GDG- Camp Colt

Andy Mills amills at
Wed Jan 4 07:27:05 CST 2012


Thanks for the information.  As with Nancy's email, I must apologize for the lateness in a reply due to the holidays.  

But I have to ask:  are you being serious about brothels in Devil Den, or was that more "tongue-in-cheek?"  


-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at] On Behalf Of Jack Lawrence
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 4:29 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- Camp Colt

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
I am not sure any of it is the same, except for static features such as plum Run, et al.
Not only is there a substantial soil erosion rate at play here, but over a century and a half, there would be a soil replinishment rate in paly for land that has lain fallow.
Additionally, the man made chnages are not always obvious. Dynamite was used down past Devils Den to put in the electric rr (trolley).

There used to be towers on BRT and at The Angle. There were, at one time, hotels, saloons, casinos and, of course, and weekend brothels down in the Slaughter Pen.
There are small rock quarries used for monuments all over the park. (There is one on LRT).

Frassanito has noted specific rocks, etc, that you can see today, but the terrain itself has changed.

A guide once stood on the field in front of  group I was with, and pointed out a shallow depresssion that they (the guides) were certain marked the disposition of a certain unit during the battle, because a report mentioned a depression in the area.

He was standing directly across the road from the Pennsylvania Monument at the time, which has been formed and reformed countless times.

Stick with the rocks, the buildings, the rest just isn't there any more.



....but I rember yesterday....

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andy Mills" <amills at>
To: "GDG" <gettysburg at>
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 2:53 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- Camp Colt

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:

Thanks for the information.  That makes sense, but for the most part, would 
it be more authentic than places like the Union Center where entire hills 
were flattened?  Or were there some hills along the fighting on Culp's Hill 
that were removed to make room for the roads (as I believe the Angle was 
actually 10' higher but flattened for the road, not to mention all the army 
activity in that area).

I know nothing we see will give us the view of the battlefield as it existed 
in 1863, I guess I am wondering how different parts of the battlefield that 
we see today fared in maintaining its original character.

I would think ECB, Devil's Den and Culp's Hill are the most pristine as 
composed to places like LRT, The Angle and Pickett's Fields (for lack of a 
better description).

I hope that makes sense.


-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at] 
On Behalf Of Nancy Householder
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- Camp Colt

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
Culps Hill has changed, too. They put monuments on the hill, first, then 
after the War Department took over the park in 1895, they put roads in so 
people could have access to the lines of battle. They built roads on Culps 
hill, next to the monuments so people could see them. Later, in the 1930's 
they had to redo the roads on Culps Hill so cars could go up the roads. The

first roads were much steeper and very windy, and made for horses and 
carriages. They also moved some monuments when they re-did the roads. I 
learned this from LBG Sue Boardman in her class on Culps Hill.

Nancy Householder

 From: Andy Mills <amills at>
To: GDG <gettysburg at>
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 9:16 AM
Subject: Re: GDG- Camp Colt

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
Out of curiosity: is there any landscape we see today that would be the same 
as 1863? The First Day we have airports and railroads, etc. The second day 
we have trolley lines, railroads, military establishments, scalping of 
crests, not to mention roads such as the ones that used to be around the 
angle (this is one I don't fault all that much as you need roads for 
accessibility as you can't expect people to be able to walk entire 
battlefields as well as visitor centers as the wisdom of when they were 
built are drastically different than approaches and views today) and the 
third day we have the same issues as the second day. Perhaps the cavalry 
battlefields of the Gettysburg area are pretty close, but I really don't 

The only two that seems to not have been touched is Culp's Hill (I know 
building the road caused disruption but view that as a necessary evil), but 
we don't get the same vantage points around Culp's Hill as the soldiers due 
to all the overgrowth in that part of the battlefield and Devil's Den (what 
could actually be built in that rocky outcropping) .

It seems with the tree clearing, at best we are getting "line of sights" but 
not authentic views of how the soldiers saw the battlefield. Would this be a 
fair assessment?

It doesn't seem like at Antietam / Shiloh where I believe those battlefields 
are about the same as during the battle (given, I know building roads and 
Visitor Centers cause disruption), but for the most part, those battlefields 
have changed very little over time (with the exception of said projects to 
allow visitation to the battlefields and the usual wear of time and 


-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at] 
On Behalf Of Nancy Householder
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 8:45 AM
Subject: Re: GDG- Camp Colt

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
I was told by LBG Sue Boardman, that the reason the Penn. Monument was built 
in that location is because there was a railroad stop right there.

Railroad tracks went across the field in front of the Union monuments on 
Cemetery Ridge, in front of the High Water Mark, and ran way down

towards LRT. There was a stop by the end of Hancock ave, and they could 
bring in all the supplies to build the PA Monument by railroad, and

could unload them right there, near where they will build it.

Nancy Householder

From: John Lawrence <jlawrence at>
To: GDG <gettysburg at>
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 2:51 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- Camp Colt

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
The Pennsylvania monument is built on the site of Father Corby's benediction 
(the statue was placed at it's present site to sit on the curve where the 
electric railroad emerged).
There was a 40 foot knoll where the monument is today.
The knoll, I was told by a LBG-one of the better ones, was higher than the 
head on Lincoln's statue.
A few years ago, we ran into a sculptor oat the Dobbins blobs bar who had 
done the statue of the last Pennsylvania general to be erected on Cemetery 
Ridge. (I learned lot about sculpting that evening).
When they excavated for he foundation for the statue, there was a NPS rep 
there to recover artifacts.
As expected, they found none. When the road on Cemetery Ridge was put in, 
they scraped it clean and dumped it in local fields.
A 15 foot deep ravine once separated, Vincent's Spur from the main body of 
The rocky ledges of Oates report were obliterated when Chamberlain Avenue 
( a; carriage route now all but gone itself) was put in.
Dynamite was used to put in the electric railroad.
Nothing is the same.

Andy Mills <amills at> wrote:

>Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>I came across this image on the Gettysburg Daily blog....
>In looking at it, it looks as though the copse of trees is just out of 
>sight to the left of the image.
>But looking at this image, it seems most of the hills we see today from the 
>same perspective were flattened with little or no regard for the state of 
>the battlefield.
>Is this true? And if so, it would seem the hills we see today around the 
>High Water Mark are reproductions of ones that might have been there, not 
>to mention the stone wall and the "original stone wall covered with sod" 
>around the US Regulars Monument.
>It seems this training ground significantly altered the landscape.
>How much impact did Camp Colt have on the ground? Were the tanks then 
>running (even if it was only three by the summer) on the ground between 
>West Confederate Avenue and the Emmitsburg road through the area covered by 
>PPG Assault, or did they train more in the Codori - Trostle Thicket area?
>Out of curiosity: did any of the men driving the tanks / flatbed trucks 
>lose control and destroy any monuments (even the regimental flank markers 
>that are positioned low to the ground)?
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