Jun 14
Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak is the host for our Gettysburg Hospitals series. He is standing in front of the George Spangler Farm’s summer kitchen. His is pointing out that the stone part of the structure is original. The part behind him (on the left of the structure and to the left of the stones) is a post Civil War addition. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:30 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 the fourth Gettysburg Hospitals’ post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak showed us the George Spangler House, and the smokehouse.

In today’s Gettysburg Hospitals’ post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak shows us the George Spangler Summer Kitchen where Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Armistead died on July 5, 1863.

This map shows the location of the videos we shot at the George Spangler Farm. Videos #1-6 were shown in our previous Gettysburg Hospitals posts. Video #6 was taken on the southeast side of the George Spangler House. Video #7 was taken in the summer kitchen. Video #8 was taken in the area between the summer kitchen and the large bank barn. This map was created facing north at approximately 7:30 AM on Saturday, June 11, 2011.

Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead (1817-1863) was a native of North Carolina. He attended the United States Military Academy, but resigned after he broke a plate over the head of fellow cadet Jubal Early. Some historians feel that the primary reason that Armistead resigned from the academy was because of academic difficulties. Armistead obtained a second lieutenant’s commission in the 6th United States Infantry in 1839. Five years later he married Cecelia Lee Love, a distant cousin of Robert E. Lee. They had two children, a boy and a girl. Armistead fought in the Mexican War and was breveted to the rank of captain for his actions at Contreras and Churubusco. He was wounded at Chapultepec, and was appointed a brevet major for Chapultepec and Molino del Rey. In April, 1850 his daughter died. In December, 1850 his wife died. His married his second wife, the widow Cornelia Taliaferro Jamison in Alexandria, Virginia in 1853. They had a son who died in 1854. His second wife died in 1855 at Fort Riley, Kansas. This view was taken facing south at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Following his wounding during Pickett’s Charge on July 3, 1863, Brigadier General Armistead was brought to the summer kitchen on the George Spangler Farm. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

In the days before air conditioning, farms would often have a separate building such as this summer kitchen, to cook meals. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

There is only one entrance to the summer kitchen, so Armistead must have been brought through here. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

He was then probably placed underneath this window. We’ll show you where in a little while. This view was taken facing east at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

A closer view of the plaque outside the front door of the summer kitchen. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

There are some flagstones in front of the kitchen. This view was taken facing west at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

In the summer kitchen, women would cook meals, preserve vegetables and fruits, and bake items. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Having a separate building also meant that the women would not have to heat the main house while the food was being prepared. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Currently there is not second floor or attic in the summer kitchen, but this window shows us there might have been another floor at some point. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

The iron bar might be placed here to help the kitchen with stability. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak shows us the picture of the Spangler family in front of the farm… This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

… and specifically the summer kitchen. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Here is the photo Phil was showing us. This view was taken facing northwest circa the 1880s-1890s.

The back of the summer kitchen. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Again, notice the relationship of the summer kitchen to the house. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

The wooden extension on the north side of the summer kitchen… This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

…is probably a post Civil War structure… This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

… because it doesn’t appear to be in the 1880s-1890s picture we showed you earlier. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

During Pickett’s Charge, Brigadier General Lewis Armistead had been wounded in the lower leg and (depending on the source) in either the upper arm or “the breast” (the pectoral area of the chest). Neither wound was considered serious enough to cause death by his attending physician. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

United States’ Captain Henry Bingham assisted Armisted after he was wounded. Bingham reported that the general was “completely exhausted, and seemingly broken spirited.” This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

We’ll get past the security system to enter the kitchen. This view was taken facing north at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Dr. Daniel Garrison Brinton and another doctor examined Armistead at the summer kitchen. They dressed two wounds, neither of which were considered serious. “One was in the fleshy part of the arm and the other a little below the knee on the other side. Both were caused by rifle balls, but the general was fortunate in that neither bone, artery, or nerve was injured by either.” This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

While talking with Armistead, Doctor Brinton discovered that the general had “suffered much from over exertion, want of sleep, and mental anxiety within the last few days.” Part of the Spangler House is visible through the door. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

We would really like to know how old this door might be. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

In Video #7 Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak is in the summer kitchen. He shows us where Armistead might have been placed in the kitchen. This view was taken facing southwest to southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

This might be the area in the kitchen where Armistead had been placed and later died. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Armistead probably arrived between 4:00-5:00 PM on July 3, 1863. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

He was placed next to the fireplace. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

We do not know if the fireplace was used to make meals, and/or boil water for the wounded. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

This is a view that Armistead might have had while in the summer kitchen, and he wasn’t the only patient in here. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Armistead was very restless. “His proud spirit chafed under his imprisonment and his restlessness aggravated his wound[s].” A Captain Holland heard Brigadier General Armistead asking people not to step so close to him while they were treating others around him. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Ok, if you want a close up of the benches, which appear to be work benches… This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

…here you are. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Armistead died at approximately 9:00 AM on July 5, 1863 “after intense suffering.” This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

The general’s death greatly surprised the Dr. Brinton, who “deduced that the death was not caused directly by the wounds but by secondary fever and prostration.” Secondary fever probably means that he had developed an infection. Armistead is buried in Baltimore, Maryland. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak is pointing to the Spangler Barn, which is badly in need of repair. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, May 13, 2011.

In Video #8 Licensed Battlefield Guide Phil Lechak concludes our visit to the George Spangler Farm. This view was taken facing north to northeast at approximately 5:30 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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