Saturday 8/17/13 we decided to head back to the visitor center where we could catch a shuttle bus to the George Spangler Farm. The farm just opened up this year to tourist’s and the only way to get to it is by catching a shuttle bus at the visitor center. And being Saturday the visitor center was PACKED! We had to drive around for a while before we could get a spot and it was funny when we did because it was one of those times where I was waiting for someone to back out of a spot and another guy pulled up and decided to wait for the same one LOL!! But I did pull up first and the car leaving was on my side of the lane but when I pulled up to get in the other guy was not moving to allow me room to swing in. I just rolled the window down and said,,, I’m taking that spot. He just sat there for a min. but he finally nodded and moved on. I guess you would had to have been there to appreciate the humor.
Once parked we made our way in and picked up our free tickets to get on the shuttle. We only had to wait about 20 minutes for it so not bad.
The George Spangler Farm is one of the best examples of a Civil War field hospital site on the battlefield today.
On July 1, 1863, the home and its buildings and fields were converted to a field hospital for the 2nd Division of the 11th Union Army Corps. Pretty soon, all the wounded of the corps were brought there to be treated. Reports indicate some 1,800 Union soldiers and 100 Confederate troops were attended to at the Spangler Farm. At least seven Federal surgeons are known to have been assigned to the site. The Elliott Burial Map, published in 1864, illustrates many burials on the farm, including at least 20 Confederate soldiers. The wounded who were at the farm were moved by August 1863 to other hospitals, including Camp Letterman General Hospital, located along the York Road east of Gettysburg. George Spangler rebuilt and repaired his home and farm buildings. He lived on the property until his death in 1904.
This is the first year the farm has opened to visitors and it was pretty apparent that they have not worked out the details of how to route people through in a organized manner but they will.
They had a couple actors there that did a reenactment of what a wounded soldier and a surgeon might have gone through during the time the farm was used as a field hospital. And the stories were pretty gruesome. But I’m sure accurate. It was a good tour.
The farm was only open for tours 14 weeks this year so we were lucky to be there during that time.
After the Spangler farm we went back to the visitor center, had a little lunch, listened to a little live entertainment and then attended a talk about the “Day of a Civil War Soldier” Another pretty enlightening bit of information.
Then it was time to head home where we grabbed Jack and went for another short driving tour before heading home where we played a rip roaring round of golf and then about 8pm headed over to the community camp fire to listen to a few ghost stories told by one of the tour shops in town. The stories were fun but nothing that made us loose any sleep over that night LOL!! .
Sunday 8/18/13 was a pretty wet day so we really just hung around camp for the most part. Diane did take advantage of the down day and made a great peach & blueberry cobbler!! Then at 5:30 we headed into town to take a guided walking tour. Luckily the rain stopped and the sun was peeking through a bit.
The tour guide told the story of what went on in town during the battle. How troops marched through town right before the battle and how troops retreated back through town towards the end. And how snipers would set up in the attics of homes in town.
I had mentioned the other day that we really had a good feel of the battle itself but wanted to learn more about the towns people during all of this and the tour shed some pretty good light on that along with the tour of the Dobbins House we took the other day.
Speaking of the Dobbin House. The tour ended very close to it so we decided to go there for a late dinner. It was well after 8 when we were seated but the meal was very good.
After dinner we had a little over ½ mile to walk to the Jeep so we had a nice stroll through town in the evening lights.
Monday 8/19/13 we went to the Shriver House. It’s another museum that is surrounded by a family effected by the Civil War like so many others in the town.
The tour through the house was pretty good especially when we got to the attic where sharp shooters had set up and ended up dieing there. There are still marks on the side of the house from bullets during the battle.
The story was pretty sad in the end. Another story of a man going off to war and never returning leaving his family alone to fend for themselves.
Here is a link to the story about the family. Well worth the read I think anyway. We couldn’t take any pictures during the tour.
In the story it just says George Shriver was sent to a war camp after being captured but he died of starvation and never returned home.
After the Shriver House tour we headed out to find a Historic Round Barn we had heard about. It was only 8 miles outside of Gettysburg so it didn’t take us long to find it. And that thing is cool!! And built like a you know what!! It was built in 1914 and is 1 of only a handful left in existence. The circumference is 282 foot and it’s diameter is 87 feet. And it’s built around a central silo measuring 60 foot high and 12 foot wide.
Of course we had to take a look on the second floor and the framework is amazing and again it is as solid as a brick. They also hold special events in the loft and there is a farmers market on the main level. Of course we had to but some goodies while we were there. Once again,,, we love farmers markets. Here is a link to the barn.
Then we headed home and I put away the wheel covers and windshield cover like normal and started preparing for our departure on Tuesday.
We really enjoyed Gettysburg. It’s someplace I could see us coming back to. I think we really saw everything we wanted to see but there are a lot more things we could still take in.
Tuesday we head to Intercourse PA. We are looking forward to spending time in the Amish country.