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The Ghoul Of Gettysburg?

Discussion in 'Period Civil War Photos & Examinations' started by Claude Bauer, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Claude Bauer

    Claude Bauer Corporal

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    The Ghoul Of Gettysburg.jpg

    The Gettysburg Museum of History posted this picture on Facebook today. Never heard of this fellow before or his nefarious deeds. Have to wonder if he really did rob the dead on the battlefield or whether this was just some poor geek they paid to pose for this photo so they would have a lurid souvenir picture to sell. I'm sure there were people out there robbing them--I've heard that souvenir collecting started almost immediately after the battle ended.

    The Museum describes it as:

    "A very rare CDV photo of "The Ghoul Of Gettysburg" This unidentified man according to local lore was arrested for robbing dead bodies on the Gettysburg Battlefield in the days following the battle. Little is known about this person or event. His photo was sold by local photographers. It was not a very popular view so very little were sold and even fewer exist
    today."

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2017

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  3. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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    That which once seen cannot be unseen.

    Thanks...I guess. Anyone able to look up more background? I can actually imagine how tempting it would be simply as revenge.
     
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  4. nitrofd

    nitrofd Major Forum Host

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    The guy from the museum is always trying to sell stuff on Pawn Stars so without good documentation I wouldn't put much faith in it.
     
  5. civilken

    civilken Sergeant Major

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    Very interesting in the book I am now reading they are talking about souvenir hunters and how they arrested I had never thought of it before but I guess people will do anything.
     
  6. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa 1st Lieutenant

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    I'm sure I posted photo of this guy a couple years ago. Can't remember his name. I keep a file of most photos I post. I'll try to find it.

    Edit: Here it is. A Battle-field Vulture, Godfor by name–one of those inhuman creatures who follow in the wake of armies, robbing the field of blankets, clothing, turning the pockets of the dead, &c.
    http://civilwartalk.com/threads/godfor-the-vulture-postbellum.86667/
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  7. civilken

    civilken Sergeant Major

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    I think this guy might be one of the men they were talking about in the book I am reading the book is about york Pennsylvania. I just moved here last year and picked up some books about their local history naturally part of it is about Gettysburg and the battle and early general early in york they were speaking about after the battle at all the souvenir collectors and ragman that dug up the bodies just for close how some were caught and made to rebury the bodies.
     
  8. 7th Texas Mounted Rifles

    7th Texas Mounted Rifles Sergeant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    This is the first i've ever seen or heard of this man.

    I'd wager that it was out of necessity rather than profit.

    His ailment/physical appearance would definitely have been an impenetrable barricade should he have tried to serve in the war, seek employment, etc.

    And we all know that the human race is scared of that which it does not understand or things that fall on the 'not normal' side of the fence... It's easy to demonize someone that is different.

    This poor fella probably couldn't even effectively beg.

    I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    He did what he had to in order to survive... And who knows, perhaps he took from the dead because he couldn't bring himself to victimize the living.
     
  9. 7th Texas Mounted Rifles

    7th Texas Mounted Rifles Sergeant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    I wonder if his affliction was simply Rhinophyma?

    I wonder if his tucked hand was intended as a gentlemanly pose, or if it serves to hide a deformity?

    Perhaps neuroendocrine acromegaly?
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  10. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa 1st Lieutenant

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    York, PA. Home of York barbells. What is the name of the book?

    I do agree his appearance would be a hindrance to gainful employment.
     
  11. D.H. Hill

    D.H. Hill Private

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    He ought to have stolen a better fitting pair of pants.

    I thought "ghoul" referred to those as EAT the dead rather than robbing them so was expecting something a little more gruesome.
     
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  12. TinCan

    TinCan Captain Forum Host

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    I probably couldn't help myself from picking up a fine Colt pistol and sticking it in my pocket, but that would be all.
     
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  13. Patrick H

    Patrick H Captain

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    He's certainly not the handsomest man we've seen on these pages. I cannot speculate about any diseases or physical processes that he might have going on. He certainly has wet, dirty thighs on his pants legs. I don't believe he has wet himself. I believe he has been handling wet stuff--carrying wet bundles around and bracing them up with his thighs.
     
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  14. civilken

    civilken Sergeant Major

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    You my friend have a good heart and not everyone is the same and some people are just crooks.
     
  15. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    No, I'm with 7th Texas. There's something not ok with this man. That he has some disorder seems terribly clear, what it is? He'd been thrown away since childhood one of our ( still ) bullied children on the playground, guaranteed. What he did was awful, no worse than the robbers who swiped articles belonging to the dead before they were buried, carried off swords, hats, knapsacks and whatever else was found on the battlefield beginning Jul 4, 1863. The police stopped tourist daily, recovering articles- haven't found photos of them. He's a handy target because he's unattractive, caught doing something dreadful.
     
  16. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 2nd Lieutenant

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    If you needed a pair of boots. From the picks i guess socks were forbotten. They had to be bad cause a change of socks is like is like christ to christians. His feet are very dirty. He has been running around like that.
    32914v.jpg

    This boy's feet are clean. His shoes and socks have been removed. Is he a Yankee?
    99858438.jpg
     
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  17. chubachus

    chubachus Sergeant

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    One interesting thing about the photograph is that the Tipton stereoview version's copyright date is 1886 which means it is at least that old. Another thing is that the size of the photographs in the stereoview are different than Tipton's other stereoviews which might mean that he acquired the negative used to print it from someone else. Also the photos in the stereoview version are not stereoscopic (just what looks like a CDV printed twice) which further supports this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
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  18. bankerpapaw

    bankerpapaw Sergeant Major

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    In his defense: I'm sure he wasn't the only one stealing from the dead. Doesn't make it right though.
     
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  19. civilken

    civilken Sergeant Major

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    I bow To your superior intellect, and yes you are quite right it's always easy to pick on people different than you.
     
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  20. CheathamHill

    CheathamHill First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    [QUO
    Both Confederate dead from Mahone I think at Petersburg. Now completely covered by inner city housing.
    What I didn't notice until now is that the first man was hit by a shell on his side or back and that is all blood and large intestines falling out. Outch. That had to hurt. Poor fella.
     
  21. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 2nd Lieutenant

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    Yeah. A loop of intestine.
     
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