Jacob Auer is the current owner of GettysBike Tours
Editor's Note:This article is used with permission of GettysBike Tours. You can find this article and others like it at www.gettysbike.com. Also,book a tour with them! Photos of the farms discussed here are after the article.
This will be a multiple part series discussing the farms and buildings on the Gettysburg Battlefield. To start off the series let’s talk about three farms on the southern side of the field, the Slyder, Snyder and Bushman farms. Phillip Snyder Farm: The Phillip Snyder farm was built in 1831 and occupied by Phillip snyder and his family in 1863. The house is a 2 story log and frame house built on a granite foundation. In 1991-1992 the house was restored to its original 1890’s appearance. It stands unoccupied today.
On July 2nd 1863, Confederate troops of Hood’s Division marched through the property on their way to fighting at Devil’s Den, Little Round Top and The Wheatfield. The Michael Bushman farm: A Reverend Michael Bushman and his wife Amelia lived in the Bushman farm both before and after 1863. The original portion of the house was built in 1808 and deeded by Sophia Hammer ot her daughter, Amelia. Amelia included her husband Michael Bushman in the will when they married. Michael Bushman was a nationally recognized minister in the German Baptist Brethren Church. The brick portion was added in 1860.
Amelia died in 1875, three years later Michael married Louisa Rupp. The will stated that the farm would go to Michael and Amelia’s children. As they never had any children the farm was sold to the Gettysburg Memorial Association in 1894 when Michael died in 1893 and transferred to the National Park Service in 1933. Hood’s division went through the Bushman property on their way to attack Little Round Top and Devil’s Den. Hood may have been wounded in the Bushman orchard. It is likely the barn was used as a field hospital and 8 confederate soldiers were buried beside it. The house was renovated in 2017 and is available to be rented. The Slyder Farm: John Slyder moved from Maryland in 1849 and bought 75 acre property. By the time of the battle the house included a two story house, blacksmith and carpenter shop and an orchard of peach and pear trees. As with the other two farms the Slyder farm saw Hood’s Confederates sweep through the property on their way to Devil’s Den and Little Round Top. The buildings became a Confederate field hospital. Two months after the battle John Snyder sold the farm and moved to Ohio. The farm passed to the Snyder family who had it until the turn of the Century. The national Park now owns it.