Witness Tree #1 (south)
Corp. Timothy Carroll (65th New York) Witness Tree
Tree Species: white oak
Circumference 2023: 109”
Calculated Average Growth Rate: 6.6 years / inch diameter
Estimated age: 200-230 years
Estimated diameter in 1863: 10”
GPS: 39.818296N, 77.219524W
This white oak tree is a large, 34.7 inch diameter witness tree. A careful comparison of a late-19th-century photograph of the tree and a modern recreation (see Figure P-1) reveals the ratio of the tree’s diameter 1890:2023 to be about 0.43, which suggests the tree’s average growth rate to be a typical 6.6 inches to grow each inch of diameter for the last 133 years. The tree is likely well over 200 years old, perhaps as high as 230 years, and very probably sported a diameter of about 10 inches during the battle for Culp’s Hill.
The tree is named for Corp. Timothy Carroll of the 65th New York Volunteer Infantry. Carroll enlisted in July 1861, and remained with the regiment throughout the war, presumably honorably, as he was promoted regularly, raised to corporal in June 1863, then to 1st sergeant in 1864. (1)
A century and a half later, the story of the 65th New York was written by Carroll’s great-great grandson, Chris Barry, an Irvington, NY, high school teacher who teaches a class on the Civil War. Every year, Barry takes his class on a field trip to Gettysburg, a terrific and lucky treat for the students who attend this small Westchester County school. Barry’s book is entitled No Flinching from Fire: the 65th New York Volunteer Infantry in the American Civil War, and is of course available on Amazon.
According to Mr. Barry, his ancestor was wounded three times during the war, rising to the rank of lieutenant by war’s end.
(1) Civil War Data website. Retrieved May 2o23: http://civilwardata.com. Record #: U&2227005.