Brian Farm

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Brian Farm
1904 Cope map - Gettysburg National Cemetery.png
1904 map depicting the Brian Farm (lower left "Bryan") with the Emmitsburg Rd "Y [wye] of the trolly"[1] (dashed), which had a right-of-way through the farm.[2]
TypeAmerican Civil War site
LocationGettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
Coordinates39°48.928′N 77°14.11′W / 39.815467°N 77.23517°W / 39.815467; -77.23517Coordinates: 39°48.928′N 77°14.11′W / 39.815467°N 77.23517°W / 39.815467; -77.23517[3]
Area12 acres (4.9 ha)
Elevation603.5 ft (183.9 m)[4]

The Brian Farm[5][3] is an American Civil War area of the Gettysburg Battlefield used during the Pickett's Charge. On January 23, 2004, the farm's buildings, Boundary Stone Wall, and ID tablet were designated historic district contributing structures[6] after the tract was used for the 1918 Camp Colt[7] and other postbellum camps.

Mid-July 1863[3] Bryan Farm House and outdoor oven (left). In 1985, this photo was discovered[who?] to show biaxially tapered shakes instead of the presumed clay roof tiles (the Germanic roofing technique was subsequently discovered in 19th-century photos of 16 additional Gettysburg area structures.[8]


Abraham Brian[9] (colloq. Bryan as early as 1891)[10] was a free black man who purchased the farm in 1857 just south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (his wife died soon and he married a third wife.) The farm included an additional farm dwelling along the Emmitsburg Road.[11] Prior to the battle, Bryan and several other blacks left the area to avoid capture and enslavement.

Battle of Gettysburg
Federal troops positioned around the Bryan House and barn were assaulted by Confederate troops of Mississippi[specify] under the command of J. Johnston Pettigrew.

After the battle the house walls were filled with bullet holes, windows were broken, and the furniture was tossed about. Farm fences were gone, crops were trampled, and his orchard trees were useless.[citation needed] Bryan's $1,028 federal claim for property damage resulted[when?] in $15 paid for damage by Union troops[citation needed] (he sold the farm in 1869.)[12] Postbellum additions to the Abraham Brian Farm House included a 2nd floor.[13]

The 1888 Gettysburg Cyclorama (which was made in conjunction with William H. Tipton photographs) has a painted image of the house.[14]

The last inhabitant was Ernest Strickhouser in 1940,[14] c. 1950 the 2-story farm house was demolished, and a 1-story reproduction of the Civil War structure was built.[citation needed] Battlefield monuments on the tract include the 111th New York Infantry Monument, 11th Mississippi Infantry Marker, and the Camp Colt commemorative pine tree and marker. The Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association acquired a 19th-century right-of-way and built a carriage road between the house and barn--Grand Central Avenue (now Hancock Avenue) was telfordized shortly after GBMA lands transferred to the War Department before the turn of the century.[15]


  1. ^ "Took Work to make Camp Quay". Gettysburg Compiler. July 27, 1904. Retrieved 2012-06-02 – via Google News Archive. Opposite the Y of the trolly is located the Third Brigade … extending until they practically join the town in the Tawney field on Washington Street.
  2. ^ "Want $30,000 to Purchase Land of Trolley Line". Adams County News. January 27, 1917. Retrieved 2012-05-30 – via Google News Archive.
  3. ^ a b c Swain, Craig (December 21, 2008). "The Brian Farm Marker" ( webpage, marker 16864). Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  4. ^ "X_Value=-77.235167&Y_Value=39.815467". USGS Elevation Web Service Query. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  5. ^ "Abraham Brian Farm Boundary Stone Wall (Structure Number WA50, LCS ID 081012)", List of Classified Structures: GETT p. 46,, archived from the original ( webpage) on 2015-09-24, retrieved 2012-06-04, 2' high. Approximately 500' of fragment of north and south boundaries. North boundary is shared with Ziegler property, south boundary is shared with Leister property.
  6. ^ "Abraham Brian Farm House (Structure Number 022, LCS ID 004456)", List of Classified Structures: GETT p. 1,, archived from the original ( webpage) on 2012-12-14, Entered-Documented … 01/23/2004 … House figured prominently in Battle due to its position within Union line on Cemetery Ridge during 2nd & 3rd days of Battle. …house suffered from infantry & artillery fire. Used by Gen Hays for HQ after Battle. … One-and-one half story 2 bay wide by one room deep frame farm house… Centered entrance flanked by 6/6 double hung sash. Flush laid horizontal siding, gable roof with wood shakes, Gable ends have two 2/2 double hung sash. One end gable internal stone and brick chimney stack with stones exposed on east end. Pent roof porch runs length of house on South side.
  7. ^ Gettysburg National Military Park Commission. "An Introduction to the Annual Reports of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission to the Secretary of War". The Gettysburg Commission Reports. Gettysburg, PA: War Department. "176 acres of the Codori farm, 10 acres of the Smith farm, and 6 acres of the Bryan House place"
  8. ^ Engle, Reed (December 1985). Restoration of a Roofing (PDF). CRM Bulletin (Report). Volume 8: No. 6. NPS Cultural Resources Management. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-15. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  9. ^ Abraham Brian (gravestone), depicted at, retrieved 2012-05-30
  10. ^ Battle Field of Gettysbug (Map). 1895 War of the Rebellion Atlas. United States Government Printing Office. 1891. Plate 95. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  11. ^ Scherfy, Marcella (1972). The Brien Farm and Family. NPS Resources Management Division. pp. 4–5. Cited by Smith webpage for the following:
    Born in Maryland in 1804, Brian had moved to Gettysburg by 1840. In 1857 he purchased twelve acres from James A. Thompson. The property contained two dwelling houses: one near the crest of Cemetery Ridge and a smaller tenant house along the Emmitsburg road. Brian and his family lived in the house near the crest. He usually kept at least one or two horses and cows. In 1863 he was growing wheat, barley, and hay, and had some of his land in meadows and orchards.
  12. ^ [unspecified document], GNMP vertical file 14-CF-14, Abraham Brien (Cited by Vermilyea webpage.)
  13. ^ Bachelder, John Badger (1873). Gettysburg. What to see How to see it (Google Books). Retrieved 2012-05-30. The white cottage in the field at the left [North of the Codori house] was General Hays' headquarters. It has received a second story since the battle. The Union line ran between the house and barn...
  14. ^ a b,2532548&dq=brian-farm+gettysburg&hl=en,105177&dq=brian-farm+gettysburg&hl=en
  15. ^ Gettysburg National Military Park Commission (June 30, 1905). "Annual Report of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission to the Secretary of War, 1905". The Gettysburg Commission Reports. Gettysburg, PA: War Department. Retrieved July 12, 2011.