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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 25, 2015

** This blog now published Mondays and Wednesdays **

This photo was taken from the observation deck at the Oak Ridge tower last summer. The green fields of what is now known as the 11TH Corps Line just outside the town of Gettysburg would have looked much the same in 1863, though various features seen here --- the monuments, the newer fence around the Alms House Cemetery, and the flag pole you can just barely see at Barlow’s Knoll in the difference --- now intrude on the landscape.

Click for larger view: The tall monument seen to the left of Howard Avenue is the 153RD Pennsylvania. Other monuments include, from left to right, the 17TH Connecticut, the 25TH and 75TH Ohio, and the 107TH Ohio (white monument, center right).


Co. C, 47TH North Carolina Infantry

Born December 21, 1814 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 48 

At the time of his enlistment in February 1862, Cpl. Utley, nicknamed Gaston, was married with at least one child, a 17-year-old daughter named Dulcina. He was wounded July 3RD in the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge, taken prisoner, and later died of his wounds.

(c) 2012-2015 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23, 2015

** This blog now published Mondays and Wednesdays **

Here’s a view of Cemetery Ridge taken from McMillan’s Woods a few years back. You can see a number of large monuments (from left to right, the United States Regulars, the Vermont State Memorial, and the Pennsylvania State Memorial) as well as quite a few smaller monuments. The Nicholas Codori farm adds a pop of color to the view. Fun fact: Did you know that’s not the original barn? (I know . . . I was disappointed too). I like the branches framing the photo, as well as the fence-line and rock wall (two Gettysburg staples). And a blue-sky day is rather a rarity for us while visiting Gettysburg :-)


Co. C, 22ND Massachusetts Infantry

Born November 20, 1820 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 42 

In a sea of men who claimed common-place occupations, Cpl. Newcomb’s was certainly interesting: a resident of Boston, he worked as a piano polisher. He enlisted in September 1861, and by the age of 40 he had already buried a wife, a little girl named Mary Jane (died 1853), another daughter Margaret (died 1848), and a son Charles (died 1855). He later remarried a woman named Salome. Cpl. Newcomb had two surviving children, Mary F. (born 1849) and Hattie G. (born 1857) from his previous marriage. He was wounded twice at Gettysburg and died at the Abraham Trostle farm, later buried at Gettysburg’s National Cemetery. His stone is mismarked “J. B. Nincent.”

(c) 2012-2015 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 18, 2015

** This blog now published Mondays and Wednesdays **

Random Cannon Views

I like the nice clean-cut photos of Gettysburg artillery as much as the next cannon buff, but occasionally I enjoy these artsy shots. The first photo, a Confederate 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, represents the Louisiana Guard Artillery at East Cavalry Field. This is a reproduction piece. Notice the low fog in the background. Though it was already late in the morning, the fog continued for most of the day during the trip.

The second photo shows one of the Whitworth Rifles representing the Hardaway Alabama Artillery (Hurt’s Battery) at Oak Hill. It was a cold, rainy afternoon, evidenced by (still more) fog and by the water droplets on the cannon, which I think makes the picture kind of special (though of course I’m a bit biased . . .) The well-manicured pathways at the Eternal Light Peace Memorial give cannon-lovers access to six artillery pieces, and if you don’t mind walking down over Oak Ridge a little ways, another cannon (Morris Artillery, Page’s Battery) can be found.


Co. H, 45TH North Carolina Infantry

Born 1846 --- Died July 02/03 at age 17 

While other young men were just getting started in life, 2ND Lt. Benton, who enlisted in March 1862 and doesn’t seem to have lied about his age, had a fairly solid career at seventeen. He was a farmer in Rockingham County and enlisted as sergeant, receiving a promotion to lieutenant in September 1862. Sadly, he never reached full adulthood . . . he died at Gettysburg less than ten months later. 

(c) 2012-2015 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 16, 2015

** This blog now published Mondays and Wednesdays **

In case you haven’t had a chance to visit the McPherson barn up close and personal, here’s a view of the rear of the barn, which faces Stone-Meredith Avenue and Herr’s Ridge. Part of McPherson’s Ridge can be seen in the distance. The object hanging on the far left section of the barn is an American flag, a gesture I found very touching. 

My second photo showcases the simple reverence conveyed by this little flag. The McPherson barn might not be in the best shape, it’s surprisingly sturdy for its almost two hundred years of age.

Being a dreamer, I found myself wondering (then and now) who left this flag, whether it was lovingly placed by the modern-day relatives of a wounded or dead soldier, or whether it might have simply been someone who, like me, loves and cherishes Gettysburg and its fallen heroes. Either way, seeing this sight made my day.


59TH New York Infantry

Born about 1830 --- Died July 11, 1863 at age 33 

Lt. Col. Thoman had more than his fair share of ‘adventure’ in his lifetime. Born in Germany, he attended school at Hannover, and was involved in the English Foreign Legion. He also took part of the Schlesweig/Holstein War of the 1840s/50s. Lt. Col. Thoman was a bit of an adventurer in Central America throughout the late 1850s and finally settled in New York City, only to enlist when the need arose. He was wounded on the 2ND of July and died nine days later, eventually resting in Gettysburg’s National Cemetery. A photo can be found here.

(c) 2012-2015 Skies of Blue and Gray