The Journey of the Wounded from Cemetery Ridge to the Spangler Farm

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The Journey of the Wounded from Cemetery Ridge to the Spangler Farm

On behalf of everyone at Gettysburg National Military Park, and on behalf of our friends at the Gettysburg foundation, I want to welcome you all to Gettysburg National Military Park on the last day of the one hundred and fifty first anniversary of the battle. We’re very gratified to have you here, my name is Christopher Gwyn, I am a park ranger here at Gettysburg, and this is Dan Welch, I’m the education programs coordinator for the Gettysburg foundation Let me introduce this program by telling you a very quick story; I’m not from Pennsylvania, I grew up in Massachusets, I grew up just north of Boston. When I was eighteen, my thought was “I’m going to get as far away from home as I can”, and as far away as I could get was Gettysburg Pennsylvania. At Gettysburg college I had a great time, I became a National Park Service park ranger, and again, I thought “Wow I’m gonna join the park service”, and I’m gonna go to all these cool places and see all these cool things, The first permanent job I got, guess where it was? It wasn’t Gettysburg! Boston! I traveled back to Boston. Anyways, I have a lot of friends in Boston. Made a lot of work connections in Boston, I have a lot of people I care a lot about in Boston And I had a lot of people who were in the finish line at the Boston marathon, two years ago. That’s no joke, they were there. And you all know what happened then, you know what happened at that event. I had one really good friend who was at the finish line when that bomb went off, and if you see any of the footage that came out of that event, if you’ve seen any of the photographs, when I was watching those images on tv, what I ended up thinking about was what this battlefield must have looked like because on that sidewalk in Boston, a place that I knew really really well, with a lot of people that I really really cared about, I mean it looked like a scene that I read out of an account from Pickett’s charge. Blood everywhere, confusion, chaos, and that good friend that I had, that was at the finish line, she got hit in the leg by a piece of shrapnel. And this is what happened to my friend, after that happened; there was confusion, there was chaos, law enforcement kind of cordoned off the area, and within moments there were first responders who arrived who knew how to take care of my friend. Who knew how to stop the bleeding, who knew how to keep her alive. And then she was taken to an ambulance, an in that ambulance there was everything that she needed to stabilize her, to keep her alive. The people on the ambulance, they were trained professionals; they were medics, they were EMTs. Now they were there originally to treat dehydration, and sprained ankles, and all these other things you get when you run, but they knew how to take care of that person, they knew what to do. And the guy driving the ambulance, as confusing as Boston can be to drive around in, he knew exactly where to go, he knew exactly what hospital to take her to. And she arrived at the hospital, and they pulled up her medical records, a team of doctors, surgeons, nurses, they worked on her, they triaged her. She was seen by a specialist, and the best person to operate on her, the best person for her case, was the one that did it. And she’s still alive today, because of a system that was in place in Boston in 2014. That system was in place, a system very similar to it, a hundred and fifty years ago on this battlefield, and it went through a crucible, It went through its test, on this battlefield, a hundred and fifty one years ago. And that is the story we’re going to tell over the next however long the weather lasts. That is the story we’re gonna focus in on. What happens once this battle is over? What happens to the twenty eight thousand wounded men who have to go from that battlefield to that hospital that’s over there? How are they gonna get there? What are the challenges that the surgeons, the doctors, the volunteers, the nurses, what challenges are they gonna have keeping these individuals alive? What does this battlefield look like once the battle is over? Because normally when we talk about Pickett’s charge, we talk about thirteen thousand Confederates moving across the battlefield, we talk about a brief breakthrough at the end, we talk about the second corps and Winfield Scott Hancock, and usually finish off the battle of Gettysburg by saying that the Confederates are defeated, the next day in a driving rain they retreated or began to retreat back to Virginia, we talk about Robert E. Lee, stoically riding amongst his defeated men, taking complete responsibility for the attack. We talk about the friendship between Winfield Scott Hancock and Lewis Armistead We talk about all these differing things, but once this battle is over, once the gunfire stops, a whole new battle begins. A whole

new fight begins, this is not a battle against the Union or Confederate army, now it’s a battle against death. The weapons used in this new fight, this new battle, they’re not rifles, they’re scalpels, they’re not artillery, they’re stretchers, this is a battle for survival, it is a battle to stay alive. Again, that is what we’re gonna focus on here today. And that’s something that we don’t do a whole lot; usually when we talk about the ending of Pickett’s charge, we think about Lee riding out among his defeated men. We think about the friendship of Lewis Armistead and Winfield Scott Hancock. One Union and one Confederate both struck down on the battlefield. Honestly, sometimes I think that’s a distraction, because we remember the end of the battle like the same way the movie Gettysburg ended; but in reality, Winfield Scoot Hancock at the end of the day on July third 1863, has a wound in his upper thigh that a woman said resembled a “butcher’s knife”. Lewis Armistead was shot, he’s gonna suffer in agony for a couple days, then he’s gonna die in this strange place, surrounded by strange people, to be buried in a strange land. There’s nothing sentimental about that. There’s nothing nostalgic about that. It was brutal, it was hard, for the twenty eight thousand wounded men left behind as a result of this battle; that was what they encountered. And if we were on the ridge on the afternoon of July third, the people that were here, they didn’t need to be reminded of that. They knew it, all they had to do was look around and survey the carnage and chaos on this ridge. There was one man, his name is captain Benjamin F. Thompson, of the hundred eleventh New York, and he looked down on this battlefield, and this is what he remembered years later. He said “The track of the great charge was marked by bodies of men in all possible positions, wounded, bleeding, dying, and dead. Near the line where the final struggle occurred the men lay in heaps, the wounded wriggling and groaning under the weight of the dead, among whom they were entangled In my weak and exhausted condition, I could not long endure the gory, ghastly spectacle I found my head reeling, my tears flowing, and my stomach sick of the sight. For months the specter haunted my dreams, and even after forty seven years, it comes back as the most horrible vision I have ever conceived.” That was written by the guy that won the battle The victor, the Confederates, the vanquished, they looked upon an even bleaker field. Lieutenant William Tunnel, of the twenty second North Carolina, in trying to process what he saw on this ridge, wrote home this; he said “I hope to God that none of my friends will ever look on such a sight as that field was, I will stop about it; I hope I will get home and disremember it all. What we’re gonna try to do today is remember some of it, anyways To do that we’re gonna follow the path of the wounded from the front lines on Cemetery Ridge, back to the initial aid stations behind Cemetery Ridge, and talk about how these men were brought there and what they went through We’re gonna follow their path even further, hopefully, theoretically, to division hospitals behind the lines, where these men were taken, where they were triaged. We’re gonna follow it all the way, weather permitting, to the George Spangler farm, a corps hospital. We’re gonna follow the route of the wounded from the front lines, to the operating table. And one thing more than anything that I hope you leave this program with today, is that this story, this journey, directly affects us today in 2014, and every single one of these individuals was a real human being. We talk about the casualties of Pickett’s charge, 55 percent, six thousand five hundred and fifty five Those are numbers, these people, they weren’t numbers, they were men, they were individuals, and Dan here is gonna talk about a few of them right now. Yeah as Chris mentioned you know, much of the story of Pickett’s charge as it ends, we skip over the retreat to Virginia by the Confederate army, and we end the story of the battle of Gettysburg. But as he so poignantly noted, that battle will continue for these wounded men; but who are these wounded men which we talk about? They are more than that number of wounded. We often talk in abstract, the fifty one thousand casualties of Gettysburg, who were they? Whose husband, father, cousin were they? Who were these men? One of the soldiers you’ve hear alluded to was a brigadier

