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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 31, 2014

Ah, Gettysburg on a foggy morning. There’s just something special about standing in the fog, feeling the little drops of condensation moving all around you, wondering if that was just a shadow, or an errant ray of sunshine, that splashed across the fields in the distance . . . and of course there are always some great photo ops. The first photo shows either Squires’s or Miller’s Battery near the Louisiana Memorial. Notice how you can’t even see the fields, though part of the Barksdale’s Charge marker can be seen above the right wheel of the left-hand cannon, while the tip of the Mississippi Memorial’s bronze flag can be seen to the right of the large tree.

This next photo is one of my foggy favorites. You can just *feel* the ambiance of Gettysburg in this shot, I think . . . quiet, misty, somber woods full of the echoes of battle. You can almost see the soldiers slipping through the trees of those long-ago days. Luckily, there are lots of foggy days at Gettysburg (most of them seem to be when we’re visiting, ha ha) so there are plenty of opportunities for photos like these. :-)


Co. D, 52ND North Carolina Infantry

Born 1843 --- Died July 01, 1863, at age 20

Pvt. Hamilton enlisted in October 1862. Quite some time after being killed at Gettysburg, he was exhumed and reburied at Raleigh’s Oakwood Cemetery, as were many of the Southern Gettysburg dead. Unfortunately, little information is available concerning his life.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

Part of Smith’s 4TH New York Independent Battery

Sometimes you’re lucky enough to visit Devil’s Den and Triangular Field without having to share the area with a ton of other people . . . during my visit in November, I had one of those glorious days. Thus, this first photo of a Parrott Rifle shows absolutely nothing but Sickles Avenue, Houck’s Ridge, artillery, Triangular Field (and Warfield Ridge beyond), and the marker for Robertson’s Brigade. No tourists. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Just the way I like it. :-) I like the fact that the cannon wheel and barrel are visible in the shadow to the right. Such details really make or break a photo in my opinion.

The second photo is also people free (though not car free . . . there’s one peeking through the right cannon wheel). You can see Robertson’s Brigade marker, a finely-painted Parrott, another Parrott, and, beyond, the 124TH New York monument. I particularly like the fact that the shadow cast over the cannon carriage’s “tail” is the soldier statue atop the 4TH New York’s very own monument. Beyond, the trees of Rose Woods stand at attention. There are even some rocks on this photo. You can’t go wrong :-)


Co. D, 42ND Pennsylvania Infantry (13TH Reserves)

Born November 08, 1838 --- Died July 03, 1863, at age 24

It is clear from stories of Lt. Hall that he valued family above personal safety. During the battle of Second Bull Run/Manassas in August 1862, he witnessed his cousin’s death; instead of fleeing in the face of imprisonment, he remained to take care of the burial, no small feat considering that he’d already survived stints at Libby and Belle Isle. He met his match at Gettysburg, though, dying on the third day of battle, and was buried at Stillwater Cemetery in Busti, New York.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 26, 2014

I’ve said before that I’m totally fascinated by the Gettysburg boulders. Their age alone is enough to enthrall me, but the knowledge that soldiers in blue and gray saw these venerable rocks, leaned against them, hid behind them, climbed over them, furthers the attraction. Take this rock at Triangular Field, for instance. How many Texan boys took note of its girth and used it as a sniper spot? How many looked toward it with relief, seeing it as a much-needed hiding place? How many New Yorkers surged toward this rock with dread, wondering how many Rebels might be waiting behind it? Whose blood was splashed across its ancient surface, and may still remain? It’s incredible to ponder.


Co. G, 52ND North Carolina Infantry

Born 1838 --- Died August 27, 1863, at age 25

Cpt. Kincaid was a farmer by trade, enlisting in March 1862; records also list him as “J. M.” or “J. N. Kincaid.” He was mortally wounded in the thigh and later captured. Having undergone an amputation, he died at Camp Letterman, eventually being sent to Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 24, 2014

***Greetings, fellow Gettysburg-lovers! I'm taking today off to enjoy Christmas with the family . . . I hope that everyone who's celebrating (or not celebrating) has a great and memorable day. If you absolutely need a Gettysburg fix, feel free to check over my previous blog posts :-)***

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

A Sampling of Cushing’s Battery

With all the recent news about Lt. Cushing receiving the Medal of Honor, I wanted to go and pay my respects. Of course, the fact that there were multiple artillery pieces in the vicinity made my decision much sweeter. Here’s one of the 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. In the background you can see the Abraham Brian farm (far left); 26TH North Carolina (small “pink” monument behind the stone wall); 39TH New York; 14TH Connecticut; 1ST Massachusetts Sharpshooters; the monument and artillery pieces of Battery A, 1ST Rhode Island Artillery; Battery K, 1ST New York Light Artillery; Gen. Meade’s equestrian statue; 99TH Pennsylvania; and a caisson from Cushing’s Battery. (I love detail work!)

The second photo shows one of Cushing’s caissons up close (as well as another caisson, Gen. Webb, and the 1ST Pennsylvania Cavalry in the background). I’ve got to say I never really appreciated caissons as much as cannon --- I’m more of an aesthetic type --- but of course without a caisson to bring ammunition, a cannon wouldn’t do much good. Take note of the cannon wheel shadow to the right of the photo --- unintended artistic detail. :-)


Co. I, 1ST Minnesota Infantry

Born October 14, 1829 --- Died July 06, 1863, at age 33)

Sgt. Roe was no stranger to military service, having served in the Mexican War. He enlisted in the 1ST Minnesota in April 1861 and took an enemy shell to the knee on the third day at Gettysburg. He later died from his wound and was buried at New Washington Christian Church Cemetery in Clark County, Indiana.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray