Trostle Farm Then and Now

Trostle House with dead horses from Bigelow's Battery

A historic picture of the Trostle house, held up in the center of the modern version, shows numerous dead horses from Bigelow's Battery. A historic picture of the Trostle house, held up in the center of the modern version, shows numerous dead horses from Bigelow's Battery.

Left image
The historic picture of the Trostle house, held up in the center of the modern picture, shows numerous dead horses from Bigelow's Battery.
Credit: Library of Congress.

Right image
The modern picture of the Trostle house is partially obscured by a large tree. The monument to Bigelow's Battery can be seen on a rock between the house and the road.
Credit: NPS Photo.

The Trostle farm was the site 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. The framework to the left of the house in the historic photograph is evidence of an 1863 addition.

 

TROSTLE BARN with Dead Horses from Bigelow’s battery

Dead horses scatter the ground in front of a large brick barn with single cannonball hole. Dead horses scatter the ground in front of a large brick barn with single cannonball hole.

Left image
The carcasses of dead horses from Bigelow’s 9th Massachusetts Battery can be seen scattered across the yard of the Trostle farm.
Credit: Library of Congress.

Right image
The only sign remaining from the battle is a large hole in the brick gable of the barn left by a cannonball.
Credit: NPS Photo.

The scene in this series of photos shows the Trostle barn, made famous by the large cannonball hole in the brick facade. By comparing the two photos, one can see just how many dead horses littered the property where Bigelow’s 9th Massachusetts Battery was overrun by the 21st Mississippi Infantry. This photo was captured by Timothy O’Sullivan.

Last updated: May 5, 2021

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