general, a native to North Carolina who identified with Virginia long ago, brigadier general Lewis Armistead had led about a hundred to a hundred fifty confederate soldiers into the union lines, directly behind you and to your rear. Moments after piercing the Union position, he would fall, wounded, with multiple gunshot wounds. Just a little further northward on Cemetery ridge behind you was a New Yorker, a man by the name of Eligium Sheryl, a lieutenant colonel, who was a tanner and a farmer, a father of four, a former state senator, a United States congressman, that answered the call for seventy five thousand troops. On the evening of July second, Sheryl would be fighting at the head of his New York regiment with fields to your right and front. His commanding officer would be mortally wounded and killed instantly, and he would rise to command the rest of his brigade. But his superiors thought his actions, his commands, his leadership was not up to par that evening. Sheryl would be placed under arrest. On the morning of July third, shortly before this most famous incident of the battle of Gettysburg, Pickett’s Charge began, Sheryl would be restored to command. As he was on his horse behind the lines of his brigade, not far behind you, a Confederate musket ball came in, and found its target. One soldier wrote “while in command of his brigade and standing in the rear of the thirty ninth New York volunteers, Sheryl fell mortally wounded by a musket shot to the bowels. Without the knowledge of the men of his own regiment, the dying Sheryl was borne to the rear, by some of the members of the thirty ninth New York volunteers. Another northern soldier even further to the North along the Cemetery ridge line was a young captain, twenty one years of age. He had joined the army in 1861 to escape another battle that he was fighting for many years; a battle that had started at the age of sixteen. A battle with alcoholism. He decided that by joining the army, having something to focus on, that he may win that battle, and it had been working. With the notoriety of his mother, Harriet Beecher Stowe, an abolitionist from Massachusetts, whose famous 1852 work Uncle Toms Cabin had not only pushed her family into notoriety, but the cause of ending slavery and the fight for the Union government to put down this rebellion. That notoriety and fame came in handy. She made sure that her son was not only continuing to be a success in that battle against alcoholism, but that his positions left him in the rear of the army, away from danger of harm. But by 1863 he was not content with that; and he would use the notoriety of his mother to secure a position on the staff of Adolf von Steinweir Steinweir and Harriet Beecher Stowe had been friends before the war, and now, at the height of Pickett’s charge, Stowe, on horseback, on Cemetery Hill behind you, would receive a ghastly wound. A shell fragment from Confederate artillery fire would come in and tear off part of his right ear, jaw, and some of his teeth and tongue. Stowe, Sheryl, and Armistead are just three of the wounded men experiencing that chaos, that confusion, looking for some sort of help, some sort of treatment, some way to leave this field of battle and be taken rearward, to a station where they can receive that help. But they are not the only stories that we are going to hear this evening of the men who will be wounded in this area and require that evacuation further to the East to your left and rear, across these fields and towards the surgeons and medical staff that will be able to treat their wounds. We’re going to make our way a little further southward, along the Union position here on Cemetery ridge, and become aware of some of the many other stories, the other men, who were in need of medical attention and evaluation on Cemetery Ridge. These are the statistics, at least some of them. One thousand, one hundred and twenty three Confederates killed in the assault on July third, one thousand eight hundred and ninety three wounded in the division of Johnston Pettigrew alone. Eight hundred and thirty three wounded Virginians of Pickett’s command were taken in by the Union army. Six hundred and fifty wounded men in Trimble’s command were taken in by the Union army; all

that doesn’t include the Union casualties They suffer as many as one thousand five hundred men, killed, wounded, missing, on July third on this ridge. And the fighting, the combat, it didn’t matter if you were a major general, it didn’t matter if you were a lieutenatnt, it didn’t matter if you were a corporal, the bullets didn’t care. It didn’t matter who you were, where you came from, you could be cut down. One of the men hit on this ridge in July third was a young lieutenant, his name was George Woodruff, and he commanded a battery in Ziegler’s grove. Woodruff, he was a normal guy, he was from Marshall Michigan, his father was a judge, he could have done anything, but he goes to West point. He earns the nickname “Little Dad” I’m not sure why, maybe because he was kind of like a father figure. He graduated nineteenth in his class at West point, he graduates in June of 1861 He’s a young guy, he’s a young individual, and on July third he’s in that grove, he’s commanding that artillery and he’s struck by a Confederate bullet. It was the kind of wound that, other men could look at you, and they could tell that you’re gonna die, we can’t do much for you. But you’re not gonna die right away. The second in command of his battery, a gentlemen by the name of Tully McCraig and another individual, they took this young guy, this young lieutenant, and they dragged him behind a tree in Ziegler’s grove and they left him there. There was nothing they could do for him, there was nothing they could do. Woodruff had in his pocket that day a letter, and it was a letter from his father back in Michigain, telling him that his mother had just died. The letter as of yet was unopened. There was another gentleman, this guy is a Confederate, in the ninth Virginia, his name is James Crocker, and James Crocker, he’s from a rather well to do family, he is no stranger to battlefields, he is no stranger to the horrors of war, he was hit at the battle of Malvern hill in 1862, the bullet went through his neck, through his shoulder, and through his arm, and somehow he lived. He said he thought he was going to die on that battlefield, but he didn’t. He lived to be wounded again, out on the battlefield in front of that rock wall. And he’s wounded, and he’s captured by the Union army. He’s gonna be shipped back to one of the field hospitals behind the lines Crocker was a captain, Woodruff was a lieutenant, there were many privates killed and wounded, many sergeants wounded, there were many generals wounded. One of them was a guy that you’re probably heard of before, his name is brigadier general John Gibbon. John Gibbon commanded a division in the second army corps, he is an incredibly effective commander over the battlefield, he was one of the original commanders of the Iron Brigade, and at one O’clock in the afternoon, when the two hour cannonade that precedes Pickett’s Charge begins, he;s there are the Peter Fray farm, so he can’t quite see, because of the ridge behind us, he sitting with a lieutant of his, a staff officer named Frank Hascal. Frank Hascal had this to say about John Gibbon, who at the time was thirty six years old; “Gibbon is compactly made, neither spare nor corpulent, with a ruddy complexion of chestnut brown hair. A clean shaved face except his mustache, deep blue calm eyes, sharp, slightly aqualine nose, compressed mouth, with an air of calm firmness in his manner”. An air of calm firmness, that describes John Gibbon. During the bombardment, he walks among his men. During the Confederate assault, he gets on top of his horse, he’s riding around at the height of the battle directing his men, he’s most likely somewhere behind the nineteenth Maine, just down the ridge, when a Confederate bullet hits him It enters the middle part of his left arm, goes through his arm, into his shoulder, it fractures his collarbone, and then it exits out his back. You can only imagine how painful a wound that must have been. John Gibbon though, he was very confused about the nature of his wound, because of the shock to the human body of that initial blow with the bullet, he didn’t feel where it came in. He only felt where it exited him, and I think his number one concern besides “Am I gonna die or am I gonna live?” is “I’ve been shot in the back”. That’s what my friends are gonna know about what I did at Gettysburg, I got shot in the back John Gibbon would say that he would leave the front line behind as the roar of battle was still in his ears, because now John Gibbon, he needs to go find help. He needs to find an ambulance, he needs someone that knows what to do, and he’s not the only high ranking officer on this ridge that’s hit. Perhaps the most famous is a major general who’s a

big deal, Winfield Scott Hancock. At the height of the battle, Winfield Scott Hancock is fighting on the battle lines, he’s somewhere in this vicinity. He had a brigade of men from Vermont, and what Hancock is trying to do is get these men to swing out in the battlefield and fire in the flanks of the Confederates. Men said that just to look at Hancock, just to see this guy on the battlefield, filled you with inspiration. Some men, they just have that ability, some men just inspire that kind of confidence in other people, and Hancock was one of them. There was a young lieutenant named George Beneidict of Vermont, he was watching Hancock on the battlefield. He said this, as he watched Hancock, or he thought of it later anyways; he said “Hancock is the most striking man I have ever saw on horseback, and magnificent in the flush and excitement of battle.” Then Benedict noted that Hancock had reeled in the saddle, and shouted out an exclaimation, we can only guess what that exclaimation might have been. So Hancock’s been hit, and the first thing that Benedict does with another officer is they rush over the Hancock, they help him down, and at first Winfield Scott Hancock is so stunned that he can’t even speak. He just motions down to a wound that was in his upper thigh, right near his groin, a painful wound. This is what Benedict did, he said “We lain him upon the grounf, and opened his clothing where he indicated by a movement of his hand that he was hurt A ragged hole, an inch or more in diameter from which the blood was pouring profusely was disclosed in the upper part and on the side of his thigh. He was naturally in some alarm for his life.” But Benedict knows a guy in the thirteenth Vermont, a private named Clark, who has a small tourniquiet, so immediately Benedict rushes over, he goes to this guy, he grabs the tourniquiet, he rushes back to Hancock, who must have been relieved that at least someone was doing something for him The idea was that they were gonna use this tourniquet to stop Hancock’s bleeding to stop him from bleeding to death. But the turniquets too small, and the wound is up too high on his leg so they can’t do anything for him, and then Winfield Scott Hancock begins to panic. He shouts out at the men around him “Get something around it quick, don’t let me bleed to death!” The brigade commander of these men from Vermont, a gentleman by the name of George Stannard, Stannard has on him a big oversized hakerchief. Stannard and Benedict rush over, and they’re gonna use that hankerchief to try to stop the bleeding, to try to save Hancock’s life. This is what they said, Benedict recalled “As I helped to pass it around general Hancock’s leg, I saw the blood, being dark in color and not coming in jets, could not be from an artery, and I said to him, this is not arterial blood general, you will not bleed to death.” When Hancock heard that, that sounds to Hancock like oh, that’s a guy who knows the human body, that’s a guy who’s probably seen battlefield wounds before, he mistakes Benedict for a doctor. At first, Hancock’s quite relieved, he says “That’s good, thank you for that doctor.” Then Benedict relates how he took the barrel of a pistol, and he wrapped it around the hankerchif, and he twisted it into a tourniquet and initially stopped the bleeding. You would think at that point in time, the bleeding’s under control, the first thought that Winfield Scott Hancock would have is “Dear God, get me off this battlefield. Get me back where John Gibbon’s going. Get me an ambulance, get me a doctor, get me a surgeon.” On the contrary, Hancock refuses to be moved, there’s a colonel that rushes over with his staff, they offer to take him back, Hancock says no, and they lay Hancock down so that his head is pointing north, his feet are pointing towards the battle, and that’s where he’s gonna stay. In part to watch the battle, the other part of that is, he has no staff officers with him. Every staff officer Hancock has, they’re off on some errand, they’re off directing the battle, going to Meade, going to Caldwell, going to Gibbon, going to Hayes. It’s not until a few moments later, that two staff officers arrive; one is a guy by the name of William Mitchell, the other is a man by the name of Henry Bingham. Naturally, they see Hancock on the ground, they see their chief, they want to get him back, they want to get him to an aid station, a field hospital Before Hancock allows them to go after an ambulance, he sends Bingham a guy by the name of John C. Caldwell, who is now in command of the second corps, so he makes sure that vacuum in command is full. He sends William Mitchell with a verbal note, a message for George Meade, basically relating the situation as Hancock sees it. It’s not until after those two gentlemen have performed their task that Hancock tells Mitchell to go get him an ambulance

