Some History on the Trostle Farm and House and the Events Surrounding It.
The Battle of Gettysburg has been etched in our nation's history forever. These battles are known as the "bloodiest" and also as a major turning point in the Civil War.
The Gettysburg Battle began on July 1st, 1863 and ended, following Pickett's Charge, 2 days later, on July 3rd, 1863. The ending brought victory for the Union Armies who succeeded in turning back the troops of General Robert E. Lee.
After the 3 days of fighting, it was reported that the Confederate Army suffered over 20,000 casualties and the Union Army had over 23,000 men killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
The afternoon of July 2, 1863 has been recalled as one of the most important and most confusing battles fought during the Civil War. This day was marked with much controversy and much blood shed.
Although there were many farms/homes (including others owned by Trostle's) located on the Battlefield of Gettysburg, one has received much notoriety, and is known as the Trostle Farm.
This farm was originally purchased by Peter Trostle. It is located in Cumberland Twp., Adams Co., Pa. It contained approximately 134 acres. Some of its land bordered Plum Run and the Emmitsburg and Wheatfield Roads. In 1849, Peter Trostle leased this farm to his son, Abraham Trostle. The term of the lease was for 15 years, including annual payments and other provisions.
In July, 1863 the farm was described as containing some of the following items/buildings: a large Pennsylvania style bank barn; a wagon shed addition; a newly built wood-frame house; spring house; corn crib; apple orchard. Beside the buildings was a narrow lane that ran east to west.
Residing on the farm, up until they abandoned their home because of the fighting, were Abraham Trostle, his wife, Catherine and their children.
On July 2, 1863, Major General Daniel Sickles (who was later was seriously injured, near the Trostle barn, by a Confederate shell, which caused his leg to be amputated) moved his troops to an exposed position on Emmitsburg Road. Due to mounting pressure by the Confederate Army, the Union troops began retreating from the area of Peach Orchard. Their goal was to make it to Cemetery Ridge. The path of their retreat included the farm lane, noted above, located on the Trostle Farm. Most of the batteries were able to reach the ridge. One exception was the "green" 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery. This was to be their first battle. Captain John Bigelow commanded this battery. Captain Bigelow sustained severe wounds to his side and hand during the battle at the Trostle Farm. Reportedly the troops took cover in the Trostle building, waiting for the ranks of the Rebel Army to get closer. As the enemy troops approached over the knoll, the 9th Massachusetts Battery opened fire. The Confederates continued their advance on the farm. The battery was now trapped inside by the 21st Mississippi Infantry. The rebels then began shooting the horses, who were still strapped to their harnesses. The reasoning for this was so that the cannons could not be pulled out. The 9th Mass. Battery continued to fight, in the end, the remaining survivors fled, leaving behind their guns, limbers and also the wounded and dead, both man and animal alike. During this battle, the 9th Massachusetts Battery lost five of it's six guns and reportedly 80 of their 86 horses. Their guns were later regained by Union Troops.
When the Trostle family was able to return to their home and farm, the sight that greeted them was one filled with horror and carnage. The house was wrecked, crops and fences gone, household articles and farm utensils were broken. Both the house and barn sustained shell damage. The holes are still visible today on the barn.
When Catharine Trostle petitioned the government for compensation as a result of the damage sustained to her home and farm, she reported, "there were 16 dead horses left close by the door and probably a 100 on the farm." A report also included some of the possessions/property that was destroyed, such as: hay, oats, wheat, garden vegetables, quilts, carpet, pillows, bridle, posts, and timber. Also mentioned is "use of buildings for hospitals". She also described the house as having 7 rooms and a basement. The house was described as being occupied until July 4, 1863.
Major George Bell, Depot Quartermaster, Washington DC, determined that the "losses sustained by the claimant in this case are in the nature of damages and are, therefore, not entitled to consideration under the (Compensation) Law of July 4, 1864."
The farm was sold in January 1899 to the United States Government for $4500.
Marking the spot on the Trostle farm where the 9th Massachusetts Battery bravely fought, is a granite replica of a limber chest and 2 cannons. Also standing on the Trostle property, near the barn, is a monument to commemorate the injury sustained by General Sickle.**
Pictures of the Trostle Farm and House that are contained on this website.
Trostle Barn#1: Picture of Trostle barn.
Trostle Barn#2: Picture of Trostle barn.
Trostle Barn#3: Picture of Trostle barn.
Trostle House#1: Picture of Trostle house.
Trostle House#2: Picture of Trostle house.
Pictures of the Trostle Farm and House that are not contained on this website. (Note: If you view the pictures listed at the websites below, you will need to use your browser's "back" button if you wish to return to this website.)
Codori Trostle Thicket Rehabilitation: This is about the reassessment of the Emmitsburg Road & Plum Run Battle area. It contains an article and 2 pictures. It is from the Gettysburg National Park Service website.
Peach Orchard & Trostle House: This is a page entitled, The Soldiers at Gettysburg-The Visual Experience. It contains 2 pictures taken in July, 1863: Union Dead near Peach Orchard and Aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, Trostle House.
Gettysburg Battle Field Photo Tour: This is a page put together by Barb Beranek with many great pictures, including the Trostle Farm and house. Scroll down the page and click on a picture to view. The site belongs to Military History On-line.
Trostle Crop Poem: This is a poem written by Karen Corcoran Dabkowski, reflecting on those eventful days of July 1863, that changed people's lives forever.
Trostle Farm-Panoramic: This is link to a 360 degree panoramic view of the Trostle Farm.
**Sources used as a reference include: Trostle Farm File;
Gettysburg Park Service; Trostle Farm-History by Beth Esler, September 1985;
Gettysburg National Park website and other various websites.
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