Posts Tagged ‘gettysburg campaign’

Chestnut Hill Cemetery (6)

We just took a brief drive around Chestnut Hill Cemetery. According the “Civil War on the West Shore” self-guided tour available from the Cumberland County Visitors Bureau, during the Gettysburg campaign, this Chestnut Hill Cemetery was mistaken for an entrenched Union position and caused the Confederates to change the direction of their advance. I never thought there were soldiers camped up there, but I can honestly say that after having driven/ridden by the eastern side of the cemetery probably well over 100 timers in my life, I also never realized there was a graveyard there. You can’t see any of what is up on the plateau from below.

Chestnut Hill Cemetery (7)

Other than the cemetery sign and driveway, the only item really visible from the road to the north is this one vault built into the hillside.


These photos were taken from the road that clings tightly to the side of the hill to provide access to the cemetery.

Chestnut Hill Cemetery (2)

Chestnut Hill Cemetery (4)

And here is the drop-off down to the main roadway, as photographed from the passenger side of the car.

Chestnut Hill Cemetery (3)

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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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