This sets in motion, this medical system for the care of the wounded, that we’re really gonna be focusing in on from now until whenever the program’s over. But the system that Hancock, and Gibbon, and Stowe, and Sheryl are going to experience is a system of medical care, at least as far as the army of the Potomac was concerned, that was markedly different than what James Crocker might have encountered at Melborne Hill in 1862. Or what John Gibbon might have gone through at the battle of Fredericksburg in December of that year. Let’s talk a little bit about that. How were wounded men treated in 1861 and 1862? I’m gonna turn it over to Dan. Now as Chris related to you the incidents at Boston from last year, I want to take you back almost a decade now, to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I want you to think back about the many news clips and footage that you saw of people looking for care, looking for aid, not really knowing where to go, or how to get help in this mass sea of confusion and damage. Hurricane Katrina and its effects on the citizens of Louisiana and many of those other southern states is a corollary for what you could have experienced in the army in 1861, in 1821 with your medical care. You are thrown into an environment of chaos, confusion, violence, and once you are wounded, if you are wounded, and you are seeking help, help is going to be hard to find. The medical system at this time is also in a state of chaos, much like the battlefield. You see when the American Civil War broke out in 1861, the medical staffing of the United States army was at a peacetime level, there are about 10,000 soldiers in the United states army in 1860, they are spread out vastly across the country, in many posts out West. For 10,000 United States soldiers in 1860, there were about 100 medical personnel to treat these men all across the country. When war breaks out in 1861, the United States army is going to have even less personnel, because some of them will leave their posts and will leave their allegiance in the United States army and join the Confederate forces. When the first land battle of the American Civil War breaks out on July of 1861 on the plains of Manassas, you as a wounded soldier are going to be in a world of chaos and confusion that even battle cannot relate to. A medical department, a trained medical staff, are things that will not be even heard of for two years into the future of the American Civil War. Let me give you one example of the battle of Manassas One particular regiment, a Union regiment of about 700 men marched into combat on July twenty first 1861, to help with their medical needs during and after the battle, they had four ambulances, that were able to take one man off the field at a time, they had one surgeon, and three medical staff to assist that surgeon. It would be wholly inadequate for this battle, and future battles to come The principal lesson from Bull Run is 1861 is the value of preparedness; “The wounded lying on the ground, which laid there for days, would feel the rain, heat, lack of attention, no water, no food.” Unfortunately from 1861 however to 1862 there would be little improvement Let me related to you another account from a wounded Union soldier in Manassas, who went through the unfortunate experience of Confederate musket ball going through both legs, breaking both legs. When the Union army lost that battle on the afternoon of July 21st and began their retreat, not more than 2000 miles to Washington DC, they left behind most of the wounded, including this soldier. For him, it would be an agonizing seven days, using two rifles as crutches, walking on broken legs back to the defenses of Washington DC before he was even seen by a surgeon. He would ultimately lose both of those legs to amputation, and survive those wounds. You were on your own hitch to receive medical care if you were wounded in combat. Now many historians will

argue the theory of red tape in the government, in 1861 and 1862 that did not allow development in the medical system of many develpments that were being talked about by medical personnel in both armies. But unfortunately, regardless of whether you label it political red tape, the system does not get any better. A year later, both of these armies will return to Manassas, at the end of August of 1862, where even more casualties, more confusion, more violence will reign over several days. The situation had not improved. Unfortunately for the medical system at that time, if you were a wounded soldier, you would await hopefully some members of your regiment’s band; a common story of the American Civil War is that as a regimental bandsman you played the drum, you played the piccolo, you played maybe some of the brass instruments, and when the fighting broke out you put those instruments down, you picked up a stretcher, and helped to remove the wounded. Unbfortunately at first Manassas and all the battles between that and second Manassas, you could not count on one of those bandsmen to come and pick you up. While researching this program to share with you this evening, the number of court marshalls against bandsmen who would put down their instruments, go out on that field of battle, and begin to see the true cost and horrors of war, would simply leave. They would never return, and they would not take with them wounded soldiers. So you are on your own hook from 1861 to 1862 to get out of the battlefield. Not only are these bandsmen abandoning their posts, not utilizing stretchers to get you off the battlefield, we have a shortage of ambulances. There’s not enough to get you off the field once a stretcher gets you to an ambulance. The people that were hired subcontracted to drive these ambulances off the battlefield with wounded men, have also succumbed to the true cost and horrors of war, they too would come onto the battlefield, see all of these wounded and dead soldiers, and simply leave. It gets so bad at the second battle of Manassas in 1862 that the secretary of war is going through the streets of Washington DC and rounding up cabs, carriage drivers, anyone with a wagon, and he is ordering them to make their way westwards towards Manassas to go out on the field and begin to collect the wounded. All of this will take time. Time is a factor that many of these wounded men do not have. But these are just some of the many complications from a poor medical system in 1861 and 1862 Let me share with you some of the other issues that you would run into if you were a wounded soldier; in 1861 and 1862 there were no mobile field hospitals, we had these permanent, large hospitals set up in metropolitan areas. Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, we had nothing semi-permanent, mobile, to come to the field of battle, for you to recover sufficiently before being transported further to the rear There was no organization to the communications between doctors and surgeons on the battlefield; or doctors, surgeons, and medical personnel in those hosptials. There was nobody in charge of handling supplies for the individual hospitals; a lot of waste, a system that was completely inefficient. Regimental units cared for the wounded at the front, general hospitals received them at the base, and between them everything was haphazard. Hopefully you could find some supplies. Medical staff, for artillery, if you were an artillery unit such as our friend Woodruff that we’re gonna get to know very well tonight, in 1861 and 1862 there is no medical staff for artillery batteries. We have surgeons that are wholly incompetent; some that had served in the war of 1812, that had served in the Mexican war, that had been completely removed from the field of medicine for 20, 30, 40 years, are now trying to use medical techniques that were used earlier There’s no effective system of reports to file after the hosptials opens; how many have been wounded, how much supplies to use, how much more supplies will you need? But as a level of comfort, think about this; out of all these issues, if you were wounded in 1861 and 1862 and you were taken to a field hospital, there you would lie, day after day, week after

