Oct 31

A large section of a tree fell on the top of the monument to the 121st New York Infantry Regiment on Little Round Top. It knocked the bronze figure at the top of the monument backwards. The damage not only separated the bronze top from the granite base, it bent the granite base. Just visible in the trees in the left background are from left to right, the monument to the 146th New York Infantry, and the base of the monument to the 155th Pennsylvania. In the right background, is the monument to Gibb’s Ohio Battery. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

Approximately five inches of heavy, wet, snow came to the Gettysburg area on Saturday, October 30, 2011. The snow helped to topple a tree on a cannon along Seminary Ridge’s West Confederate Avenue and damaged the 121st New York Monument on the north slope of Little Round Top.

This map shows where the snow damage occurred that we are showing in this post. The red star with the “C” marks the location where the tree fell on the cannon along Seminary Ridge’s West Confederate Avenue. The star with the “121″ shows where the tree fell on the 121st New York Monument on the north slope of Little Round Top. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

The first damage to show you is of a tree that fell on a cannon on the east side of West Confederate Avenue. Big Round Top is in the left background. The tree is laying in the center background, where you can see some orange colored leaves near the ground. The cannon and their carriages have just been placed back on West Confederate Avenue over the last couple of years. This view was taken facing south at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

We have shown you this tree before, in April, 2008 before the cannon carriages had been returned to this area. But the tree that fell is not one of the trees labeled with numbers. The trees labeled with numbers are witness trees to the battle that either have tags showing that they are witness trees, or scars from cables that show that they are witness trees. This view was taken facing facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Wednesday, April 30, 2008.

The tree that fell is marked by a red star and the letter “C.” It might have been a witness tree, but it did not have a tag or a cable, or a cable scar to show that it might have been a witness tree. This view was taken facing facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Wednesday, April 30, 2008.

The tree fell among two cannon and a plaque marking the location of Crenshaw’s Battery of Pegram’s Artillery Battalion. Crenshaw’s Battery was from Richmond, Virginia. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

The tree came out of the ground at or near its roots. This view was taken facing south at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

By the time that we arrived, the National Park Service had already removed the carriage and artillery tube from beneath the tree. The tube was either a 12 pounder Napoleon or a 12 pounder Howitzer, we can’t remember what was there. This view was taken facing east at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

The tree missed the marker for Crenshaw’s Battery… This view was taken facing east at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

… and the other artillery piece that was marking the position of Crenshaw’s Battery. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

So the damage could have been worse than it was. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

Perhaps the Park Service as they cut up the tree will count the rings in order to determine how old it was. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

This view shows that most of the roots are still in the ground. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

We are grateful that the five witness trees which we have showed in our previous post are still standing on the other (north) side of the artillery piece closest to the camera. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

Now we’re back to the 121st New York Monument on the north slope of Little Round Top. The large tree in the center is missing some branches on its right side. Those are the branches that fell on the 121st New York. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

From this angle, it doesn’t seem that there are enough branches to do the amount of damage that it did to the 121st. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

This angle might give one a better idea of how large the branches actually were. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

The rear of the monument is the part most visitors see (if they notice the monument at all) on their way down Little Round Top towards either the Wheatfield, Devil’s Den, or the High Water Mark. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

This angle shows that the figure on top of the monument wasn’t knocked straight back. He was knocked backwards and to his left. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

This view shows how the back of the bronze piece is still attached to the granite part of the monument, and the front, especially the front right (northwest) part of the monument has been separated significantly from the granite. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

It has not only been separated, it has been bent. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011

Really bent. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

The monument to the 121st New York was shown in a post we did following a lot of snow in December, 2009. No damage occurred to the monument at that time. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

Another angle of the damage. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

This monument was also shown in a post by Licensed Battlefield Guide Rich Kohr on the path of Gettysburg’s Electric Trolley. This view was taken facing east at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011

This view shows the different limbs above the monument whose branches were pulled away by the snow on top of the monument. This view was taken facing east at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

We can’t tell if the monument was damaged by the branches besides being pulled away from the granite base. One would think the the force that caused this piece to bend back must have damaged the statue, but we were not able to tell. This view was taken facing east at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

Another view of the separation. This view was taken facing east at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

Again, from this angle, we can’t see any other damage to the figure. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

The monument was dedicated on October 10, 1889. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

We feel badly for the maintenance crew that are finishing the monument to the 4th New York Artillery Battery, and now have to get to this one when they are able. And we don’t want to hear that incidents such as this are “job security” for those individuals because they have plenty to keep them busy right now. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.
Dr. Pete Carmichael, who wrote a history of Crenshaw’s Artillery, now works at Gettysburg College. To order a copy of his book, click here. This image was copied facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.
Emory Upton, who was a Colonel of the 121st New York during the Gettysburg Campaign wrote several books. For ordering information, click here.
This image was copied facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

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