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

Friday, May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014

**Antietam Friday**  

 Antietam National Battlefield’s Sunken Road observation tower is a great way to see the battleground, but it’s also handy for finding and peeking at historic farms. This particular farm is the Mumma farm. I took note of a few features that readers may or may not see, particularly the tiny black-ish artillery to the left of the house. Also of (amusing) note are the brown “potties” sitting against the barn.

Like Gettysburg, Antietam has its share of rocks, some of which are seen in the lighter-colored field below the farmhouse. The contrasting green and yellow fields make for a mighty fine image. In the distance, mountains loom out of the fog. The fence seen to the left of the barn is part of the Mumma family cemetery. Mumma Lane runs to the left of the photo.


Co. H, 14TH U.S. Regular Infantry

Died August 15, 1863

Cpl. Patterson lived what must have been an exciting life before his premature death at Gettysburg, having been born in Ireland and moving to what would later become known as Washington state. He was a laborer by trade and was wounded in the arm during the battle on July 2ND. He later died in Germantown, PA, suffering both from his injury and from jaundice, and was buried in Germantown’s Odd Fellows Cemetery.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 28, 2014

Culp’s Hill is one of those battlefield locales I only “got into” recently, but once I did, it seemed there were countless new places to discover. This photo was taken across from the 1ST Maryland Battalion CSA and shows the route that the Marylanders probably took as they surged toward Pardee Field on the morning of July 2ND. Most notable is the 29TH Pennsylvania monument at center left.

If you click for a larger photo you can just make out the stone wall bordering Pardee Field in the distance. The inset at bottom right shows a zoom of the wall (as well as a boulder shaped like a turtle shell). As with any other photo featuring Gettysburg boulders, it amazes me to think that these are the same rocks the soldiers saw and perhaps utilized as hiding places and sniping platforms. Fascinating stuff.


Co. D, 18TH Virginia Infantry

Born July 4, 1843 --- Died July 03, 1863

Sgt. Glenn never got to mark his twentieth birthday, dying just one day before that date. He had enlisted in April 1861 and was a farmer in civilians life, but a rendezvous with fate at the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge made it impossible for him to return to that vocation. His roster notes that Sgt. Glenn was honored for “distinguished service.”

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26, 2014

**Remembering Gettysburg's dead, Union and Confederate, on this Memorial Day 2014** 

The Artillery at Benner’s Hill

 This is just a sampling of the many beautiful artillery pieces that can be found at Benner’s Hill (which, I confess, I’d put off visiting for about ten years with the thought that there was little to see there). First is a 12-pounder Napoleon belonging to Dement’s Maryland battery. This cannon tube is original and was cast at Augusta Foundry in 1863.

Next up to bat is a Parrott Rifle from Brown’s Battery, the Chesapeake Artillery. This one is unmarked, so I’m not sure if it’s original or a reproduction. I like the way it seems to glow in the sun on a perfect hot May day. Also, there were very few people to share the avenue with, so it was almost like having the place to ourselves.

The third photo shows a Parrott from Raines’ Battery, the Lee Artillery. This is my favorite of the three, showing a rock wall that probably hasn’t been tampered with for awhile. As far as I know, it may be original. There’s also a 3-inch Rifle in Raines’ Battery, located on the section of hill nearest to the road.


141ST Pennsylvania Infantry

Born January 22, 1825/1826 --- Died July 28, 1863 

Maj. Spalding was both lucky and unlucky at Gettysburg; lucky that he was found by compassionate Confederate soldiers and cared for after being wounded twice, and unlucky that he did not survive his injuries. His death bereaved a wife, Ruth, and two small children, eight-year-old Ella and two-year-old Israel Jr.  Maj. Spalding was later buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Towanda, PA. 

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23, 2014

**Antietam Friday**

One of my favorite parts about visiting Civil War battlefields is seeing the old houses and barns, knowing that civilians once walked the halls, sat on the porches, and did work in the barn, that soldiers were cared for and received comfort in the parlors, bedrooms, and outbuildings. I’m not as familiar with Antietam’s historic homes as I am with Gettysburg’s, but my recent trip to Maryland provided me an opportunity to learn a little more.

The first photo (top) shows Antietam’s stunning countryside, an array of hill, mountain, brick, and fence. I admit it would have been even easier to imagine how this residence looked in 1862 if the power lines would have magically disappeared when I stopped to admire the scene.The second photo (above) is one of my favorites from this trip since I’d seen this farm before but hadn’t had a chance to stop for a better look. I’ve seldom seen a house with so many windows on one side.


Co. D, 6TH North Carolina Infantry

Born January 11, 1829 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 34 

When Pvt. Carlton lost his life at Gettysburg, he was the husband of Verlinda or Verlinchia and the father of two small children, Amanda aged four and Robert aged one. His brother Ambrose would later die in January 1864.

(c) 2013-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014

I’m not a Southerner, but there’s something about the North Carolina Memorial that really gets me. You can just feel the sorrow, the sense of importance . . . these bronze soldiers forever point to their objective across Cemetery Ridge, to the Union position they’ll never conquer. The Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge (or the Pettigrew-Trimble Assault, for any Tarheels who may be reading this :-)) is one of Gettysburg’s saddest legacies.

(Confession time: My connection to North Carolina is confined to having slept there on the way to and from Florida, yet it always bothered me that the focus of the charge is put on Virginia. Think of the Gettysburg movie: “Remember old Virginia!” Knowing that there were many more states that participated, that never set right with me.)

I like the colors on this photo, the blue, the green, the contrasting bronze, the waving fields in the distance. Mostly I appreciate the lack of humans (save for one unsuspecting guy jogging along West Confederate Avenue, who has no idea his back has been immortalized on my little corner of Blogger).


Co. H, 82ND Ohio Infantry

Born about 1833 --- Died July 28, 1863 at age 30 

Cpl. McElroy sustained injuries to both of his legs on the first day of battle and was left where he fell until he was brought to a local home to be cared for. Unfortunately, he couldn’t rally, and died four weeks later. Cpl. McElroy left behind a wife, Margaret, and two children, three-year-old Clara and one-year-old Ollie. He was later buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery, with a memorial stone at McKendrie Cemetery in his home state.

(c) 2013-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray