** Please check out my tribute page to two of my Civil War relatives who never made it home **

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 19, 2014

Is it just me, or has the Copse been growing increasingly scraggly over the years? (Thanks to Garry Adelman, I now know that ‘copse of trees’ is not a proper term, as ‘copse’ actually means “small grove of trees" :-) ) I saw from photos that it already looked kind of rough in 2004, but on my first visits (early 1990s through early 2000s) the copse seemed so much “thicker.” On a side note, there are lots of interesting things visible on this photo: From left to right, the 106TH Pennsylvania monument, the High Water Mark memorial complete with artillery pieces, the Nicholas Codori farm, and the 69TH Pennsylvania monument.


Co. D, 37TH North Carolina Infantry

Born 1838 --- Died August 27, 1863

Pvt. Neal, who went by the name “Berry”, enlisted in August 1862. He was a brick mason by trade and was married to Barbara. Together they had Daniel (born 1858) and John A. (born 1860). Pvt. Neal died at a U.S. hospital in Chester, PA, while a prisoner of war.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 17, 2014

 After publishing my post of October 20TH, which discussed the McPherson barn and its impressive stonework, I received a comment from John Bell asking if I had seen the soldier carvings for which that particular section of the barn is well-known. Unfortunately, at the time I hadn’t remembered on which side they could be found, but on a subsequent trip I made it a point to locate them. You’ll notice the initials “J. C. T.” and “S. M. G.” (Someone apparently tried to mark in the etchings with chalk, but it seems they may have inadvertently turned the “3” in 143RD into an “8”. You can clearly see the date of the carving, September 12, 1889). A quick trip to the fantastic site Gettysburg Daily revealed their names, Jonas C. Tubbs and Singleton M. Goss, who served in the 143RD Pennsylvania Infantry, Company F.

Being a details person, I wanted to know more about these men. Pvt. Jonas Carter Tubbs was born March 08, 1842, in Union, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, the son of Charles and Catherine “Kate” (Benscoter) Tubbs. He had five siblings, Elizabeth born 1831, Isaac born 1837, Barbara born 1840, John born 1843, and Nathan born 1851. In the 1863 draft registration he was listed as a laborer. He enlisted in the 143RD Pennsylvania Infantry on September 08, 1862, and was mustered out on June 12, 1865, at Hart’s Island, New York Harbor, NY. On September 08, 1866, he married Sarah Jerusha Goss (Singleton Goss’s younger sister). Together they had Katherine “Kate” (born 1868), Edgar Bruce (born 1869), Ora Blanche (born 1874), and Lula Pearl (born 1881). Jonas died December 22, 1909, in Shickshinny, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania. His cause of death is given as tuberculosis.

As for the second soldier, Musician/Drummer Singleton Martin Goss was born March 10, 1845, in Fairmount, Luzerne Co., PA. His parents are given as Weston and Delanah (Bisher) Goss in his death certificate. He enlisted in the 143RD Pennsylvania Infantry on September 08, 1862, and was mustered out on June 12, 1865, at Hart’s Island, New York Harbor, NY, later marrying Sarah Catherine Benscoter (undoubtedly related to Jonas Tubbs’ mother, Kate Benscoter Tubbs). They had two known children, Thomas Merker (called “Merk” or “Mert”) born 1874, and Lillian D., born 1876. Singleton died on September 17, 1927 of bladder cancer.


Co. E, 105TH Pennsylvania Infantry

Born December 21, 1841 --- Died July 08, 1863

Pvt. Campbell, known as “Mack”, enlisted in September 1861 and was described as being 5’6½” tall, with brown eyes and a dark complexion. He was mortally wounded in the neck on July 02ND and was later buried at the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Remember when, in my post of November 17TH concerning Reilly’s Battery near Big Round Top, I asked if you wanted a nice short hike? Well, Power’s Hill is not it. The photos on today’s post were taken of various artillery batteries on the hill, and it’s not a trek for the faint of heart. This was an important platform from which Union batteries could blast away at Rebel troops on Culp’s Hill, though it’s seldom discussed by fans of the battle.

Power’s Hill has three perks: Lots of artillery, pieces that are seldom seen by cannon lovers; great scenery and views; and a few nice monuments scattered here and there. Photo #1 shows the memorial dedicated to the men of Battery A, Maryland Light Artillery, also known as Rigby’s Battery. (Interestingly, all of the Maryland monuments at Gettysburg are transcribed “Maryland’s Tribute to her loyal sons” except the 1ST Maryland Battalion, which was, of course, Confederate).Two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles flank the monument.


Photo #2 is one of my favorites, showing Battery E, Pennsylvania Light Artillery (this battery also has a small monument at the summit of Culp’s Hill). Not only is the monument, complete with cannon d├ęcor, very nice and different, but there are two shiny Parrott Rifles to gawk at as well. Photo # 3 shows the views that can be had if you choose to go outside your comfort zone and make the hike :-) The walk might be called treacherous, with brambles, uneven surfaces, and rocks that may or may not be hidden beneath a covering of leaves. Still, if you do go, you’ll get some fantastic shots.


Co. C, 6TH North Carolina Infantry

Died July 01, 1863

Pvt. Hutchins, who went by the name Jack, enlisted in May 1861, bidding farewell to wife Elizabeth and their son William who was only two. William would be fatherless at the age of four. Pvt. Hutchins, killed at Gettysburg, was later buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014

This photo was taken from Gen. Lee’s headquarters, showing (from left to right) one of the artillery pieces perched near the house; the back of the entrance sign; Route 30 / Chambersburg Pike, Reynolds’ Woods in the distance, and the McPherson barn at far right. Also visible is the cannon barrel marking the headquarters location.

Hopefully overlooking the blurriness, if you click for a larger view and scan Reynolds Avenue (running from left to right in the center of the photo) you can perhaps make out the string of monuments and markers: The 142ND Pennsylvania, Gen. Doubleday’s portrait statue, the 8TH New York Cavalry, a headquarters marker for the 3RD Division of the 1ST Federal corps, Battery L, 1ST New York Artillery, two Cavalry Corps markers, the cannon marking Gen. Doubleday’s headquarters, the 8TH Illinois Cavalry, and a marker for the 1ST Army Corps. You can also see the 150TH Pennsylvania in the distance, located along Stone-Meredith Avenue near the barn.


Co. C, 22ND Massachusetts Infantry

Born November 20, 1820 --- Died July 02, 1863

Cpl. Newcomb, a Bostonian and a piano polisher by trade, was married to Salome. With his first wife Margaret, who died in 1858, he had two children, Mary F. (born 1849) and Hattie G. (born 1857). He also mourned the loss of three children, Mary Jane (born 1842 and died 1843), Margaret L. (born and died 1848), and Charles S. (born and died 1855). Cpl. Newcomb received two wounds at Gettysburg, one in the abdomen and one in the leg. He is buried at Gettysburg’s National Cemetery. His marker erroneously lists his name as “J. B. Nincent.”

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 10, 2014


These two beauts represent the Madison Light Artillery (Moody’s Battery) near the Mississippi State Memorial, and they were some of the most intriguing I visited during my past few trips. Dating from the late 1850s, these Howitzers were forged in Austria. These are many interesting details in those photos . . . starting with photo #1, we can see the white picket fence bordering Millerstown Road. The road running from the top to the bottom of the photo is West Confederate Avenue. It’s quite obvious that the marker between the cannon has been recently repainted.

On photo #2 you can see: The Louisiana State Memorial, the Mississippi State Memorial, and part of the route of Barksdale’s Charge on the afternoon of July 2, 1863. You can see what kind of a dreary, foggy day it was :-) (a typical Gettysburg day for us!) I love “artsy” artillery shots that not only show the pieces but also the area around them, showcasing the sort of terrain artillery would have had to deal with during operation.


Co. K, 22ND Georgia Infantry

Born April 30, 1825 --- Died July 18, 1863

Cpt. Callaway had great responsibility not only in the army but also at home, as the father of a two-year-old daughter named Anna and husband of newly-widowed Margaret. Mortally wounded at Gettysburg, he lingered over two weeks and then died of his wounds.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray