Mar 29



The Jacob Stock House, located at 407 South Washington Street, is a favorite building for Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides to point out battle damage at the beginning of a tour. The building has more than a few “bullet” holes in its walls. This view was taken facing west at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.

Visible battle damage is very apparent on the walls of what used to be, at the time of the Battle of Gettsyburg, the Jacob Stock/Jacob Stuch House. The house is located at 407 South Washington Street, and became involved in skirmishing between Confederate and Union troops on the south part of the Borough of Gettysburg.

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 will be featuring over the next couple of weeks. 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 West Confederate Avenue. #8 is the Gettysburg Academy Building at 66 and 68 West High Street. #9 is the old Methodist Parsonage Building at 304 Baltimore Street. #10 is the Garlach House at 319 Baltimore Street. #11 is the Winebrenner House at Baltimore Street. #12 is the Sweney House (Farnsworth House) at 401 Baltimore Street. #13 is the McClellan House (Jennie Wade House) at 548 Baltimore Street. #14 is the Stock House at 407 South Washington Street. This map was created at approximately 9:00 PM on Sunday, January 11, 2009.



The 1860 census shows that Jacob Stock had his last name “Stuch,” that he was “white,” a Coach Maker, and that he lived in the same dwelling and was part of the same family with Fanny Stuch (1831-), born in Pennsylvania; Louisa Stuch (1849-), born in Pennsylvania; William Stuch (1851-), born in Pennsylvania; Jacob Stuch (1852-), born in Pennsylvania; John E. Stuch (1856-), born in Pennsylvania; Francis Stuch (1859-), born in Pennsylvania. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



The 1860 federal census shows that Jacob Stock’s or Jacob Stuch’s real estate had a value of $500, and his personal estate had a value of $200. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



The 1860 Gettysburg tax records show that Jacob “Stuck” owned two lots/acres. One lot was valued at $300, and the other was a “new house” (this house?) valued at $300. His occupation as a Coach Maker was valued at $125. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



By the time of the Battle of Gettysburg, Jacob Stuch was operating a tavern out of this building known as the Swan Inn. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



During the battle of Gettysburg, the Stock House/Stuch House was in an area occupied by skirmishers from William Dorsey Pender’s Confederate Division, and Adolph von Steinwehr’s Union division. The east wall, and especially the south wall show significant battle damage. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



The south wall shows over 70 places where projectiles damaged the bricks. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



We are unaware of any first hand accounts of what occurred here, but it is assumed that a Confederate, possibly a sharpshooter, got in the attic of the Stock/Stuch House This view was taken facing north at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



In an effort to take out the “sharpshooter” some historians believe that canister or case shot was used on the house. This is an attempt to account for large holes in the bricks. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



The regimental history of the 73rd Ohio Infantry describes a “six-pounder” brought off Cemetery Hill during the skirmishing to fire at Confederates in the buildings on this part of town.  This must have been a very dangerous things to do because canister’s effective range was approximately 200 to 300 yards. Sharpshooters could claim to hit you around 800 yards. One would have placed his cannoneers at risk bringing them that close to this building. This view was taken facing north at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



We have a problem with the case shot/shrapnel being used on this building because while the pieces from an exploding artillery shell would have been fairly large chunks, case shot/shrapnel are approximately the same size as musket balls/minie balls. Artillerymen would have preferred to use solid shot on buildings. This view was taken facing west at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



Canister was fired by Union artillery retreating to Cemetery Hill on the afternoon of the first day. To get a straight on shot at the south wall of the Stock/Stuch building that caused all the damage on the south wall, there would have had a problem: this stone building which was here at the time of the battle. This view was taken facing west at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



The stone building is about 60 yards away from the Stock/Stuch House. The two white buildings did not exist at the time of the battle. If you want the effective range of canister so that it can spread to its widest pattern, one needs to be 200 to 300 yards away from the Stock House. If one wants a “head on” shot at the south wall, this stone building would have been in the way. The roof on the stone building is fairly high. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



If one has an artillery piece in the street and they are firing at the Stock/Stuch House’s south and west walls, and doing all the damage that the walls show, they would have to be fairly close to the Stock/Stuch House… This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



… and burying the trail of their piece in the ground and firing almost straight up. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



We believe that the damage was caused by projectiles such as minie balls. Other buildings such as the Farnsworth House and the Winebrenner House show large chunks of their bricks missing from small arms fire. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



It is possible that the bricks on this “new house” were not of the best quality. Also, a minie ball’s velocity could cause this damage. This view was taken facing west at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



Besides, this building doesn’t only show damage on its east and south sides. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



It also shows damage on its west side. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



We believe that the Union troops skirmishing in this area caught the Confederate soldier(s) in the Stock/Stuch building from three directions. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.



It is certainly possible that artillery pieces firing from three locations threw case shot/shrapnel against this building. But we believe that the Union infantry had what must have been a/some fairly stubborn Confederate(s) within the Stock/Stuch building in a crossfire. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 1:15 PM on Saturday, January 10, 2009.


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