Walnut Tree East Cemetery Hill

eBrowne

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In this National Tribune article, it states that a walnut tree marked "the center of the right wing" of the 14th Indiana when "the regiment arrived at the stone wall" at the base of East Cemetery Hill. The 14th Indiana was part of Carroll's Brigade that swept across East Cemetery Hill on the evening of July 2 and then took this position. Are there pictures of this walnut tree that marks their position?
https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/...sburg+battery&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1

culps-hill-1863-jpg.jpg
 
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rob63

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I found this photo of Culp's Hill on the Library of Congress website. It is not attributed, but it does say it was "photographed between 1861 and 1865, printed between 1880 and 1889." The caption indicates "the entrenchments on the side of the hill was the line of Wadsworth's Division. The lunettes in foreground covered the guns of Reynold's Battery."

Culp's Hill 1863.jpg


This is a modern photo of Culp's Hill taken from next to the right flank marker of Rickett's battery. I have circled the flank markers of the 14th Indiana in red.

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When I get a chance, I will try to go back and see if I can line it all up better, but I think these are pretty close to the same spot. I certainly think the stone wall in the old photo is the same one mentioned in the article.

Here is a view looking from the cemetery towards East Cemetery Hill, this would be the ground over which the action took place.

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Here is a modern view, although from a location much closer to the Baltimore Pike. The gatehouse and entrance to the cemetery can be seen on the left and I have circled the monument to the 14th Indiana in red.

02a.jpg


I don't know if the tree in the article is in either of these photos, but these are the best views I could find.

Here is a drawing of the action made by Forbes, although the gatehouse in his drawing is the one for the civilian side of the cemetery and the one in the photos is the one for the National Cemetery. I think the large tree is the same one though. I can't help but wonder if this distinctive tree is the one intended to be referenced by the article. It's easy to get details confused after a few years.

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eBrowne

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In the picture of the gun lunettes looking towards Stevens Knoll, I would think that the walnut tree would have been just to the left of the photo. The lunettes are of Reynolds, Battery L, 1st N.Y. (Breck's Battery) Battery H, 1st Ohio on July 4 replaced Breck's Battery and expanded whatever lunettes the soldiers of Battery L had built. The tree in the Forbes's sketch is of the tall poplar tree that is visible in a number of photographs. Perhaps the "walnut tree" is visible in the distance behind the guns in the other photo, but is is unclear to me if they are along the wall at the eastern base of East Cemetery Hill.
 

eBrowne

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What do others think? Is that the walnut tree? Is the tree in the photo far enough left (north)?
 

rob63

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Here is another comparison view. I think the original was actually taken from a little further back up the hill, but the angle seems pretty good and the stone walls seem to match up pretty well relative to each other.

01.jpg
 
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Apologies for going off thread a bit, but is there any more information on this photo? Are these soldier's graves with flowers planted along the top? The one soldier sitting down looks to be praying\contemplating. Why are rifles stacked? Any idea when the photo was taken?
1633986294632.png
 

rob63

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Apologies for going off thread a bit, but is there any more information on this photo? Are these soldier's graves with flowers planted along the top? The one soldier sitting down looks to be praying\contemplating. Why are rifles stacked? Any idea when the photo was taken?

It is the soldier's national cemetery taken at the time of the dedication ceremony. I think it was taken somewhere within the semi-circle of graves looking east. It is difficult to match up a modern photo from the same spot that actually shows anything because the NY state monument is in the way now along with a host of trees. I have no idea regarding your other questions.
 

Gettysburg Guide #154

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Apologies for going off thread a bit, but is there any more information on this photo? Are these soldier's graves with flowers planted along the top? The one soldier sitting down looks to be praying\contemplating. Why are rifles stacked? Any idea when the photo was taken?
View attachment 417756
This Library of Congress photo also appears in the "Cultural Landscape Report fo the Gettysburg NationaL Cemetery" compiled by the National Park Service. The caption reads: "Wood stakes used as temporary grave markers in the unknown sections, looking northeast with the lodge in the distance, July 1865. The visiting soldiers were from Robertson's Battery B, 2d U.S. Artillery. At the time of the photograph, the permanent grave markers were being installed in the known plots."
 

Gettysburg Guide #154

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It may be of some interest to note that when the 14th Indiana monument was dedicated on October 28, 1885, it was located at the base of the east side of the hill, probably between the present flank markers. I have not seen a photo of the dedication ceremony, but if one can be located, it may well show the walnut tree. The monument was later moved (don't know what year) to the spot where the veterans believed their color bearer, Oliver Morton, fell during the July 2 counter-attack. It may also have been moved yet again to accommodate General Hancock's equestrian statue.
 

Tom Elmore

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As noted, Lt. Col. Elijah Caines of the 14th Indiana wrote that his regiment came up to the stone wall "a short distance north (left) of where the markers were located," putting the walnut tree at the center of the right wing. Once the regiment shifted to the right along the wall, the walnut tree was near the left of the regiment.

When the 14th Indiana reached the hill, I figure the regiment had 162 men in the line (two ranks), occupying a front of 148 feet. That suggests the regiment shifted no more than 111 feet to the right, perhaps a bit less, based upon Caines' recollection.