week, in the same uniform. There were no clothes for you to change into. You would lie there in your bloodstained uniform, your sweat soaked uniform, you would lay on the same stretcher that you were placed on when they finally removed you from the field. Can you imagine being put in that positon? Or having an operation or a surgery to save your life and being placed back in those bloody, sweat stained, powder begrimed clothes. 1861 and 1862 for the medical department in the Union army, is something you fear. You hope not to be wounded in combat because you may lose your life, you hope not to be wounded in combat so you don’t get taken to a field hospital; the men in the ranks know what they’re facing, they understand the confusion, the chaos, the disorganization of the medical corps that is in the rear of the army. But all of that is going to change, because just before the battle of second Manassas in August 1862, the Union army, the army of the Potomac in the Eastern theatre is going to receive a new medical director. His name is Jonathan Letterman, Letterman is going to begin to revolutionize the medical department; how these men will be treated, how they will get off the battlefield, if they’ll get clean clothes, to make sure there’s enough medicine and food for the whole hospital. Letterman is going to revolutionize that system, between August of 1862 and September of 1862, when perhaps one of the more famous battles of the American Civil War will take place, the battle of Antietam. And there Letterman and his new ideas that Chris is going to talk about in just a few moments in this program, are going to begin revolutionizing medical care on an American Civil War battlefield and battlefield landscape. By Fredricksburg in December of 1862 and Chancellorsville in May of 1863, this system has been put in place and is beginning to prove extremely effective This system will ultimately become known as the Letterman system, after its inventor Jonathan Letterman. It will save countless lives on numerous fields of battle including Gettysburg, and some of the men’s lives who we’re going to be learning more about this evening. The Letterman system and those medical personnel operating under it will be our next stop, as we continue to follow in the footsteps of men such as Armistead, Hancock, Gibbon, Sheryl, and Stowe. As we make our way to the next stop I want you to think about, for just a moment, that you are following in the footsteps of these wounded soldiers 151 years later You are the first to do so in 151 years, and with every step is a passing moment, 2014 and then 1863, where these men’s battle for life after being wounded was very real and constant. Alright we did it folks, the point of no return. The next stop is gonna be a place that I can guarantee most of you have never been to before, so stick with us. We’re gonna cross a town road, and move on to the other side. Alright, everybody point to the Pennsylvania memorial, or the direction in which it is in. Yeah, it’s that way. North is that way, don’t want to discombobulate you. Where in the world are we? We’re in Gettysburg! More specifically, we are in the backyard of the William Patterson family, you can kind of see the Patterson house through the trees there. William Patterson is 40 years old, he is a typical Adams County farmer, his wife Lydia is 41, they have guess how many kids? They have 8. Oldest is 17, the youngest is 1, their names, for you information are William, Elizabeth, Jacob, Henry, Sarah, Lavinia, Louisa, John. Now that adds nothing to the program, I just like Lavinia. Again, Patterson is a typical Adams county subsistence farmer, This is his property, he purchases it 1849, the house probably dates from that era, though it might be a little earlier than that. Probably about 1849. This house is a monument to the Letterman system. It is a system where we are gonna take the wounded from that ridge where they just were to the major corps and division field hospitals we are gonna go to

Now Dan alluded to the Letterman system earlier; it comes about as a result of the failure of the medial system in 1861 and 1862. Jonathan Letterman, when he takes over, is 33 years old. This is a professional soldier, but he is also a professional doctor. He’s seen combat, he knows what combat and what bloodshed is like, and Jonathan Letterman, basically he believes that bandages can win battles. Normally the thought at that point in time was “medicine is something that we do only because we have to do it, it’s not a priority”. Letterman believes the exact opposite; and he will initiate a system of sweeping reforms which is going to revolutionize combat medicine, which is going to revolutionize battlefield medicine, which is still being used today, to a certain degree, in places like Afghanistan. And it has its origin in these battles during the American civil war. So very quickly, this is what Jonathan Letterman does; first of all, he helps clean up the camps, he makes sure, for example, in the early part of 1863 that the men in the army of the Potomac are getting fruits and vegetables to combat scurvy, but he really focuses in on battlefield medicine How do you treat men who have been wounded in combat? Dan mentioned the fact that previous to Letterman, if you were wounded, your first responder might be a musician in your regimental band. That would be like if you got hit by a car crossing the road and the first person that shows up is the clarinet player from the Gettysburg marching band. That’s not exactly an optimal situation. Dan talk about how, if you were wounded, you might have to depend on basically a private contractor to load you into an ambulance and get you off the battlefield. That’s be like, when you were crossing the road, if you got hit by a car and had to call a taxi company to come and take you to the hospital. That taxi’s not going to have anything in it to keep you alive, that taxi probably, unless he has a GPS, doesn’t know where the hospital is, Letterman changes that. He creates a professional ambulance corps. It’s organized, not at the regimental level, but at the division, at the corps level These are guys who are trained to come get you and put you in the ambulance. They’re going to do it in a way that’s not going to further injure you. They’re soldiers, so they’re not going to bolt once the bullets start to fly. They’re not going to get out of there once the shells start to explode. These guys, they’re gonna show up. And they’re gonna know what to do, and they’re gonna put you on a wagon, and that wagon’s going to have bandages, and it’s gonna have water, and these ambulance drivers are going to know exactly where to take you. What hospital to go to, because another one of Letterman’s changes is that he’s going to create a system of hospitals based not on the regimental level, but again, on the division level, on the corps level So rather than having one or two regimental surgeons, you’re gonna go to a major hospital You’re gonna go to a hospital where, first of all, there’s a hospital administrator; there’s a surgeon in charge, and his whole job is to run that division or corps hospital He’s gonna be responsible, he’s not gonna perform primary surgery, he’s gonna run the hospital. We have it today in hospitals all across the United States, the hospital administrator There’s gonna be another guy that works with that guy, and his entire job is to keep records Medical records, how many wounded am I treating, how many bandages am I going through, now Dan alluded to that before. There’s no medical records, but now that Letterman has instituted this change, we can learn from what happened at Antietam, we can learn from what happened at Chancellorsville, because now we know how many men we can theoretically treat in a day, we know what kind of wounds we’re getting, we know how much medicine we’re going through, we know how many bandages we’re going through, that is because of Jonathan Letterman. He’s going to have his surgeons at these major division and corps field hospitals working really, in teams of three. So that ambulance is going to pick you up, it’s gonna bring you to a division or corps field hospital, you’re gonna be triaged, so if I can’t save you, I’m not gonna waste my time with you If you’re wounded but you can wait, you’re gonna wait. If the only way to save your life is to operate immediately, we’re going to take you first. And then these surgeons are gonna look at you, they’re going to evaluate your case, they’re going to debate what to do, and then the best surgeon for your case, if you’ve got a fracture to the leg, if you’ve got a mini-ball in your shoulder, if you’ve got a head wound; the surgeon who’s the best at treating head wounds is going to be the guy that takes care of you. But those are

the division and the corps hospitals. Right behind the battle line there are basically going to be temporary field hospitals, where you’re going to initially go, and they’re gonna treat you. If you’ve got a scratch on your arm, if you’ve got a minor wound to your leg, those dressers at those temporary field hospitals, those aid stations, they’re gonna dress the wound, and guess what? You’re gonna go back to the battle line, you’re gonna go back to the fighting, you’re gonna go back to Cemetery Ridge. This is the system that Letterman has set up. So, you’re wounded on the battlefield; an ambulance is gonna come, with a stretcher, and theoretically they’re gonna take you to an aid station. The Patterson farm was an aid station. You would be treated there. If you could go back you would, but if you need to go back to a corps hospital, they’re gonna send you there. This is the system that Letterman has set up, and it works remarkably well. There was a doctor, name was Francis Waffer, and he worked at not the Patterson farm but one a bit further North down the Taneytown road where John Nicholas lives, John Nicholas here, the Frey farm And this is how he described his set-up; he said “This temporary hospital, was merely a place where some surgeons assembled to apply light dressings to the wounds, and superintend the removal of the wounded in ambulances to operating hospitals further in the rear. It was a small, stone farmhouse in the Taneytown road, a little more than a quarter mile in rear of our line. That’s what the Frey farm was, that’s what the Patterson farm was, and then from there you’d be shipped further South And again, theoretically that system works great, it works really really well, but nothing ever works out exactly as one plans it. On July first, second and third 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg, the second army corps is going to establish a series of divisional hospitals in the woods right behind you, and two more further down the road. These are big hospitals; the aid stations are that way, you’d be sent to the divisional hospital. Problems arise right away, and this is from the report of a doctor named Justin Dwinell; first problem was that the wagons containing all the supplies , the bandages, the food, the shovels, the pickaxes, everything you need to establish a major hospital, were not allowed to come to the battlefield. They were parked along the Baltimore Pike as far along as Westminster Maryland, why wouldn’t you bring them up!?Because the prevailing thought at the time was that bandages, they don’t win battles, bullets do. We’ve gotta keep the road clear for men, ammunition, artillery, and so they’re just stuck back there. And this is what Dwinell writes; “It was an unfortunate circumstance that our hospital wagons containing tents, blankets, cooking utensils, provisions, shovels, axes, and medical stores could not follow the army. I do not know whether the hospital wagons were prevented form coming up in time by an express order, or by the misconstruction of an order, nothing however, but to gain a victory, should ever prevent these wagons from following the ammunition train. So they’ve got these hospitals set up, but they don’t have the stuff they need. That’s the first problem. The second problem is, these division hospitals, these major hospitals on July second, they’re pretty good where they are. But on July third they’re way too close to the front lines, because what happens during the bombardment prior to Pickett’s charge? They overshot the ridge. So I want you to imagine, the wounded are spread out, in those woods, in the fields here, there are major hospitals further down the road, the same case. And you’re that surgeon Justin Dwinell, it’s a little after one O’clock, and now the Confederates begin to shell the Union position on Cemetery ridge but you have shells landing in your hospital. That is a problem; what are you gonna do about it? What do you do, you’re Justin Dwinell, how do you handle the situation? Are you gonna stay there and hope for the best? They gotta get these wounded guys further to the rear. You gotta take these major hospitals and move them back How are you gonna move all these wounded men? An ambulance, theoretically, you’d bring ambulances up and you’d send them further to the rear And that’s what’s happening during the bombardment and during Pickett’s charge, back at this aid station and back at that divisional hospital behind you. They’re working hard, getting these wounded men, some of whom can’t walk, some of them who can’t move, some of them who can only hobble along, and they’re getting them further back to the rear. As far away as Rock Creek. They’re using their ambulances to do it, Granite Schoolhouse lane, which is just beyond those trees, becomes a highway of the maimed and wounded. But, let’s say

