Emmitsburg to Gettysburg – Photo Tour of the 17th’s March

On June 30, 1863 the XI Corps was camped for the evening in and around the small Maryland town of Emmitsburg, about 9 miles south of Gettysburg. The three divisions on the corps stretched for some distance north of town. It is still possible today to retrace the route taken by the 17th on July 1, 1863 and still see some of the same things the soldiers saw on the way. Still, time marches on and there have been significant changes in the landscape as well. The area to the north of town where Barlow’s division was encamped is, for the most part, overtaken by modern development. One can still cross Middle Creek and Marsh Creek – only now you will do it over modern bridges.

These photos were taken in August 2012. In some cases, such as the area north of Gettysburg where the 17th marched out of town and to the far right of the Union line, it requires some imagination to picture open fields where many homes and businesses now stand. In other places little has changed.

As time goes on appropriate comments will be added from the accounts left by those who were there – some photos have them now, and all will have some once finished.

Clicking on the arrows will advance to the next photo or return to the previous photo, or you can just let the slideshow progress on its own.

View SE towards Emmitsburg - This view, taken from the top of Irishtown Road in Emmitsburg, shows the approximate area that Barlow's division spent the evening of June 30, 1863. Most of the area used by these troops is developed with houses and condominiums now. The church to the right is the Lutheran Church, rebuilt several times since the war, with St. Joseph's to the left. General Howard used the rectory of St. Joseph's as his headquarters. Writing after Gettysburg as "High Private Manton" back home to Danbury, CT, J. Montgomery Bailey reflected on the night of June 30th: "I well remember the night of the 30th of June. The sky was clear of clouds and filled with bright glittering stars. The moon threw a calm, mellow light over our camp, and the surrounding hills. We were lying at Emmittsburg in Maryland, near the Pennsylvania border."


4 comments for “Emmitsburg to Gettysburg – Photo Tour of the 17th’s March

  1. Sue Curry
    April 2, 2013 at 1:09 am

    These photos are wonderful and so helpful in understanding better the march that the boys made over so many miles to get to their positions. I believe my ancestor, Capt. Wilson French, was wounded quite close to where Lt. Col. Fowler was killed. Wilson was helped into town to find a hospital to care for his wounded arm, but little help was available for him other than a doctor who quickly washed his wound but would not be seen again. This would be the only care he would receive since he refused amputation of the arm. Thank you for the exceptional work you have done on the website. I probably won’t be able to tour Gettysburg for many months, so these photos help me so much to virtually follow them on their way to battle. I must pop onto your website far more often. Thank you. Please feel free to email me back with any questions.
    Susan Richardson Curry, Stratford, CT
    Great-great granddaughter of Capt. Wilson French from Stratford, CT

    • 17thCVI
      April 2, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Sue –

      Thanks for the nice words. I had done this route in 2003 as well and it would be interesting to post both sets just to see what had changed in the 9 years, never mind the 150 years. I’m hoping to get a similar set (but a little less detailed) for Chancellorsville that I took in 2008.

      I hope you get the chance to spend some more time on the site!

  2. April 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    April,23,2013. I just want to say thank you so much for all these neat pictures and the story behind them.. my great great grandfather and his brother was in the H regiment of the 17th CVI.I would love some day to travel that area. Again thank you My grandfather name was Loren W. Britto & his brother was Frank Britto

    • Jennefer Miller
      November 25, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Hi My name is Jennefer Miller. I just found this site after discovering several of my ancestors were in the 17th regiment CVI. And Donna we seem to have common relatives. My great-great-great grandfather was Slyvester Britto – who was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg & died 3 days later. He was in Company F. One of his sons, Stephen Britto (Franks brother) was my grandmothers dad. Feel free to reach out if you want to share information on this branch of the family. So excited I came across this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *