The Daniel Klingel Farm
The Daniel Klingel home is a log structure dating back to the eighteenth century. Sitting along side the Emmitsburg Road, the Klingel family, Daniel, a shoemaker and Hannah his wife with two small children, Samuel and Catherine, moved onto the farm shortly after purchasing the homestead in the spring of 1863. With a large barn, various out buildings, acres of semi level productive fields, a good size orchard and garden, the farm provided nearly all the necessities for a rewarding agrarian life in Gettysburg.
The farm; however because of its location, would be exposed to horrific conditions during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Daniel, watched as the Union First Corps advanced toward Gettysburg on the Emmitsburg Rd. on July 1st. As the army moved forward to the first days battle, they tore down the fences on the west side of the road and rapidly advanced onto and through the Spangler and McMillan farm fields. Later in the afternoon, over a dozen wounded Confederate soldiers were brought to the Klingel home, where Daniel would care for them through the night.
On July 2nd, after repeated warnings from Union officers, the Klingel family left the farm carrying what valuables they could with them. Walking toward the Trostle Farm at the foot of Little Round Top, Daniel was instructed by a Union officer to go the signal station atop of Little Round Top to help determine and identify the roads and surrounding area. When Confederate artillery engaged the signal station, Daniel returned to his family and made their way to a friend’s house near Rock Creek where they waited out the battle.
Daniel returned home after the battle on July 4th. Moving from Union picket to picket, the walk was slow and dangerous as the Army of the Potomac was still facing Confederate forces in the area. Upon reaching the farm, he faced devastation far beyond his imagination. Nearly all the family possessions were gone or destroyed including his shoemaker’s tools and supply of leather. One of the two milk cows was found dead and partially butchered. Unbelievably, the other cow with calf were located alive a month later over a mile from the farm. Most of the crops were destroyed and all the fences missing. Daniel filed a war damage claim with the Federal government after the war for $880.00 in losses. After years of deliberation, the claim was denied in 1881.
The farm fields lay littered with dead soldiers and animals. Around the house wounded and later dying soldiers lay in the yard and under the porch. In the orchard, trees were shattered by artillery exposing four dead soldiers huddled around a cooking fire with a pan still full of food.
Daughter Catherine died in September after the battle. Hannah had another son, but died in August 1864. Daniel enlisted in the 209th Pennsylvania Infantry and served at the siege of Petersburg, Va. but was discharged due to ill health early in 1865. Hannah bore yet another daughter in May but died later in the year. A son Charles was born in 1866.
In 1867, the Klingels sold the farm to Joseph Smith. Hannah had another son Harry in 1867 but died in February of the next year with Hannah following in July.
Daniel remarried and had four more children, two of which died in infancy. Of his ten children by two different wives, only four lived to adulthood. By 1880, Daniel was working in Baltimore as a shoemaker. After losing his second wife Mary, in 1882, he filed for total disability in 1890, due to his war service.
Daniel returned to Gettysburg where he died in 1893.