Was Little Round Top Really Used for Target Practice By Tanks in World War 1?

Johnny Shafto

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Jun 21, 2021
Courtesy of GettysburgSculptures.com A fantastic website.

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rob63

Sergeant
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Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
An old photo I found online showing what the Emmitsburg road once looked like. The photo is looking North towards the Peach Orchard, which is located where the road takes a slight right turn and disappears into the trees. The restrooms in the lower right are still there, but almost none of the other buildings remain.


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Same photo with my attempt to identify some of the landmarks. I think I have it correct. I didn't mark it, but I believe that would be Cemetery Hill in the upper right.
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pamc153PA

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Dec 28, 2008
Location
Pennsylvania
This post by pamc153PA is absolutely fascinating. So much so it leads me to wonder if something exists that details the metamorphosis of the area as it developed before and after the battle up to a date of publication? Naturally those fateful days from early June through mid July of 1863 have been well documented. Bradley Gottfried’s excellent atlas of the campaign comes immediately to mind. But a Stuckeys near the Peach Orchard! A book replete with photos of such examples would surely be well received. Or does it already in exist? Proceeds to The Gettysburg Foundation and The American Battlefield Trust perhaps? Wondering. JS
Thanks, Johnny! The changes in the town and on the battlefield over the years is kind of my thing. I have tons of photos from the past that I post on a couple Facebook groups I belong to. The NPS at Gettysburg and the Adams County Historical Society have huge archives you can check out (some pics online, some you have to view at those places), but there are only a few books that address the changes on the battlefield. You might want to check out William Frassinito’s Then and Now series of books; they have them at the Visitor’s Center or online, and they are good but not terribly up to date. I usually post a historical photo each day on Gettysburg Past and Present over on FB. 🙂
 

Johnny Shafto

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Joined
Jun 21, 2021
pamc153PA Thank you!
Perhaps we need something up-to-date for the library? Something that documents both man made and natural examples with copious photographic support? Perhaps the wonderful images in this thread from rob63 could be paired with drone images from 2021? The possibilities seem endless. Even pen and brush artwork might be included. As previously mentioned Tim Fulmer’s GettysburgSculptures.com has contributed significantly along these lines.

A beautiful guideline example might be the book “In the Footsteps of John Wesley Powell” by Hal Stephens and Eugene Shoemaker. Here we trace the path this famous Civil War veteran as he explores the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. Highly recommend. This term “comparative photography” best describes the thought. So where do we find the financing?

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Tony Z

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Jan 3, 2021
Location
DuBois, PA
Another book to check out, is "Gettysburg: Then and Now". Author's last name was Vanderslice. I passed on a vintage copy decades ago at the Conflict bookstore. Luckily, Bob Younger did a reprint and I have one of those.

The book is nowhere as comprehensive as Frasannito's, but there are a few things in it, overlooked by Bill.
 

Joshism

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Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
I'd never heard of the swimming pool. That's unbelievable - but battlefield preservation must have had a different meaning back then.

Probably located on private property ar the time.

The question is who gave the military the permission to use this ground for military exercises.?

The War Department owned it at the time along with several of the other early national military parks (Chickamauga, Shiloh, and Vicksburg).

An old photo I found online showing what the Emmitsburg road once looked like.

It's important to remember that, from the 1920s until the east bypass was built in 1987, Emmitsburg Road was US Highway 15.
 

Tony Z

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Jan 3, 2021
Location
DuBois, PA
I'm leaving GB in an hour or so, and (IIRC), have a few more books on the years after the battle. Bachelder wrote many letters, etc., in his efforts to memorialize the battlefield. Sickles did some, but I always thought he did so to justify his 2nd day action.

I'll post titles.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
Probably located on private property ar the time
The earlier post by @J. D. Stevens refers, I think, to an officers swimming pool in front of the rock wall at the Angle that was built for the 1918 camp, so that doesn't sound like private property. Below is a map of Gettysburg burials on the field after the battle.

One of our neighbors' house was used as a hospital after the Battle of Perryville and hundreds of soldiers were buried on either side of the house and long driveway. The Union soldiers were later reinterred at the National Cemetery in Lebanon. When the sun comes up at the right angle on a dewy morning you can look down the driveway and see slight undulations every couple feet where the soldiers were buried. When you dig down a few feet into the depressions you find an occasional button or buckle, but the most profound thing is how the texture of the dirt changes from the clay of the region to a soft, loamy, sort of soil, like the potting soil sold in stores. The bones of these men were moved, but the dust of their bodies is still there.

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Another book to check out, is "Gettysburg: Then and Now". Author's last name was Vanderslice. I passed on a vintage copy decades ago at the Conflict bookstore. Luckily, Bob Younger did a reprint and I have one of those.

The book is nowhere as comprehensive as Frasannito's, but there are a few things in it, overlooked by Bill.
There's a similar volume put out by Arcadia Publishing. They also have books on Gettysburg in their Images of America and Vintage Postcards series. (I haven't read those, but I have other books in both series and they're full of great pictures and info.)

https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/S...burg&searchmode=anyword&searchoption=allbooks
 

SgtDarby8OVI

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Joined
Jun 30, 2021
@Johnny Shafto here is a short list of books that will help answer some of your questions:

Thomas Desjardin, These Honored Dead: How the Story of Gettysburg Shaped American Memory (2003)
Barbara Platt, This is Holy Ground: A History of the Gettysburg Battlefield (2001)
Jim Weeks, Gettysburg: Memory, Market, and an American Shrine (2003)
Jennifer Murray, On a Great Battlefield: the Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013 (2014)

My own work on Chickamauga suggests that the veterans and the War Department wanted the battlefields to be useful and educational to future generations of military personnel, thus the intensive use during the War with Spain and the two World Wars. Even after the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park was property of the NPS, the nearby presence of Fort Olgethorpe led to its use as a WAC and POW camp in WWII.
 

Tony Z

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Location
DuBois, PA
@Johnny Shafto here is a short list of books that will help answer some of your questions:

Thomas Desjardin, These Honored Dead: How the Story of Gettysburg Shaped American Memory (2003)
Barbara Platt, This is Holy Ground: A History of the Gettysburg Battlefield (2001)
Jim Weeks, Gettysburg: Memory, Market, and an American Shrine (2003)
Jennifer Murray, On a Great Battlefield: the Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013 (2014)

My own work on Chickamauga suggests that the veterans and the War Department wanted the battlefields to be useful and educational to future generations of military personnel, thus the intensive use during the War with Spain and the two World Wars. Even after the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park was property of the NPS, the nearby presence of Fort Olgethorpe led to its use as a WAC and POW camp in WWII.
Desjardin was one I was trying to remember! Thanks!
 

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
Thomas Desjardin, These Honored Dead: How the Story of Gettysburg Shaped American Memory (2003)
Barbara Platt, This is Holy Ground: A History of the Gettysburg Battlefield (2001)
Jim Weeks, Gettysburg: Memory, Market, and an American Shrine (2003)
Jennifer Murray, On a Great Battlefield: the Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013 (2014)

Murray's book is pretty good and more of a traditional history. She's a good speaker too.

I found Weeks to be a very difficult and unenjoyable read. It's more cultural history and sociology.

I haven't read Desjardin.
 
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