Jan 15



The Samuel Simon Schmucker House is located on Seminary Ridge Avenue, on the east side of the street. It was built in 1833 on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary. The structure has an artillery shell stuck in its south wall. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.

An artillery shell is stuck in what, at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg, was the Samuel Simon Schmucker House. Samuel Schmucker was the founder of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, and one of the founders of Gettysburg College. His home is on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, on Seminary Ridge.

As we do with many local history questions, we went back to look up an article by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Tim Smith that he wrote for the Adams County Historical Society Journal in 1996. Tim is also a research assistant at the historical society, and his article in that year’s Journal (Volume 2), “A Tour of Gettysburg’s Visual Battle Damage,” presents a good overview of the buildings we will feature over the next couple of weeks. We highly recommend that you pick up a copy at the Adams County Historical Society on Seminary Ridge in Schmucker Hall, or order a copy ($6.95) from the Adams County Historical Society. Click this link for their online giftshop.



This map shows the buildings with visible battle damage that we have recently been featuring. We have marked the locations with red stars. #1 is the McClean House at 11 Baltimore Street. #2 is the Wills Building at 9 York Street. #3 is the John Kuhn House at 221 North Stratton Street. #4 is the Crass Barbehenn House at 218 North Stratton Street. #5 is the David Troxell House at 221 Chambersburg Street. #6 is the Carrie Sheads House at 331 Buford Avenue. #7 is the Samuel Schmucker House on Seminary Ridge Avenue. This map was created at approximately 6:00 PM on Sunday, January 4, 2009.



The 1860 census shows that Samuel S. Schmucker was “white,” born circa 1799 in Maryland, a Professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, and that he lived in the same dwelling and was part of the same family with Esther Schmucker (1815-), born in Pennsylvania; Ellen Schmucker (1833-), born in Pennsylvania; Catharine W. Schmucker (1840-), born in Pennsylvania; Alice Schmucker (1841-), born in Pennsylvania; Samuel D. Schmucker (1844-), born in Pennsylvania; Charles G. Schmucker (1846-1862), born in Pennsylvania; Iris Cole (1815-), born in Maryland. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



Samuel S. Schmucker’s real estate had a value of $14,300, and his personal estate had a value of $18,500. His total economic wealth of $32,800 or 2% of total economic wealth in Gettysburg, made him the 2nd wealthiest person in Gettysburg in 1860. This view was taken facing east at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.

Top 10 Gettysburg Individual Total Economic Wealth Ranking according to the 1860 Federal Population Census with ranking #, name, date born, amount of Economic Wealth, and percentage compared to Total Economic Wealth owned by Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania residents:

1. Swope, George (1801-) $86,000, or 6% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
2. Schmucker, Samuel S. (1799-) $32,800, or 2% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
3. Myers, Mary (1815-1864) $31,000, or 2% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
4. Fahnestock, Samuel (1796-1861) $30,000, or 2% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
5. McCurdy, Robert (1814-) $26,500, or 2% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
6. Wible, Joseph (1801-) $23,000, or 2% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
6. Duncan, William A. (1836-) $23,000, or 2% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
8. McClean, Moses (1805-) $22,500, or 2% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
9. Ziegler, David (1798-) $21,000, or 1% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
10. Culp, Henry (1809-) $20,500, or 1% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)
10. Rupp, Henry (1802-) $20,500, or 1% of Total Economic Wealth in Gettysburg ($1,502,245)



The house was built in 1833. Samuel Schmucker and his first wife had seven children from 1833-1848. In the 1840s, an addition was built on the left (north) end of the house to accommodate his growing family. Dr. Schmucker would eventually have three wives and 13 children. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



During the afternoon of July 1, 1863, Seminary Ridge would be used as a defensive position by the United States army. The Confederates would attack the Union troops around the Seminary buildings and take the ridge from the Northerners. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



This area was also used as a Confederate artillery position on July 2nd and 3rd. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



Schmucker was an “outspoken abolitionist,” and it was rumored that this home was used as a station on the “underground railway.” When the Confederates approached Gettysburg in the summer of 1863, Schmucker and his family still living in his home, left. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



Schmucker accused the Confederates, who occupied his home following the afternoon of July 1st, of destroying much of the furniture, slitting an oil painting of Schmucker’s father with a bayonet, and throwing in various places in and out of the house, his papers and books. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



The damage to the outside of this building was also significant. Schmucker stated that “Thirteen Cannon balls or shells pierced the walls and made holes, several of which were from two to three feet in length and nearly as broad…” This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



Schmucker’s account of exterior damage to his home continued “…window frames were shattered to pieces, sashes broken, and the greater part of the glass in the house destroyed. The fences around the yard and garden were nearly all leveled with the ground, as well as those around the entire Seminary lands.” This view was taken facing east at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



The Lutheran Church solicited donations from the public to repair the buildings at the Seminary, and by 1864, the campus had been renovated. Today it is difficult to see damage on any of the three buildings at the Seminary that were existing at the time of the battle. But here on the south side of the Schmucker House is a a reminder of the fighting. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



Go to the porch, up the steps and to the right of the window. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



Here is an artillery shell stuck in the wall, approximately eight feet higher than the porch floor. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



This is a 10-pounder Parrott shell which would have weighed approximately 9 1/2 pounds. The diameter of a Parrott shells is around 2.9″, and they were around 8 1/2″ long. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



With all the mortar around it, it appears that the shell has at least been removed at some point. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



But was it removed in order to be defused, and stuck back later in the same spot… This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



…or was this just a hole in the wall caused by an artillery shell, and someone stuck the shell in here at a later time to signify that the shell caused the damage here? This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.



If this is an original shell, it was probably fired from Union artillery on Cemetery Hill at Confederate artillery around this house on Seminary Ridge. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:15 PM on Thursday, January 1, 2009.

See the following related posts:

Gettysburg’s Carrie Sheads House Artillery Shell on January 13, 2009.
Gettysburg’s David Troxell Artillery Shell on January 9, 2009.
Gettysburg’s Crass-Barbehenn Artillery Shell on January 7, 2009.
Gettysburg’s John Kuhn House Artillery Shell on January 6, 2009.
Wills Building Artillery Shell Might be the Actual Shell on January 2, 2009.
Gettysburg’s McClean House Artillery Shell on December 27, 2008.
Christmas Decorations on the Carrie Sheads House on December 25, 2008.
Sweney House (Farnsworth House) Christmas Decorations on December 24, 2008.
Christmas Decorations at the Gettysburg Academy on December 21, 2008.
Civil War Artillery with Licensed Battlefield Guide George Newton on November 21, 2008.


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