The farm of John and Sarah Rummel is about four miles east of Gettysburg and a short distance north of Hanover Road. It covered 168 acres which included rolling fields and a dense woods on the north side of the property. The Rummels lived in a log house which no longer stands. 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.
Stuart’s 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.
Violent hand-to-hand fighting broke out on the farm between Stuart’s Confederate troopers and Union cavalry under David McM. Gregg and George A. Custer. Charges and counter-charges left the fields filled with bodies, the crops trampled and the fences wrecked. 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.
John placed a claim after the battle of $219.95 for losses. It was disallowed as they were caused by Confederates.
Location of the Rummel farm at Gettysburg
The Rummel Farm is on the East Cavalry Battlefield about four miles east of Gettysburg south of US 30 and north of the Hanover Road. (39°49’54.9″N 77°10’14.0″W) Taking US 30 from Gettysburg and turn right on Cavalry Field Road just pass the Harley-Davidson dealer. Taking Hanover Road from Gettysburg turn left on Low Dutch Road and then left again on Gregg Avenue.