Aug 16


McPherson’s Woods/Herbst Woods/Reynolds’ Woods

Which of these trees are not like the others? To which of these trees do tags belong? The eastern edge of McPherson’s Woods/Herbst Woods/Reynolds’ Woods at Gettysburg National Military Park has at least three trees that the United States War Department documented were witnesses to the Battle of Gettyburg. We see these trees all the time, but which ones contain War Department Tags? This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.

At least three Gettysburg Witness Trees are located in the eastern edge of Reynolds’Woods/McPherson’s Woods/Herbst Woods. The United States War Department placed tags on trees in the early 1900s that they felt were “witness trees” to the Battle of Gettysburg. Two of those trees still have the tags, and the third has the nail/spike remaining. We strongly suspect there is at least a fourth tree in the area, but have not yet located a tag and/or spike in it. Please see our previous posts on Gettysburg Witness Trees on April 30, 2008, May 27, 2008, August 10, 2008 and August 12, 2008.

See later posts on Gettysburg Witness Trees on August 27, 2008, and September 8, 2008.


Three labeled Gettysburg witness trees

The trees marked 1, 2, and 3 have either War Department Tags, or a War Department nail/spike. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


Two witness trees next to Reynolds' Marker

Here are trees 1 and 2 with the Reynolds’ Marker in between them. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


Close-up of trees 1 and 2

Here are trees 1 and 2 again with the McPherson Barn in the background. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


Spike in witness tree

Tree Number 1 has a War Department nail/spike, but the tag is missing. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


Tag on witness tree

Tree Number 2 does have a tag… This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


Tag D244 on a witness tree

…it is labeled D244. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


Tag on witness tree number 3

Tree Number 3 also has a War Department Tag… This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


Bent tag on witness tree

…it’s a little bent… This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


Turning the bent tag

… so we had to turn it on it’s side so that you could see it is labeled D241. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


All three witness trees

Unfortunately tree #3 may not be with us much longer. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


Dying witness tree

The top portion of the tree seems to be dying. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


A possible fourth witness tree

There are other trees in the area which we believe are witness trees, but we can’t find tags or nail/spikes. For instance, this large tree in the foreground to the left of the Reynolds’ Marker could be a witness tree. But we can’t find the evidence. Maybe someone with better eyes than us can find a nail/spike. Of course, tags, nails/spikes aren’t the only verification that a tree was there. The Honey Locust tree in the National Cemetery recently damaged by a storm does not have any tags or nails that we can see. The Gibbon Walnut tree also does not have any tags/nails/spikes. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2008.


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