PAGE TWENTY: MAY 17, 2011...GETTYSBURG: SHERFY & TROSTLE FARMS
ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 CARL AND I CAME BACK HERE AND THIS TIME I WALKED THE ROUTE OF
JONATHON'S CHARGE, THE WHOLE WAY, AND THOSE GETTYSBURG PICTURES, ON A BRIGHT, SUNNY
DAY ARE FOUND HERE
We parked and walked toward the Mississippi Monument (Jim was present at its dedication) and as I got my first view of the Sherfy Farm,
all sorts of feelings flooded through me. I'd been here before, more than once, seen the big red barn, but never knowing I HAD someone
here, that someone who was genetically mine had crossed this field toward that barn. It made all the difference in the world. It truly, truly did.
I deliberately arranged to get this particular view of the Sherfy barn just over the cannon barrel. Alexander had his artillery lined up
Arriving here, for the first time they would have realized that while they were marching, General Sickles had moved his Union troops up into the
peach orchard and around the Sherfy farm...where they were not supposed to have been.
Behind us a tour group on horseback was passing. We met them again over by the Trostle Farm.
Walking closer to the Mississippi Monument. The Confederate monuments came late to the game because those states
couldn't afford the cost of large memorials after the war. So many of the earlier, Union monuments are rather static,
in stolid, solid poses. What I love about this Mississippi one is how kinetic it is, how it fairly breathes with movement
and emotion. The red barn seen to the left of the monument is a different barn, belonging to Mr. Klingle.
The Sherfy Farm across the field from the monument.
I had wanted especially to see this foot in person, with how little of the shoe is left and has to be tied on. The toes are done deliberately
long in the Michelangelo style to be viewed from a distance. The sock is tied over the bottom of the pants leg to keep the ticks and chiggers
This is where Jonathon went...across this field from this point, heading between the barn and the house. I had thought of walking it
myself, but the grass was tall and sopping wet and full of ticks and my leg was already not a happy leg from the cumulative amount
of walking I'd been doing these five days. We drove around to the farm and that was just fine.
Carl talking with Ted. The young Mississippi soldier is out of bullets and swinging his clubbed rifle to protect the fallen color guard. It is a
moment of heart-stopping action, frozen in time.
Ted graced me here by quoting his own poem about a Confederate soldier and as he did, he simply was a
Confederate veteran. It was in his eyes and he saw that I saw that and both our eyes filled with tears. It was
a moment of grace out of time and I so appreciate the gift of it. Thank you, Ted.
Looking from the Mississippi monument to the Louisiana, made by the same man.
Behind the monument is Pitzer's Woods.
Up close to the woods. Ted said there would not have been all this underbrush as the farm animals wandered about in here
and ate all the lower vegetation.
Looking toward the Round Tops as we walked back to the car...above and below pictures.
We turned the corner to go to the Emmitsburg Road and Ted pointed out it was in this field that General Hood lost the use of his left arm
when a shell exploded.
Going up the Emmitsburg Road toward the Sherfy Farm. Mr. Sherfy owned the peach orchard across the road.
This is a small section of newly-planted peach trees.
We passed the farm and turned the corner to park and walk back to it. As Jonathon passed this farm, he would have cut diagonally
across this field.
Following Ted down the Emmitsburg Road to the Sherfy Farm.
Looking across that field across the road from the farm.
A big chestnut was in bloom in front of the Sherfy house.
Standing by the red barn, looking back across the first field that Jonathon crossed under fire.
Fences like these would have been there and thrown down by the advancing soldiers. Ted said you either fenced in
your crops or your animals and these fences were for the crops, while the animals roamed in the woods.
Looking at the side of the Sherfy house from behind the barn. Jonathon would have passed right through here.
This is not the original barn as that caught fire from a Union shell on July 3rd and burned to the ground while it was
full of wounded men.
Looking up the Emmitsburg Road toward the Klingle barn.
The syrup pitcher sitting by the Sherfy fence.
We walked back up the Emmitsburg Road to our car, which you can see a bit of off to the right past the white fencing.
Jonathon would have cut across part of this field toward the Trostle Farm.
Approaching the Trostle Farm.
This is the original Trostle barn
There's the hole made by a Confederate cannon ball, below the two diamond-shaped ventilation sections.
We walked out past the side of the barn...
...to where Jonathon would have gone to the left of it...
The marker for where General Sickles got his leg shattered. Ted is pointing toward a more distant area where Barksdale
was mortally wounded.
Jonathon came from left to right across this field...and then back again.
They were headed generally for where the wide, low monument now is in the distance. It was in this scrubby, boggy area down the
slope past the fence that Barksdale was shot off his horse.
I was looking at the rocks in the field behind the Trostle barn, thinking how they were there during the battle.
I noticed this big reddish one off to my left and was contemplating walking out despite the wet, ticky grass just to lay my hand on it...
...when Ted, who seemed very in tune with what I was thinking, asked me to hand him the pitcher, and he walked out and set it
carefully on the rock for me to take a picture of it there.
The scrubby bog from the other side.
A house further down the road across from the Trostle house that was also there during the battle. A friend of Ted's
lives in it.
Ted wanted to point this statue out to Carl of the chaplain blessing the Federal Catholic regiment
before going into battle. The man was supposed to have stood on this very rock.
This is the original Hummelbaugh farmhouse where General Barksdale was taken in the night by Federal troops after
he was wounded. The house was already filled with wounded men and he was laid in the yard, where he died before dawn.
We parted ways with Ted back at the visitors center and as we walked back to our car, I took this picture of Carl and a
rather solid buddy.
I was thinking about going down to Devil's Den to take more pictures even though Jonathon wasn't there, but as we got back in the
car, it began to rain...hard...so we didn't. There were two ways we could head home, one Jonathon's route into Gettysburg and the
other Jonathon's route out of Gettysburg. The 'out of' was longer and more out of the way, and being tired and with the rain pelting
down, I decided on the 'way in' route, so we drove out the Chambersburg Road (Rt. 30). Once we passed Chambersburg, we were
out of 'Jonathon Country' and I was aware of the sudden loss of that and for quite some while, slid my right hand inside the camera
bag, curving my palm around the syrup pitcher as we drove along.
The pictures above and below are of the top of Tuscarora Mountain that we drove over on our way to Breezewood to get the Pennsylvania
Turnpike again. It was interesting how it looked with the clouds sitting on the forest.
Then we headed into a cloud itself and before long (5 hours after leaving Gettysburg with a stop in Chambersburg for lunch)
we were home.
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