you’re William Mitchell, staff officer to Winfield Scott Hancock, and your general is wounded, and you’ve gotta go get an ambulance, and it’s a little after 3:45 or 4 O’clock How many ambulances do you think are free and available for you to use for Winfield Scott Hancock? Zero! William Mitchell, Hancock’s staff officer, he delivers his message to George Meade, he comes back, he’s allowed to go find an ambulance, and he cannot find an ambulance for major general Winfield Scott Hancock. And everybody writes about this guy running around this area of the battlefield, trying to find a doctor, trying to find an ambulance, for the commander of the second army corps. Francis Waffer, who I just talked about, he writes about it, he says “It was about the commencement of their cannonade that an orderly came to the house in search of a surgeon for General Hancock. I did not hear this, but my orderly told me afterwards, that one surgeon refused to go, and that man went away threatening to report all those surgeons present.” Gibbon writes about it; I can’t find an ambulance for Hancock. Eventually, they go all the way back to that division hospital, and William Mitchell finally finds a doctor, he’s Alexander Dougherty, he’s the chief medical officer of the entire second army corps. They get an ambulance, and they go back to Hancock. He’s still back where we said our stuff, he’s still back on Cemetery Ridge, about twenty minutes have elapsed, and if you’ve ever called 911 and waited for them to show up, twenty minutes feels like a long time. They arrive, and the first thing Dougherty does is he probes Hancock’s wound, he takes his forefinger and he shoves it in up to the knuckle. He’s trying to find the projectile that’s inside Winfield Scott Hancock First thing he pulls out isn’t a bullet, it’s some pieces of wood and a bent tenpenny nail When Hancock was hit he was in the saddle, the Confederate bullet went through the saddle and into his abdomen. Dougherty couldn’t get the bullet out, but now they have an ambulance By this point in time, Hancock is being sent to the rear. Gibbon is being sent to the rear, and they’re gonna go to some major hospitals that are in the process of being set up away to the rear. These individuals that I mentioned; Dougherty, Dwinell, the surgeons who are working these hospitals, they very rarely get talked about. But these people were fascinating individuals and in a very true sense, they’re the real heroes of this battle, and Dan’s gonna briefly relate some of their stories to you. Not only are these surgeons and medical staff fighting to save as many lives as possible, for our storyline today on the afternoon of July third, but they are also fighting another battle, to overcome the stigma attached to the medical department of the Union army. Remember the poor state of medical affairs in 1861, and in 1862. These wounded men, who we’re following in the footsteps of today, Hancock, Gibbon, Sheryl, Doe, and many others; they are not new to the army. They have literally survived through 1861 and 1862 on those battlefields, and in some instances have survived the state of medical affairs. Being previously wounded, experiencing what a hospital was like during the first two years of the American Civil War. So as they are being transported eastward, back to the division and eventually the corps level hospitals, they have a picture in their mind of what to expect. And hopefully these surgeons, with the level of care, the organization of the hospital, supplies at these locations, how they’re going to be treated, having a fresh set of clothes for them to be placed in, will begin to recover the reputation of the medical department of the Union army’s army of the Potomac. So as Chris mentioned, who are some of these men? We talk about generals, we talk about lower ranking officers, we very rarely look into the lives of these surgeons, that are, at every passing moment, checking in on and operation on other wounded soldiers One of those surgeons that Chris mentioned was Justin Dwinell, Justin Dwinell was born to a prominent family in New York, in January of 1822. What’s so striking about Dwinell is he writes with such clarity about his profession, medicine, he’s such an instrumental person in the Union army second corps aid stations and divisional corps level hospitals, which we’re gonna hear a little bit more about as we continue eastward. But what’s frightening is that we don’t know much about his medical

education, I’m sure many of you that go to your family practitioner either in the waiting room or the exam room you see their medical degrees, proudly displayed on the wall. You know that they have been properly trained But for Justin Dwinell, we don’t know if he was entirely educated in the medical profession We know that he attended a year of Albany medical school, we know he attended a year of Jefferson medical college, and in both instances he wrote down that he was a practicing physician. Why would a practicing physician need to go to medical school? It’s a perplexing question. But eventually he will settle in Syracuse New York, and begin to practice medicine before the Civil War. He’ll have a family, he’ll marry in 1847, he’ll have 4 children, and his last child will be born just a month before the war breaks out. The firing on Fort Sumter occurs, and he decides to join up And he’ll go just across the New York border into Pennsylvania, and join up with the Seventy First PA. Ironically on the afternoon of July third, he’s fighting desperately in the angle on Cemetery ridge. Later he’ll move up rank scale and be transferred to the Hundred and sixth Pennsylvania. But he is just one of the surgeons operating on the divisional are corps level hospitals in the woods behind you. As we continue on with the program tonight you’re going to eventually arrive at the eleventh corps field hospital, and there’s two other surgeons I’d like to talk to you about that are at that location. One is Daniel Britton, Daniel Britton is the chief surgeon of the eleventh corps field hospital, which is located at the George Spangler farm. He’s a native of Chester county, Pennsylvania, born there in 1837, a graduate of Yale and Jefferson medical colleges, we do know his medical qualifications for treating soldiers, but when the war breaks out in 1861 instead of signing up immediately to offer his medical knowledge, he decides to leave the country. he goes to study abroad, he goes to Europe, Europe is on the cutting edge of medical technology at the time, they’re on the cutting edge of a new course of study; this is microbiology, using this thing known as a microscope to begin to figure out what is making you sick, what causes infections, and things of that nature. So from 1861 to 1862, while soldiers in the Union and Confederate armies are experiencing horrific medical care at the beginning of the war, he is studying the best medical practices of the time. He’ll return in 1862 after a year of study abroad and immediately enlist in the US army. He tells of us what it’s been like on July first, and on July second at the eleventh corps field hospital at the Spangler farm, not far away He said “The wounded soon began to pour in, giving us such sufficient occupation that from the first of July to the afternoon of the fifth I was not absent from the hospital more than once, and then but for an hour or two. Very hard work it was too, and little sleep fell to our share, four operating tables were going night and day, on the fourth of July which in its surroundings were gloomy enough, was enlivened by our belief that we had gained a victory. The number in the hospital was a thousand, a heavy rain came over in the afternoon and as we laid many in spots without shelter, and some indeed in the barnyard where the foul water oozed up into their undressed wounds, the sight was heresine in the extreme We worked with little intermission, with a minimum of amount of sleep. on one day I arose at 2AM and worked incessantly until midnight I doubt if I ever worked harder, in a more disagreeable occupation.” With him at the eleventh corps field hospital was a doctor from New York, Henry Van Aernam, born in March of 1819 in Marcellus New York, he began his medical studies in 1841. He would leave for Geneva college in 1842 and finally migrate westward out to the Buckeye state of Ohio where he would graduate from Willabee college He would practice medicine for just three years at Burton New York before finally settling in Franklinville. There, not only would he practice medicine, he would also serve at his state assembly. That experience would key him in on some of that red tape I talked about earlier; the change in the system from 1861 to 1862 to this new system practiced and adopted by Jonathan Letterman. Finally in September of 1862 the fighting is dying down on the plains around Sharpsburg Maryland Doctor Henry Van Aernam is signing up with the hundred and fifty fourth New York as a surgeon to treat men of this war. These are

