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Our haunted ancestors

Discussion in 'Hauntings of the Great Rebellion' started by woodsman, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. woodsman

    woodsman Cadet

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    Hello everyone! I'm new and am wondering if someone could help me with some information. I know that we, in this time in history, are experiencing paranormal contacts (either directly or indirectly in one form or another) from our forbearers who fought so gallantly on those bloody grounds of the war, but I'm wondering if they, in their time, also had paranormal experiences of their own and were interested in them as we are now.
    I know that Mr. Lincoln sought the unknown and tried so desparately to contatact the other side. I'm just curious if others at that time (be they politician, general in the field, master or slave, wife, mother, son, daughter, soldier or anyone in Civil War Era society) had paranormal experiences and wrote of them and so, left us a record of what transpired in their now long distant lives. Any information that anyone could give would be greatly appreciated. Good day and good health to you all and to all of yours!
     

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  3. ewc

    ewc Cadet

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    There are many instances of premonition of death going into battle. I cannot refer you to any concise work though, woodsman, on the topic, but such accounts appear fairly frequently throughout the literature of the conflict. The phenomenon is addressed sublimely in the movie Glory when Colonel Shaw releases his horse to run up the beach and away before the assault on Ft Wagner. He knew he wouldn't be needing him any more.

    An interesting author to read on paranormal incidents of the war, though fiction, is Ambrose Bierce, any volume of his Civil War stories. An officer in the Western armies throughout the war, his feel for life in the army and in camp, march, and on the field comes right through the written page, as well as his macabre sense of the doings of men. Several stories in particular- A Baffled Ambuscade, A Tough Tussle, The Mockingbird, A Horseman in the Sky, Three and One Are One, Two Military Executions. All some of my very favorites. Sorry couldn't be more help, but am very interested in what may turn up in this query.
     
  4. seanachai

    seanachai Cadet

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    One instance that stands out quite clearly in my recollection is the wedding day of Brig. Gen. John Pegram and Miss Hettie Cary. While it had nothing to do with ghostly phenomena, it was most certainly a forshadowing for future events.

    "Two days before, I being confined to my room with a cold, Hetty had come, bringing her bridal veil that I, with our mothers, might be the first to see it tried on her lovely crown of auburn hair. As she turned from the mirror to salute us with a charming blush and smile, the mirror fell and was broken to small fragments, an accident afterward spoken of by the superstitious as one of a strange series of ominous happenings.

    While a congregation that crowded floor and galleries of the church waited an unusually long time for the arrival of bride and groom, my aunt and the other members of our family being already in their seats, I stood in the vestibule outside with Burton Harrison and Colonel L. Q. C. Lamar, speculating rather uneasily upon the cause of the delay. Mr. Harrison told us that Mrs. Davis (who tenderly loved and admired the bride) had begged to be allowed to send the President's carriage to drive her to the church, and he was sure it had been in prompt attendance at Colonel Peyton's door. Directly after, a shabby old Richmond hack drove up, halting before the church, and from it issued the bride and groom, looking a little perturbed, explaining that at the moment of setting out the President's horses had reared violently, refusing to go forward, and could not be controlled, so that they had been forced to get out of the carriage and send for another vehicle, at that date almost impossible to secure in Richmond.

    When the noble-looking young couple crossed the threshold of the church, my cousin dropped her lace handkerchief and, nobody perceiving it, stooped forward to pick it up, tearing the tulle veil over her face to almost its full length, then, regaining herself, walked with a slow and stately step toward the altar. As she passed there was a murmur of delight at her beauty, never more striking. Her complexion of pearly white, the vivid roses on her cheeks and lips, the sheen of her radiant hair, and the happy gleam of her beautiful brown eyes seemed to defy all sorrow, change, or fear. John Pegram, handsome and erect, looked as he felt, triumphant, the prize-winner - so the men called him - of the invincible beauty of her day. Miss Cary's brother, Captain Wilson Miles Cary, representing her absent father, gave away the bride. After the ceremony we, her nearest, crowded around the couple, wishing them the best happiness our loving hearts could picture. "--Constance Cary Harrison "Recollections Grave and Gay" pgs 202-203

    Three weeks later to the day, Brig Gen Pegram's funeral was held in the same church.

    Seanachai


     
  5. maryingettysburg

    maryingettysburg Cadet

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    Actually, the Devil's Den/Big ROund Top area was reputed to be haunted as early as the early 1600's. Early settlers to this area reported seeing "spook lights and hobgoblins" in what they called "Indian Field", the Slyder Farm field. It was called "Indian Field" as apparently there was a great battle fought in the Den/Big ROund Top area before the settlers came, and they would tell of hearing war whoops and sounds of battle. Confirmation of this great battle of Indian tribes was confirmed as tomahawaks and other Indian artifacts were found in the Den by citizens and by battlefield personnel. I got all this info from a fantastic and highly reccomended book by Smith & Adeleman entitled "Devil's Den, A History and Guide". Excellent book, and we've met the authors. They are quite knowledgeable and well respected.

    In summary, it seems the Den/BRT area was haunted for centuries. The big question I would like to know is, IF this is so, WHY? Why certain areas.....
     
  6. gary

    gary 1st Lieutenant

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    Why certain areas? Because they are natural fortifications to make a stand or strategically located for fights (ambush sites), campgrounds, villages.
     
  7. maryingettysburg

    maryingettysburg Cadet

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    I did not mean why in regards to military machinations, Gary. I meant in regards to unexplainable "occurances". The early settlers to the BRT/Den area reported "spook lights" and "hobgoblins" back in the 1600's. The Indian legends spoke of a monster snake, and some locals in the early 1600's claimed to have seen this snake. And those rocks at the Den left lasting impressions on even the soldiers that fought there. In journals and letters they spoke of The Den as "evil", "eerie", and "a place more likely the home of the Devil, I cannot imagine. It is aptly named". It had an "aura" to it.....long before the battle. By the way, those rocks have been dated by geologists as being 2 and a half million years old.
     
  8. MizzPaxson

    MizzPaxson Cadet

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  9. Hannah

    Hannah Sergeant Major

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    One of my great-uncles was killed in the war. His mother wore until the day that she died that she saw his ghost walk up to her and tell her not to cry when she got the news. A week later she had received the news that he had been killed.

    It's in a similar vein but I have a book called Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War by Christopher K. Coleman.

    The book does make mention of the 20th Maine seeing a ghost that resembled George Washington as well as some other ghost stories of the era.

    It's been eons since I've read the books but check out the Haunted Heartland and Haunted America books.
     
  10. ghostchaser

    ghostchaser Private

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    Thanks for the link, and welcome aboard. Chamberlain's acounts, on page 4, would be enough evidence for me to say that their are some "unsettled" spirits in that area.
     
  11. reading48

    reading48 1st Lieutenant

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    Hello and Greetings from Penna.
     
  12. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    I may be stepping on Gary's toes, but I suspect he meant what I was thinking as well.....those places, being more likely to have witnessed life and death situations such as battles or occupancy from earliest times, would seem more likely to attract the restless spirits of those who where there.
     

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