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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014


Let me guess what you’re thinking: This must be an old photo of Devil’s Den, right? While I certainly remember that area with trees (and I prefer it much better with wide open space) this is another location: The path to Little Round Top. I never really took the time to notice all the rocks that were scattered here and there along the path. It definitely gives a different perspective. As far as I’m concerned, slap some sepia-tone on this photo and you could have a print from 1863.

The second photo is my favorite. I’ve always loved views like this . . . some mysterious leafy path on an overcast day, leading off to places unknown. In this case, it leads to Little Round Top summit. I’m not sure if it was meant to be a “path” per se or if the shape of the rocks just etched out a natural pathway, but either way, it looks mighty mysterious.


Co. D, 145TH Pennsylvania Infantry

Born May 12, 1835 --- Died July 26, 1863 at age 28

Cpl. Sawdy, who enlisted in August 1862, was the husband of Julia and father of Walter (four years old at the time of the battle) and Wilson (one year old). He received a thigh wound on July 2ND and died a little over three weeks later. Cpl. Sawdy was buried along the railroad and his final resting place was never rediscovered.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Every time I have the privilege of visiting Gettysburg, I always look for different shots, different angles. This time I was lucky enough to be parked at the guide station near the McPherson barn where I took this photo of two Union army greats: Gen. Buford at left and Gen. Reynolds at right. John Buford’s statue dates from 1892, while the larger statue dedicated to John Fulton Reynolds was unveiled in 1899.

Also visible: The artillery pieces from Hall’s Maine Battery, the battery’s monument, and a flank marker at far right. (Also at far right, it appears that part of the stone bridge over the Railroad Cut and the monument to the 14TH Brooklyn can be seen). One of the cannon tubes at the base of Gen. Buford’s statue was supposedly a witness to the battle. Of course, Chambersburg Pike / Route 30 looks very different today than it did in 1863, but this is the same road thousands of men marched upon, many of whom would never march out again.


Co. C, 47TH North Carolina Infantry

Died November 22, 1863 

Pvt. Done enlisted in March 1862. His occupation was listed as laborer. After being wounded at Gettysburg, he was captured and transferred to Point Lookout, Maryland, where he died. He was buried in Point Lookout’s Confederate Cemetery.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014

**Antietam Friday**

Here’s a close-up shot of Burnside’s Bridge taken in June 2009, before that huge chunk of stone fell into Antietam Creek (the bridge has since been repaired).I like the contrast of light and shadow as well as the sloping hill beyond. It’s another one of those photos with no hint of anything modern. 

 The second photo shows an informational marker that explains exactly what happened at Burnside’s Bridge (known as Rohrbach’s bridge at the time of the battle) in a clear and precise manner. Note the little sliver of Antietam Creek at top left.


Co. K, 1ST Minnesota Infantry

Born abt. 1836 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 27

Pvt. Taylor likely lost his life in the 1ST Minnesota’s sacrificial charge. He had enlisted in May 1861 and was a farmer. Just a few months before Gettysburg he had been detailed with the wagon trains. Pvt. Taylor was buried at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Utica, Minnesota.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014


What I like most about the artillery pieces of Hazlett’s Battery on Little Round Top is that they’re so easily accessible. Some batteries are in obscure places, and others are so ensconced in the high grass that you couldn’t pay me enough to tramp through the ticks in the summer. Battery D, 5TH U.S. Artillery, however, is smack-dab on the summit of “Sugarloaf Mountain”, there for us to admire.

This particular piece dates to 1864 and was manufactured at West Point Foundry. The Hazlett-Weed monument can be partially seen at right. Note the platform behind the cannon to the left: this is where the stack of cannonballs for this particular piece once sat (see Monday’s post). This Parrott has seen better days but is still in good shape considering its age. The Park Service does a terrific job of restoring cannon barrels and carriages . . . I’ve watched over the years as the artillery pieces disappear and then return looking good as new.


Co. C, 14TH Virginia Infantry

Born abt. 1832 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 31

Adjutant Jenkins enlisted in April 1861, husband of Alice and father of one-year-old Willis and later father to John, Jr., who was born in 1862. He was buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth, Virginia. His tombstone reads, “Fell at the Battle of Gettysburg” and ends with “He giveth His beloved Sleep.” 

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray