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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 27, 2015

** This blog published Mondays and Wednesdays **

This second installment of photos showcases the Leister farmhouse, used as a headquarters by Gen. George Gordon Meade. Though originally built about 1840, the house has been refurbished throughout the years. It may not look so small from this angle, but once you step on the porch and look inside at the two tiny rooms, you’ll find it difficult to believe Lydia Leister and half a dozen children took up residence here. The place is beautifully kept and a pleasure to visit.

Coming around to the front porch and only entrance, you can see the old, old steps. (And yes, the porch squeaks just enough to let you know the building’s age, something I’d always admired in old houses). Part of the barn can be seen at left. It’s not visible in this photo, but toward the left of the porch is a hatch of some sort, probably leading to a cellar or spring. The little window overlooking Cemetery Ridge is of unusual construction. Can’t you just picture having a small chair on the porch and looking out over the beautiful countryside? (Though with so many other people in that little house, I doubt Mrs. Leister had much time to sit :-))


Co. K, 22nd Georgia Infantry

Born April 23, 1830 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 33

Pvt. White enlisted in May 1862. He was married to Polly, and together they had seven children, Lucy (born 1854), George (born 1855 and died 1856), William (born 1856), Sarah (born 1858), Rebecca (born 1859), James (born 1860), and John (born 1862). It is not known if Pvt. White was ever exhumed and sent south or if his remains still lie in Gettysburg.

(c) 2012-2015 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25, 2015

** This blog published Mondays and Wednesdays **

Memorial Day is the perfect time to remember the boys in blue and gray who sacrificed all at Gettysburg, as well as to pay tribute to every American man and woman throughout time who gave their lives for their country. Please join me in honoring those who have passed beyond.

This week (and possibly next) I’m doing a series of posts about the Leister farm / General Meade’s headquarters, which I visited (for the first time!) on the 19th of May. The first set of photos focuses on the barn which was originally built around the year 1800. It was used as a temporary field hospital. (Fun trivia: that barn at far right, red with a gray roof, is part of the Peter Frey farm).

For the second photo, I think this kind of artsy shot is pure Gettysburg. An old barn which witnessed history, an orchard such as the kind that were quite prevalent during the battle, stone walls, wooden fences of difference kinds . . . nothing in this photo would have been out of the ordinary for soldiers who traipsed past this place in 1863. The National Park Service and volunteers have done a terrific job of keeping the farm in great condition. If you don’t mind the relatively long walk from the Angle, go ahead and visit the Leister farm. It’s well worth the time.


Co. C, 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry

Died July 03, 1863

Pvt. Tees enlisted in August 1862 and was a varnisher by trade. (An interesting occupation you don’t often see among Civil War soldiers). After some time he was buried at Gettysburg’s Evergreen Cemetery where he rests today.

(c) 2012-2015 Skies of Blue and Gray

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 13, 2015

** This blog published Mondays and Wednesdays **

**Next post will be Monday, May 25**

Okay, so most of you who’ve taken the Gettysburg battlefield tour and have driven, biked, hiked, walked or segway’ed along Confederate Avenue have probably seen this monument. It’s the Tennessee State Memorial, dedicated in 1982. Any North Carolinians out there might be interested to know that their state is featured on the lower right of the monument where Tennessee’s border is cut out :-)

So maybe you’ve seen this monument, but have you seen the back? It reads, “This memorial is dedicated to the memory of the men who served in the 1st (PACS), 7th and 14th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, Archer’s Brigade, Heth’s Division, Third Army Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. They fought and died for their convictions, performing their duty as they understood it.” There’s a nice little cut out area around this monument, and from here you can walk to the North Carolina State Memorial located just a short distance away.


Co. C, 13th North Carolina Infantry

Born July 06, 1838 --- Died July 06/09, 1863 at age 25

Cpt. Rainey enlisted in April 1861 and was a farmer. He was mortally wounded on the 1st, later captured on the 5th, and died a short time later of his wounds. He was buried at Red House Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Semora, North Carolina.

(c) 2012-2015 Skies of Blue and Gray

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015

** This blog published Mondays and Wednesdays **

On my last trip to Gettysburg we again took the “back way” to Culp’s Hill, the East Confederate Avenue route that branches off from Middle Street, and saw this: An old stone wall, a bunch of boulders (which fascinate me as much as ever), the 107th New York Infantry up over the hill, and, far in the distance, an old-looking stone house along Baltimore Pike. Where you’re traipsing around on Culp’s Hill you don’t always realize how close it is to the pike, giving a striking reminder that if the Confederates could have controlled this area, the battle would have had a very different outcome.


Co. E, 1st Minnesota Infantry

Born January 23, 1837 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 26

Pvt. Taylor, one of many casualties in the 1st Minnesota’s grand and ill-fated charge, was a native of Illinois and emigrated to Minnesota in the hopes of becoming a teacher. Fate intervened, and he found himself a soldier. His brother talks of witnessing Pvt. Taylor’s death and says he told him, “all I can give you is a soldier’s grave.” He had been struck by an artillery shell. He is buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery, though as an unknown. A photo can be found here.

(c) 2012-2015 Skies of Blue and Gray