The fifteen acre Klingel Farm is south of Gettysburg on the east side of Emmitsburg Road. (Emmitsburg Road tour map) It was in the center of the Confederate attacks on July 2nd and 3rd.
Daniel Klingel was a native of Adams County. He bought the farm in April of 1863 from Jacob Benner. In 1862 Brenner had received the farm from its original owner, the elderly Ludwig Esick, for payment of debts. Daniel lived at the farm with his wife Hannah and two very young children, Samuel and Catherine. Daniel was a shoemaker as well as a farmer.
Is it Klingle or Klingel? The War Department plaque in front of the house reads “Klingel,” as do the tombstones in Evergreen Cemetery and the Batchelder maps. Other records, including some with Daniel’s signature, read “Klingle.” And on his pension form he signed his name “Daniel Klingal, otherwise Klingle.” Like the Bryan or Brian family, spelling could be more free-form in former times.
During the battle
Daniel was witness to the First Corps advance down Emmitsburg Road on July 1st. He watched as they took down the fence to the west of the road and advanced at the double across the Spangler and McMillan farm fields on their way to the first day’s battlefield northwest of town. In the evening “14 to 16” wounded Confederates were brought to the house. Daniel cared for them through the night.
The Klingel family left the farm on July 2 after repeated warnings from Union officers. They headed by way of the Trostle farm to the foot of Little Round Top. Daniel was taken up to the Union signal station on Little Round Top, where he helped identify roads and terrain features. He slipped away and returned to his family when the hill came under fire from a Confederate gun on Warfield Ridge. The Klingels made their way to a friend’s house near Rock Creek, where they waited out the battle.
After the battle
Daniel returned home on the 4th after a long trip where he was conducted from picket to picket through the area where the Army of the Potomac still faced Confederate troops. He arrived at a scene of devastation. Nearly all his possessions were gone or destroyed, including his shoemaking tools and leathers, his two cows and a calf. (He found part of one cow on the Trostle farm; the other cow and calf, miraculously alive, turned up a month later about two miles away.) There were bullet holes in the house, and powder marks where soldiers had fired from inside the house. Most of his crops were destroyed and all his fences missing. After the war Daniel filed an $880 claim for damages to his farm, but after long deliberation it was denied in 1881.
The farm was covered by the dead. Bodies lay all around the house. Two were just inside the gate, and two others under the porch where they must have crawled for shelter before dying of their wounds. One shattered tree in Klingel’s orchard concealed four dead soldiers huddled around a cooking pan with food still in it.
Little Catherine died in September. Hanna had another son, John Elmer Ellsworth Klingel, but he died in August of 1864. In September Daniel enlisted in the 209th Pennsylvania Infantry and served in the Siege of Petersburg. He was discharged for medical reasons in March of 1865. Hanna bore another daughter in May of that year who died in the fall.
After the war
Charles Klingel was born in 1866. The Klingels sold the farm to Joseph Smith. Many postwar records describe the farm as the Smith farm. Hanna gave birth to another son, Harry, in 1867, but she died in February of the next year, and little Harry followed her in July.
Daniel remarried and had four more children, two of whom died in infancy. Of his ten children by two wives, only four lived to adulthood, a tragic record even for the 1800s. Daniel was working as a shoemaker in Baltimore by 1880. He lost his second wife, Mary, in 1882. By 1890 he had filed a claim for total disability due to his Civil War service. He returned to Gettysburg, where he died in 1893.
The Klingel farmhouse today
The Klingel farmhouse has been restored to its Civil war appearance. An addition on the rear (east) side of the house that was built after the war was removed, as was its weatherboarding.
Before the Restoration
For much of the 20th century the Klingel farmhouse looked very different from its Civil War appearance. Red-painted weatherboarding covered the core log structure. A large two-story addition had been made behind the house.
The original log structure of the house was revealed when a corner of the weatherboarding was removed. The decision was made that the weatherboarding could be removed and the structure restored to its Civil War appearance.
Location of the Klingel farm at Gettysburg
The Klingel farm is south of Gettysburg on the east side of Emmitsburg Road about 0.8 mile from the edge of town. (39°48’22.4″N 77°14’46.3″W)