There are a number of monuments at Gettysburg that have mistakes or idiosyncrasies on them. A few of our readers noticed the backwards “S” on the cartridge box on the monument to the 29th Ohio. We’re standing along the Emmitsburg Road. Little and Big Round Top are in the right background.This image was taken facing southeast at approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
We look both ways before we cross the street.The Brian Farm is the white structure in the right background. This image was taken facing north at approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
The marker we want to show you was dedicated to a World War I era tank post called Camp Colt. We first visited the marker to Camp Colt in 2008. It’s located under this pine tree along the Emmitsburg Road. The pine tree goes along with the marker. When it was dedicated, the men from the World Wars Tankers Assocation called it the “Eisenhower Memorial Pine Tree.”This image was taken facing southeast at approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
Camp Colt was established to train soldiers to operate tanks during World War I. Established in 1917, Captain Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in the spring of 1918 to take command. As you can see, Eisehower and his men weren’t too concerned about battlefield preservation.The tank is cresting over the bank of the Bliss Barn. The monument to the 12th New Jersey Infantry is the white monument to the right of the tank, and closer to the right foreground is the monument to the 14th Connecticut Infantry. This view was taken facing north circa the summer of 1918.
The photographer is looking westward towards Seminary Ridge. The Emmitsburg Road is in the foreground. The French Renault tank in the previous photograph was driving in the fields in front of you (if you click to enlarge you can make out the monuments to the 12th NJ and 14th CT).This image was taken facing west at approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
1954 was the second year of Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency. That August, the World War Tankers Association gathered for their annual reunion weekend in Gettysburg. They stayed at the Gettysburg Hotel from Friday evening, August 27, 1954, through Sunday morning, August 29, 1954.This image was taken facing southeast at approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
The tank veterans were comprised of men who fought in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. They praised “all of Gettysburg for the wonderful reception given us here. The town really rolled out the red carpet for us and we are coming back for more reunions.” The pine tree and marker are located in the approximate location where Captain Eisenhower had his headquarters at Camp Colt.This image was taken facing southeast at approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
President Eisenhower did not attend the reunion weekend. Instead, he placed a message in the Gettysburg Times “to his Camp Colt comrades: Please extend my warmest greetings to everyone attending the Homecoming Reunion of the World War Tank Corps Association. As you review the experiences gained while you were in active service of your country, you can take added satisfaction from the fact that your Fellow Citizens understand and appreciate the importance of your contributions to the security of our nation. I wish you a most successful and enjoyable reunion.”The National Park Service claimed a visitation of 10,236 visitors during the reunion weekend (Saturday and Sunday). This screen capture comes from the August 28, 1954 issue of the Gettysburg Times.
Eisenhower was in Colorado that weekend. On Friday, August 27th, the same day that the tank corps members arrived for the reunion, the President visited his friend’s mountain ranch near Denver. Onlookers saw him decked out in a “green western hat, red, green, and yellow plaid shirt, hip boots, and gray fishing vest,” as he proceeded to catch 15 trout. The state law at the time only allowed 10 trout to be caught by an individual per day. The President got a free pass. He spent Saturday at his “summer office” at Lowry Air Force Base. Though he did sign a few bills that day, the majority of his time was spent before and after lunch playing golf at the Cherry Hills Country Club with the Secretary of the Air Force.This screen capture comes from the August 30, 1954 issue of the Gettysburg Times.
The exact text of the monument was reprinted in the Gettysburg Times, but no one seemed to notice the error. Since 1937, the Presidential Inauguration has taken place on January 20th. The marker indicates that Eisenhower was inaugurated on January 2, 1953, instead of January 20, 1953.This image was taken facing east at approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
On January 2, 1953, President-elect Eisenhower was at his residence in New York City.This image was taken facing northeast at approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.