Posts Tagged ‘civil war’

Mumma Cemetery (1)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

In the middle of the Antietam National Battlefield, you come upon a cemetery.

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In 1862, Samuel and Elizabeth Mumma resided on 150 acres of this land, including the cemetery, with their ten children. By the time of the battle, the cemetery had existed for more than 60 years. Prior to the Mummas, the Orndorff family owned this farm, and Major Christian Orndorff was interred in the cemetery in 1797. The Mummas acquired the property in 1811.

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As troops approached Sharpsburg, the Mumma family fled their farm and took shelter at a nearby church. When they returned after the battle, they discovered that Confederates had burned their farmhouse to prevent it from being used by Union sharpshooters.

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In the 1870s, the family deeded the land to allow burials of other community members, particularly congregants from nearby Dunker Church – itself constructed on land donated by the family prior to the war.

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Ringwalt Lewis

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54th Massachusetts Monument

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Original quilt (1)

Original quilt (2)

On the way home this weekend, we made an impulsive stop at Antietam National Battlefield just outside Sharpsburg, Maryland. It was a whim, but we really couldn’t have picked a better time. Not only was there an artillery demonstration by a crew of re-enactors, but there was a textile display, and one of the central pieces was this quilt. It’s different from what I used to post about. The Pry Memory quilt was created when, following the battle, the Pry family moved to Tennessee. The signatures on the quilt blocks allowed the piece to be traced back to its origins.

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Jennie Wade house

Jennie Wade statue

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.

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Jennie Wade birthplace

Jennie Wade birthplace (2)

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.

House plaques

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).

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Peace Light

The Eternal Peace Light Memorial overlooks the scene of the early fighting of the Battle of Gettysburg, atop Oak Hill. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the monument in 1938 as part of the final Blue and Gray reunion on the 75th anniversary of the battle. In attendance were approximately 1,800 remaining veterans of the Union and Confederate armies, the youngest of whom was 88 years old. Built on northern and southern donations, the memorial is topped with an eternal flame. You can hear Roosevelt’s remarks and view photos from the event here.

It’s also the subject of one of the earliest photos I ever took with my own camera that was worth keeping.

1989 Gettysburg Field Trip

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