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

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

**Antietam Friday**

I didn’t have the greatest weather on my last trip to Antietam, but I enjoyed exploring Dunker Church just as I always do. This time I braved the ticks and the mud to check out the side of the building. My question is . . . what is the purpose of the two upper windows, and w hy can’t you see any sign of them inside the building? I know there’s a “hatch” inside which was shuttered off, but it still looks rather strange. Notice the pile of rocks / dirt, or whatever it might be, in front of the door. I’m not sure of its purpose either. Was a stump there at one time? Did someone dig up the ground? Hmmm.


                                                          Co. E, 5TH Texas Infantry

Born November 09, 1830 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 32

Pvt. Weathersby’s surname is also spelled “Weatherby.” He was a stock-raiser by trade, husband of Nancy and father of little Matilda and Amanda who were four and three years old during the battle. He was later buried at Oak Park Cemetery in Alvin, Texas. Interestingly, Pvt. Weathersby’s sister Charity died in 1861 at the age of 19. Three other siblings had died before the age of six --- sister Mary (1832 – 1837), sister Julia (1839 – 1843), and sister Eliza (1847 – 1848).

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27, 2014

This photo was taken in the area of Iverson’s Pits along Doubleday Avenue / Oak Ridge, and it showcases three of my favorite Gettysburg things: beautiful scenery, rock walls, and markers denoting who fought where and what happened when. This is the 16TH Maine’s left flank marker, which reads, “16TH ME INF’Y. JULY 1, 4 P.M.” Actually, I took the photo for the flowers sticking up through the rocks but ended up really liking the whole layout.

Another thing I like about this shot is the mountains that stretch in the far distance, and of course the summer skies. There was a hint of rain in the forecast but it didn't bother us until much later. I don't think this rock wall is original, but there certainly would have been a similar one in the vicinity.


                                                     Co. A, 151ST Pennsylvania Infantry

Born February 18, 1829 --- Died July 01, 1863 at age 34

Cpl. McCredie, born in the United Kingdom (either Scotland or England), was married to Margaret and had five small children at the time of his enlistment in September 1862: John (age 9), Martha (age 8), George (age 7), Hugh (age 3), and William (an infant). Cpl. McCredie suffered a head wound at Gettysburg and died from his injuries.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

Fog in the Wheatfield
Two weeks ago I had an opportunity to see the battlefield in all its glory . . . and there’s something very special about visiting the field in the fog. This thin shroud was most noticeable at the Wheatfield, so of course, out came the camera. In the first photo you can see the top of the 61ST New York Infantry monument poking up through the mist (just above the informational marker). In the second photo it’s the monument to Winslow’s Battery (Battery D, 1ST New York Artillery) that’s just barely visible (center, just slightly to the right).


21ST North Carolina Infantry

Born May 19, 1833/1839 --- Died August 02/03, 1863 at age 30

Maj. Miller hadn’t yet celebrated his 30TH birthday (some say 24TH) when his brother John died at Chancellorsville in May 1863. “Alex”, as he was known, would lose his own life just two months later. The end came at Cemetery Hill as he attempted to lift up the regimental flag. Maj. Miller was first buried near Rock Creek (between the Schwartz and Bushman properties) and was re-interred either at Salem Cemetery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, or at Richmond, Virginia’s Hollywood Cemetery. A photo can be found here.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22, 2014

**Antietam Friday**

Near the Mumma farm on the Antietam National Battlefield is a well-kept path that leads to the Mumma family cemetery. Unfortunately, I didn’t walk back since it was raining, but I got curious about who might be buried there. (That’s where that terrific site called Find A Grave, which comes in handy for my Gettysburg soldiers list, proves itself invaluable). I picked out a few people to study and remember.

First I found Elizabeth Catherine Neikirk Middlekauff, called Betsy, interesting since the Neikirk and Middlekauff families were known to inhabit parts of the Antietam battlefield. She was born in 1812 and died in 1880, daughter of Henry and Nancy Furry Neikirk. Betsy married John C. Middlekauff and had a large family. Also of interest is Daniel Price Miller who died in November 1862 at age 84. It was believed that he died of illness after being exposed to the atmosphere of death at Antietam. He was married to Catherine Rowland Funk and was the father of Jacob and Elizabeth.

Another particularly sad burial is that of Allen Russell Mumma, who died January 1878 at age 1 1/2. He was the son of Daniel and Augusta Rohrbach Mumma. (Take note that the Rohrbach family once owned the land where Rohrbach Bridge, or Burnside Bridge, is located). Allen’s mother outlived him by only 5 years. Another child burial is that of Catharine Amelia Mumma who died in November 1849 just before her second birthday. She was the daughter of Jacob and Ann Mumma.

There are many more people buried at the Mumma Cemetery, and of course they all deserve time and attention, but this is just a smattering chosen randomly. I highly encourage you to check out the cemetery’s entries on Find A Grave, or, if, possible, visit in person. It’s a great way to honor men, women and children whose lives ended so long ago.


Co. C, 80TH New York Infantry

Born abt. 1838 --- Died July 21, 1863 at age 25

Pvt. Ackert, who enlisted in September 1861, was born in Connecticut. He was a quarryman by trade (at least one record lists him as a clerk) and was wounded in the mouth on the first day of battle. He died at Philadelphia’s Satterlee Hospital of pyaemia and was later buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20, 2014

Visiting the “big boys” of the King William Artillery


Ever notice that whenever you want a nice, quiet walk around Oak Hill and the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, there are always carloads of people, usually with screaming kids? When I last visited Oak Hill, there were still kids, but they were strangely cooperative with staying out of my camera’s eye. I was thus able to capture these photos of King William Artillery’s 12-pounder Napoleons.

Cannon #1 was manufactured at Augusta Foundry in 1862. (That’s part of the Hardaway Alabama Artillery in the distance). The cannon tube isn’t in the best shape, but is remarkably sturdy considering its age. Cannon #2 dates from 1864 and was made at Macon Foundry. Don’t you love the little Confederate battle flag? No, that wasn’t me who left it . . . my tastes run more toward Yankeedom :-) You can see the edge of the Peace Memorial at left, as well as seeing that it was quite an overcast day.


Co. D, 13TH North Carolina Infantry

Born abt. 1831 --- Died July 01, 1863 at age 32

Pvt. Stephens enlisted in May 1861. He was married to Nancy with a daughter Phebe (only three years old at her father’s death) and a daughter Didama (age two). He was a farmer, but unfortunately I have no more information on his family life or his military record.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray