Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Daniel Lady Farm

The Daniel Lady Farm played an important role in the three-day battle of Gettysburg. The farm was occupied by Southern forces on July 1, 1863, and served as a Confederate staging area for the remainder of the battle. In addition, the farm served as a hospital for the wounded of both sides; several burials were recorded on the property. According to the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association, the farm was a historically noteworthy site in the battle because:

  • Union General Williams approached from the east, threatening the Confederate left flank. His attack exposed the vulnerability of the Confederate left flank. Ewell then assigned a division to occupy the farm as the left flank of the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg.
  • General Edward “Allegheny” Johnson, division commander, used the stone house as his division headquarters.
  • The famous “Stonewall Brigade, under General Walker, Jones brigade, ‘Maryland’ Steuart’ s brigade, Nicholls’ Louisiana Brigade, and Andrew’s artillery battalion were bivouacked on the farm, north of the Hanover Road. Various Confederate staff meetings took place on the farm. Generals Ewell, Early, and Johnson planned the cannonade of Culp’s and East Cemetery Hills there on July 2nd.
  • The stone house and barn were used as a Confederate field hospital. Johnson’s division listed 1269 wounded. Burials were recorded on the site.
  • Ewell’s “reports of Union Cavalry out the Hanover Road” were correct! The 3rd Pennsylvania and 10th New York Cavalry regiments battled all day July 2nd with the Stonewall Brigade.
  • The Farmhouse and barn both received hits by Union Artillery from Powers Hill.

This map is by Steve Stanley and courtesy of the CWPT. It has a great overview of the action around the Daniel Lady Farm and shows its proximity to the Confederate artillery on Benner's Hill. Click to enlarge.

A front view of this very historic house. If those stones could talk!

The barn, which also served as a field hospital.

A projectile in one of the beams of the barn. There is also soldier graffiti on the walls.

The day of our visit was a cold one, so Mark decided to get warmed up at the home's original fireplace. We all wore little cloth booties over our shoes so not to harm the battle evidence on the floors...

This view is near the front entrance of the house. Let's take a look at those old floorboards. Yes...those are blood stains. The dark circles in a straight row are nails rusted by the blood of Confederate soldiers. The wounds of Henry Kyd Douglas, the “boy major” Joseph Latimer, Colonel Higginbotham, Captain William D. Brown and General John Jones were treated here.

Let's take an even closer look. A wounded Confederate soldier sat up against this wall and placed his bloody fingertips on the floor. You can still see his imprint; clear enough to make out the rings of his fingerprints. A truly striking visual reminder of the battle and aftermath.

The Daniel Lady Farm is operated by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association. Although it is not regularly opened for tours, appointments can often be arranged by contacting the group. This is one of the many groups working together to save the history of Adams County, PA. I encourage you to join them as a member or volunteer.


  1. An outstanding blog, sir! One of my favorites. This post is especially moving. Thank you for your efforts and have a great summer!

    Barry Hill
    Deputy Sheriff
    Polk County, Florida

  2. Thank you Mr. Hill! I appreciate your kind words!