Then And Now Pictures of the Battlefield

These Then-And-Now pictures bring together some of the more unforgettable pictures of post-battle Gettysburg with modern versions taken from the same location as the originals. For many, these photographs conjure feelings of awe and amazement along with sadness and despair. These feelings are often magnified when visitors realize they can stand on the same ground – and see the same things – that Alexander Gardner, Timothy O’Sullivan, and James Gibson did when they took their unforgettable images in July 1863. It is with these unforgettable photographs in mind, and a nod to the men whose timeless images evoke such strong emotions, that we bring you this page. This is our attempt to look back through the windows of time.

 
Staged Photo at Devil's Den
Historic view of the boulders of Devil's Den also shows the western slope of Little Round Top in the distance to the right. Modern view of the boulders of Devil's Den also shows the western slope of Little Round Top in the distance to the right.
This view of Devil's Den also shows the western slope of Little Round Top in the distance to the right. Library of Congress.
This modern view of Devil's Den also shows the western slope of Little Round Top in the distance to the right. NPS Photo.
This view of the boulders of Devil's Den shows the western slope of Little Round Top in the distance to the right. This staged photograph was taken more than four months after the battle, by Peter Weaver, on November 11, 1863 and depicts "dead Confederates" strewn among the rocks of Devil's Den.



 
Meade's Headquarters: Lydia Leister House
An 1863 view of the Lydia Leister house is at the center of this then and now picture meld. This modern day picture shows the Lydia Leister house along the Taneytown Road.
The Lydia Leister house is where Union General George G. Meade made his headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg. Library of Congress.
This modern day picture looks north along the Taneytown Road. The Lydia Leister house is obscured from view by a large tree. NPS Photo.
The Lydia Leister house is where Union General George G. Meade made his headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg. Late in the evening of July 2, Meade held a council of war in this house to decide if the Union army should stay and hold their hard-fought high ground or abandon their position. The council of war decided to stay. Late in the afternoon of July 3, Confederate batteries concentrated their missiles on the center of Cemetery Ridge in an attempt to soften up the Union position. Unbeknownst to the Confederate artillerymen, their rounds overshot their intended targets and began to land around Meade’s headquarters causing substantial damage. Although the commanding general moved to a safer location, evidence of the bombardment is everywhere. The house and surrounding fences are all damaged and dead horses lay in various stages of rigormortis in the center of the Taneytown Road and in the yard of the house.



 
Trostle House with dead horses from Bigelow's Battery
A historic picture of the Trostle house is held up in the center of the modern version. The modern version of the Trostle house is partially obscured by a large tree.
The historic picture of the Trostle house, held up in the center of the modern picture, shows numerous dead horses from Bigelow's Battery. Library of Congress.
The modern picture of the Trostle house is partially obscured by a large tree. The monument to Bigelow's Battery can be seen to the right near the road. NPS Photo.
The Trostle farm was the sight of desperate fighting on the afternoon of July 2, 1863 as the men of the 9th Massachusetts (Bigelow’s) Battery made a couragious stand against overwhelming Confederate forces. In an attempt to stave off the advancing Confederates from Kershaw and Barksdale’s brigades, the men of Bigelow’s Battery fought desperately before they were overrun and forced to retreat to Cemetery Ridge. Their sacrifice provided valuable time for Union reinforcements to form along Cemetery Ridge and helped thwart the Confederate attack in this area. The dead horses that are visible in the yard of the Trostle house are all that was left of this courageous stand.



Last updated: January 17, 2017

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