If you've heard of Sachs Bridge and the part it played in the Confederate invasion and retreat then you may want to find it.
I did not see it marked on any map though but I did know about where it was located.
One way to find it is if you take the "Scenic Valley" tour (map available through GCVB) it is pointed out along the route from a bridge on MILLERSTOWN ROAD crossing Marsh Creek.
Another, is a detour from the battlefield auto tour. After stop #6 you will come to a stop sign at MILLERSTOWN ROAD. Make a right and follow for less than a mile and look for the left on to RED ROCK ROAD. At the dead end make a right (WATER WORKS ROAD). This is a rural residential area and the bridge is at the end of this road. As you will see, you cannot drive across it. The bridge now closes at dusk but from what I understand it did not used to be until it was vandalized recently. The graffiti was still present when we were there in Oct 2003. We were the only ones there at the time and scenery was peaceful and gorgeous.
Surprising is the Scenic Valley Tour, a selfguided 36 mile drive through Adams county.
The tour is marked with Scenic Valley Tour signs, and a route with description can be obtained at the Gettysburg Visitor Center.
Adams County is very scenic. The rolling hills filled with farmhouses and orchards are great. Adams County is the largest fruit producing and processing county in Pennsylvania.
More pics of the Scenic Valley Tour in the travellogue.
The National Cemetery. It was dedicated by Lincoln in November 19 1863. His address was famous because it was brief (272 words)and lasted two minutes. The prior orator ( Edward Everett) had spoken two hours. The president transformed the battle into a symbol.
Sachs covered bridge. Built in 1852, part of the confederate army of Northern Virginia began its retreat to Virginia by crossing the bridge after the battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. In 1968 Pennsylvania highway department determined that the bridge was the most historic covered bridge in the state and closed it to traffic. Floodwaters swept it from its abutments in 1996. Adams County rehabilitated the bridge by supporting its trusses with steel beams and by raising it three feet.
If you are looking for a nice photo opportunity, or just happen to like covered bridges this is a must see. The out side of the bridges is in immaculate condition however, the inside has been vandalized over the years. Even with the interior as it is this is still a great site for those who can find it.
Directions on how to find:
Take either Steinwehr Ave. or West Confederate Ave. South then turn onto Millerstown Rd. which will become Pumping Station road right before you cross a larger bridge (I think there is at least on smaller one to go over first) Sachs bridge should be visible to your left while you are crossing the bridge. Once over the bridge look for the Parks marker on the left side of the road for Sachs covered bridge. (see pictures) Turn left onto Waterworks Rd. and you are there.
N 39o 47.830'
W 077o 16.598'
This cemetery goes unnoticed a great majority of the time being over shadowed by the National Cemetery. However it is in its own right a very interesting site. It is the resting place a Jennie Wade and John Burns as well as other family names, such as Spangler, that visitors might recognize from their time around town and the national park.
The Cemetery is divided into two section the old and the new. If you stay in the older section you can look over a good deal of 100+ year old gravy markers. Normally I tend to avoid cemeteries figure I will spend enough time in one eventually. I am, however, glad I took the time to go through this most somber place.
To find just travel up the road a few feet from the National Cemetery on Baltimore Street
the Evergreen Cemetery. Something else that I over heard was that there were only two CSA soldiers buried in the cemetery right next to rows of Union soldiers. As to why these two CSA were buried here and no others were I am not sure. A bus went by and I could not hear. However all the time we spent in the Evergreen Cemetery these were the only two that had CSA on the head stones.
To find walk through the brick arch building and take the path to the left walk along it till you come to a some what large tree by a small mausoleum. The two graves are close to the mausoleum and are marked with two rebel flags.
If you continue walking southwest on Steinwehr Avenue (Emmitsburg Road, US-15), past the Soldiers' National Cemetery Annex, then a couple of blocks past Washington Street (Taneytown Road, MD-134), you will reach the American Civil War Museum at 297 Steinwehr Avenue. I believe it used to be called the wax museum. Their self-guided tour presents the history of the Civil War era and Battle of Gettysburg using life-sized dioramas. There is also a re-creation of the Battle of Gettysburg in the digitally enhanced Battle Room exhibit, followed by an animated version of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
South of the Pitzer Woods Stop #6 on the self-guided auto tour, there is an observation tower named after GEN Longstreet. It is one of the last three remaining U. S. War Department-era observation towers and offers the visitor a panoramic view of the battlefield. Originally, there were five towers constructed on the battlefield but this is the only one built on West Confederate Avenue. From the observation deck, one can appreciate the distance that Longstreet's Confederates had to cross to reach the Union positions at Little Round Top, the Wheatfield and in the Peach Orchard. See also a videoclip.
