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

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 02, 2016



** This blog published Mondays and Wednesdays **


Another fall day, another gray sky. Believe it or not, I actually do encounter many blue sky days at Gettysburg in October and November. This, however, was not one of those. This shot was taken in the middle of the Wheatfield and shows, from left to right, a cannon of Winslow’s New York battery, the 81ST Pennsylvania monument, the 148TH Pennsylvania monument, and Ayres Avenue which opens into a “loop” that provides an amazing view of Little Round Top. Note the little flat boulder in front of the cannon. Is anyone else fascinated by the Gettysburg rocks, the way they just popped up in different shapes, sizes, and configurations wherever they wanted to with no apparent rhyme or reason? That’s always fascinated me and I’m not even a geology person . . .

**HONORED TODAY**

1ST SGT. ISAAC W. ESTES
Co. C, 20TH Maine Infantry

Born abt. 1838 --- Died July 16, 1863 at age 25


Sgt. Estes’ family story stands apart as one of the saddest I have yet encountered. A young man of 24, he enlisted in the famed 20TH Maine Infantry in August 1862, likely to the dismay of young wife Nancy. A daughter, Emma, was born that same year, though I’m not sure if she was born before or after her father’s enlistment. Sgt. Estes was mortally wounded at Gettysburg on the 2ND and passed away just 2 weeks later. 9 months after his death, Nancy, just 21, also died, followed by daughter Emma in June. The little girl was only 2. An entire young family was wiped out in eleven months. Sgt. Estes was buried either at Gettysburg National Cemetery or at East Bethel Cemetery in his hometown of Bethel, Maine.


(c) 2012-2016 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 27, 2016



** This blog published Mondays and Wednesdays **


In this photo of East Cemetery Hill we see a blend of nature and war , . . you have your typical leafless trees and bright autumn skies, which highlight an informational marker at far left and a lone Parrott Rifle at right. Though this tree is likely not a witness to the battle, it’s interesting to note that there was at least one large tree on Cemetery Hill in July 1863 and the place was not quite as bare as it is today.


**HONORED TODAY**

CPL. WILLIAM M. HAMILTON
Co. G, 18TH Virginia Infantry

Born abt. 1823 --- Died July 03, 1863


Cpl. Hamilton enlisted in April 1861 and was a farmer. He was married to Mary and was the father of Betty (age 17 during the battle of Gettysburg), William (age 15), Laura (age 13), Indianna (age 11), Lucy (age 10), Alexander (age 8), and Martha (age 5). Beyond basic family information, little of is known of the soldier’s life. Some believe his middle name may have been Mosby, but that hasn’t been confirmed. 


(c) 2012-2016 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016



** This blog published Mondays and Wednesdays **


For this photo I stood at the North Carolina Memorial and looked across Confederate Avenue toward the “line of trees” where the Southerners about to embark on the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge stood and awaited the call to battle. There are two artillery batteries seen at center left (one of the cannon is “parked” in front of the large black vehicle), which are Wingfield’s Battery and the Charlotte Artillery. 


The large white slab at right is a commemorative marker which includes a beautiful tribute to the North Carolina boys at Gettysburg. It states that “one Confederate soldier in every four who fell here was a North Carolinian.” I feel that the 1993 “Gettysburg” movie did more damage than good in that regard, as people were more or less led to believe that every soldier in Pickett’s Charge was a Virginian . . . of course Virginia deserves recognition as well, but many states participated in the charge.  


**HONORED TODAY**

SGT. THOMAS A. AHARN
Co. H, 82ND New York Infantry

Died July 02, 1863

Sgt. Thomas Aharn came into a world in a place many of us find enchanting: County Limerick, Ireland. He enlisted in the Union army in September 1861, leaving behind his work as a stonecutter (some say shoemaker; possibly he was both) to fight for his adopted country. He was killed in battle and originally buried at the Nicholas Codori farm. Though he would have been moved shortly thereafter, I’m not sure of his current resting place.


(c) 2012-2016 Skies of Blue and Gray