The Trostle farm is south of Gettysburg on what is now United States Avenue. (Google map) Owned by Peter Trostle, it was occupied at the time of the battle by his son Abraham, Abraham’s wife Catherine, and their nine children. The 134 acre farm included a new frame house, brick barn, corn crib, wagon shed, springhouse, and a brick smokeouse.
Major General Daniel Sickles used the farm as his headquarters after he advanced his Third Army Corps to the line of the Emmitsburg Road on July 2nd. He was wounded in the field to the west of the barn, where a monument now stands.
The Trostles were abruptly forced from their home during the fighting, leaving dinner on the table, which was enjoyed by Sickles’ staff. Like many of their neighbors, the Trostles returned to find most of their belongings looted or destroyed.
The 9th Massachusetts Battery had fought a desperate last stand on their farm, with at least sixteen dead battery horses just in the front yard and over a hundred on the farm. Damage to property and real estate was estimated a $2,500 in a claim filed fter the war, but it appears no compensation was ever paid.
The farm was sold by the Trostle heirs to the Park Service in 1899. You can still see battle damage, including the famous shell hole in the brickwork of the barn. The Park Service has used the house for several years as a dorm for college history interns doing summer studies at the park.