just some of the man surgeons and medical staff that are not only fighting to keep these men alive, and are preparing for men like Sheryl, and Stowe, and Hancock and Gibbon, who are coming across that field of Cemetery ridge in front of you and towards this rear area. But they’re hoping that this new system that has been put in place, despite its difficulties, having many of the implements still in the rear in Westminster Maryland, that they can not only save lives, but salvage the reputation of their profession in the army of the Potomac here at Gettysburg in 1863. We are going to continue now to follow in the footsteps of these men that we are continuing to get to know throughout the course of this program, as we make our way to a site very few people visit here; one of the division field hospitals for the second army corps at Granite schoolhouse Well I want to welcome you to the vicinity of the Granite schoolhouse, as you can imagine, getting to the actual foundations would be quite a challenge in today’s current setup with a lot of the underbrush and growth back here. But before this area was the Granite schoolhouse, it was owned by the family of George and Elizabeth Spangler. George and Elizabeth Spangler, whose farm we’re going to end at this evening purchased their original small portion of property in 1848, and over the course of the 15 years leading up to the battle of Gettysburg, would continue to expand their property to what included the area you’re now standing in, a good portion off to the distance in front of you, as well as Power’s Hill, a hill that will play a key role in the battle of Gettysburg on July second and July third. And what we’re gonna hear about the story of the eleventh corps field hospital and the George Spangler family, we’re gonna hear that they’re gonna be visited by a lot of medical officers and Union army officers on July first and July second 1863. But they’re also going to be visited by members of the Adams County Government and County politicians, and things of that nature, because in 1860 Adams County, particularly Gettysburg, is looking to expand their school system a little further. They have some schools in town, North of town, West of town, East of town, but there’s not a particular school just South of town as they’re making their way towards the Maryland line. So they’re going to approach the Spangler family and ask for a right of way of land to build this school, and in 1860 they begin construction on what will become known as Granite schoolhouse. By 1861 the school is done, construction is over, classes are about ready to start, except there’s one problem; the students and teacher would have to get here on a very similar trail you had this evening. There was no road to get to the school itself. So by late 1860 early 1861 some of these county officials come back to the Spanglers and ask for a right of way of land to build a road to connect the schoolhouse. Granite schoolhouse lane’s importance cannot be appreciated enough when we are talking about this story tonight, because not only is it going to serve the medical corps of the Union army during the battle of Gettysburg and for the days and weeks afterwards, it is also going to serve large portions of the Union army’s infantry and artillery. We are about two miles south from that circle in the center of Gettysburg, that roundabout. This is the first road South of the town that is going to connect two key roads; the Baltimore pike to your right, and Taneytown road to your life. Roads are going to play a vital part in why the battle of Gettysburg is going to happen where it does, and affects how the battle is going to be fought. And for the evacuation of the wounded, and for the movement of large portions of the Union army’s fifth corps and the Union army’s artillery reserve, Granite schoolhouse lane is going to be the key in connecting the Union army to two critical roads in its rear; Taneytown road, and the Baltimore Pike Because of this connection, because of this area here, this is going to become a perfect place to establish a hospital. When the Union army second corps arrives to the battlefield at Gettysburg, several medical officers and personnel that Chris and I have talked about; Justine Dwinell, in particular, Alexander

Dougherty, these men are going to begin to look for locations to place their division and corps level hospitals. And as they’re beginning on Cemetery Ridge and moving eastward, they’re finding a problem; all the prime spots have been taken, the third corps hospitals have been set up, the twelfth corps hospitals have been set up, and they continue to move eastward, and as they do come down Granite schoolhouse lane they come to this little clearing and see this schoolhouse in the vicinity of which we now stand. A captain in the US medical corps, 1916, did a really detailed analysis of the history of the United State’s army’s medical corps, wrote this, he says “The hospitals of the second corps were first located in an opening of the woods along the crossroad from the Taneytown road to the Baltimore Pike, with the headquarters at the Granite schoolhouse.” Another historian wrote that “The division hospitals of the second corps were located July second at the Granite schoolhouse, but were soon moved to Rock creek” as Chris alluded to earlier, how we tie into the cannonade of July third. Surgeon Justin Dwinell, who we’ve heard about during our program tonight, noted that the first division hospital for the second corps was located near the stone schoolhouse. All three division level hospitals of the second corps are placed at this area, all of them will have the hospital yellow flags, marking them as medical facilities, but the headquarters for all three divisions will be at Granite schoolhouse. So by July third, George Spangler’s property is going to house a division level hospital of the United State’s army’s second corps. The medical director of the first division operating this area would set up shop on the edge of the woods with surgeon Robert C. Styles, the surgeon in charge in this location was doctor William Potter of the fifty seventh New York, who one historian noted was a highly opinionated surgeon who had grown up in a family of physicians in rural New York. A doctor Charles Squire Wood, former New York City physician and now surgeon of the sixty sixth New York volunteers would serve as the chief operator. As combat began in earnest on July second, in such places as Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, The Wheatfield, the Peach Orchard, the wounded of the second corps began to arrive. Surgeon Justin Dwinell recalled; “About four O’clock the wounded arrived in such large numbers that we soon had an accumulation of cases requiring amputation, the operators were kept at work until late in the evening, and until they were compelled to desist in their labors from exhaustion The other surgeons of the division, who had been detailed to the hospital were busily engaged during the day performing various duties which had been assigned to them.” One of the wounded men on July second, making his way to this location, to this hospital, was a Lieutenant by the name of Charles Fuller One of our rangers on staff, an number of years ago, edited Fuller’s diaries and account of the war, and it’s from his work that we are able to share this personal story with you this evening. Just twenty two years of age, wounded on the Southern end of the battlefield, in an area known as the Wheat Field, Fuller recorded his experience. After being wounded and placed on an ambulance, he said “When the ambulance started, it went anywhere but a good road. And as it bumped over logs and boulders my broken leg would thresh about like the mauler of a flail. I found it necessary to keep it in place by putting the other one over it. At last we stopped and were unloaded.” The young lieutenant was pulled out, and put on a stretcher, he was laid out among the growing number of wounded around the first division hospital on the edge of the woods near this schoolhouse. Once again however, Fuller would be forced to wait, this time to have his wounds examined. The New Yorker, which probably saved his life, decided to check his tourniquet, but it was growing dark, as it is this evening. Groping in the dark, he found his tourniquet, tightened it as tight as he possibly could, literally survived the pain of that, and laid back to rest, awaiting the surgeons to look at his wounds. Fuller’s leg would eventually be amputated at the Granite schoolhouse hospital. By midnight of July second and into July third Justin Dwinell said “I think at midnight there were none who had not been provided with good nourishing food; we were successful in finding sufficient hay for bedding for all of them.” Where were they getting the bedding? From George Spangler’s farm. “Even as the new day was breaking on July third, the hospitals were already running at full bore; struggling to treat the casualties of yesterday’s clash.” But a caveat is thrown

into the story, because as Chris mentioned, by July second, these hospitals are too close to the main line of fighting and it’s decided on the late evening of July second that these hospitals will be moved further to the East and to the South. But the order hadn’t been acted upon, July second passes, the dawn of July third passes, and still they have not begun to evacuate the wounded. Surgeon Justin Dwinell recalled July third, he said “During the morning of the third we succeeding in getting a sufficient supply of coffee, sugar, crackers, salt, and saltpork from several regimental commissaries. From early in the morning until noon, the operating surgeons were at work constantly, at four different tables. The slighter wounds were dressed as fast as possible by the surgical staff, and other help who had been on hand. An expectation of an attack on our immediate front to take place in the latter part of the day.” 1PM on July third the Confederate army unleashes a two hour bombardment with 137 pieces of artillery, with two and three shells being fired from each cannon every moment. As Chris alluded to and as many of you know, many of those shells did not hit their mark on Cemetery Ridge. Many continued to travel into the rear, and began to strike aid stations, such as the Fray farm and the Patterson farm, division hospitals of the second corps, and the eleventh corps hospital directly behind you. Surgeon Daniel Breton, of the eleventh corps hospital operating around the Spangler’s barn where we’re heading to next, recalled this, he said “On the afternoon of the third we were exposed to a sharp fire of shells, several horses and one man were killed close to the hospital Shells fell within twenty feet of the room in which we were, we were much in fear that the barn would blaze, which would have been an unspeakfully frightful casualty. Fortunately, we did not have this to record.” As Chris talked about earlier, eventually the evacuation of the division hospitals of the second corps would take place. Men would be loaded up in ambulances and taken further to the second corps hospital that had been established two miles from here. But not everyone at this location was accounted for, not everyone at this location would be transferred further to the rear. Their wounds simply would not dictate it. One of those soldiers that was left behind was Hiram D. Clark, of the hundred and twenty fifth New York infantry. He was lying unconscious, he was under anesthesia, he was on the operating table of the second corps, when the bombardment had begun. They finished the leg amputation, the division hospital packed up, and with the rest of the second corps moved off southward. Clark was unable to be moved. Still under anesthesia, the wound, the amputation fresh, they left him at the site. Surgeons would leave from the new hospital two miles from here and continue to come back and check on these wounded when they had a chance. As shells were crashing wildly in this direction, all around Hiram Clark and all the other men that were unable to be moved, one recalled seeing Clark at this hospital. He noticed that he was coming to from the effects of “chloroform; and with a smile on his lips, he remained uncomplainingly there through that terrible afternoon.” But I want you to imagine, if you were wounded in 1861-1862, just getting to a hospital was challenge enough, let alone if it had been moved. But thankfully because of the Letterman system, these men that were already at this hospital were being moved if they could, and those being removed from Cemetery ridge to the rear by a professional corps of stretchermen, and ambulancemen, who knew where to go, who would take them to those new locations. One more note about what’s going on in this area; not only do we have the first division of the second corps hospital here, we have the eleventh corps field hospital behind you, the Union army’s artillery reserve, and artillery reserve ammunition train, is also parked in the field behind you directly on the other side of the road. They too will have their own hospital, something they didn’t have in 1861 and 1862, again, artillery batteries were not given those staff. So at this point in the story, George Spangler, who was asked to give right of way for a school, and a road, now has two very large hospitals on his property, with Confederate artillery fire falling fast around them. But who are some of the men that

