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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 30, 2013

This photo of the Daniel Klingel farm was taken a few years back, but apart from a recent paint job, little has changed. The farm and barn are the main focal point of the photo. To the right, the 120TH New York Infantry’s tall monument sits alongside Sickles Avenue. If you click to enlarge the photo, you can just barely see a brown horse standing in front of the white outbuilding. There are three other markers and monuments in this photo as well. The marker detailing the activities of Battery K, 4TH U.S. Artillery can be seen at far center left, between the two tall wooden fence-posts in the foreground.

A more noticeable monument can be seen on the other side of the white picket fence, just to the right of the tall fence-posts. This is the impressive 11TH New Jersey Infantry monument. To the right of the “grooved” monument to the 120TH New York, underneath the larger tree, is the 16TH Massachusetts Infantry. I was having trouble identifying the white monument to the right of the New York monument until I realized it was a car :-) Emmitsburg Road runs to the left of the photo.

Co. E, 108TH New York Infantry

Born about 1843 --- Died July 1863 at age 20

Pvt. Le Clear enlisted at the age of nineteen on the 22ND of July 1862. He would be dead less than a year later. His Find-A-Grave page states that he was “shot in the eye by a sharpshooter”, and he was later buried at Gettysburg’s Evergreen Cemetery. A memorial stone stands in Oakwood Cemetery, Penfield, New York. 

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

I spy with my little eye . . . West Confederate Avenue and more than meets the eye. At first glance it’s just a road running through McMillan Woods, but the Gettysburg battlefield is full of interesting monuments and markers that aren’t always immediately apparent. To the left is the Albemarle Artillery, also known as Wyatt’s Battery. The cannon closest to the camera is a 3-inch Ordnance Rifle produced in 1862 by Phoenix Ironworks. Second in the line is an Ordnance Rifle from 1863, also made by Phoenix Ironworks, and third is a 10-pounder Parrott Rifle whose date of origin is unknown. Just to the left of the photo would be the Tennessee State Memorial.

The meadow at right marks the spot where Gen. Pettigrew’s men bivouacked from late July 02ND until the afternoon of July 03RD when they started off on the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge. Two brigade markers can be seen along the right side of Confederate Avenue. The one closest to the camera is Pettigrew’s Brigade of North Carolinians (see my post of January 07). The next marker represents Gen. Archer’s Tennessean and Alabamian brigade.

A brigade marker can be seen far in the distance across from the Archer’s Brigade marker, just before the “dip” and the small bridge. This is Poague’s Battalion. One of the units of this battalion was Wyatt’s Battery, represented by the Albemarle Artillery at left.


Co. C, 14TH Tennessee Infantry

Born June 10, 1833 --- Died August 02, 1863 at age 30

Pvt. Fiser, also spelled “Feizer”, was one of many Confederates whose last days were spent at Camp Letterman General Hospital. Part of an artillery shell had ploughed through his chest, and though he lingered for a month after being wounded, he couldn’t rally from his severe injuries. He was later buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, October 25, 2013

October 25, 2013

Many Gettysburg-lovers will easily recognize the 11TH Pennsylvania Infantry monument along Doubleday Avenue at Oak Ridge. Mascot “Sallie” is by far the most popular of the battlefield dogs depicted on regimental monuments, and on this photo you can see a dog biscuit lying next to her. I particularly like this shot. Besides the brilliant blue sky, there’s a nice contrast between monument, modern road, and old stone wall.

The second photo shows the Union battle line at Oak Ridge. The 11TH Pennsylvania can be identified by the soldier statue and by the tiny bronze speck that is Sallie. And of course the third photo is the sort that has been snapped many times by Sallie-lovers. What I find most interesting is that the biscuit seems to be partially-eaten. Hmmmmm . . .


Co. D, 19TH Maine Infantry

Born October 11, 1829 --- Died August 25, 1863 at age 33

Cpl. Merriam must have marched to Gettysburg with a very heavy heart. Not only did he leave home with the knowledge that his wife and two children would be without his help, but a baby son, Charles, had been born in February 1863 and would never know his father. To make matters much worse, his four-year-old son Leroy died on June 10, 1863, and his two-year-old daughter Hattie passed away June 04, 1863. At just 33, Cpl. Merriam was well-acquainted with heartache.  After his initial wounding he was taken to Camp Letterman where he died on the 25TH of August, no doubt thinking of his lost children and of the wife and baby left alone in Maine. Cpl. Merriam was later buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery but is memorialized at Morrill Village Cemetery in Morrill, Maine.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 23, 2013

This photo, taken from Stevens Knoll and showing much of East Cemetery Hill, has a lot going for it. In the foreground is the slope where the statue of Union Gen.Slocum broods over Stevens Knoll and the base of Culp’s Hill. Two 12-pounder Napoleon cannon represent Cpt. Stevens5TH Maine Battery . . . take note of their overgrown lunettes. In the far left distance is the old Evergreen Cemetery gatehouse, which kept a watchful eye over this position in 1863 just as it does now.

