The sixty acre Bliss farm was just south of Gettysburg on the west side of the Emmitsburg Road. The house and barn stood on a small ridge of high ground that ended up being between Union and Confederate lines on July 2nd and 3rd. Both sides tried to control the ground, resulting in a seesaw battle which ended with the farm being burned by the 14th Connecticut Infantry.
William and Adeline Bliss bought their Gettysburg farm in 1857, having moved south from Chautauqua County, New York in search of warmer weather after losing three of their five children. They were in their early sixties at the time of the battle, and their two youngest daughters, Frances and Sara, were living with them.
The family fled the house on the first day of the battle, leaving “the doors open, the table set, and the beds made.” They returned to total destruction.
Bliss filed claims for $2,500 to $3,500 for damages, but never received any compensation. He sold the remnants of the farm to Nicholas Cordori in 1865 for $1,000. According to the story he said, “Let it go. I would give twenty farms for such a victory.”
The Blisses returned to New York, having lost almost everything. William died in 1888 and Adeline in 1889. They are buried in Sinclairville, New York.
Bronze bas relief from the 12th New Jersey monument showing the fighting at the Bliss farm