Tuesday, January 16, 2007

GettysBLOG: Battlefield Update Photos

The reclamation of the Gettysburg Battlefield to its 1863 condition is proceeding apace. Below are a few images showing before and after views of some parts of the Battlefield.

The Slaughter Pen area and Devil’s Den from Little Round Top, May, 2002.

The Slaughter Pen, Devils Den, and Elephant Rock after the tree clearing, November 2006.

Another view of the above area (annotated).

Photograph taken by a local Gettysburg Photographer of the family of Major General John F. Reynolds, of Lancaster, PA, visiting in the Plum Run area between Devil’s Den and the Slaughter Pen. Little Round Top is in the background. November 19, 1863. Note lack of trees on Little Round Top’s crest compared to modern photo below. Local farmer was hired by the Army to harvest those trees after the Battle.

Modern view of same area. Note the trees on the crest of Little Round Top.

It should be noted that the modern condition being achieved by the National Park Service and its staff at Gettysburg National Military Park consists of not only removing trees to match the historical photographic and documentary evidence from the time, but also adding wood lots and orchards where period maps, photographs and documentary evidence show them to be located.

While the tree thinning has caused some of the written history to be revisited, the newly planted wood lots and orchards will take at least ten-fifteen years to approach maturity and demonstrate their effect on the written history of the Battle.


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PennPatriot said...

Hey Gettysblog,

Love the new look and thanks for the great pictures

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updated pics, and nice contrast with the before and after pics.

Last time I was at Devil's Den was back in August, and I can't believe how much more they cleared out. I'm really going to have to get back there soon to see more of this.

Have they done any more cutting around the Wheatfield, Houck's Ridge area, and Plum Run? How about Oak Hill?

Thanks again.

Dave from Blair County

GettysBLOG said...

No more in the areas you mention, they were all completed by the end of fall.

Cutting continues along West Confederate from the Armory to the McMillan House, and even more surprising, the northwestern quarter of the lower peak at Culp's Hill has been completely cut back, a la Oak Hill. That is, the section right before the dog leg in the road that takes you down between the crests to where the road through Pardee Field rejoins Slocum Avenue. All along Slocum from the first stone wall above Spangler's Spring the trees have been mostly removed.

I have alsways been unclear about the fighting down there (where Johnson's Division attacked) but this has really opened the view up and made understanding of the troop movements much easier.