William H. Tipton's Photos at Devil's Den, Gettysburg
Do you have Tipton photos taken at Gettysburg? Send me a scan and I'll post it here.

1913 and 2013

Virtual GettysburgPhotographing the Gettysburg Battlefield

In 1868, Charles Tyson sold his entire collection of battlefield negatives, and his studio, to William H. Tipton. An apprentice of the Tysons at the time of the battle, Tipton went on to become the most important Gettysburg photographer of the late 19th century. He had a photo studio right in Devils Den and for years served as the official battlefield photographer. His work includes countless views of monuments surrounded by veterans and dignitaries. No group of tourists in the late 1800s would think of leaving Gettysburg without having Tipton capture their visit amongst the rocks of Devil’s Den.

On the left is a photo from 1913 with my grandmother Hazel Putt Nilson and my grandfather Frank Herman Nilson. The other folks are Walter and Verna Hoover (brother and sister). On the right is a photo from June 2013, of me and my partner Joel at the exact same spot.

Hazel's grandfather, Seymour Burroughs, was in the East Cavalry Field fighting that took place on the third day of Gettysburg.

From Bill Cole: I am sending a scan of this photo in hopes you can shed some light on it. The photo is of (from left to right) my Grandfather, Paul J. Neff; his aunt, Emma Yount Stumpf; his mother, Sarah Yount Neff; and my Grandmother, Gustava Kellar Neff. Emma and Sarah were daughters of Israel Yount who operated the Washington House on Carlisle St. in 1863. Emma's handkerchief, given her by a Union Officer, is on display at the Visitor's Center.

The picture dates from 1912 or 1913. I can add that Paul J. Neff was a Lutheran Minister as were Emma Yount Stumpf's and Sarah Yount Neff's husbands. Both Emma and Sarah's husbands attended the Seminary in Gettysburg. Interesting that the Seminarians married the tavern keeper's daughters. I guess students have been the same for centuries...


OK now for the question: in the lower left corner are markings, possibly a negative number and the location. Have you any samples of William H Tipton's writing to compare this to? I am wondering if Tipton took this photograph.

Note from me (Bonnie): Just my opinion, but comparing the notation to a couple of other Tipton photos further down the page, I would say it is highly likely.

From David Pietroski:
Hello, Here is a picture of a William Tipton Photo from Gettysburg I have.
Regards, David Pietroski

This is a great example of the postcards that Tipton made for his clients,
with their picture on one side and his advertising on the other.


From left to right (bottom row):
Two Grand Army of the Republic men;
Peter Fuqua, Company D, 1st Virginia Infantry (Williams Rifles);
John William Carlyle (Carlisle), Company A (Potomac Guards), 33rd Virginia Infantry (Stonewall Brigade) and Company E, 18th Virginia Cavalry (Imboden’s Brigade);
Grand Army of the Republic man;
Lieutenant Robert Owen Allen, Company D (Clarke Cavalry), 6th Virginia Cavalry (Laurel Brigade);
John R. (“Doc”) Shipe, Company I (Clarke Rifles), 2nd Virginia Infantry (Stonewall Brigade);
John Thomas Willingham (?), Company A, 39th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Richardson’s Battalion of Scouts, Guides and Couriers) and Company A (Rockingham Cavalry), 6th Virginia Cavalry (Laurel Brigade);
J. C. Rutherford, Company E, 10th Virginia Cavalry (1st Cavalry Regiment, Wise Legion);
John W. Grubbs, Company I (Clarke Rifles), 2nd Virginia Infantry (Stonewall Brigade);

From left to right (top row):
D. B. Morrison, Company G , 7th Virginia Cavalry (Ashby's Cavalry/Laurel Brigade);
Captain Jacob Warden, 1st Lieutenant Co. F, 7th Virginia Cavalry (Ashby’s Cavalry/Laurel Brigade) also 23rd Virginia Cavalry (Imboden’s Brigade) and, Captain Company I, 18th Virginia Cavalry (Imboden’s Brigade);
John Gaunt, citizen;
John Shackleford, citizen.

This photograph was handed down to me by my Grandmother who lived in Berryville, Clarke County, Virginia.

My Great Grandfather, Pvt. John William Carlisle, Company "E", 18th Virginia Cavalry, is standing bottom row 4th from the left.

All of the Confederates are identified on the original photo and I further researched their regimental histories. All lived in Clarke County, Virginia and were members of the J.E.B. Stuart United Confederate Veterans Camp in Berryville.

Unfortunately, the GAR men are not identified by name. Does anyone have a clue as to who they were?

