Jul 30

Battlefield Hay Baling

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It’s time to cut the hay at Gettysburg National Military Park. Hay bales are beginning to be seen at various places this week including this field between McPherson’s Ridge and Seminary Ridge. The statue is of United States Major-General Abner Doubleday. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.

Gettysburg National Military Park, like many other national parks, rents out land to farmers to plant and harvest crops. This saves the Park Service money in not having to pay their own employees, and in not using their own equipment to keep fields in the same locations that they were in 1863. The hay has been getting pretty tall in various locations around the battlefield, and the farmers are cutting and baling the hay this week.



The hay is currently being cut in the area where the 11th Army Corps fought on July 1, 1863. This view is across what would have been the Heagy fields toward the McClean Barn and Oak Hill in the background. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.



The hay cutter is approaching the Mummasburg Road with West Howard Avenue on the right. This view was taken from the west facing east at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.

Here is a view of the hay cutter making his turn from moving parallel with Howard Avenue on the right to moving parallel with the Mummasburg Road behind the camera position. This view was taken from the west facing east at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.



The hay was being baled on the west slope of McPherson’s Ridge on Wednesday afternoon. This view was taken from the north facing south at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.



Each bale measures approximately 4 feet X 4 feet X 8 feet, and weighs approximately 1500 pounds. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.

The baler is moving from south to north towards McPherson’s Woods or Herbst Woods or Reynolds’ Woods and making a turn at Meredith Avenue and then going back to the south. It is making a bale of hay all this time, which believe it or not, is on the ground before the video clip is finished. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.



They hay bales are then gathered together to be loaded on these flat bed trucks. The Lutheran Theological Seminary’s main building at the time of the battle (Schmucker Hall), now housing the Adams County Historical Society, is in the background on Seminary Ridge. This view was taken from the west facing east at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.



The tractors are placing the hay bales on the trucks. The trucks hold approximately 24 bales each. In this field between McPherson’s Ridge and Seminary Ridge, they made 202 bales. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.

This video clip shows that there are actually two tractors loading the bales onto the truck. If the weather cooperates, they hope to be finished harvesting the hay in a week and a half. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008.



A view near the 11th Pennsylvania Monument on Oak Ridge looking across the fields where the hay has been baled to Forney Ridge. The monument to the 6th New York Cavalry sits approximately 400 yards away on Forney Ridge. The green strip at the bottom of the field is corn. The farmers feel they will harvest approximately 1600 bales of hay of the Gettysburg Battlefield this year. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 .


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