Archive for April 21st, 2011

I’m sure the family of William Blair thought his fighting days were through by 1863. After all, by the outbreak of the Civil War, the veteran of the American Revolution had been dead for 59 years. But Mr. Blair took one more shot in the Civil War – or rather, his tombstone did.

Blair William (2)

Blair William (3)

The hole that damaged William Blair’s tombstone was caused when Confederates entered Carlisle during the Gettysburg campaign of 1863. Although the only major battle was fought a bit south in Gettysburg, there were skirmishes along the west shore of the Susquehanna River at several different points. During one of these, the tombstone was struck.

Blair William

At some later point, Blair’s tombstone was reset in a a larger monument. The larger stone contains his name and birth and death years as well as the notation that the damage to the original stone was caused during the Civil War. The walking tour distributed for the cemetery cautions visitors not to stick their fingers in the hole, as it is apparently a frequent home for wasps.

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