Major William Houghton of the 14th Indiana wrote (in National Tribune, November 28, 1889) that his regiment passed the cemetery gate; Houghton's position being in the center of the left wing of the regiment passed (just) to the left of the gate. One can hardly be more precise in locating the regiment at that moment. Crossing the road at that point should put the right center of the regiment very close to the stone wall that ran perpendicular to the road, and which separated Ricketts' from Reynolds' batteries. I could also readily imagine that the stone wall served as a convenient guide for the 14th Indiana's charge to the base of the hill, so as not to disrupt the line. If so, said walnut tree should be at or very near that same wall at the base of the hill.

Charles H. Myerhoff of Company E, 14th Indiana (in National Tribune, April 24, 1890) wrote that the men overlapped the right of Ricketts' guns going down the hill, with the right passing through Reynolds' battery. That accords with Houghton's description, but one would suppose the 14th Indiana's right passed through only the left portion of Reynolds' battery based on Houghton's account.

"M." (Myerhoff?) of Company E, 14th Indiana recalled (in National Tribune, September 10, 1885) that one of the officers from Reynolds' battery inquired as to what regiment was passing. When the regiment reached the stone wall at the foot of the hill, they took fire from a stone wall to their left rear less than 50 yards away, presumably one running perpendicular to their line, which could only be the wall that separated Ricketts' battery from [Wiedrich's] battery further up the hill. The distance between that wall and the parallel wall separating Ricketts from Reynolds (calculated using Google Earth overhead imagery) is 230 feet.
 
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rob63

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Here is a photo of the 14th Indiana Monument with the Hancock monument in the background.
Anyone know if the 14th Indiana monument was actually moved to make room for Hancock?
I think I stumbled upon the answer to this while looking at something else. The Hancock monument was erected in 1896 at the same location as an observation tower that was torn down in 1895. It seems likely that the 14th's monument was probably moved up the hill after the Hancock monument was erected since it couldn't have been in that location while the tower was in existence, and the Hancock monument was clearly already planned at the time it was taken down.
 

Gettysburg Guide #154

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As noted, Lt. Col. Elijah Caines of the 14th Indiana wrote that his regiment came up to the stone wall "a short distance north (left) of where the markers were located," putting the walnut tree at the center of the right wing. Once the regiment shifted to the right along the wall, the walnut tree was near the left of the regiment.

When the 14th Indiana reached the hill, I figure the regiment had 162 men in the line (two ranks), occupying a front of 148 feet. That suggests the regiment shifted no more than 111 feet to the right, perhaps a bit less, based upon Caines' recollection.

Major William Houghton of the 14th Indiana wrote (in National Tribune, November 28, 1889) that his regiment passed the cemetery gate; Houghton's position being in the center of the left wing of the regiment passed (just) to the left of the gate. One can hardly be more precise in locating the regiment at that moment. Crossing the road at that point should put the right center of the regiment very close to the stone wall that ran perpendicular to the road, and which separated Ricketts' from Reynolds' batteries. I could also readily imagine that the stone wall served as a convenient guide for the 14th Indiana's charge to the base of the hill, so as not to disrupt the line. If so, said walnut tree should be at or very near that same wall at the base of the hill.

Charles H. Myerhoff of Company E, 14th Indiana (in National Tribune, April 24, 1890) wrote that the men overlapped the right of Ricketts' guns going down the hill, with the right passing through Reynolds' battery. That accords with Houghton's description, but one would suppose the 14th Indiana's right passed through only the left portion of Reynolds' battery based on Houghton's account.

"M." (Myerhoff?) of Company E, 14th Indiana recalled (in National Tribune, September 10, 1885) that one of the officers from Reynolds' battery inquired as to what regiment was passing. When the regiment reached the stone wall at the foot of the hill, they took fire from a stone wall to their left rear less than 50 yards away, presumably one running perpendicular to their line, which could only be the wall that separated Ricketts' battery from [Wiedrich's] battery further up the hill. The distance between that wall and the parallel wall separating Ricketts from Reynolds (calculated using Google Earth overhead imagery) is 230 feet.
It looks like Tom may be the victim of spell-check. The Lt. Col of the 14th IN was Elijah Cavins, not Caines. As Cavins remembered the attack "it was a headlong dash in the dark -- a yell -- and a few rounds aimed at the flash of the enemy's guns and all was over for the night." (See Bachelder Papers, p. 978)

I was not previously aware of Myerhoff's account indicating that the wall to the left from which the regiment drew fire was at the base of the hill. Harry Pfanz in his work Gettysburg; Culp's Hill and East Cemetery Hill (at pages 273-274) tells of Col. John Coons of the 14th IN running toward the wall from which fire the regiment was taking fire shouting "Who are you?" In spite of the reply "Union" the fire kept coming, and the Colonel emptied his side arm in that direction. The enemy behind the wall were quickly driven away by the 7th West Virginia, who came in behind and to the left of the 14th IN. Reading Pfanz, one gets the impression that the enemy fire to which Coons reacted was along the line of the attack. I will need to locate a copy of Myerhoff's account to see how it fits. Thanks, Tom, for putting me onto another source.
 

eBrowne

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Here is the link to the April 24,1890 article by Myerhoff.

here is the link to "M's" 1885 article.

Here is Haughton's accont.
 
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