“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Brian Farm

The Brian Farm Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2008
1. The Brian Farm Marker
Inscription. "His property ... was thus under fire of the enemy and the very midst and thickest of the battle"
-damage claim of Abraham Brian

In 1863, this was the home and farm of Abraham Brian. He and James Warfield, who owned a farm and blacksmith shop near Seminary Ridge, were among a small, unique group of farmers on the battlefield. They were free black men, and they were property owners.

When the Confederate army invaded Pennsylvania during the summer of 1863, Brian and his family left the area. On July 2, Union soldiers occupied Brian's farm and home. They dismantled his fences to build breastworks, and trampled his crops. Heavy fighting raged around the farm, particularly on July 3 during the Pickett-Pettigrew Charge, exposing the home and buildings to musketry and shell fire.

Following the battle, Brian returned to begin repairs on his farm. Like nearly all the area farmers he filed claims (with the federal government) for damages. Out of $1028 requested, he received $15. Many farmers received nothing.

The damage inflicted by the battle did not discourage or ruin Brian. He rebuilt his 12-acre farm and prospered until his death in 1879.
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
Location. 39° 48.928′ 
The Brian Farm House Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2008
2. The Brian Farm House
The marker stands to the right, in front of the farm house. After the battle, many visitors confused the Brian house with the nearby Leister House, the site of Meade's headquarters. Instead General Alexander Hays, of 3rd Division, II Corps, posted his headquarters in this vicinity. Much altered after the war, the house was rebuilt to its wartime appearance by the Park Service in the 20th century.
N, 77° 14.11′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Hancock Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located next to the Brian Farm Buildings on Cemetery Ridge, at Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 111th New York Infantry (a few steps from this marker); Third Brigade (a few steps from this marker); 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment (within shouting distance of this marker); 107th Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Third Division (within shouting distance of this marker); 12th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers (within shouting distance of this marker); High Water Mark Walking Tour (within shouting distance of this marker); Ninth Massachusetts Battery (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker. A wartime photo and a drawing on the right side of the marker further discuss the farm's history. In mid-July, 1863 photographer Mathew Brady visited the battlefield and recorded images of Brian's farm. They provide a photographic record of the farm as Abraham Brian would have seen it upon his return.

His farmhouse (left) displays battle
The Brian Farm Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, November 5, 2010
3. The Brian Farm Marker
damage, while behind the house are the rails and stones of his fencing, which Union soldiers piled for protection.

This etching (above) by John B. Bachelder shows Union infantry men using Brian's stone wall and buildings for protection during the Pickett-Pettigrew Charge on July 3.

Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers, Tablets and Monuments at the Brian Farm.
Also see . . .
1. Ziegler's Grove. National Park Service virtual tour stop. Provides some information about the Brian farm. (Submitted on December 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Brian Farm. Sometimes spelled Bryan, Abraham was an African-American who worked a small plot here south of Gettysburg. (Submitted on December 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Abraham Bryan. Abraham Brian (or 'Bryan') apparently married the storied Catherine (or 'Katherine') "Kitty" Payne in late 1847 - the second marriage for both. (Submitted on May 26, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.) 
Additional keywords. Katherine "Kitty" Payne; Lincoln Cemetery.
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
The Brian Barn Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2008
4. The Brian Barn
The barn was probably built in the 1850s. The National Park service restored it to the wartime appearance in the 20th century.
South Side of the Barn Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2008
5. South Side of the Barn
Seen here are the reconstructed fencing and stone walls used during the battle.
Wartime Photo of Farm House Photo, Click for full size
6. Wartime Photo of Farm House
July 1863 photo from Mathew Brady's company showing the Brian house shortly after the battle.

(Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 / compiled by Hirst D. Milhollen and Donald H. Mugridge, Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1977. No. 0190, Call number: LC-B811- 2516).
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,523 times since then. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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