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

Friday, October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014

Visiting the McPherson Barn: Part One

Every time I’ve visited Gettysburg --- and if I count back to the first trip, that time frame spans over two decades --- I’ve wished I could see the McPherson barn up-close without falling in the mud or dodging ticks. Imagine my absolute delight, when, during my last trip a few days ago, I discovered a path has been mowed down to the barn! (In my defense, this path may have been here for quite some time and I just didn't notice it until now :-)) This was a complete surprise and definitely made this trip one to remember. Today I’ll feature photos of the “back” of the barn, visible from Stone-Meredith Avenue.

Photo #1 shows the back. My favorite details: The stonework (absolutely amazing, I’m a big fan of stone structures); the red vines peeking around the right-hand side; and the old fence at the corner. The thing I could take or leave: Larson’s Quality Inn property at center right (kudos for Civil War Trust for launching a worthy crusade to save the area. Can’t wait to see how it looked in 1863!)

Photo #2 is a scene I could stare at for quite a while (at least well past the “normal” stage). The patterns are mesmerizing . . . and when you consider that the soldiers of Gettysburg probably let their eyes wander over the same shapes and designs while lying there wounded, it makes the experience even more fascinating. Again, I like the red vines at bottom right. The doors at the front of the barn look very run down; I’m not sure what this property is being used for at the moment, though I’m sure the Park Service knows :-)


Co. A, 19TH Massachusetts Infantry

Born April 21, 1835 --- Died July 02/03, 1863 at age 28

Sgt. Coffin, who enlisted in August 1861 and was a shoemaker by trade, was mortally wounded on July 3RD and died a short time later. He was buried at Gettysburg’s National Cemetery. (He’s also listed as being buried at Bridge Street Cemetery in West Newbury, MA.

(c) 2012-2014 Skies of Blue and Gray


  1. Did you find the soldier carving on the south wall of the barn? I think that is the side you pictured in the second photograph. The carving is just above the wooden vent on the right in your photo. It was made by veterans of the 143rd Pennsylvania during the dedication of their monument in 1889.

  2. Hi John, I knew about the carving but at the time of my visit I couldn't recall on which side of the barn it was located. I hope to go back again and take a closer look.