September 22, 2020
Sarah Ruth never knew for certain what happened to her son, Amos, at Gettysburg. Her efforts to secure a pension opened anew the wounds and heartache of losing a son in battle. Like so many others, Amos Ruth was likely killed and buried as an unknown, though his family would never receive that closure they so desperately sought.
August 26, 2020
The Civil War was an unprecedented event in United States history that reached every corner of the country. Thousands of men lost their lives at Gettysburg in 1863 in a battle for freedom and unity; a battle whose after-effects still reach us today. Though the story of these men is one to be remembered, we often forget about the people they left behind.
August 07, 2020
While best remembered as the Confederate general who sparked the Battle of Gettysburg, Henry Heth was a career army man who spent many a year on the American frontier. Discover more about his life and army service prior to the Civil War.
July 29, 2020
The line between freedom and slavery in antebellum Gettysburg was remarkably thin. Slaveholders frequently crossed the border in pursuit of freedom seekers and free people of color who could pass as fugitives. Catherine “Kitty” Payne and her children, Eliza, Mary, and James, were a legally emancipated family living in Adams County, Pennsylvania, when Samuel Maddox, Jr., had them seized as slaves in July 1845.
July 20, 2020
On June 21, 1863, the soldiers of Col. Strong Vincent's Union brigade, who would earn great glory for their heroic defense of Little Round Top at Gettysburg, engaged in a fierce though overlooked battle with Confederate horsemen at Goose Creek Bridge near Middleburg, Virginia. Discover more about this little-known but lively fight.
July 15, 2020
The first African American regiment to be raised in the North, east of the Mississippi River, the 54th Massachusetts ranks among the famous fighting units of the American Civil War. But did you know that when the 54th Massachusetts first departed Boston for the seat of war, there were more men from Pennsylvania within its ranks than from any other state? At least 124 of its soldiers were from south-central Pennsylvania, with two identifying Gettysburg as their place of birth
July 11, 2020
The council of war held by General George Meade late on the night of July 2, 1863, is well known. But this was by no means Meade's only council. Although less known, he summoned his subordinates once more on July 4 to discuss the pursuit of the Confederate army. The consensus reached at this meeting generated much criticism of Meade. Read more about this forgotten council of war. . .
June 18, 2020
The American Civil War touched the lives of almost every American. Women watched their husbands and brothers march off to war, and fathers and sons fought together on fields of battle, sometimes side by side and occasionally under the enemy’s flag. Factories were built and burned to the ground and millions of enslaved people wondered what this fighting would mean for their futures.
June 10, 2020
Though the Battle of Brandy Station is remembered as the largest cavalry engagement of the American Civil War, discussion of the aftermath is often lost as the Gettysburg Campaign marched north towards Pennsylvania. Much like soldiers, homes, churches, and communities also became casualties of the fighting. Many of these historic structures retain strong associations with actions that raged around them. Brandy Station is no different.
June 09, 2020
“A battle so fierce that friends and foes knew not who they fought, or behind which banner they charged.” The Battle of Brandy Station, fought on June 9, 1863, would become the largest cavalry engagement ever fought on the North American continent. It was said by one of the aides to Confederate Major General J.E.B. Stuart that “Brandy Station made the Federal cavalry.”
June 01, 2020
In the face of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate invasion, African Americans fled en masse, fearing enslavement. Abraham Brian, a farmer on Cemetery Ridge, left with his family. Basil Biggs, a veterinarian, made a hasty retreat, as did Owen Robinson, a retailer of oysters and ice cream. They knew better than anyone that Gettysburg was not safe for people of color.