The tall monument to the right of the gatehouse is the 4TH Ohio Infantry and the base of Gen. Hancock’s equestrian statue can be seen at right. At center right, Gettysburg’s water tower looms. The road that passes directly between the artillery pieces is Slocum Avenue, while the road that turns to the right at the center of the photo is Wainwright Avenue. There are a few nice, often-missed monuments along this road. The monument at far right represents the 17TH Connecticut Infantry.


Co. B, 3RD South Carolina Battalion

Born 1837 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 26

Pvt. Miller was one of many South Carolina and Georgia soldiers who were buried at the George Rose farm for many years before being re-interred in Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery.  Unfortunately, little information is available on his life.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Though some of us Gettysburg-lovers like to think we know just about all there is to know about the battlefield, once in awhile a new discovery plunks us soundly back down to earth. That was the case with me and the bleeding tree. A few weeks before my August trip, I read that there is supposedly a witness tree along Reynolds Avenue near General Reynolds’ wounding site (it’s the only woodlot directly along the avenue, and you can’t miss the general’s small white monument high up on a mound) that has a strange feature.

On the first of July 1863, a multitude of bullets from both blue and gray plunked into this hearty witness tree, and they remain there to this day. No one would ever know that fact if not for the stream of rust that actually “bleeds” from the tree bark. I actually thought this was one of the neatest things I saw during this last trip. It really put history into perspective. Sometimes, with all the monuments, renovated farms, and modern roads, we forget that there really are living things on the field that stood there during the battle.


Co. I, 141ST Pennsylvania Infantry

Born May 03, 1829 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 34

After Pvt. Gore’s life ended at the Peach Orchard during the second day’s fight, his wife Jerusha took up the crucial task of raising their daughter Sarah Alice, who was only two years old. One can only hope and assume that little Sarah was told many stories about the brave soldier she was too young to remember. Pvt. Gore was later buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery. A photo can be found here.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013

Before I delve right in, I’ve got some disclaimers. Number one, these photos are in their original condition. They haven’t been altered in the least. Though they were taken at night, I’m not sure why they turned out with such a distinct bluish tint. I’ve taken many Gettysburg photos at night and they aren’t this lovely shade of eerie blue. Number two, I’m not a “ghost person.” I don’t visit Gettysburg for otherworldly entertainment. Number three, I apologize for the terrible quality. I’m not sure why they’re so blurry.

 I’ve got to admit that this is a pretty creepy representation of how the battlefield looks after dark. The first photo is aimed toward Triangular Field, and the white form in the center right distance is the John Slyder farm. I’m not sure if this farm was occupied at the time, but if not, the bonfire just to the right of the barn is rather strange.  The second photo is of Devil’s Den. I’ve got to admit, this one was very odd to me. The blue streaks run from top to bottom yet I have no idea what I might have done to my camera to make that design. I was just standing beside the car and snapping photos.

The third photo is of Little Round Top, taken from the Devil’s Den parking lot. The unusual thing about this photo is that you can actually “see double” of the monuments.  Again, I’m not touting supernatural causes, but you can decide for yourself if there’s anything strange about these shots. Despite my rational thinking, I still can’t bring myself to trek around Devil’s Den at night …

Co. A, 18TH North Carolina Infantry

Born 1826 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 37

Pvt. Herman didn’t have much choice but to make war. It is believed he may have been conscripted, and whether or not that was the case, his enlistment left behind a wife, Camelia, and two small children, Clarenda age six and Frances (whose birth year has been listed as both 1860 and 1862). His military records on unclear on his fate. His regiment participated in the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge, and after this point it seemed as if Pvt. Herman dropped off the face of the earth. Most researchers believe he died in the charge or soon after. There is a memorial stone dedicated to him at Conover City Cemetery in Conover, North Carolina.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray