The Peach Orchard at
One of the things I appreciate about Gettysburg, so long as I don’t arrive there behind 43 coach loads of boy scouts (!) is the sense you get of what impact the battle had, not just on the soldiers, but the community as well. There is something about the way the battlefield is preserved that engages you, at all sorts of levels. That “something” is assisted by the way the National Parks have attempted to keep things as they were in 1863. So the Wheatfield has an impact born of souls you seem to be able to touch. The Peach Orchard gives you a similar sense, of being on the farm as it was. You take a peach and eat it and keep half an eye on the farm house just in case Joseph Sherfy appears, brandishing his shotgun.
But Sherfy for me encapsulates all that you wonder about
What on earth did he make of all this? Did the State of
I can’t seem to find anything about Joseph and his family after the war. They seem to have been fused into the background story of