The Rose Farm’s manged wood lot was the scene of heavy fighting on the second day. The Rose farm house was completed in 1824. The farm was owned by George and Dorothy Rose. Both the farm house and the barn survived the battle. The barn was struck by lighting in 1910 and burned to the ground.
Dan Sickles advanced line cut through the farm. J.H. Ward’s brigade was placed in the Rose Woods. The farm was in the direct path of James Longstreet’s second day attack with Ward’s men coming under heavy fire and forced to retreat. At the end of the second day’s fighting, the barn and farm house became a confederate field hospital.
On the evening of the third day, a brigade of Pennsylvania reserves attacking and driving back the 15th Georgia in Rose Woods. It was the last action of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Three days after the battle, Timothy O’Sullivan reached the Rose Farm while bodies were being buried. Photographers learned after the Battle of Antietam that there was a market for battlefield photographs, especially those with dead bodies. He took several photographs on the farm.
Those and many other photographs (like this one) can be viewed on the Library of Congress website. Over 1,000 dead were buried on the farm. The Union troops were later moved to the Gettysburg National Cemetery. After the war, the confederate dead were moved to the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. It is likely that bodies were missed and there are many unmarked graves on the Rose Farm.
During the battlefield restoration, the farm was cleared of many trees while orchards were restored. The Rose Farm has now returned to its 1863 appearance. Those who take O’Sullivan’s photographs with them to the farm and using rocks and boulders can find where many of his photographs were taken.