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

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 21, 2014




While snapping photos at the Angle, I decided to spend some time with this gentleman, who represents the 1ST Pennsylvania Cavalry. The bronze soldier has proudly guarded the Angle since 1890, and has never once deserted his post. :-) I *finally* had a nice blue sky (that’s been kind of an issue, especially with so many dreary fall days) and took full advantage, pulling out my camera practically everywhere I went.


I’ve always liked studying the bronze faces on these fantastic portrait statues, and the fellow from the 1ST Pennsylvania is no exception. His expression is flawless, his features forever fixed in time. It’s sort of eerie to stare at these faces for too long . . . in a way, it’s as if they represent the spirits of the fallen, and you almost have the sense that if you stare at them, really stare, you might be able to convince yourself they’ve moved.




**HONORED TODAY**

PVT. TOBIAS CRUSE
Co. K, 5TH North Carolina Infantry

Born March 14, 1831 --- Died July 01/03, 1863 age 32

Pvt. Tobias Cruse enlisted in August 1862 and was part of the ill-fated Iverson’s Brigade. Married to Catherine, with an eight-year-old daughter Mary, a seven-year-old son John, and a three-year-old daughter Laura, Tobias was killed at Gettysburg either during battle or shortly thereafter. Sadly, a brother, Ambrose, died less than two years later in February 1865, while another brother, Joseph, died in July 1865.


(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 19, 2014




I love everything this photo has going for it! Smith’s 4TH New York Independent Battery steals the scene, while the 99TH Pennsylvania monument (distance, center left) and the downward slope of Little Round Top can be seen. And let’s not forget the oldest thing in the picture: The Devil’s Den witness tree, whose branches (and some straggly leaves not yet lost to autumn winds) are visible at the top of the photo. The leaves were really flying around while we were walking from the Sharpshooter’s Nest to Triangular Field, and I joked that it would really be something to be hit in the head with leaves from the witness tree :-)


**HONORED TODAY**

1ST LT. THOMAS J. WHEELER
Co. A, 75TH Ohio Infantry

Born November 28, 1837 --- Died July 28, 1863 age 25

1ST Lt. Wheeler, who enlisted in October 1861, was taken prisoner and subsequently released at 2ND Bull Run/Manassas in 1862. He suffered three wounds at Gettysburg and later died of his injuries, being buried at Ingomar Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. A photo can be found here.


(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014



Want a nice short hike that will exercise your leg muscles and give you a great view? Then check out the slight hill along Warfield Ridge / South Confederate Avenue, home to the Parrott section of Reilly’s Battery (The Rowan Artillery). Not only does the first photo have the distinction of being one of my favorites from my last trip, but it also has plenty of interesting things in the background, including the Michael Bushman farm (top left) and the John Slyder farm (top right). Part of Little Round Top is visible as well.


The second view shows the trees that mark the beginning of Big Round Top, and the small marker in the center of the photo denotes the “Right of the Army of Northern Virginia”. The stone running along the base sheltered Hood’s Texans after the epic struggle of July 2ND. If you’ve ever visited this section of the battlefield you may have seen deer in the field. With the National Park Service and Gettysburg-loving volunteers helping to clear and maintain these sacred fields, there will likely be more wildlife sightings, whether furred, feathered, or scaled, in the future.


**HONORED TODAY**

PVT. JOHN H. LEWIS
Co. K, 44TH Georgia Infantry

Died September 15, 1863

Pvt. Lewis’s first brush with fate came in December 1862 when he entered a Richmond hospital to be treated for smallpox. That disease proved to be the lesser of two evils . . . having returned to his unit in April 1863, he was mortally wounded at Gettysburg only 2 ½ months later. Taken prisoner, he died in captivity. 


(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 14, 2014


Here’s a different view of the Gettysburg battlefield: some shots of Rock Creek near the East Confederate Avenue portion of Culp’s Hill. Even if historical significance isn’t taken into consideration, it’s a beautiful, peaceful, barely visited location. Aside from being altered by McAllister’s dam in 1863, this scene must have been much the same when opposing armies clashed among the rocks and along the banks.


There’s nothing like a chilly, desolate day at Culp’s Hill. The brooding heights seem somehow detached from the rest of the field, the hill a presence all its own . . . it must have also seemed that way to the men fighting there.I particularly like the wildness, the lack of inhibition as Rock Creek meanders along its path. It was here that Steuart's Marylanders (among others) skirmished with Pennsylvanians guarding the crossing, making this the last sight of many a young man both blue and gray.


**HONORED TODAY**

PVT. THOMAS CALLANDER
Co. F, 149TH Pennsylvania Infantry

Born August 06, 1839 --- Died July 23, 1863 at age 23 ½)

Pvt. Callander was only 14 days shy of his 24TH birthday when he died of two wounds, one in the side and one in the head. He had enlisted in August 1862 and was later buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Harveyville, PA.


(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 07, 2014



 **Next post will be Friday the 14TH . . . busy, busy week ahead :-)**


This is one of my favorite “artsy shots” from my October trip. Just moments after I explored the McPherson barn, I snapped this photo of the barn through an old, weathered fence. This is one of the images that inspire a strange sort of nostalgia in me . . . nothing modern (save for a much newer version of the fence) as far as the eye can see. I wonder how many wounded men might have lain here against a similar fence, their last sight being of the old McPherson barn, perhaps wishing they’d have the strength to go just a little further to receive medical care. Likewise, how many men noticed the barn from this angle while engaging in desperate combat?


**HONORED TODAY**

PVT. WILLIAM PETERS
Co. C, 57TH Virginia Infantry

Born October 02, 1834/35 --- Died July 04, 1863

Pvt. Peters, who joined the Confederate Army in July 1861 and managed to survive nearly two years before falling at Gettysburg, left behind a wife Rachel and three young children, James (age 7), Sarah (age 5), and William (age 2). He was mortally wounded during the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge and died the next day . . . he’s likely buried at or near Bream’s Black Horse Tavern, though the exact location isn’t known. A cenotaph stands at Daniel Cemetery in Ferrum, VA. 


(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray