Old Rummel Farm – Gettysburg PA
I spent several hours at the Adams County Historical Center, at the Seminary in Gettysburg PA, and didn’t realize that was where I could have done more research – not till I was leaving town.
The comment about Barbara Rummel Culp – that she was raised on the Rummel Farm where General Stuart was defeated (3 July 1863) – is correct, but not under modern concepts. The Rummel Farm of the Cavalry Field cannot be the same Rummel Farm referenced above.
Barbara was the next to youngest daughter of George Rummel, who moved to Straban Twp, Adams County in 1778. The Rummel Farm of the Cavalry Field is in Mt Pleasant Twp. It was purchased at a Sheriff’s auction by John Rummel (wife Sarah or Sally) on 3 Apr 1845, from a Schulte Farrich, for $645 (be aware that dollars then were worth much more than today). Mr Farrich had owned the farm for a number of years, so this would not have been a Rummel Family Farm.
When I brought this up to Mr Dan Hoffman (present owner), he pointed to the southwest at a metal barn roof shining in the sun. That was an “Old” Rummel Farm, owned by his sister. Yes, it was in Straban Twp. It was maybe ½ mile away, across the fields. It was on Hoffman Road, an old house built of stone about 1810, with a large barn (now used in dairying), right on a stream. The house had been “destroyed” by remodeling – and driving past it I could see that the back of the house had been opened out and extended as two stories (frame with aluminum siding) over a basement three car garage (the old house certainly had a basement). The front section was the original stone, but even it had large windows added on the north side (toward the road down which I was coming), which had to include tearing out portions of the stone walls.
As I said, I should have continued my research to determine the exact data on this other farm. From maps, it is possibly ½ to 1 mile north of the Hanover Road. Hoffman Road is very twisty along the creek going between the Hanover Road and even past this Rummel Farm. It would have been in the west area of the Cavalry Field. Possibly it had another name on the Battlefield. (From a battlefield map; I would consider it at or close to the Joseph Spangler farm, where Custer had the 7th Michigan. There is another old stone farmhouse next north on the same west side of the Hoffman road.) I do not know how much land would have been involved
Since Barbara married Christian Culp about 1795, she was dead before the time of the Civil War. I imagine the original statement was made by one of her descendants (grandchild?) - that she was born on the Rummel Farm out where General Stuart was defeated, and that would be correct. I consider this battle with the 7th Michigan as probably the actual defeat of Stuart. The 7th Michigan had 7-shot Spencer Rifles [Mr Hoffman had one, used on the actual battlefield, by serial number] – which would have given considerable firepower over Stuart’s single shot muzzle loaders – even though Stuart considerably outnumbered the Union Army there. General Lee called Stuart's army “The Invincibles”, but he wasn’t against those Spencer Rifles. So again, the statement about Barbara Rummel Culp would be more correct – this would have been WHERE Stuart was defeated. And – they did have Christian Culp’s Fire Bucket (leather) – back in storage –and brought it out for me (took a picture).
There seems to have been cannon shot signals given between Lee and Stuart. 2 cannon shots indicated the start of the cannonade of the Union Lines. Stuart fired 4 cannon shots (each of the four directions), from Cress Ridge behind the Rummel Farm, at the start of his battle. That was when Lee stopped the cannonade (2 hours) and Pickett’s Charge began. I imagine Lee expected timing to work out, for Stuart to hit the back of the Union Lines, at the same time as Pickett hit the front. After all, Stuart was "Invincible". It didn’t happen! Pickett’s army was destroyed. Lee’s response on hearing of Stuart’s defeat (and of course Pickett’s) was: “Usn’s had usn’s Invincibles!” Very likely indicating how much he had depended on Stuart.
John Rummel was the son of Henry, grandson of Jacob, great grandson of our George Rummel. I did not get any kind of complete family history, but Jacob had 2 recorded sons: Jacob Jr and Henry. Jacob Jr married Elizabeth Bear, and they had a daughter: Anna Marie who married a George Cramer. John (1808-1876) and Sarah had a son Israel H T Rummel (1848-1929), who married a Mary (so I still do not have a 4 year old daughter of the battle story -unless she was Israel's daughter).
The story may not be correct – since Mr Hoffman said that John Rummel had taken his family elsewhere before the battle started (wonder where? – the other Rummel Farm? – not too good an idea?) and returned home by horse (a nice 7 yr old mare). The Confederates took him and the mare back to the woods behind the barn, and when they withdrew, the mare went with them! – John claimed a loss of $219.95 as stolen or destroyed, but this was disallowed, because it was not done by the Union Army. The present stone house was built in 1870, and is not the house of the battle. That was a frame house, across the lane, north of the present stone house (an old picture includes it). Yes, it was damaged during the battle; a cannon shell hit one corner. It probably did not have a basement. I am unable to locate any copy of the book: “Between the Lines” of 1868 (long lost notes –name of author), which I read back in 1952 at Manchester College.
Our original George Rummel (in papers of Mr Hoffman) was a Private in the Revolution: Capt Berryhill, First Battalion, 3rd Corps, Cumberland County militia. (Vol 6, p102, 5th Sec Penn Archives) (from a Henry W Shoemaker). Now, I understood that George had come from Lancaster County, don’t know where I got that from – Cumberland County was a more western region of Pennsylvania, possibly including this area of Adams County.
Merle C Rummel
3 July 2007
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