The second item in Trinity College’s Long Room that I thought deserved a place on this blog is certainly a different kind of memorial than I usually encounter. A copy of one volume of Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914-1918 was on display. This book lists over 49,000 Irishmen who died in World War I: name, birthplace, rank, unit, cause of death, and place of death.
Archive for the ‘Somewhere other than a cemetery’ Category
One of our destinations in Dublin was Trinity College. Trinity College is home to the famous Book of Kells, a gorgeously illuminated Gospel book. Trinity College has an exhibit that combines a display of information, “Turning Darkness into Light,” on the making of the Book of Kells and other manuscripts like it; viewing 4 pages of the Book of Kells and two other medieval manuscripts, and then exiting through the old library, with shelves and shelves of rare books that go all the way to a arched ceiling. Treasures of the old library are displayed in glass cases down the center of the library. What is displayed depends on the particular thematic mini-exhibition the library has decided on. While we visited, the theme was Drawn to the Page: Irish Artists and Illustrations.
One of the books on display was Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard. By that point, I had already seen a dozen country churchyard from the windows of the bus and strolled the one famous as William Butler Yeats’ final resting place, so I felt compelled to share this with you.
When you read this, I will be starting out on my Ireland adventure. As some of you remember from reading this blog, I went to Ireland four years ago this January and brought back a wealth of photographs. I’ve been looking through those in preparation for my second trip.
While not a funerary memorial, this giant torc in Bunratty, Ireland, certainly qualifies as a monument and a tribute to the peoples who lived on the land in ages past, as the plaque indicates the artist was inspired by ancient artifacts and structures.
As a follow-up to the previous post, these are photos of the Jennie Wade House, which of course was never known by that name during her life. Jennie was born and lived elsewhere, but she died in this house during the Battle of Gettysburg, and so it is the place most associated with her.
In the old section of Gettysburg, a house that doesn’t have a historical plaque or marker on it is in the minority. Any house that stood at the time of the battle bears a plaque stating that fact, like the top plaque on this house.
However, this house is also the birthplace of Mary Virginia Wade, the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg. Twenty-year-old Ginnie Wade was staying with her sister, the Georgia Wade McClellan who unveiled the plaque. McClellan had just given birth when the sleepy little crossroads of Gettysburg was overrun by soldiers, and the family found themselves in the middle of the battle lines as the armies skirmished. Ginnie was kneading bread for baking when a bullet traveled through the door of the house and struck her in the back, killing her. Ginnie Wade’s sudden, tragic death brought her a fame she never could have expected in life, and Gettysburg now plays host to three tourist attractions associated with her: her grave in Evergreen Cemetery, the Jennie Wade House (her sister’s house where she was killed), and the Jennie Wade birthplace (a tasting room for Reid’s Winery).
When we took the Ghosts of Gettysburg tour during our vacation, and this story was the only one that had a tombstone associated with it. The house is rented out to college students every year, and the residents over the years have supposedly reported hearing the sound of a body falling down the stairs and thudding to the floor. When some work was being done on the grounds, workman unearthed a tombstone with the name “Joanna Craig” on it in the yard.
It’s not hard too find the monuments that have been erected all over the Gettysburg battlefield – in fact, one of the challenges for movies like Gettysburg is hiding the monuments from film. But there are other monuments that are more obscure, like stone carvings. One of these is on Little Round Top, on the boulder below and behind the 91th PVV monument. It marks the approximate location where Lt. Charles Hazlett died with the words: “Hazlett fell com’r Batt’y D 5 U.S.Art’y in battle July 2nd 1863.”
Posted in Somewhere other than a cemetery, tagged battle of gettysburg, cenotaph, civil war, gettysburg, pennsylvania, sculpture, soldier, statue, tombstone tales, veteran on July 2, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
John Burns was a 67 year old veteran of the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War when the Civil War broke out. Burns tried to volunteer as a soldier once again but was turned down due to his age. He returned to his hometown of Gettysburg and became constable. When the Civil War appeared on his doorstep, he picked up his flintlock musket and went out to join the fray. Lt. Col. Thomas Chamberlin of the 150th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, recorded in his diary being approached by Burns and asked if he could join the regiment and fight. Colonel Wister of the 150th granted his permission and sent the elderly man into the woods by McPherson Farm, where he fought next to the famous Iron Brigade. He was wounded and captured but soon released. Burns became a national hero, even meeting President Abraham Lincoln when he visited in November to dedicate the National Cemetery. He passed away in 1872. The statue to him on the battlefield was dedicated on July 1, 1903, the 40th anniversary of his deeds in the battle.
John Burns, The Battle of Gettysburg: The American Civil War.
John Burns: Citizen Soldier at the Battle of Gettysburg. Civil War Sources.
John Burns of Gettysburg – Some Rare Trivia. Civil War Talk.
During the Battle of Gettysburg, this church was, like almost every public building in Gettysburg, used as a hospital. Chaplain Horatio Howell of the 90th Pennsylvania was visiting the wounded in the hospital in full uniform, including his sword. On the first day of the battle, Union soldiers retreated through the town with Confederates in pursuit, and Howell was unfortunate enough to be caught in the chaos. Tradition states that one of these Confederate soldiers ordered the chaplain to surrender his weapon,and shot Howell on the steps of the church.
My best friend visited with her fiance and children this weekend, and we took them to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Even though most of my photos are of plants, butterflies and children, I did find a few memorials of sorts. The more you walk around parks or gardens or zoos, the more you realize that little tiny memorial plaques dedicating objects to people are everywhere. This one was on a bridge between the Japanese garden and the woodland garden.
There was a also a birdbath with a dedication nearby.
The last one I photographed (because walking around a garden with children who are 2, 6, and 9 does not leave a lot of time for such pictures) was on a bench in the Hershey Children’s Garden.
These kinds of plaques are all around us. They are on benches, under trees, on sculptures, on bricks, and many other places. For many people they are probably more familiar than tombstones because not everyone walks around in graveyards. What does it mean? For a culture where death has evolved from a common part of everyday life to something compartmentalized and very separate, they hint that some people crave more immortalization than a traditional burial or cremation offer.