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

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Last Thursday started out with a milky, overcast sky, but we didn’t think much of it. We figured we could tour the Gettysburg National Cemetery before the rain . . . were downright confident, in fact. And, should it rain, we could handle a gentle drizzle. Hmmm. Well, things were all right at first. I took photos of most of the artillery batteries and enjoyed the well-manicured paths, gazing in sadness and wonderment at the countless flat white stones that marked the graves of the Gettysburg dead. But, on the last long stretch of path, it happened. A rumble of thunder. Just one. And only a few minutes later, the rain started.

It was not a gentle drizzle.

This was an absolute torrent we were now faced with, and the problem was that the car was quite far away, across Taneytown Road in the old Visitor Center parking lot. The wind nearly ripped the umbrella from my hands as I ran for the safety of the car, thinking that if I were to give more thought to the paranormal aspect of the Gettysburg battlefield, I might believe that someone didn’t want us there. It also crossed my mind that the angels were crying for the many soldiers who now rest in that hallowed ground . . .

Despite this “adventure”, we managed a few good pictures. The photo at the top of the post is Battery C of the 4TH United States Artillery. The black wrought-iron gate separates the Soldiers’ National Cemetery from the much older Evergreen Cemetery, the latter of which can be seen in the background. The photo at right is a close-up of the base of the New York State Memorial. Of particular interest are the reproduced Corps badges that decorate the base. And the photo at bottom shows two figures resting eternally at the base of the Soldiers’ National Monument.

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a fun visit, but it was a meaningful one.


Co. B, 14TH Vermont Infantry

Born July 27, 1830 --- Died July 14, 1863 at age 32

Pvt. Archer of Wallingford, Vermont had seen nearly eleven months of military service before being mortally wounded at Gettysburg. He died eleven days after the battle ended and was buried at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Those who buried him noted that they discovered a ring among his possessions . . . what sort of ring wasn’t indicated, but it seems likely that it was a gift from a loved one. One wonders if it was returned to Pvt. Archer’s family and if it is still in existence.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

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