A large tree fell across the paved walkway near the Virginia State monument along West Confederate Avenue on Sunday.This image was taken facing northwest at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 29, 2017.
Falling trees can damage monuments, markers, and fences. In October of 2011 a large section of a tree fell on the top of the monument to the 121st New York Infantry Regiment on Little Round Top. It knocked the bronze figure at the top of the monument backwards, separating the the bronze top from the granite base. Visible in the trees in the left background are from left to right, the monument to the 146th New York Infantry, and the base of the monument to the 155th Pennsylvania. In the right background, is the monument to Gibb’s Ohio Battery. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2011.
A hurricane-like storm that visited Gettysburg in September of 1896 downed trees that struck many monuments, including the 78th and 102nd New York monument on Culp’s Hill. This image was taken facing northwest circa 1896. Annual Reports of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission to the Secretary of War, 1893-1904. Washington. Government Printing Office, 1905.
Falling trees causing damage on the battlefield is nothing new. This image shows a Gettysburg Times article from July 8, 1994, showing $150,000 worth of tree damage to the monument to Vermont’s Company F, First United States Sharpshooters, also along West Confederate Avenue. In 1994 the National Park Service was seeking permission to reduce the deer population at Gettysburg. You can see in this article next to the storm damage photo that deer were responsible for killing young vegetation and woodlots. With our current level of jungle-like undergrowth in many areas of the battlefield, it’s interesting to read about woodlots before the park’s extensive tree removal began under Superintendent John Latschar. The same day this article was published Latschar was named acting superintendent at Gettysburg after the departure of superintendent Jose Cisneros, following the destruction of the first railroad cut. This screen capture is from page 1A of the Gettysburg Times from July 8, 1994. It was unavailable in Google’s newspaper archive of the Gettysburg Times.
This tree came down southeast of the Virginia monument across the path leading to the “Point of Woods.”The Codori Barn is the building in the right background. This image was taken facing east at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 29, 2017.
The tree missed the wayside providing information about Pickett’s Charge. This image was taken facing east at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 29, 2017.
The wayside is located next to the parking spaces at the Virginia monument and along the start of the path that leads to one of the locations where Robert E. Lee reportedly watched the Confederate Assault on the afternoon of July 3rd.The town of Gettysburg, specifically “Colt Park,” is in the left background. This image was taken facing east at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 29, 2017.
The tree fell between the wayside and the start of a fenceline, which can be seen in the right of this photo.This image was taken facing east at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 29, 2017.
We believe it fell Friday evening or Saturday morning (thanks to reader to Tim S., who noticed the tree was down between 10:15 and 10:30 AM when he passed by on Saturday morning). It wasn’t very windy this weekend, with wind speeds reaching a high of 12-14 MPH in the Gettysburg area Saturday night.This image was taken facing north at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 29, 2017.
The tree landed in an area that will be easy to access for National Park Service maintenance staff.The four guns in the right background belong to the Madison (Mississippi) Light Artillery. This image was taken facing west at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 29, 2017.
They’re aware of the downed tree and will be out to remove it on Monday. The bronze equestrian statue of General Robert E. Lee is fourteen feet high. This image was taken facing west at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 29, 2017.
The monument was dedicated at the battle’s 50th anniversary in 1913, though it was not completed until 1917.This image was taken facing west at approximately 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 29, 2017.