were here? Some of the men that we’ve been following in the footsteps of today? Chris is gonna pick up with the story of some Union officers, Hancock, Gibbon, and Woodruff. This spot 151 years ago would have been a scene of absolute confusion, of absolute chaos, the road behind you would have been choked with men trying to get to the rear, trying to get to the hospital, trying to get somewhere out of the way, trying to get someone to help them survive. And a lot of them went right past the granite schoolhouse. John Gibbon was one of them. John Gibbon wounded in the shoulder, remember? With his shattered collarbone? Gibbon goes all the way back to the second corps field hospital, the new one, which is gonna be established along Rock creek. Winfield Scott Hancock passes this too, on his way to that same hospital, James Crocker, the Confederate, ninth Virginia, he goes past this place headed towards the Bushman farm, twelfth corps hospital. I think it’s an interesting thing, what happens once the battle’s over Your level of care, and the amount of attention provided to you, doesn’t necessarily depend on whether or not you’re a Union or Confederate soldier. Once you’re wounded, you essentially become a non-combatant. And James Crocker, Confederate, he’s going to be treated at the twelfth corps hospital. There are gonna be surgeons there that put him through the same system that a wounded Union soldier is gonna go through. What truly affects your care, your quality of care, is not whether you’re a Union soldier or you’re a Confederate soldier, it’s whether you’re a private, or whether you’re a major general, or whether you’re a brigadier general. This is what happens to John Gibbon; he’s taken back to the second corps hospital, his wound is dressed, a few hours later his Lieutenant Frank Hascal arrives, they’re reunited, Hascal fills him in on what happened on the battlefield, and then Gibbon is put on a wagon. That wagon goes to Westminster, and the next day he gets on a train, and that train takes him to Baltimore, and in a period of about 24 hours he’s in a bed, clean sheets, he’s got attendants looking over him, he’s getting good food, he’s got everything he needs, that’s what happens to a brigadier general. What happens to a major general? What happens to Winfield Scott Hancock? Well after he passes Granite schoolhouse, he goes to the second corps hospital. He’s got Alexander Dougherty, the chief medical officer of the entire second army corps with him, and that night he rides to Westminster Maryland. It was a painful ride for Hancock, it was a bumpy ride, but the next day, the fourth of July, he gets on a train. That train goes to Baltimore, and then that train goes to Philadelphia, and he ends up in the La Pierre hotel. Before he left Gettysburg, se sent a telegram to his wife, who’s in Saint Louis, for her to stop what she’s doing and head to Philadelphia How many mothers who have sons in Afghanistan today would like to get that kind of notification, that quickly, as Winfield Scott Hancock does on this battlefield on July third 1863. It’s remarkable, at the La Pierre hotel, clean clothes, good food, attendants looking over him, family members arrive, and when it’s determined that maybe the La Pierre hotel’s not the best place for him, maybe he should go to Norristown where his father lives, an entire company of volunteer firefighters escort him from the La Pierre hotel to the train station. At the trains station is a detachment from the invalid corps, that escorts him even further. That’s the treatment a major general gets. Most everybody else, they’re gonna be treated at Granite schoolhouse, or they’re gonna end up at the Spangler farm. But not everybody makes it that far. We’re gonna go further down the road, but not everybody did on July third 1863. One of the men whose journey ended here, was that young lieutenant we started talking about, George Woodruff. The man commanding that battery in Ziegler’s grove, the man shot in the abdomen, in the intestines by a Confederate minie-ball. He never makes it further than this spot, this spot in the woods, that hundreds if not thousands of visitors drive down every single weekend. He’s out there, behind the Granite schoolhouse, and this is what Tully McCray, his friend says “Woodruff had been wounded and disabled, and the men had placed him behind a tree to protect him from being further wounded. It was a sad sight for us to see his life coming to this untimely end, for we knew it was the end from the nature of the wound. We removed him to the little stone schoolhouse, in rear of the line of battle, where he remained until he died the next day. Everything that could be done, with out limited means to make him as comfortable as possible was done. He died on July fourth, was buried behind the schoolhouse, and his grave was so marked so it could be identified.” When Tully McCray was burying George Woodruff, he found that unopened letter in Woodruff’s pocket, his father telling young Woodruff

that his mother had died only a few weeks beforehand. Woodruff never made it that far, Hancock made it all the way to Philadelphia, Gibbon made it all the way to Baltimore. If you couldn’t make it to Baltimore, if you couldn’t make it to Philadelphia, but you could get past the Granite schoolhouse, chances are you might end up at the seconds corps hospital, or you might end up at the eleventh corps hospital, which is gonna be our next stop. Well I wanna welcome you here now to the home of George and Elizabeth Spangler, and their four children. They purchased this property in 1848 and little could they have imagined, like the other sites that we visited this evening, what would be in store for their property in 1863. As we’ve already talked a little bit of the storyline as what has been taking place, George Spangler’s livelihood, his landscape would forever be altered on July first. As battle is waging six-seven miles North and West of town, this property is going to be taken over, if you will, by the eleventh army corps medical staff and personnel. It is an ideal location, there is plenty of wide open ground, remember all the supplies for the field hospitals are down the road in Westminster, so they don’t have field hospital tents, they don’t have cots, they don’t have fresh clothes, they don’t have the food, the supplies they need. They need some sort of shelter for the wounded; Spangler’s farm can definitely fulfill that need. His massive Pennsylvania bank barn in front of you, some of his out buildings, his summer kitchen to your left, several other out buildings that stood at the time of the battle that are no longer standing, and of course his farm house as well. He has two wells on the property, several fingers of Rock creek extend onto his property, he has wooded areas for shade and wood, he has miles of fencing that can help not only to light fires and supply fires, but can be used in a whole other manner of things necessary to a hospital. Acres of standing wheat and straws that can be used for hospital bedding and bed ticking, he has bushels and bushels and bushels of food. The Spanger family grew in 1860 600 bushels of ears of corn, so there’s a lot of food on the property here as well So this is an ideal location, surrounded by those main roads, Baltimore Pike behind you, Taneytown road in front of you, and connected by the Granite schoolhouse lane. So this is an ideal location for the eleventh army corps’ hospital. It was also an ideal location for the Union army’s artillery reserve, which begins to arrive in the late evening of July first and into July second. In the fields to your right, the fields that we just walked through, 114 cannons, 1400 officers and men, 3000 horses, will be parked in those fields during the battle. This landscape has absolutely and utterly changed. At any one point during the battle, Spangler’s property will be consumed not only by the Union army’s artillery reserve and its ammunition, but the eleventh corps field hospital around these buildings, the first division of the second’s corps’ field hospital at the Granite schoolhouse, and the artillery reserve’s hospital as well. They are supporting literally thousands of wounded soldiers in and around this area for the days and weeks to come. As we’ve made our way to this location tonight, we’ve been following in the footsteps of several of those wounded men; Chris gave you the ultimate conclusion to Lieutenant Woodruff, Hancock, and Gibbon, but what about some of those other men that we heard of at the beginning of the program? Elekium Cheryl, who had been under arrest on July second, Frederick Stowe, one of the sons of the famous Harriet Beecher Stowe, and brigadier general Lewis Armistead? It’s puzzling that unlike Hancock, a major general, John Gibbon, another general, struggling to find a stretcher let alone an ambulance to get them to a hospital, brigadier general Lewis Armistead, a Confederate brigadier general, was not only able to have Union soldiers, New Yorkers, find him a stretcher to get him off the field, but an ambulance as well. They are taking the very same route as close as possible to the route we took tonight 151 years later. One of the soldiers attending to Armistead, getting him off of Cemetery ridge and heading eastward, was a New Yorker by the name of John Irvin. He wrote this; “The general Armistead was brought to the hospital, Edison Ames and me carried him to George Spangler’s, and laid him on a bed

