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

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Not too long ago I decided to finally walk the path at the Point of Woods near the Virginia State Memorial. Not surprisingly, it was a distant glimpse of a cannon at the end of the path that prompted me to make the plunge. (It’s not a difficult walk, but add in 85 degrees and high humidity and you’ll see what I mean). The first thing I noticed was how nice the fences looked. It was peaceful along the path, hidden under tree branches, near the cool damp woods. This is the sort of picture that gives you a much better understanding of how the field looked in 1863.

To my great enthusiasm, there are actually four artillery pieces located at the end of the path, though only one can be accessed easily (and the National Park Service folks don’t appreciate people climbing the fences, so I contented myself with this view). I like the contrast of Napoleons and Parrotts. The rock ledge seen at bottom right was part of a little sitting area which housed a nice stone wall, a few wooden benches, and an informational plaque.

Finally, here’s the view from the end of the Point of Woods path. The marker isn’t in the greatest shape, but the view is incredible (love those blue summer skies!) The white Abraham Brian farm is visible, as is the Copse and the tall U. S. Regulars monument. (There are other monuments, but they’re difficult to see from this distance). It was a nice trek and one that can be a lot more taxing than it looks in hot weather.


Co. A, 38TH North Carolina Infantry

Born 1833 --- Died July 12, 1863 at age 30

Pvt. Hall enlisted in October 1861, leaving behind a civilian life as a farmer. He suffered an injury at Second Bull Run (or Second Manassas) and recovered, but wasn’t so lucky at Gettysburg. He was mortally wounded on the field and died less than two weeks later.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014

**Due to travel plans I won’t post again until Monday, June 30**

Today I have a few random views of Cemetery Ridge. The first one was taken near the Pennsylvania Memorial restrooms, showing quite a few cannon and some smaller-scale monuments. On the left side of Hancock Avenue, the New York Auxiliary monument, the 4TH Pennsylvania Cavalry, and a Second Corps marker can be seen. On the right side we see the 3RD PA Heavy Artillery, the 15TH NY Battery, the 148TH Pennsylvania monument, the 5TH MA Battery, Battery B, 1st PA Artillery, and the 90TH Pennsylvania monument. Also, Little and Big Round Top loom in the right background.

On the second photo, taken from Pleasanton Avenue, there’s more ground and less monumentation. We can, however, see the 1ST Minnesota monument to the left of the restroom building, and Big and Little Round Top at center left. Save for the monument and building, this is much how Cemetery Ridge would have looked in 1863.


Co. C, 123RD New York Infantry

Born December 05, 1829 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 33

When Pvt. Huntington was shot down at Culp’s Hill, his last thoughts were undoubtedly of his wife Luna and their children, John aged eleven, Joseph aged eight, and Cora aged six. He had enlisted in August 1862 and now, less than a year later, he’d given his life for his country. He was first laid to rest at the Henry Spangler farm but was later reinterred at Gettysburg’s National Cemetery.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, June 20, 2014

June 20, 2014

**Antietam Friday**

There are quite a few markers scattered near Sunken Road, and General Richardson’s memorial was one I had never seen before. The inverted cannon tube signifies that this was the general area where Richardson received his fatal wound. In the background, the fields beyond the Sunken Road are a lot more peaceful than they were in September 1862. Thousands of boys in blue from Richardson’s Division came from this direction and were funneled into the slaughter pen that was “Bloody Lane” . . . Caldwell’s brigade, Brooke’s brigade, Meagher’s Irish brigade. The regiments that would later suffer at Gettysburg were no strangers to combat.


Co. G, 2ND South Carolina Infantry

Born December 09, 1836 --- Died July 21, 1863 at age 26

Pvt. Croxton was married to a lady named Rebecca and was the father of a little son, William, who was two years old during the battle of Gettysburg. John had already had a brush with death . . . he was wounded in the head just seven months earlier at Fredericksburg, but somehow he managed to stay in the army. At Gettysburg he suffered a mortal wound to the knee and was later brought to Camp Letterman, where he died.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 18, 2014

Even though it’s been quite a long time since I first visited Plum Run, I still gaze into the waters with some apprehension as if I expect it to live up to its name, “Bloody Run.” The place has an eerie quality even with lots of other tourists around. There’s a famous photo that shows dead Confederate soldiers lying near the boulders at left and center. (Click here). I remember reading that somewhere in the tangle of underbrush across from Devil’s Den, to the right of this photo angle, a Texas soldier named Marshall Prue or Pure is still buried; his final resting place has been hidden since a few years after the battle.

On this photo we can see pretty much of Little Round Top as well. Most visible are the 91ST Pennsylvania monument at top center, the 140TH New York (a white dot to the left of the castle) and the 12TH/44TH New York castle at center right. The large white “monument” at the far left of Little Round Top is not a new memorial, but a tree :-) I like the sprinkles of redbud here and there. On this same trip I spent a little time on the summit of Little Round Top, and redbud was everywhere . . . definitely a perk of visiting in springtime.


Co. A, 32ND Massachusetts Infantry

Born March 20, 1841 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 22

Pvt. Puffer was a farmer until he enlisted in October 1861 at the age of 21. He was well-liked by his comrades and was both a gentleman and a valuable asset to the regiment, per his sergeant’s letter to James’ family. In combat it was always a risk to climb higher and present oneself a target, and Pvt. Puffer was shot down while attempting to jump a wall. He is buried in Westminster, MA.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Today’s photos feature Bachman’s Battery, the “German Artillery”, near the Bushman farm along South Confederate Avenue. On the first photo, Big Round Top slopes gracefully at the left. The second photo not only shows the Bushman barn but also part of the Slyder farm, at far right

Turns out I’m not very observant. I’ve been visiting Gettysburg since early childhood, but I’d completely forgotten this particular artillery battery, nestled at the edge of the woods where you can find a little picnic area along Warfield Ridge. So, though we were heading out to Antietam and had a busy morning planned, I had to stop and check these bad boys out.


Co. I, 13TH North Carolina Infantry

Born c. 1840 --- Died August 01, 1863 at age 23

Lt. Winchester likely missed his quiet work as a clerk many times during the war, but Gettysburg made it impossible for him to return to his occupation. He was first wounded during the battle of Chancellorsville. At Gettysburg, during the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge, he suffered a wound to the foot and later died in captivity. 

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014

**Sorry for the delay! I had internet connection problems for quite awhile**

**Antietam Friday**

If you’ve ever studied the Irish Brigade and its leaders, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Gen. Thomas Meagher. (I was surprised to discover this is actually pronounced “Mar”). I hadn’t paid much attention to the name until I read up on the monuments at Antietam and noticed Gen. Meagher’s bust at the Irish Brigade monument near the Sunken Road tower. Of particular interest is the signature at the bottom right of the bronze relief: “Ron Tunison 1997, Cairo, NY”

Strangely enough, I think my favorite part of this photo is the “perfect” sky. I’m always on the hunt for pictures that stand out not only for their content but also for the background, and I get a little thrill of excitement whenever we travel and I see it’s going to be a blue-sky day. I like all my photos, but some of them just stand out. Oh great, now I’m “homesick” for the battlefields again . . .    :-)


Co. H, 2ND Wisconsin Infantry

Born 1844 --- Died July 01, 1863 at age 19

Cpl. Heath, who enlisted in May 1861, was never very lucky. First he was wounded and later taken prisoner at Brawner’s Farm in August 1862, and just six months later he was transported to Washington to recover from an illness. At Gettysburg he was felled by a lung wound. Cpl. Heath was buried at Gettysburg’s National Cemetery.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray