Apr 15

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide, and Vice President of the Center for Civil War Photography,
Garry Adelman is the author of numerous Gettysburg books, articles, and other media. Along with Tom Danninger and Barry Martin, he co-created the CD, The Gettysburg Park Commission Photos: Then & Now. For eight years, Garry worked full time as a senior historian at History Associates in Rockville, Maryland. This month Garry became the Civil War Preservation Trust’s full time Director of History and Education. We wanted to show you that Garry sometimes wears a tie. This view is courtesy of the Center for Civil War Photography.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Garry Adelman, along with colleagues Tom Danninger and Barry Martin, systematically located the camera positions of the 237 photographs included in the Annual Reports of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission, 1893-1904. The trio arranged the photos into seventeen sections and present the images in a “then & now” format along with a history of the project and the Park Commission on their CD, The Gettysburg Park Commission Photos: Then & Now. We continue their series with a sampling from each of the seventeen sections.

The Gettysburg National Park Commission (GNPC) issued annual reports from its creation in 1893 until stewardship was transferred to the National Park Service in 1933. The reports, issued each November, covering that year through October, outlined the work of the GNPC for that year. Reports from 1893-1904 were bound into one volume with the photographs that accompanied each report (a practice started with the 1895 report) printed en masse after the text. Together, these images provide a comprehensive view of the battlefield and the Commission’s work available nowhere else. Comparing the images to the same sites today speaks to the important issues of preservation, commercialization, monumentation, and the growth of the GNMP. It’s also simply “cool” to look at then & now photos!

In our first post we looked at photgraphs taken on West McPherson’s Ridge.

In our second post we showed photographs taken on East McPherson’s Ridge.

In our third Then and Now post, we showed Howard Avenue and monuments for the Army of the Potomac’s Eleventh Corps.

In our fourth post we continued showing Then and Now photographs on Howard Avenue, this time on Barlow’s Knoll.

In today’s post we show photographs taken for the Gettysburg National Park Commission along Oak Ridge/Seminary Ridge.

This map, from the Gettysburg Park Commission Photos Then and Now CD, shows us the locations for the Then and Now photographs. In today’s post we show photographs taken along Oak Ridge/Seminary Ridge.

View #1: View from the Oak Ridge Tower of Doubleday Avenue, Robinson Avenue, and the Hitching Rail. This view was taken facing southeast in 1899.

The statue to Brigadier General John C. Robinson, visible at the center, was erected in 1917. This modern view of the previous photograph was taken facing southeast in November, 2004.

View #2: Stone-wall Breastworks, Doubleday Avenue. This view was taken facing northeast in 1904.

Early battlefield maps indicate that the stone wall, visible at right in both views, was actually located several yards further to the right (east) at the time of the battle. The small tree at right in the 1904 view may be the same tree as seen in the modern view. This modern view of the previous photograph was taken facing northeast in April, 2006.

View #3: Wadsworth Avenue, Looking West. This view was taken facing west in 1899.

Reynolds Avenue is visible in the center distance. This modern view of the previous photograph was taken facing northeast in November, 2006.

Purchase all the photographs from the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission Reports on this CD.

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


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