Gettysburg Photo Album
The Farms: Civilians Nearby

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The Farms: Civilians NearbyThe residents of the farms surrounding the town of Gettysburg fared no better than the townspeople - and, in many cases, suffered more damage to their property. Lydia Leister was a widow who owned a modest 9-acre farm along the Taneytown Road where she lived with her six young children. On July 1, 1863 she found herself surrounded by Federal troops because her farm was in the crook of the "fishhook" battle line along Cemetery Ridge. Selected as the Headquarters for the Union army by Gen. George Meade, Lydia and her children had to leave their home. When they returned, they found the yard littered with wreckage and dead horses, and their house riddled with artillery shells. Nearby free black farmer Abraham Brian suffered similarly. Brian had left Gettysburg when word of the approaching Confederates reached him, and returned to find his fences gone, his crops destroyed and his house riddled with bullets. William and Adelina Bliss, whose farm lay equidistant between the opposing forces on Seminary Ridge and Cemetery Hill, evacuated so quickly on July 1 that they left the doors open, the table set, and the beds made. Their home was burned to the ground by Union troops on July 3 to prevent its use as a haven for Confederate sharpshooters. After the battle, the fields of the farms around Gettysburg were covered with dead soldiers and horses, discarded weapons and accoutrements. Many of the farmers filed claims with the Federal government after the battle, but few received much, if any, restitution for the devastation they suffered.



(7-01) Edward McPherson Farm northwest of town, scene of the 1st day's fighting. The farm was occupied by John Slentz and his family who took refuge in the Lutheran Seminary basement

Don Worth photo

(7-01) Abraham Trostle Farm, south of Gettysburg near the Wheatfield. The family left abruptly on July 2 as the battle swept toward them, and Gen. Sickles's staff, who had set up his headquarters in the yard, helped themselves to a meal that had been left on the dining room table. Trostle lost almost everything he owned during the battle

Don Worth photo


(7-01) Trostle Barn

Don Worth photo

(7-01) Henry Culp Farm just north of the north face of Cemetery Hill. It was to this house that Col. Isaac Avery was taken following his mortal wounding during the attack on East Cemetery Hill on the evening of July 2, 1863

Don Worth photo

(6-07) Culp Farm Barn
Photo by Walter Wells, PA

(6-07) Enlarge Culp Farm Springhouse   
Photo & text below by Walter Wells, PA. Walter's tour guide was Ed Bearss (on the left wearing a white shirt)


Behind Confederate lines throughout the fighting of July 2-3, the Culp farm became a natural gathering place for the Confederate stretcher-bearers and thus a temporary hospital. While leading an attack up Cemetery Hill, Issac Avery was shot from his horse. The mortally wounded colonel was taken to the Culp farm where he scribbled a note to his father letting him know that he died with his face to the enemy. The Henry Culp farm buildings stand today looking much as they did through the eyes of the soldiers in 1863. Family legend has it that the body of Wesley Culp was retrieved by his sisters following his death on Culp's Hill and buried him in the farmhouse basement.

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