The Gettysburg National Park Commission [The Commission is also referred to as the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission or the Gettysburg Park Commission], established by the United States Department of War, after they took over the administration of the park from the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association (whose funds had expired) on March 3, 1893, and whose stewardship was later transferred to the National Park Service in 1933 (SOURCE), took a pictorial inventory of many of the existing monuments in the eventual historic district (a majority of them seem to have been Pennsylvania monuments being there are over one hundred of them). I have found hundreds of these pictures on Virtual Gettysburg, a comprehensive website which pictorially inventories all the monuments and provides minor narratives as well. All the photos look the same as if they were taken by the same camera and in the same approximate time period. Even the angles are all the same, positioning the monument at a slight right angle, revealing a little of the left part of the monument. The entire park looks so young and immature when the photos were taken. After all, the Battle of Gettysburg was thirty-seven years old at the time and war veterans were only in their fifties. I have never been able to find any photo credits (I have a sneaking suspicion some of the photos may have been snapped by members of the Park Commissions and published in their annual November report to the War Department) but I know they are public domain because their copyrights have all expired. Most of my pictures I use come from a website called Virtual Gettysburg. It seems however, all the pictures of the New York monuments were either borrowed from or shared with a New York monuments website. That site, The New York State Division of Military & Naval Affairs can be found HERE. This 1900ish picture was on the Virtual Gettysburg site and can be found HERE.
Clearly it is evident, through a survey of historical pictures and other archival information (such as the annual Commission reports), much change has occurred at Gettysburg Battlefield. With the passage of legislation affording historical status to this site as well as placing it under the auspices of the National Park Service, its patrons and caretakers had to groom and prepare the area to make it more authentic as well as educational. Today the battlefield has managed to maintain an authentic 1863 feel, but back then, as evident in the many photos, it was a desolate, empty place of brown and green fields broken only by the occasional farmstead, their outbuildings and fields of crops. With the emergence and dedication of hundreds of monuments since 1900 (and many before), and the development of farmland, some change has occurred but for the most part, nothing too dramatic. Both of these pictures are similar and demonstrate minimal change. Actually, except for some obvious changes in trees which are always the default difference, there is nothing different in the monuments or background (excluding the cleaning of the monument).
The 148th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument is located along Ayers Avenue at a bend in the road, the top or northern part of an S-shaped turn. The marker is on the right or west side of the road if traveling southwest along the road. To the northeast of this position is Wheatfield Road (T-intersection) and to the south, the Sickles Road intersection, the monument about half way between the two. There is also a large patch of woods which begins (or ends) at this monument location (northeastern part of the woods). This site is also the southeast corner of the Wheatfield, which border is defined on its west side by Ayers Road. Parking is available at small, cutout shoulders along the road, some wide, some narrow. Be sure to stay off the grass or you will be tickete by park police. I visited this monument on Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 12:53 P.M. I was at an elevation of 542 feet, ASL. I used a Canon PowerShot 14.1 Megapixel, SX210 IS digital camera for the photos. The monument faces northeast and is parallel with the road, which also runs northeast. I faced about due west about 10 feet away when I snapped my duplicating pictures, putting the monument on an angle, revealing the front left corner. Although I am listing the original photo date as 1900, I believe that number is conservative. I think most of these pics were taken at the time of the dedication ceremony to be included in that year's commission report.
From a previous waymark about this monument:
The 148th Pennsylvania Infantry served as a member of Cross’ Brigade in Caldwell’s Division of the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, a Fighting 300 Regiment. The unit was commanded by Colonel Henry Boyd McKeen (1835-1864). McKeen was a local fellow, being a lumber merchant in Camden, New Jersey. At the Battle of Gettysburg, he led his regiment in action in the Wheatfield and Rose Woods on the second day of Battle. When his brigade commander, Col. Edward Cross of the 5th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, was mortally wounded in the Rose Woods, he assumed command of the brigade, which he commanded through the rest of the Battle. He remained in command of the brigade (which was the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, II Corps, Army of the Potomac) though the Mine Run Campaign, and the Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor. At Cold Harbor, he led his brigade in the fruitless and bloody Union frontal assault on impregnable Confederate positions, and was killed at the head of his command. Today his name is inscribed on the 81st Pennsylvania Monument in the Wheatfield, and on the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, II Corps Marker on Ayres Avenue in the Rose Grove in the Gettysburg National Military Park.
The Draw the Sword site helped out by the NPS narrative and the SIRIS site offers the following description: Granite monument with trefoil reliefs, four corner columns, cap with relief shields, topped by finial of infantry accouterments, including draped drum and rifle. Flank markers have rough bases 4’11"x2’10"; shafts with trefoil top, 4’1"x2’3". The location of the monument marks the position held by regiment on the afternoon of July 2, 1863.
The monument was erected on September 11, 1889 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The monument is of granite with some bronze parts. The granite monument's dimensions are approximately 14 ft. 3 in. x 7 ft. 3 in. x 7 ft. 3 in. The monument was fabricated by P. F. Eisenbrown & Sons. There are inscriptions on all four sides which read:
(Front):148th Penna Infantry
1st Brig. 1st Div. 2d Corps.
engaged the enemy
on this position in
the afternoon of
July 2d 1863.
Present at Gettysburg 468 officers and men.
Killed and died of wounds 2 officers 25 men.
Wounded 5 officers 88 men
Captured or missing 5 men.
Centre, Clarion, Indiana
and Jefferson Counties.
Organized September 1. 1862.
Mustered out June 1. 1865.
Total Enrollment 1370.Killed and died of wounds, 13 officers, 190 men.
Died of disease, etc. 4 officers 170 men.
Wounded, 28 officers 512 men.
Captured or missing 4 officers 168 men.
(Back):Chancellorsville. Cold Harbor.
Auburn. Strawberry Plains.
Bristoe Station. Deep Bottom.
Mine Run. Reams' Station.
Spotsylvania. Hatchers's Run.
North Anna. South Side R.R.
The 148th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument is a contributing feature to the Gettysburg National Military Park Historic District which is nationally significant under NR Criteria A, B, C & D. Areas of Significance: Military, Politics/Government, Landscape Architecture, Conservation, Archeology-Historic. Period of Significance: 1863-1938. The original National Register Nomination was approved by the Keeper March 19, 1975. An update to this nomination was approved by the Keeper on January 23, 2004. The monument is identified as structure number MN139-C.
From the Nomination Form:
Marks position of 148th Pennsylvania Infantry on afternoon of July 2, 1863. 1 of 110 mns in Park to PA commands at Gettysburg. Located in Wheatfield, W of Ayres Ave. Pos. marker (1901) marks position of regiment on July 3, 1863, located W of Hancock Ave.
Short Physical Description:
Mn, 2 flank markers & 1 position marker. 2 course base, 6'2"x6'3". Shaft 4'7" sq., inscription & corner panels, w/ cross-gable cap & infantry accoutrements. All 14'3" H. Flank markers: rough bases 4'11"x2'10"; shafts w/ trefoil top, 4'1"x2'3". All 6'3" high
Long Physical Description:
1. NRHP Nomination Form
3. Stone Sentinels
4. Virtual Gettysburg
5. Draw the Sword
6. Historical Marker Database
8. Find A Grave