The tower was the last major structure to be placed on West Confederate Avenue, which was also laid out and paved by the U. S. War Department at the turn of the century. William Robbins, a Confederate veteran of the battle and one of the first battlefield commissioners, promoted the avenue so that Confederate artillery and infantry positions could be marked. Robbins worked with original reports and documents while relying on eyewitness testimony from visiting veterans to compose the tablets. This portion of West Confederate between Millerstown Road and the Emmitsburg Road is lined with numerous Confederate battery positions as well as several state memorials and brigade markers.
The tower also overlooks the farm that is today Eisenhower National Historic Site, the retirement home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The farm buildings used by GEN Longstreet as a temporary headquarters stood on the Eisenhower property, but they no longer exist. I did a pass on climbing all those stairs but it would have been a great view. The nearby marker says Dwight D. Eisenhower was General of the Army and the 34th President of the United States. He loved history and bought the 189-acre farm in 1950. After his election in 1952, the farm became his retreat and he even met world leaders informally there. He retired to the farm in 1961 and lived there until his death in 1969. First Lady Mamie lived there until her death in 1979. Since 1980, the farm has been managed by the National Park Service. Admission to the farm is by shuttle bus only. The buses depart regularly from the Museum and Visitors' Center.
At first I was puzzled at this grave site, it seemed to given the same reverence that the Jennie Wade resting place was given but I could not remember who John Burns was or why he had patriot on his head stone.
Later I over heard a guide telling a group of people about him. Verbatim of what I heard: "One of the more interesting characters who fought in the battle was not a soldier at all. 72 year old citizen John Burns dressed in his best clothes, took his old musket, and walked out to join the Union troops fighting west of town on July 1. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, and must have received some stunned amazed looks as he approached the Union officers. He fought near the McPherson farm with soldiers of the Iron Brigade, and was wounded three times. For his action in volunteering to fight, he became a national hero and President Lincoln personally thanked the old man for what he had done."
So if you would like to see the resting place of a national hero and patriot go to the Evergreen cemetery follow the directions to the Jennie Wade grave site and look left. You will see another American flag on a white pole this will show you were to find John Burns.
The Evergreen Cemetery is a private cemetery that was located on Cemetery Hill before the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. It was established in 1854 when a group of local residents headed by attorney David McConaughy bought land on Raffensperger's Hill south of Gettysburg along the Baltimore Pike for a community cemetery. The large brick gatehouse was constructed in the late 1850's. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the hill was a key position for the Union Army. As a consequence, the cemetery and its gatehouse suffered damage from incoming artillery shells, as well as from the thousands of men and horses who tramped through it during and after the fighting. The Soldiers' National Cemetery was established immediately west of it after the battle. Although today the Soldiers' National Cemetery is closed to new burials, the Evergreen Cemetery is still active and plots may be purchased.
The Lincoln Train Museum is at 425 Steinwehr Avenue, which is about half a block past the American Civil War Museum. There is a simulated train ride that follows the route that took Abraham Lincoln from Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg in 1863 for his famous speech. The Lincoln Toy Train Collection has operating layouts featuring over 1000 trains and colorful dioramas illustrating the role of the railroad during the Civil War. The museum is open daily but the hours vary with the time of year: June-August, 9 AM to 9 PM; April-May and September-October, 9 AM to 7 PM; March and November, 9 AM to 5 PM. The admission is $7.25 for adults, $3.50 for children (4-11), and children 3 and under are free. The time allowance is about one hour.
You can see the Steinwehr Gate into the Gettysburg National Cemetery Annex from the porch of the Gettystown Inn B&B. Be aware that that gate is closed at dusk. The Annex opened in 1967 after the main cemetery reached capacity. The "Friend to Friend" Memorial is located in the Annex. It commemorates the estimated 15,000 Free Masons that fought on both sides at Gettysburg. It depicts wounded Confederate GEN Lewis A. Armistead placing his pocket watch in the hand of Union CPT Henry H. Bingham with instructions to deliver it back home to his family. The Soldiers National Monument and the New York State Monument are just up the hill.
The only civilian killed during the battle on the morning of July 3rd. Twenty year old Jennie Wade was kneading bread dough in the kitchen of her sister's house, when a stray sharp shooter's bullet went through two doors and killed her.
Located in the Evergreen Cemetery. Walk through the front brick arch building and follow the path leading straight, look for an American flag on a white pole to help located from a far. Graver maker will be the tallest around compared to the other markers.
The only place on the battlefield where you can see the entire scope of the battle. When the trees are bare, you get a fabulous view!
You can see Oak Hill, the town itself, Culps Hill and Cemetary Hill from here. Great for perspective!
Just next to the National Cemetary there is the Ever Green Cemetary. The gates are extremely beautifull.
The picture is taken from the cemetary and looking through the gate at some of the civil war monuments.