I also included a picture of both my wife and me standing in the same spot as my Great Grandfather.

Best regards,
Tom Dunne

Tom & Liz Dunne
Dunrovin Horses & Hounds

20th Maine Reunion Photo

April 2006
Click on the above photo to see it larger. Photo is labeled Chamberlain.

The following is from Carl Lamica (address available by request)

"The attached photo has "Tipton" stamped on the back. Not showing is the printing below the picture that reads: October 16, 1889. Any information about the group's identity ... or any website that may be helpful in any way would be very much appreciated. Sincerely, Carl Lamica"

And my reply:
The first thought that comes to mind when I see "Chamberlain" is that these are the men of the 20th Maine who held Little Round Top on Gettysburg's Second Day, against deadly fire, much of it coming from Devil's Den.
I think that could be J.L. Chamberlain himself sitting front and center, in what is obviously a reunion photo. Perhaps whoever owned the photo is one of the men pictured here.
Do a search on Google for JL Chamberlain and you'll come up with lots of info.
I shall post the photo on my website to see if anyone else knows anything.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Please let me know what else you find out.

March 2010
I think Chamberlain is standing to the right of the woman who is sitting down on a boulder. The woman resembles his wife, Fanny. She was starting to go blind at this point so he might have had her sitting so she wouldn't be moving around and tripping.
Thanks for providing these photos. I have an old torn-up Gettysburg guidebook from around 1920 that I have to check out once in a while.

Regards, David G.

April 2010
And more from David G.:
I found a poor picture in an old civil war magazine that shows Chamberlain at the same 1889 reunion as the picture on your website. Here it is, complete with the caption. The article was "Conflicting Memories of Little Round Top" by Glenn W. LaFantasie in the Spring 1999 edition of Columbiad.

Another Chamberlain photo

July 2011
From Clifton Simes: I noticed you had a photo up on your website where there is question as to whether or not Joshua Chamberlain is in the photo. If it has not been brought to your attention yet, the monument to the 20th Maine was dedicated October 3rd 1889, and is located near Devils Den. The photo being dated October 16th 1889 suggests that this is from the same trip. A trip to Gettysburg from Maine would not have been something that lasted a couple of days, and considering the occasion, the large group of men are more than likely members of the 20th Maine. The man to the right of the woman holding the hat is more than likely Chamberlain. This possibly could be a picture taken right before they departed from Gettysburg. Just my thought on the matter.. www.cgsc.edu/carl/resources/csi/chamberlain/chamberlain.asp

August 2015
From Robert OBrien
Recently the photo you have posted of a group at Devil's Den was posted again on a CW Facebook page I follow. While many believe it is of the 20th Maine and Joshua Chamberlain I am convinced it is not.
I notice you think it may be Chamberlain sitting front and center but most who believe he is in the picture have him standing to the right of the seated woman.
I would be glad to share my reasons why it is not Chamberlain and the 20th Maine but at the moment I am requesting the email address of the gentleman who submitted the picture to see if he could send me a scan of the entire picture including the date on the front and, if he knows, who labeled it "Chamberlain" and when. It would seem from your quote of his note that he had no idea of who the group was.
Thank you for any help you can provide on this - I believe it is important to try to be sure, as much as possible, to get accurate labeling on historic photos.
Bob O'Brien

September 2015
More from Robert OBrien
I was in Gettysburg a couple of weeks ago. After years of debating with friends whether that is Chamberlain and the 20th Maine or not I decided to enlist the help of my friend, Bill Frassanito. I have felt that, despite the resemblance the man in the photo bears to Chamberlain, on closer look it was not him (hair, mustache and date of photo etc.) But while I felt it was not him I couldn't say - until now - who it was. I sent a copy of the photo to Mr. Frassanito and asked him where I could look (newspaper archives, Park Library, etc) to find who had their monument dedicated on October 16, 1889 - the date of the photo.
When I met with Bill the night I got to Gettysburg he had already found the answer. He brought with him a catalog of Tipton photographs - the catalog was from the 1890s and the photos were numbered for easy ordering. The group photos were sorted by State. In the Maine section he found the only group photo of the 20th Maine was their October 3, 1889 photo at their monument on Little Round Top. He searched the entire catalog and found one regiment that had their monument dedicated on October 16, 1889 and that was the 77th New York.
What clinched it was the fact that the catalog lists three photos taken of the 77th NY group that day - two at their monument on Power's Hill and.....a third of their group at Devil's Den - the photo on your web page.
As far as the gentleman that people believe is Chamberlain in the Devil's Den photo I am pretty convinced that he is Colonel Winsor B. French who commanded the 77th New York at Gettysburg but am doing a little more research on that.
I am going to Vermont this week for some research on a talk I am giving to our Civil War Roundtable in November and am stopping in Saratoga Springs, NY on the way home. That is where the 77th NY was raised and I believe their historical society has a copy of at least one of the other photos Tipton took of the 77th on October 16, 1889.
I will let you know what I find and can send you copies of the pictures I obtain.
Again - any recollection you have on the photo being labeled "Chamberlain" would be helpful. Tipton would put a date and often the catalog number on his photos but would not have labeled it "Chamberlain" although it is understandable someone along the way could have mistakenly labeled it so. It wouldn't be the first photo that was incorrectly labeled but, at least with this one, we now know who it is and can identify it as the 77th New York.

Note from me (Bonnie): I have now renamed the "Chamberlain" photo as 77NY.

December 2015
You may already know this, but that Tipton photo of the large group at Gettysburg marked Chamberlain was taken on Tuesday October 14, 1889. It is the 77th NY, and I know this because that is Col. Winsor French in the center with Dr. Delong, and the chaplain Fox. Also they have the same photo in the Saratoga Springs Historical Society. So this is not the 20th Maine. The 77th was stationed on Powers Hill during the battle, having arrived at around 5:00 pm on the second day.

There are by my reckoning sixty people in that photo. Thirty six members of the 77th NY, with one regimental sutler in attendance. Nine of the men on the trip were Saratoga County citizens. There were four or five adult women, three children, and there were Nine on that trip from other regiments in the area.

Rob Stack

January 2016
The Devil's Den photo referred to as the 77th NY was taken Oct 16th 1889. It features their Col. Winsor Brown French. He bears a slight resemblance to Chamberlain but as the photos enclosed will prove it is definitely French, front and center.

Jeff Kowalis

Winsor Brown French

From Robert OBrien: I am attaching a Tipton photo - looks like a couple of veterans with their wives at Devil's Den.


The following is from Rob Watt. Click on the photo below to see it larger.

"This is a photo from my family taken by Tipton. The man on the right is Lincoln G. Shreckengost of Putneyville, PA. I have not identified the others, but some of Lincoln's family served with the 155th PA and his brother with the 103rd."

Lincoln Devil's Den

The following is from Neil E. Danielson. Click on the photo below to see it larger.

"Attached is photo by Tipton that has been in the possession of my family for many, many years.

No one is identified, but I believe that there are ancestors of mine in the photo.

If anyone knows anything about the people in the photo, date taken or occasion, please let me know.

Thank You!"


From Jeff Kowalis: Neil, Attached is the description of your Tipton photo from his catalogue.

The following is from Clifton Simes:

William E. Nycum (center) Devil's Den, Gettysberg

"The man in the middle of the photo is my great great grandfather William H. Nycum (1877-1942). He was a doctor from Everett Pennsylvania, west of Gettysburg. I wish I knew who the other two men were in the photo, but that information has been lost unless my grandmother could somehow identify them. Do you have any idea what year the photo may have been taken based on the style?"


"I've also attached another Gettysburg photo, however I am not sure if this is a Tipton photo. This is of the Nycum family from Bedford county. Maybe you could tell me who the picture was by? Perhaps the stamp and the location will provide some clues. This was taken on route 30 next to the John Buford memorial."

Dern, Close family at Devil's Den

The following is from George Dern (gsdern@comcast.net):

"I have recently come across a Tipton picture of my Grandmother, Carrie Bell Baumgardner Dern, with her Aunt Mary Ann Baumgardner Close and Uncle John Close, who raised Carrie from a young girl - at Devil's Den. Carrie was "given over" by her Mother and Father, Moses Peter Baumgardner and Annie Stambaugh Baumgardner, to Moses' sister Mary Ann to raise since Mary Ann and John could not or did not have children. Moses and Annie had many children and I understand they also gave one of their sons, Samuel, to the Wentz family to raise. Another person is in the picture named Nora Stambaugh and all of my remaining relatives can only assume she was a niece of Mary Ann on her mother's side. I have not had any indications that Nora was also raised by Mary Ann and John Close."

"I would like to attach this scan of the picture of my Grandmother, taken approx. 1893, at Devil's Den. Also, John Close died in 1893 so I assume this was the last picture ever taken of him."

Top left - Carrie Bell Baumgardner Dern, top right - Nora Stambaugh, bottom, John Close and Mary Ann Baumgardner Close.

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