Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
In late June 1863 Mrs. Peter Thorn, Elizabeth, was a pregnant immigrant mother caring for two small boys and left sole caretaker of Evergreen Cemetery while husband Peter went to war. Her parents could help, their home in the other side of teeny living quarters.
If you've been to PA you'll understand we Pennsylvanians can take the scenery for granted. PA hills and small mountains roll from border to border, you can't count the number of small towns tucked inside those encircling arms. There's generally a river somewhere, fed by creeks and streams. Well, cricks. Penn thought it a good idea inserting German immigrants between those pesky, annoyed Native Americans and his Quakers. They'd be slaughtered and heck, once the danger was over land could be routed back through Penn's hands. He miscalculated a German farmer's tenacity and passion for fertile fields of his own. Germans aren't dislodged easily. Their farms still dot this valley end to end- it's sincerely breathtaking.
From June 23rd, 1863. A Dr. O'Neal moved his office. A Southern transplant he was viewed with suspicion by some local residents. Because he'd chosen Gettysburg, Adams county in Pennsylvania men marching towards him when this was printed would one day finally leave. Days later O'Neal carefully marked every Confederate grave encountered as the battle transpired. Notes were used when the Weavers, father and son, were locating graves.
Commerce of course rolled in. Towns whose wealth was based in agriculture or coal or canals and railroads attracted more commerce , churches were founded as well as banks, schools and other elements necessary to support these little ' burgs '. It was Gettysburg, Adams county's setting ( pretty much ) in June 1863. One civilian wrote later the town had suffered continual alarms, threatened invasions kept them on edge. Men like Peter Thorn, Evergreen Cemetery keeper and father of two boys left for war. Young men studying at Pennsylvania College, an eye on the PA border and a not very distant war formed their militia. You hear Gettysburg described as a ' sleepy ' little town. It wasn't. Sounds as bustling as any city, just better looking.
And there's this. It's the usual Victorian run-on advertisement by McIlheny's store. Ad ran in The Adam's Country Sentinel several months in a row. This snip is from June 23rd.
I realize the whole ' shoe ' legend is now held to be myth. But. This account by a veteran in a much later edition seems to confirm it, at least somewhat.
No idea why the ' befores ' get to me. Gettysburg's ' after ' forever marked not just this town but all American history. Presidents came there, books past counting, then movies have tried to convey ' Gettysburg ' in the summer of 1863. What's always surreal to me is seeing the town, it's now famous names and places waiting for it all to happen. It's where everything was, like a set stage before Gettysburg became " Gettysburg ".
You get a macabre kick out of these, and the one where an ordnance had just been passed where no discharge of firearms within Evergreen Cemetery was allowed.
Produce taken in exchange for work! The company may have been in financial trouble, something that would change in around a week.
It's all so summer. The Reformed Church's Strawberry Festival. Post battle all the churches in town had to share the $500 bucks our government doled out to repair them. Blood soaked pews and carpets had to be replaced, pock marked doors, shattered windows and blasted roofs repaired before services could be held.
Dr's Cress and Taylor were unaware they'd have around another week before being plunged into History.
And the Children's Aid Society thought this pretty little town a wonderful place for children. They were coming, " seeking homes for them in the country ".
That Lee was coming to takes up an article here there, maybe no one could blame them. No one knew what would transpire, if anything did, no one could really do much about it.
No surprise can possibly take place.
There's more, not just clippings. A day or so before July 1st, there's still time.