Jun 8
Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak is the host for our Gettysburg Hospitals series. He is standing in front of the George Spangler House. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak retired after spending 37 years working for the United States Postal Service. Phil first came to Gettysburg in 1999 and had Paul Cooksey as his guide. Phil became a self-described “Gettysburgaholic,” and decided to study to become a Licensed Battlefield Guide. He passed the December 2004 exam, and was licensed in November of 2005. He started as a part-time Guide, but became full time when he retired in January, 2007.

To contact Phil Lechak, click here to reveal his email address.

To see Phil Lechak’s previous series on Camp Letterman, click here.

In our first Gettysburg Hospitals’ post
, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak introduced us to the George Spangler Farm which is known as the site where Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Armistead died.

In our second Gettysburg Hospitals’ post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak shows some photographs taken on the farm by William Tipton circa the 1880s and in 1906.

In our third Gettysburg Hospitals’ post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak shows us the George Spangler Barn, used by the wounded of both sides.

In today’s Gettysburg Hospitals’ post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak shows us the George Spangler House, and the smokehouse.

This map shows the location of the videos we shot at the George Spangler Farm. Videos #1-5 were shown in our previous Gettysburg Hospitals posts. Video #6 was taken on the southeast side of the George Spangler House. This map was created facing north at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 3, 2011.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak is pointing to the area where the photograph of the Spangler buildings, which we featured in our last post was taken. The Spangler smokehouse is on the right. This view was taken facing south at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

In Video #6 Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak is in the front yard of the George Spangler House. He shows us the house in relation to its smokehouse and its summer kitchen. This view was taken facing south to northwest to northeast at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

The 1860 federal population census shows that George Spangler lived in Cumberland Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, and that his closest post office was in Gettysburg. He was born circa 1816 in Pennsylvania. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

The 1860 federal population census shows that George Spangler lived in the same dwelling and was part of the same family with Elizabeth Spangler (1818-), born in Pennsylvania; Harriet J. Spangler (1842-), born in Pennsylvania; Sabrina C. Spangler (1844-), born in Pennsylvania; Daniel Spangler (1846-), born in Pennsylvania; Beniah Spangler (1849-), born in Pennsylvania. This view was taken facing west at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Here’s a view of the back or northeast side of the summer kitchen and its relationship to the Spangler House. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Another feature that should be pointed out… This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

…is this stone walkway which leads between the summer kitchen and the house…This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

… and to the post-Civil War landing on the front of the house. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

So here is what the front doors looked like before the landing and its covering obscured them. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

The northeast wall of the house… This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

…features a cable leading to a lightning rod on the roof. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

We’ll step back from the house and summer kitchen area… This view was taken facing south at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

… and when we turn around, here are some probably post-Civil War sheds. A small portion of the barn is visible on the right. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Back to the house… This view was taken facing south at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

… the 1860 federal population census showed that George Spangler’s real estate had a value of $5000, and his personal estate had a value of $1500. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

His total of $6500 made him the 32nd wealthiest person in Cumberland Township, tying him with John Herbst (1824-), Joseph Walker (1804-) and Jacob Weikert (1797-). This view was taken facing east at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Oh, and don’t forget there’s the smokehouse in the front yard. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

The smokehouse has wood on the outside… This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

… it has bricks underneath the wood… This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

… and it needs some repair work. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

A smokehouse is a building where meat or fish is cured (preserved and flavored) with smoke. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Meat or fish was traditionally cured by the addition to the meat of a combination of salt, sugar, nitrates or nitrite. In our case, the curing process also involved smoking. This view was taken facing west at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Traditional smokehouses served both as meat smokers and as places to store the meat(s). This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

The finished product might be stored in the building for a year or more. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Traditionally, a smokehouse is a small enclosed outbuilding often with a vent, a single entrance, no windows, and frequently has a gabled or pyramid style roof. This view was taken facing east at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Here’s the inside of the smokehouse, with its smoke charred walls and the hole for its vent. This view was taken facing east at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Here’s the front of the summer kitchen. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Here’s the plaque to the right of the front door of the summer kitchen. We’ll cover the summer kitchen in our next Gettysburg Hospitals post. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:15 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.
The text for all of the Corps Hospital markers. For a pdf version, click here.
Dr. Jonathan Letterman’s Official Report of the Battle of Gettysburg. For a pdf version, click here.

Greg Coco’s book, A Vast Sea of Misery is available from Thomas Publications. For ordering information, click here.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.


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