Apr 17

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides Garry Adelman and Tim Smith are south of the Henry Spangler Farm, whose buildings are shown in the right background. Garry is holding a copy of Gettysburg Magazine Issue #3. In this issue, Historian Earl Coates proposed that the Harvest of Death photographs were taken at the location where Tim and Garry are standing. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:45 PM on Sunday, February 5, 2012.

Director of History and Education for the Civil War Trust, Garry Adelman earned his B.A. in business from Michigan State University and his M.A. in history at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. He is the author, co-author or editor of The Civil War 150 (2011), Antietam Then and Now (2005), The Myth of Little Round Top (2003), The Early Gettysburg Battlefield (2001), Little Round Top: A Detailed Tour Guide (2000), and Devil’s Den: A History and Guide (1997) as well as eight Civil War image booklets. He has published articles in The Gettysburg Magazine and Hallowed Ground and conceived and drafted the text for wayside exhibits at the Third Winchester, First Day at Chancellorsville, Mine Run and Slaughter Pen Farm battlefields. A frequent lecturer at Civil War Round Tables, he has also appeared as a speaker on HISTORY, C-Span, and Pennsylvania Cable Network. He is the vice president of the Center for Civil War Photography and is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg.

Timothy H. Smith is a native of Baltimore and a life long student of the American Civil War. He is employed as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park and as a research historian at the Adams County Historical Society. He is an instructor for the Gettysburg Elderhostel and teaches classes on the battle and local history at the Gettysburg Campus of the Harrisburg Area Community College. Tim has written numerous articles and authored or co-authored ten books on Gettysburg related topics, including John Burns: The Hero of Gettysburg (2000). He has lectured extensively at Civil War Round Tables and Seminars and has appeared on several television documentaries, including the Unknown Civil War and the popular PCN Gettysburg Battle Walk series.

William A. Frassanito’s Facebook fan page

Timothy H. Smith’s Facebook fan page

Garry Adelman’s Facebook author page

In the first Harvest of Death post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides Garry Adelman and Tim Smith introduced us to the Harvest of Death series and showed the photographs documenting the Harvest of Death scene.

In the second Harvest of Death post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Garry Adelman showed the first site where he thought the Harvest of Death photos were taken, and explained the emotional investment he and others have in the sites where they believe these photographs were taken.

In the third Harvest of Death post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides Tim Smith and Garry Adelman laid out their helpful hints or tips or principles or rules for anyone attempting to locate the Harvest of Death site.

In the fourth Harvest of Death post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides Tim Smith and Garry Adelman remind viewers of the area where most of the known photographs were taken by Alexander Gardner and his crew, and address the “lawyer syndrome” in looking for the Harvest of Death site.

In today’s Harvest of Death post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides Tim Smith and Garry Adelman visit the Jerry Coates’ Harvest of Death site and show how some features and angles do not match the original photographs.

This map shows the location of the Harvest of Death videos. Videos #1-#10 were shown in our previous Harvest of Death posts. Videos #11 and #12 were taken south of the Henry Spangler farm buildings. This map was created facing north at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday April 6, 2012.

Historian Earl J. “Jerry” Coates previously presented a series on the Harvest of Death photographs. He is standing south of the Henry Spangler Farm. The Spangler Barn is in the right background. Spangler’s Woods meet Seminary Ridge in the left background. To see see part one of this series, click here. To see part two of this series click here. To see part three of this series click here. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:30 PM on Monday, November 28, 2011.

In Video #11 (Videos #1-#10 were shown in our previous posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides Tim Smith and Garry Adelman are at Jerry Coates’ Harvest of Death site. They show that the trees in the background on Seminary Ridge in his “north” view were photographed from Little Round Top and from Cemetery Hill. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:45 PM on Sunday, February 5, 2012.

