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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 01, 2014

It was a dark and stormy morning . . . at Gettysburg’s National Cemetery. While that may seem appropriate for a cemetery, there’s also a strangely peaceful feeling. I captured these photos on what must have been one of the dreariest days of August 2013 :-) The first pic showcases the miniature cannon forever guarding the 5TH New York Independent Battery. This is my favorite monument in the National Cemetery and dates from 1888/89.

The second photo (top of page) is a close-up of Gen. John Fulton Reynolds’ portrait statue, raised in 1871. Though at first I wanted to have words with the ugly “whitish” sky, now I kind of like the effect; it really makes the general’s profile stand out. I really like the details in this particular statue. It always amazes me how much effort is put into making a bronze face look as realistic as possible. Photo #3 (above) isn’t quite so dreary . . . it shows a path through the Cemetery, providing a glimpse of a building I can’t name: Is it a restroom? A lodge? Whatever it is, it sure looked inviting, but unfortunately the sky was getting angry and having a clear shot to the car seemed more important :-)


Co. H, 11TH Mississippi Infantry

Born 1840 --- July 05, 1863 at age 23

Cpl. Hamilton, a planter, enlisted in May 1861 and survived over two years of warfare. Sadly, his luck ran out at Gettysburg, as he was wounded on the third day of battle and died two days later. He was buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

If you catch Gettysburg’s portrait statues in a certain light, they seem almost real, bronze representations of soldiers standing at attention for all eternity. This fellow from Smith’s 4TH New York Independent Battery, seen from Devil’s Den, is one of those eerie guardians. You may remember that eight years ago, this monument was vandalized, but thankfully it has been restored to its former glory.


5TH Massachusetts Light Artillery

Born 1847 --- July 02/03, 1863 at age 16

Pvt. Purbeck was one of many soldiers who managed to slip by the recruiters and their “eighteen and above” rule, enlisting at the age of 15 or so to join the Union artillerists. He was a printer by trade, killed by a shell fragment at Gettysburg.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26, 2014

There are actually a few different ways to approach Culp’s Hill, one of which is by East Confederate Avenue, which begins near the Culp farm and can be reached from Middle Street. Taking this road allowed me to retrace the footsteps of Gen. “Maryland” Steuart’s Brigade, consisting of the 1ST Maryland Battalion, the 10TH Virginia, 23RD Virginia, 37TH Virginia, 1ST North Carolina, and 3RD North Carolina. You’ll notice that to the right of the marker is a path which wends its way down to Rock Creek and the 28TH Pennsylvania monument . . .

. . . which is seen here in the distance. You can’t see Rock Creek from this angle, but it’s there, believe me. As you can see, spring is an amazing time to visit, with abundant greenery and sprigs of redbuds to light up the scene. This path isn’t very well worn but provides an opportunity to follow Steuart’s Brigade’s path across Rock Creek and past the 28TH Pennsylvania, whose skirmishers harassed them the entire time.


Co. I, 32ND North Carolina Infantry

Born June 13, 1834 --- July 10/11, 1863 at age 29

Pvt. McGee enlisted in October 1862. He was the husband of Matilda and father of Fannie (born 1858), Jessie (a boy, born 1861), and Matilda (born 1863). Having been mortally wounded at Gettysburg, Pvt. McGee was later buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina. (His gravestone lists his birth year as 1841).

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 24, 2014

House Hide and Seek

This view of the Philip Snyder house along South Confederate Avenue was taken from Emmitsburg Road. Despite the majority of the house being obscured by those skinny trees, I really like this shot with the fence in the foreground. The little purple flowers at the base of the fence help to complete the scene. There’s also another wooden fence on the other side of the house, visible at center far right.

If you’re curious what the house looks like without the tree cover, here’s another view taken from Emmitsburg Road (not the best quality, as it was zoomed in pretty impressively, but still, it’s something!). Despite seeming abandoned, the house seems to be in fair shape at least on the outside.


Co. C, 74TH New York Infantry

Born abt. 1842 --- July 03, 1863 at age 21

Cpl. Valentine, who enlisted in August 1862, was wounded in the lung during the second day’s fight. He was first buried at the Jacob Schwartz property and later interred at the Westbury Friends Cemetery in Westbury, New York.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014


The 9TH Massachusetts Battery is represented at three different places on the Gettysburg battlefield: Wheatfield Road, the Abraham Trostle farm along United States Avenue at Cemetery Ridge, and Ziegler’s Grove near the Angle. The battery in this photo is located at Ziegler’s Grove. Both artillery pieces are 6-pounder guns representing 12-pounder Napoleons (see my post on September 01). The monument in the center of the guns dates from 1885. Want a reminder of how much better the 9TH Massachusetts Battery looks now than it did with the sprawling Cyclorama building behind it? Here’s a photo I found on waymarking.com, posted in 2011: {http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image.aspx?f=1&guid=4020c69b-582f-4aa5-aae0-14c33157f13d}. Which view do you prefer? :-)


Co. C, 43RD North Carolina Infantry

Born abt. 1825 --- July 10, 1863 at age 38

Pvt. Lamm, who enlisted in February 1862, was a farmer and a cooper by trade. His family consisted of wife Elizabeth and seven children, Ruffin (age 14 in 1863), John or Jonathan (age 13), Jacob (age 7), Martha (age 6), Jane (age 3), and Luranie (age 1). Another child, Sarah born in 1863, is sometimes listed. Pvt. Lamm received a mortal injury to the foot and died 8 days later.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray