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

Friday, September 19, 2014

September 19, 2014

Though only the very adventurous (and tick-resistant) among us Gettysburg lovers may want to explore the overgrown Slaughter Pen these days, this photo belies that fact: despite being rather neglected, the bridge over Plum Run is still charming in its own right. The stream was, as usual, muddy when I took this photo in May. Take note of the redbuds and one of the aforementioned adventurous souls in the center right background. No, it’s not a Civil War soldier. Soldiers didn’t wear blue t-shirts. At least I don’t think so! :-)

Except during flooding, Plum Run isn’t much to look at, yet knowing what happened here --- why it was so aptly named “Bloody Run” during the battle --- makes up for its humble appearance. In this photo there are no modern additions, nothing but brush and rocks and water. You can imagine soldiers of both sides kneeling here to get a drink, recoiling at the reddish surface for obvious reasons. It really puts things into perspective.


Co. A, 111TH New York Infantry

Born December 23, 1845 --- July 24, 1863 at age 17

Pvt. Jessup never got the chance to turn 18. Just five months before passing that milestone, he was mortally wounded in the hip during the second day of battle, succumbing to his injuries three weeks later. He had enlisted in July 1862 at the age of 16. Pvt. Jessup was buried at Palmyra Village Cemetery in Palmyra, New York.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014

 **Please join me in remembering the dead of Antietam on the 152nd anniversary of that battle**


As is probably obvious, this view of Gettysburg's Evergreen Cemetery gatehouse was taken from East Cemetery Hill. :-) This impressive structure was first built in 1855, and only the side section to the right and the inner white section (at left of doorway) have been added. It always fascinates me to know that the soldiers would have seen a building that I’m seeing, minus a few modern additions.

I found the stone walls inside the gate to be quite interesting; didn’t notice it when I visited, but then again, that was years ago! The second photo is cropped from a plaque on East Cemetery Hill and shows how the Evergreen gatehouse would have appeared in 1863.


Co. A, 38TH Virginia Infantry

Born 1832 --- July 03, 1863 at age 31

Cpl. Clements enlisted in April 1862. He left behind a wife, Harriet, and three small children, Laura (age 4), Harriett or Henrietta (age 3), and John Wesley (age 2). A fourth child, Green, would be born in 1863. Sadly, Cpl. Clements was not his family’s only loss. His brother Bedford died in Elmira prison camp in March 1865.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

My most recent morning in Gettysburg was just as I like it --- foggy. Not only can I appreciate the eerie quality of a misty battlefield, but the photos are amazing. On this picture, taken across Sickles Avenue from the Wheatfield, the two monuments at left are the 62ND Pennsylvania and 17TH Maine. Further to the right is the 115TH Pennsylvania (the eagle topper can just barely be seen).The large monument at bottom center honors the 4TH Michigan. The tree line running from left to center is Rose Woods --- the George Rose farm is just visible at far center right. The trees at right are part of Stony Hill.


Co. C, 24TH Michigan Infantry

Born November 07, 1836 --- July 01, 1863 at age 26

Lt. Shattuck joined the army in August 1862. His records bear the words “Distinguished Service.” He was killed during the Iron Brigade’s fight in McPherson’s Woods on the first day of battle, never to return to the life of farming he’d led in Plymouth, Michigan. His Find A Grave page says “body not recovered at Gettysburg.”

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 12, 2014

One of my favorite views on the entire battlefield is the view of East Cemetery Hill from Stevens’ Knoll / McKnight’s Hill, coming down off Culp’s. The gently swelling slopes give rise to quite a few photo opportunities. Here, I stopped at the East Cemetery Hill informational marker at Stevens’ Knoll to get a feel for the action on the night of July 2ND. You can see quite a few monuments and landmarks in the distance . . . for instance, the 33RD Massachusetts’ “tent-shaped” memorial can be seen along Slocum Avenue at center far left.

The Evergreen Cemetery gatehouse dominates the upper left, while the tall monument shaft with its portrait statue honoring the 4TH Ohio can be seen directly to the right. That little rectangular “dot” between the gatehouse and the 4TH Ohio is a small monument, Battery E & L, 1ST New York Light Artillery. Just beside the clump of four trees is the base for Gen. Oliver Howard’s equestrian statue.


Co. B, 37TH North Carolina Infantry

Born abt. 1833 --- August 01, 1863 at age 30

Sgt. Story’s surname is also spelled “Storie.” He enlisted in September 1861, husband of Louisa and father of two small children, Leander (born 1858), and Thomas (1860). A daughter, Martha, would be born in 1862. Sgt. Story was wounded on the third day of battle; he was one of the “lucky ones”, cared for by his own comrades and taken back to Virginia instead of being captured and sent to one of several prison camps. Still, he died of his wounds and was buried at Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, VA.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10, 2014

The Castle in Detail

The 12TH/44TH New York castle at Little Round Top is one of my favorite monuments / tourist stops, but it was only recently that I really took notice of its architectural details and unique features. For example, the photo above showcases a good bit of the monument’s appeal. The large plaque at left tells the story of the 44TH, while the New York state seal can be seen over the doorway (this is the side of the monument that faces the Valley of Death and Devil’s Den beyond. Take note of the scrollwork columns.

The second photo brings castles of Europe to mind. I’m really surprised I didn’t see any kids’ heads peeking up from the observation deck, as it’s very rare to have this place to myself. Photo number three talks about the 12TH New York Infantry and its contribution at Gettysburg. In the distance (far right center) you can see the 91ST Pennsylvania monument as well as the marker for Hazlett’s Battery D, 5TH U.S. Artillery.


Co. H, 157TH New York Infantry

Born June 07, 1837 --- Died July 25, 1863 at age 26

Cpt. Adams entered the service in August 1862. He was married to Arville (possibly Arvilla), and a son, George, was born in May 1863. Sadly, the little boy outlived his father by less than two years, dying in March 1865. Cpt. Adams was wounded on the first day of battle and died of his wounds just over three weeks later. He was buried at Glenwood Cemetery in Homer, New York. A photo can be found here.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray