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 Posted: Sun Sep 30th, 2007 01:26 pm
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Doc C
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Yesterday while following the route of my ancestor's 48th Alabama route on the second day couldn't help but notice the vast amount of cleared ground between Devil's Den and Emmitsburg Rd. Was up there in May and noted, with pleasure, the work the park service had done on in the round tops areas. Almost had a hard time recognizing the triangular field if it wasn't for the stone wall. In talking to one of the rangers, they're planning to do some thinning in the Culp's Hill area also.

Doc C



 Posted: Sun Sep 30th, 2007 11:45 pm
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PvtClewell
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Doc C

There's been some great clear cutting on Oak Hill as well as the Third Corps line the past few years. Also some cutting along Confederate Avenue near the North Carolina monument and also near Hood's position near the Rose farm.

But I also noticed there's some secondary growth already coming up in the areas that have been cleared in the past few years. The NPS will have to stay on top of it or else they'll be back to where they were within the next decade. If that doesn't happen because of budget constraints or because someone else without Latcher's vision takes over, then I fear what we're seeing now might be a once in a lifetime deal.

Anyway, I envy you being in Gettysburg.



 Posted: Mon Oct 1st, 2007 03:28 am
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wags6817
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Do you guys remember when they had the big tower there? I was so glad to see them take that down, but it is still very hard to leave National Cem and 1/4 mile down the road is McDonalds.



 Posted: Mon Oct 1st, 2007 10:33 pm
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Doc C
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I was fortunate enough to visit Antietam (for it's 145th anniversary) and Gettysburg within 2 weeks of each other. Taking nothing away from GB, but imho Antietam is the better of the 2 to visit for a number of reasons - # of visitors (GB this weekend was packed with tour buses, bikers, scout troups, tourists wondering if Culps Hill was Devils Den, etc), traffic, ease of walking/getting around, flow of the battlefield, etc. To me nothing is better than standing in back of the visitors center at Antietam and looking in all directions. Look in the dictionary for pastoral and you'll see that picture.

Doc C



 Posted: Tue Oct 2nd, 2007 12:28 am
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sweetea
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I don't think the NPS is truly responsible for the removal of tree growth in the area.  I believe it is thanks to Glatfelter (?) paper company.  In return, they will be using the trees which are cut down.  To print more CW books, perhaps?

It's a shame that the NPS can't take a page from the book of how former residents of GB took care of the undergrowth.  They allowed their livestock to browse there.  If you think about it, it would be an easy job for a small flock of goats.

I believe overgrowth is a problem in many of the other CW battle sites.  Petersburg, for instance.  We were there some years ago, and I wondered aloud to the ranger how they even knew which direction to shoot as you couldn't see the town for the trees!:D



 Posted: Tue Oct 2nd, 2007 02:19 am
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Doc C
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I visited 2nd Manassas earlier this summer and walked the railroad cut where the trees and overgrowth was extremely thick. Needless to say was very disappointed. One reason for my visiting these fields is to come back home to my reading and have an idea of the ground which the battle was fought on and better understand it. Unfortunately with this visit, it didn't happen.

Doc C



 Posted: Tue Oct 2nd, 2007 02:22 am
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Doc C
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Sweetea

You're right about goats. Great bush hogs. While growing up in Louisiana we used goats to clear some overgrown pasture land. Worked great but they're really nasty and stinking animals. Bills will go after any thing that moves.

Doc C



 Posted: Tue Oct 2nd, 2007 03:33 am
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PvtClewell
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Sweetea

I believe the NPS is indeed overseeing the tree clearing project, begun in 1999 under park superintendent John Latschar, although I suspect the actual cutting and removal of trees has been subcontracted. It's up to the NPS to determine which trees will go, which will stay, and where there will be new trees planted, mostly in the form of historically correct orchards.

Goats would be great for clearing secondary growth, but they probably wouldn't mingle well with all the licensed battlefield guided tours going on. The field is difficult enough to study and explore without competing with farm animals for space.

Doc C,

I go to Gettysburg every June for the Civil War Institute, and as commercial and crowded as it sometimes is, there's plenty of moments for introspection and reflection: Herbst Woods, where the Iron Brigade met the 26th NC, or the site of the 1st Minnesota's heroic delaying action, or even Pickett's Charge, never fail to move me. Curiously, except for Pickett's Charge, many sites are surprisingly free of tourists. I always head to Blocher's (Barlow's) Knoll on my visits, where my ancestors fought with the 153rd PA. Hardly anybody goes there. Not sexy enough, I guess. And if you ever get the chance, wander out to Iverson's Pits either early in the moring or at sunset and see if that doesn't raise the hair on your arms.

Also, I believe I read somewhere where tree clearing from Brawner Farm to the Deep Cut is being planned for 2nd Manassas. Let's hope so.

Wags,
I've been going to G-Burg for the CWI for 17 years, and always made it a point never to go to the tower just out of sheer principle of the thing. Talk about a blight to the eyes. I always thought it looked like the misplaced superstructure of a battleship.

I think Sprio Agnew had something to do with G-burg getting the tower, if I recall. And it was originally planned for a site just off the Emmitsburg Road on a parcel of land within the city limits next to a motel that itself was torn down about three years ago.



 Posted: Tue Oct 2nd, 2007 12:18 pm
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Doc C
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PvtClewell

You're right that there are still plenty of quiet areas at GB despite the throngs of people. Barlow's knoll was one of my destinations this past Saturday. Spent quiet a bit of time roaming around there and rereading descriptions of Barlow's attempt at defence of the knoll against Gordon/Doles. As a coincidence, I had an ancestor in the 4th Georgia. Except for an occasional passing car I had the area to myself for a couple of hours. Other areas where one can sit and contemplate are Culps Hill, Cemetary Hill (both the base and top), Peach Orchard (b/o the vistas one has there). The "hair raising" site for me is the base of Cemetary hill where Hay's and Avery's brigades charged that 2nd day/night. Despite the crowds, I would never give up an opportunity to go.

Doc C



 Posted: Tue Oct 2nd, 2007 02:47 pm
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David White
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You're right about goats. Great bush hogs. While growing up in Louisiana we used goats to clear some overgrown pasture land. Worked great but they're really nasty and stinking animals.


You'll love goats after hanging around pigs and turkeys

We have a bunch of goats around the building I work in and they do clear our foliage it's funny to watch them stand up on their hind legs to eat the lower branches of the trees-- any trees.



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 Posted: Wed Oct 3rd, 2007 10:49 pm
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Johnny Huma
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I agree..The efforts put forth for the clearing of trees and planting of orchards brings to the battlefield a new view of things. The clear cutting on Oak Hill was great and the view puts it all in perspective when one is studying the movements of the troops. We will never get rid of the Mcdonalds and other businesses there and that is a shame. I cant wait for the new Visitors Center to Open and the Old one tore down along with the Ugly Old Cyclerama Building and Zeiglars Grove put back..We will never be able to view it as those who fought there in 1863 but we can get a better understanding of what they saw and hence why and attack was made in a certin location. That is hard to see when there are trees blocking views of the field that were at one time open...
Johnny



 Posted: Thu Oct 4th, 2007 02:18 am
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booklover
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Just wondering if they had removed the car dealership yet? Is my memory playing tricks on me or was it near Barlow's knoll?

Best
Rob



 Posted: Thu Oct 4th, 2007 02:33 am
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Doc C
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Didn't see one near there when I was there Saturday.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Oct 4th, 2007 09:02 am
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PvtClewell
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The car dealership actualy disappeared about two years ago. It's absolutely fantastic and provides a clear vista from Oak Ridge to Barlow's Knoll. You get a much better view of the artillery line of sight now — from both directions.

I don't reckon there will be any secondary growth car dealerships popping up, either.

That motel that was torn down was the Home Sweet Home Motor Lodge, I believe, which was located across the street from the official entrance to the park.



 Posted: Thu Oct 4th, 2007 02:22 pm
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booklover
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Thanks PvtClewell. Thought my memory was better than I gave it credit for.



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