a message, and doubt that he did either.
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.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.
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.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.
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.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?
If I am understanding what you are saying correctly, the maps do not indicate any trees along the railroad cut?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.
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).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.
I noticed that about the trees on the map too.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).