A diagram of the bodies in the Harvest of Death series that the photographers walked around when they shot their images. The angle of the two camera positions (circled) is approximately 135 degrees. This image was produced for William Frassanito’s book Gettysburg: A Journey in Time. The lines showing the direction in which the cameras were pointing were added by Garry Adelman.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides Garry Adelman and Tim Smith are showing the 135 degree angle. Their left arms are pointing to the north view of Earl Coates’ position. Their right arms are pointing to the south view of Coates position. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:45 PM on Sunday, February 5, 2012.

In Video #12 Licensed Battlefield Guides Tim Smith and Garry Adelman are at Jerry Coates’ Harvest of Death site. They show that some ridges in the “Coates” view do not match the ridges on the original photograph. They also show that the view to the “south” would be looking at the Sherfy farm buildings. This view was taken facing north to southeast at approximately 2:45 PM on Sunday, February 5, 2012.

This is the distinct wooded ridge-line Licensed Battlefield Guide Tim Smith makes note of in the video above. This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Licensed Battlefield Guides Garry Adelman and Tim Smith are standing northwest of the Joseph Sherfy Farm. The backpacks on the ground represent bodies in Jerry Coates “south” view. If the 135 degree angle was followed, then the Sherfy farm buildings would have been in the Harvest of Death view with the open slope. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:45 PM on Sunday, February 5, 2012.

The hints, rules, and principles for those attempting to locate the sites of Civil War photographs. Please remember that you can click on this image for a larger version. This image was created facing north on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.

10 more essentials for the Harvest of Death series

1. Use all five photos to get the best detail and breadth possible.

2. The views in both directions must match proposed sites. The cameraman took views in two different directions at an approximately 135 degree angle. Not 110, not 160—certainly not 180. This is absolute.

3. Anyone can find the Harvest of Death site. It need not be a known historian.

4. Avoid the “Moving Target Syndrome.” This means two things. First—if you want others to evaluate your proposed site, you can’t keep moving that site around. It’s hard to hit a moving target and is even harder for people to follow. Second, if, for instance, you have found your “good” view that you believe matches one of the Harvest of Death photographs and you can’t line up your “other” view at 135 degrees, you can’t move your spot to make the “other” view work without changing the view of your “good” photo.

5. It only takes one piece of period photographic evidence to prove any Harvest of Death theory wrong. Even if 100 other pieces of evidence support it.

6. The sites from which the Harvest of Death (and every other Civil War photograph) photos were recorded are fixed and absolute. No site is more correct than another—each proposed site is either perfectly right or perfectly wrong. Our not knowing where the photos were taken does not make any other site more correct.

7. The general terrain found in the Harvest of Death series is fairly common.

8. People are very easily convinced of proposed Harvest of Death sites. But this is not a popularity contest. See #4, above.

9. Do not publicize your theory as a success until you and other historians have completed all the steps on these lists and dealt with the contrary evidence.

10. Check 1-9 again.

A stereoview titled “Federal Soldiers As They Fell, At Battle of Gettysburg.” This is number #234. This image was taken by James F. Gibson for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863, and is courtesy of Garry Adelman.

The back of the stereo card titled “Federal Soldiers As They Fell, At Battle of Gettysburg.” This image is courtesy of Garry Adelman.

A stereoview titled “On the Battlefield at Gettysburg.” This is number #243. In the video, Garry showed an earlier version of #243 titled “View In Field on Right Wing.” This image was taken by James F. Gibson for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress.
The back of the stereo card for image #243 titled “On the Battlefield at Gettysburg,” and which was earlier titled “View In Field on Right Wing.” This image is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

A glass plate titled “View in Field on Right Wing Where General Reynolds Fell At The Battle of Gettysburg.” This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

A part of the stereoview titled “Evidence of How Severe The Contest Had Been On The Right at The Battle of Gettysburg.” This is number #242. Only a part of the stereoview is shown because the image is in a private collection.This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of Garry Adelman.

The back of the stereo card for image #242 titled “Evidence of How Severe The Contest Had Been On The Right at The Battle of Gettysburg.” Only a part of the back of stereoview is shown because the image is in a private collection.This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of Garry Adelman.

