Bullet Riddled homes of Gettysburg

Mdiesel

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Location
Maryland
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I was driving down Washington St. In Gettysburg and I couldn't help but note the pick marks left on historic buildings 150 years after the War. I had to stop & nap a few photos of these riddled walls. Most of the damage is facing Federal positions of the 2nd & 3rd. This leads me to believe this is evidence of continued sniper fire between the opposing lines. Note that many of the shots appear to center around the windows from where Rebels no doubt returned fire. Scars of Civil War urban warfare.
 

MRB1863

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Location
Lemoyne, PA (35 miles N. of Gettysburg)
Thank you for the photos! There are several buildings in town bearing scars of the "Recent Unpleasantness". There are a few with artillery round scars and two that come to mind with the projectile still imbedded and visible. I wonder how much repair such as replacing bricks was done back then to the buildings that do not show much damage today.
 

Mdiesel

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Location
Maryland
Just giving this a bump as my wife & I stayed at the Gettysburg Brick House BB this summer for my birthday. Part of the original exterior wall (additions were built after the war) still show bullet marks. This image is from the porch extending from our suite. Period image shows Lincoln’s procession toward Cemetery Hill prior to the Gettysburg Address. Part of the house we stayed in can be seen at the extreme right of the image.
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7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
The sights on a musket are not for ¨precision shooting¨ at all, and soldiers were not trained in marksmanship. Their training, such as it was, was all about volume of fire. The big .58 minie is the flying bus of bullets. Plus, every shot with a musket is unique: the powder charge is never exactly the same, the strike of the cap, the effect of humidity on the powder, et alium. Then there´s the added stress that the target is shooting back. They were literally fortunate to hit the broad side of the house.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
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I was driving down Washington St. In Gettysburg and I couldn't help but note the pick marks left on historic buildings 150 years after the War. I had to stop & nap a few photos of these riddled walls. Most of the damage is facing Federal positions of the 2nd & 3rd. This leads me to believe this is evidence of continued sniper fire between the opposing lines. Note that many of the shots appear to center around the windows from where Rebels no doubt returned fire. Scars of Civil War urban warfare.
Would the bullets still be embedded in the brick or would the lead have fallen/been dug out a long time ago? Certainly looks like they were trying to hit the Windows regardless of how inaccurate their marksmanship was.
 

Mdiesel

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Location
Maryland
Would the bullets still be embedded in the brick or would the lead have fallen/been dug out a long time ago? Certainly looks like they were trying to hit the Windows regardless of how inaccurate their marksmanship was.
Some my be embedded but not the majority. Think of that brick breaking off when the lead slammed into it! Probably the flattened lead Minie & piece of broken brick just fell to the ground 🤷‍♂️

But there is at least one cool example in Westminster MD. From Corbit’s Charge. A minie ball remains embedded in a house to this day & appears to have struck the mortar just between the bricks. I used to have a really good photo of this bu couldn’t find it so add this image from online & a link.
The embedded bullet is painted white just under the lettering.

from the angle it appears to me it was fired by a rebel cavalrymen as they met Corbets small command head on as the Federal’s rounded Main St. & smashed into Stuart’s Cav…. who were coming up Washington St. in other words, Corbet’s Delaware troopers would have had their backs toward this building which faces the intersection in question.
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https://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/8359
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
Some my be embedded but not the majority. Think of that brick breaking off when the lead slammed into it! Probably the flattened lead Minie & piece of broken brick just fell to the ground 🤷‍♂️

But there is at least one cool example in Westminster MD. From Corbit’s Charge. A minie ball remains embedded in a house to this day & appears to have struck the mortar just between the bricks. I used to have a really good photo of this bu couldn’t find it so add this image from online & a link.
The embedded bullet is painted white just under the lettering.

from the angle it appears to me it was fired by a rebel cavalrymen as they met Corbets small command head on as the Federal’s rounded Main St. & smashed into Stuart’s Cav…. who were coming up Washington St. in other words, Corbet’s Delaware troopers would have had their backs toward this building which faces the intersection in question.
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https://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/8359
So cool! Thanks!
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Here's how the Jacob Stock house on Washington Street looked after the battle.

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Well now - the before photo tells something of a different story. Seems artillery hit the house, too. I do wonder why all those rounds hit so high. Obviously there weren't any windows harboring snipers. Maybe they were all just shooting into town and it was almost random where the rounds actually hit.
 

Mdiesel

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Location
Maryland
Well now - the before photo tells something of a different story. Seems artillery hit the house, too. I do wonder why all those rounds hit so high. Obviously there weren't any windows harboring snipers. Maybe they were all just shooting into town and it was almost random where the rounds actually hit.
Actually snipers in that building would be a good reason to hit it with a few artillery rounds. Best way to flush them out… Especially if they were shooting at said artillery!

Really makes one amazed more civilians weren’t injured seeing that kind of damage doesn’t it?!
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Actually snipers in that building would be a good reason to hit it with a few artillery rounds. Best way to flush them out… Especially if they were shooting at said artillery!

Really makes one amazed more civilians weren’t injured seeing that kind of damage doesn’t it?!
True but the old photo only has the one very small window which seems unlikely to have been used by snipers but maybe it was. It does seem as if the house was targeted and not just hit randomly.
 

Henry G

Private
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
This is taken from the published reminiscences of Albertus McCreary and appeared in Gettysburg Magazine # 17 as edited by Tim H. Smith . It’s titled The Story of Albertus McCreary: A Boy’s Experience Of The Battle. Albertus was 15 years old at the time of the battle and was witness to some remarkable events. He lived with his family at the southwest corner of High and Baltimore Streets. It’s possible that he’s describing the Stock house being fired on by a Union battery.
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Mdiesel

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Location
Maryland
This is taken from the published reminiscences of Albertus McCreary and appeared in Gettysburg Magazine # 17 as edited by Tim H. Smith . It’s titled The Story of Albertus McCreary: A Boy’s Experience Of The Battle. Albertus was 15 years old at the time of the battle and was witness to some remarkable events. He lived with his family at the southwest corner of High and Baltimore Streets. It’s possible that he’s describing the Stock house being fired on by a Union battery.View attachment 408853View attachment 408854View attachment 408855
I’ve seen that table referred to at the park museum. Very chilling artifact. Also they have the rafters from a local house (don’t know which) that was shot through by a cannon ball. You can walk beneath the rafters & observe the progression & damage caused by the shot as it traversed them.
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Well now - the before photo tells something of a different story. Seems artillery hit the house, too. I do wonder why all those rounds hit so high. Obviously there weren't any windows harboring snipers. Maybe they were all just shooting into town and it was almost random where the rounds actually hit.
In a post-battle letter, civilian John Rupp wrote: "Mr. Stuck’s [Jacob Stock] house was struck with four shells that made large holes clear through it."
 
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