He had two wounds in the body and one in the thigh, I gave him some liquor.” Doctor Henry Van Aernam, we heard about his qualifications two stops ago, recalled this, he said “I had the dressing and care of the rebel general Armistead and came into Spangler’s house hospital at dusk of evening. He was wild, nervous, flighty, said that war must cease, men of the same blood, said he could not live. I had him stripped and found no fatal wounds, and I told him he would not die. Unfortunately he would die. At about midnight he grew irrational, wild, he was fine looking, he had a watch, a 1.62 of change of Federal money, lots of Confederate money, rings, and etc.” Armistead would die from his wounds, here at the eleventh corps field hospital. When we were talking about rank and privilege; if you were a private who arrived here at this hospital, your surgeon, your doctor, might be attending to seventy or a hundred other patients. If you are an officer such as Armistead, you’re gonna be attended to by a personal physician. Doctor Henry Van Aernam, in addition to his duties of taking care of 70 to 100 of those privates, he is gonna personally attended to Armistead Doctor Daniel Breton, who we heard about as well, in charge of this hospital at the eleventh corps field hospital, will also personally attend to Armistead. Unfortunately, he would not be able to overcome those wounds. At 9 O’clock, on the morning of July fifth, he would pass away here at the eleventh corps field hospital. The historical record is unclear as to where exactly he died; many historians will place him in the Spangler summer kitchen There’s also some evidence that may take him and place him inside the Spangler’s home, in one of their six rooms. The other five rooms in the house, four of them will be occupied by wounded soldiers and medical personnel, one of them will have the six member family of the Spanglers. They chose to stay here on their property, and for five weeks would live in one of those rooms, ten by thirteen, day in and day out. Armistead would initially be buried on the farm, and those that assisted in that said that he was wrapped in a blanket and buried just back of the barn, that was filled with wounded men. Several weeks later his body would be disinterred and a native of Stark County Ohio, a man by the name of Aldred Rider, wrote years after the war to John Bachelder, one of the early historians of Gettysburg. About what happened to Armistead’s body next. He said “I was detailed by doctor James Armstrong of Philadelphia, surgeon of the eleventh corps hospital, on the George Spangler farm near the Taneytown road to bury the dead and take their effects to turn the same over to him, to record their names in the book. I buried general Armistead, and his body was afterward disinterred and embalmed by doctor Chamberlain of Philadelphia. Doctor Chamberlain told me that he thought Armistead’s friends would pay a good price for his body, hence after it had lain in a rough box buried in the Confederate part of the corps cemetery in the Spangler farm, four weeks later he embalmed it. I always thought that his friends had gotten it, or missus Robert E. Lee had taken it with the rest of the Confederates to Richmond. If Armistead was in one of the rooms of the Spangler house, he had good company, because another room would be occupied by Elekium Cheryl. A man who was placed under arrest on July second, had been on his horse on Cemetery ridge on July third, when a Confederate musket ball had pierced his bowels. Cheryl would struggle for nearly a day before he would succumb to those wounds. His second in command of his regiment, the hundred and twenty sixth New York, Lieutenant James Bull, had the, not the pleasure, maybe pleasure to serve with Cheryl, the honor to write home to Cheryl’s wife and children what happened to him. He wrote this on July tenth; “Madame, with extreme sorrow I have to inform you that your husband fell mortally wounded here on the third instant, at about 6PM in the fearless and honorable discharge of his duty. He fell at a part of the field away from that in which I was engaged, he being near the thirty ninth New York while I was in command of our regiment He was removed without my knowledge to the eleventh corps hospital and I could not, though I made unusual efforts to learn his whereabouts, until last evening.” Despite soldiers attending to Hancock of his command, despite soldiers and staff officers tending to Gibbon under

his command, Elekium Cheryl would be removed to this hospital without the knowledge of his men. And although other wounded would be placed in the house with him, he would die alone, surrounded by unfamiliar faces In another room of the Spangler’s house, would be that of Frederick Stowe. That Confederate artillery fragment that tore away part of his right ear, his jaw, his teeth, part of his mouth and his tongue, Stowe would also be attended to by Henry Van Aernam of New York. When he arrived, doctor Hovie, another surgeon on the site, said this “Frederick Stowe of general Adolf Von Steinwehr’s staff was in one corner of one of the little bedrooms of the Spangler’s home. Doctor Daniel Breton, the surgeon in charge here of the eleventh corps field hospital said no one on the staff had been killed and the only wounded was captain Frederick Stowe, in the parasitoid process of the temporal bone by a fragment of shell which I extracted on July third.” Stowe, unlike the other officers that were being brought here and lose that battle for their life, would survive. He would make a recovery here at the hospital and go on to serve for the rest of the American Civil War. But you may recall since the age of 16 Stowe was fighting another battle, one of alcoholism. He had been successful in 1861 and 1862, in 1863 of not only escaping a wound, but escaping that fight. When he arrived here at the hospital the first thing administered to him was none other than alcohol. When the war was over, Stowe’s battle with alcoholism would pick back up. By 1870 he decided he needed a fresh start, and would head out west, eventually making his way to California. He was there only a year when he disappeared from history We don’t know what happened to Frederick Stowe; where he ultimately ended up, how he died, where he died, or where he is buried today For the Spangler family, they would have a significant recovery as well, like Stowe and many of the other wounded that were brought here. Bo so would the Patterson family, whose property we visited this evening. Chris will tell you now about the Pattersons and their recovery effort, as the men whose mangled bodies were brought there recovered as well I won’t belabor the point; William Patterson’s family suffered enormous damage as a result of their property being a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. I’m gonna run down a tally here real quick, and every time I say something was lost, I want you to think in your mind “How would Justin Dwinell have used that piece of property? How would a doctor or a surgeon at that farm made use of that particular thing?” This is from his 1868 application for damages compensation. Patterson family lost one carriage, one wagon bed, 600 shingles, one quilt, one blanket, two barrels of flour, four bread pans, two frying pans, one tub, one feather bed and pillow, 12 pounds of feathers, 8 yards of ticking, five buckets, 12 tons of hay, 60 bushels of wheat, 4500 rails, and on and on and on. The Spangler family, they probably measured it in a very similar way Once this was all over, everybody measured the cost of Gettysburg in their own units For the Pattersons and the Spanglers it was measured in rails and hay that was gone, and field that were destroyed. For Woodruff, for Armistead, for Cheryl, it was their lives, it cost them their lives. For Tully McCray, Woodruff’s friend, it cost him his friend Winfield Scott Hancock, John Gibbon, they would live, but they would carry the scars of Gettysburg with them for the rest of their lives. They were alive though. We’ve been on this journey now, and we’ve just gotten a little bit of a taste of how difficult it is to get from a place like Cemetery ridge to the George Spangler farm. All the stops you had to go to, the arduous task of getting an ambulance, the horrific scenes at the granite schoolhouse, and these scenes were horrific, but imagine how bad they would have been if this system wasn’t in place to deal with the wounded. Imagine how many more men would count the cost of Gettysburg as being their lives, and the lives of their friends. Justin Dwinell, in his report on his part of the battle, I think he summed it up best. He said this “In a great hospital, as this has been in spite of every precaution that can be devised by man, and all that can be done to relieve distress

of body and mind, there must always be a vast amount of suffering which God alone can relieve This is one of the conditions of war. It is the price of liberty.” We benefit from that price of liberty 151 years later. What is the monument to Justin Dwinell? What is the monument to Jonathan Letterman? Where’s the monument to the doctors, the surgeons, the ambulance drivers that saved these men’s lives, or tried to? Jonathan Letterman doesn’t have an equestrian statue on the battlefield. Jonathan Letterman, his name is mentioned on a little plaque down by route 30, by the Wal-Mart, that’s all he’s got. What is his monument? What is the monument to the ambulance drivers, to the men that worked in that farmhouse, in this barn? I would say it’s two things It’s the medics in Iraq and Afghanistan who do essentially the same exact thing today based off of this system, and it works because it had to go through the crucible that was the Battle of Gettysburg, and the American Civil War. Every wounded vet, who’s hanging out with their family tonight, that’s their monument. Every wounded Iraq vet who gets to go and walk their dog at the end of the day, this is their monument. And this battlefield, is their monument too. We started on Cemetery ridge a mile and a half that way, and now we’re at this hospital, this farm. We haven’t stepped on private land the entire time; every inch of this ground is preserved and it’s protected. That journey that we made, you can come back next year and do that. Hopefully, this land will always be here, and if it is we can always tell that story, that is their monument. And if you ever have to ride in an ambulance, if you have to go to the emergency room, you’ll be seeing their monument real close. I think that is the legacy of what we’ve done today, that is the legacy of what happened on their battlefield 151 years ago in unassuming places like the George Spangler farm, the Granite Schoolhouse, and the backyard of the Patterson farm. This program was truly a collaborative program, Dan works for the Gettysburg foundation, I work for the National Park Service, the Gettysburg foundation, they’ve preserved this farm. We’ll always have it The National Park Service has preserved this battlefield out here, and as long as we have that we can always tell this story, and we can always stand in what I didn’t think was gonna be a beautiful sunset today and talk about what happened here. On behalf of the National Park Service, on behalf of Dan and get the Gettysburg Foundation, I would like to thank you all for being here. Thank you