A glass plate titled “A Harvest of Death.” This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

An anaglyph (3D) version of the glass plate titled “View in Field on Right Wing Where General Reynolds Fell At The Battle of Gettysburg.” To acquire a free pair of 3D glasses, click here. This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. The anaglyphs were assembled by John Richter, from negatives in the collection of the Library of Congress.
An anaglyph (3D) version of the glass plate titled “Federal Dead on the Field of Battle of First day, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.” To acquire a free pair of 3D glasses, click here. This image was taken by James Gibson for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. The anaglyphs were assembled by John Richter, from negatives in the collection of the Library of Congress.

An anaglyph (3D) version of the glass plate titled “A Harvest of Death.” To acquire a free pair of 3D glasses, click here. This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. The anaglyphs were assembled by John Richter, from negatives in the collection of the Library of Congress.

The glass plate titled “Federal Dead on the Field of Battle of First day, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.” This image shows the burial party in the background. This image was taken by James Gibson for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. This image is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

A deteriorated stereoview #242 titled “Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Evidence of How Severe the Contest Had Been on the Right.” This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

A glass plate titled “Gettysburg, Pa. Bodies of Federal Soldiers, Killed on July 1, Near the McPherson Woods.” This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

A colorized version of the glass plate titled “Gettysburg, Pa. Bodies of Federal Soldiers, Killed on July 1, Near the McPherson Woods.” This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress. It was colorized by Mark Maritato.

A colorized version of the glass plate titled “A Harvest of Death.” This image was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan for Alexander Gardner circa July 5-6, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress. It was colorized by Mark Maritato.

A diagram of the bodies in the Harvest of Death series that the photographers walked around when they shot their images. The angle of the two camera positions (circled) is approximately 135 degrees. This image was produced for William Frassanito’s book Gettysburg: A Journey in Time. The lines showing the direction in which the cameras were pointing were added by Garry Adelman.

Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the Civil War. For ordering information, click here.
Tim Smith and Garry Adelman are the co-authors of Devil’s Den: A History and Guide. It was first published by Thomas Publications, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1997. This cover was scanned facing south at approximately 8:00 PM on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.
Tim Smith’s John Burns: The Hero of Gettysburg. For ordering information, click here.
Tim Smith’s Farms at Gettysburg. For ordering information, click here.
Tim Smith’s The Story of Lee’s Headquarters. For ordering information, click here.
Tim Smith’s Gettysburg’s Battlefield Photographer—William H. Tipton. For ordering information, click here.
Tim Smith’s article “A Tour of Gettysburg’s Visual Battle Damage” is in this issue of the Journal of the Adams County Historical Society. For ordering information, click here.
Garry Adelman’s The Myth of Little Round Top. For ordering information, click here.
Garry Adelman’s and John J. Richter’s 99 Historic Images of Gettysburg. For ordering information, click here.
Garry Adelman’s Little Round Top: A Detailed Tour Guide. For ordering information, click here.
Garry Adelman’s The Early Gettysburg Battlefield: Selected Photographs From the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission Reports, 1895-1904. For ordering information, click here.
Garry Adelman’s publication for the Civil War Trust: The Civil War 150, The Essential To-Do List of the 150th Anniversary. For ordering information, click here.
Garry Adelman’s Manassas Battlefields Then & Now: Historic Photography at Bull Run. For ordering information click here.
William Frassanito’s Gettysburg: A Journey in Time. For ordering information, click here.
William Frassanito’s Early Photography at Gettysburg. For ordering information, click here.
William Frassanito’s Gettysburg, Then and Now: Touring the Battlefield With Old Photos, 1863-1889. For ordering information, click here.
William Frassanito’s The Gettysburg Then and Now Companion. For ordering information, click here.

William Frassanito’s The Gettysburg Bicentennial Album. For ordering information, click here.

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


About Us  •  Support  •  Archives  •  Subscribe  •  Creative Commons License