Gettysburg Farms & Buildings

The Rummel farm on the East Cavalry Battlefield near Gettysburg

The farm of John and Sarah Rummel is about four miles east of Gettysburg and a short distance north of Hanover Road. (39.831922° N, 77.170545° W ; map) It covered 168 acres that included rolling fields and a dense woods on the north side of the property. The Rummels lived in a log house, and the complex of farm buildings included a blacksmith shop, wagon shed, spring house, and a large wood and stone barn which still exists today. The current stone house was built after the battle, in 1870.

Confederate cavalry occupied the farm on July 3, piercing the planking of the barn for loopholes. John was taken prisoner for the day and held in the woods behind the barn, although Sarah was allowed to leave and go to a neighbor’s house.

The farm was the scene of violent hand-to-hand fighting between Stuart’s Confederate troopers and Union cavalry under David McM. Gregg and George A. Custer. After the Confederates withdrew John found two sets of men, Union and Confederate, who had died struggling with each other. One of the pair still had their fingers tightly clenched in each other’s flesh. Over 30 dead horses were scattered about his property. But pails of milk from the morning’s milking remained undisturbed throughout the hot, humid day by the Rebels, who had been ordered to respect citizen’s property. This order didn’t extend, however, to Rummels’ mare, which left with the Confederates.

After the battle John placed a claim of $219.95 for losses. It was disallowed as they were caused by Confederates.