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

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

At Gettysburg’s Eleventh Corps Line there is an out-of-the-way place, a cemetery even more brooding and mysterious than most. It’s the Old Alms House Cemetery. This view was taken from Barlow’s Knoll and shows the fenced-in burial ground which is filled with old, weathered stones.

I was intrigued by the flag and military marker decorating a stone in the back, so I researched whom it might belong to. Judging from the “Find A Grave” website and comparative photos, the grave seems to be that of Isadore Keefer, listed as a Civil War veteran who died in the summer of 1879.

Other military veterans buried in this lonely little cemetery (the stones are not particularly visible in this photo) include Samuel Troyer, who died in 1885, and Roy Price, a veteran of WWII who passed away in 1994. Now, for a bit of trivia . . . there are at least eight Gettysburg monuments visible on this photo. The tall, pointed monument at far left represents the 26TH Wisconsin Infantry. The dark gray marker to its right is the 75TH Pennsylvania Infantry

Next (semi-tall white monument) is the 82ND Ohio Infantry. Next in the row is a monument further in the distance and across the road. It represents the 61ST Ohio Infantry. To the right of it is a monument partially hidden by the cemetery fence, the 119TH New York Infantry. Lastly, the tall monument to the right honors the 157TH New York Infantry.

There’s something very sad and touching about this little cemetery that time forgot, especially four graves marked “Unknown”, “Unknown Man” (two of these), and “Unknown Male.” One can only hope that someone somewhere knows their identities and will soon bring them to light. There is scant information about some of these men. The one marked “Unknown Male” is listed as having been 60 at the time of his death in 1896, placing his birth about 1836. Did he fight in the Civil War? “Unknown Man” number one says he died in 1913 and gives the cause, “Lime Gas.”


Co. E, 3RD South Carolina Infantry

Died July 02, 1863 at age 22

Sgt. Sligh’s friends had a very high opinion of him . . . his “Find A Grave” memorial page states that he was known for being “witty, very ready, and always kind” and it was known that he never desired to shirk his duties. At Gettysburg his commanders sought to spare his life by asking him to ready their horses, but he refused, pleading to be allowed to fight alongside his brothers-at-arms. His request was granted --- but sadly he died near the Wheatfield and was temporarily buried at the George Rose farm. Sgt. Sligh’s final resting place is Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

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