Gettysburg Reunion, 1869, A Big Oops?

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,664
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Had not heard of any " Gettysburg Reunion ", circa 1869.

A few things.

*Officers only, seemed a little high-handed.
*There was a brand, new hotel opening with accusations the timing was very suspect.
*Pennsylvania's involvement with land-buys and the Federal Treasury's interest in land looked very ugly.
*Evergreen Cemetery's David McConaugh had somehow become president of Gettysburg's Battlefield Association, no one was quite certain how. The GAR was already looking at the guy through non-rose colored glasses.
*Balls and glitz were on the program. With so many soldiers recently dead not many feet away this was considered in poor taste by the public.
*Finally, it was poorly attended by the South, RE Lee's sentiments seem to be reflective of most albeit put more gracefully than several I found.
Really finally, when the topic of " Gettysburg Reunions " comes up, who in blazes has heard of this one?

re c2.JPG


1869 was really far, far too soon for a ' reunion' slash hotel opening slash ball slash land buy slash let the governor het involved slash what-about-all-the-men-who-were-not-officers?





re1.JPG

re2.JPG

re3.JPG

re4.JPG


I'm not saying this isn't sheer snark from someone- but was it?
re p1.JPG
re p2.JPG


You can't tell how much of this reporter was tongue in cheek or tongue swallowed.
reu1.JPG
reu2.JPG
reu3.JPG
reu4.JPG
reu5.JPG


Little snark there! Very good snark, too.
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

48th Miss.

First Sergeant
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
1,143
Location
North Carolina
Had not heard of any " Gettysburg Reunion ", circa 1869.

A few things.

*Officers only, seemed a little high-handed.
*There was a brand, new hotel opening with accusations the timing was very suspect.
*Pennsylvania's involvement with land-buys and the Federal Treasury's interest in land looked very ugly.
*Evergreen Cemetery's David McConaugh had somehow become president of Gettysburg's Battlefield Association, no one was quite certain how. The GAR was already looking at the guy through non-rose colored glasses.
*Balls and glitz were on the program. With so many soldiers recently dead not many feet away this was considered in poor taste by the public.
*Finally, it was poorly attended by the South, RE Lee's sentiments seem to be reflective of most albeit put more gracefully than several I found.
Really finally, when the topic of " Gettysburg Reunions " comes up, who in blazes has heard of this one?

View attachment 106246

1869 was really far, far too soon for a ' reunion' slash hotel opening slash ball slash land buy slash let the governor het involved slash what-about-all-the-men-who-were-not-officers?





View attachment 106242
View attachment 106243
View attachment 106244
View attachment 106245

I'm not saying this isn't sheer snark from someone- but was it?
View attachment 106247 View attachment 106248

You can't tell how much of this reporter was tongue in cheek or tongue swallowed.
View attachment 106249 View attachment 106250 View attachment 106251 View attachment 106252 View attachment 106253

Little snark there! Very good snark, too.
Great, does seem a bit to soon. The Battlefields would still be littered.

My GGGrandfather attended the 50th and had a grand time. He wrote 3 or so articles on it for the hometown paper of which I have the orginals. He even ran into a childhood friend who had moved North and fought on that side. Wonderful time of comradary for all it seemed.

Even his Unit waited 15 years, if memory serves, to have its first reunion.

Great post, thanks
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,664
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Great, does seem a bit to soon. The Battlefields would still be littered.

My GGGrandfather attended the 50th and had a grand time. He wrote 3 or so articles on it for the hometown paper of which I have the orginals. He even ran into a childhood friend who had moved North and fought on that side. Wonderful time of comradary for all it seemed.

Even his Unit waited 15 years, if memory serves, to have its first reunion.

Great post, thanks

It seemed too interesting not to clip? Plus, a reunion without the men who fought was just weird. And yes, too soon, my goodness, especially for the South whose families were right, smack in the middle of this effort to bring their men home! I was pretty struck no article mentioned that. No one was listening- the Confederate dead of the battle were still not given proper burials, at home. Guy named Weaver was contacted to help- long story but none of that was mentioned.

Boy, those newspapers articles your grgrgrandfather wrote would be some family treasures! You could see where the men would not want to face a get-together before 50 years, why? None of us can know what these men saw and experienced. When I saw ' reunion, 1869 ' I thought, " what? " Definitley, no one asked the veterans if it was a good idea- of course, no one invited them either.
 

Yankeedave

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
4,764
Location
Colorado
I am not sure how a gathering then would be any different later. Still dancing over the same graves. And still today i suspect there are some dead that are waiting to be found. Perhaps the wounds were still to raw...
 

War Horse

Captain
Forum Host
Member of the Year
Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Messages
6,559
Location
Lexington, SC
Had not heard of any " Gettysburg Reunion ", circa 1869.

A few things.

*Officers only, seemed a little high-handed.
*There was a brand, new hotel opening with accusations the timing was very suspect.
*Pennsylvania's involvement with land-buys and the Federal Treasury's interest in land looked very ugly.
*Evergreen Cemetery's David McConaugh had somehow become president of Gettysburg's Battlefield Association, no one was quite certain how. The GAR was already looking at the guy through non-rose colored glasses.
*Balls and glitz were on the program. With so many soldiers recently dead not many feet away this was considered in poor taste by the public.
*Finally, it was poorly attended by the South, RE Lee's sentiments seem to be reflective of most albeit put more gracefully than several I found.
Really finally, when the topic of " Gettysburg Reunions " comes up, who in blazes has heard of this one?

View attachment 106246

1869 was really far, far too soon for a ' reunion' slash hotel opening slash ball slash land buy slash let the governor het involved slash what-about-all-the-men-who-were-not-officers?





View attachment 106242
View attachment 106243
View attachment 106244
View attachment 106245

I'm not saying this isn't sheer snark from someone- but was it?
View attachment 106247 View attachment 106248

You can't tell how much of this reporter was tongue in cheek or tongue swallowed.
View attachment 106249 View attachment 106250 View attachment 106251 View attachment 106252 View attachment 106253

Little snark there! Very good snark, too.
Interesting stuff JPK. I had no idea of any of this.
 

48th Miss.

First Sergeant
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
1,143
Location
North Carolina
It seemed too interesting not to clip? Plus, a reunion without the men who fought was just weird. And yes, too soon, my goodness, especially for the South whose families were right, smack in the middle of this effort to bring their men home! I was pretty struck no article mentioned that. No one was listening- the Confederate dead of the battle were still not given proper burials, at home. Guy named Weaver was contacted to help- long story but none of that was mentioned.

Boy, those newspapers articles your grgrgrandfather wrote would be some family treasures! You could see where the men would not want to face a get-together before 50 years, why? None of us can know what these men saw and experienced. When I saw ' reunion, 1869 ' I thought, " what? " Definitley, no one asked the veterans if it was a good idea- of course, no one invited them either.
They are indeed a treasure. I have 3 scrap books of his and more. Some articles he wrote and some he clipped along with a letter written from Hagerstown shortly after Gettysburg. I will see if i can figure a way to post them to this thread since they are related to the subject of Gettysburg.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,664
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Politics at its best in the 1860s do you think the Republicans were trying to say something about the Pennsylvania Democrats.
It seems ' something ' really was going on? As John Winn said- despicable. We've seen this in other areas of the war but boy, between self interest and state interest our war dead, North and South ( remember Confederate graves were still untouched all over the battlefield in 1869 ) were just literally walked all over. Neither party was clean. There was money to be made.

McConaugah appointed himself King. Elizabeth Thorn reported his intention was to have those killed in the battle ' delivered ' to Evergreen Cemetery. He was president there. Having failed that he started a battlefield association, abysmal in intent with hotels and tourist draws- and seriously, beautiful fountains, etc., in landscaped settings. It does sound as if this 1869 ' reunion ' was more a sales pitch, the new hotel just having opened, officers only invited and a massive amount of invited press. I can't remember which year the GAR roared into town but roar they did. That is a whole, 'nother story but the battlefield ' changed hands ' in a big hurry. Men, soldiers in the ranks who fought there could represent those who died there.

Greedy Yankee merchants indeed
It sounds to me like the whole state, at that level could go under that heading, and I'm a shameless lover of my state. This was a crime. The shame was, that none of them had had a thing to do with the battle or aftermath, and this McConaugah guy did not, either. Can't find where he nursed wounded in his home or helped dig graves or pitched in. Gettysburg citizens, whose homes were literally filled with wounded and struggled to put Union and Confederate soldiers back into the world, whole, were victims again. Another invasion took over their town.

They are indeed a treasure. I have 3 scrap books of his and more. Some articles he wrote and some he clipped along with a letter written from Hagerstown shortly after Gettysburg. I will see if i can figure a way to post them to this thread since they are related to the subject of Gettysburg.

Oh my, yes, although if you would like his own thread, too, please feel free to create one! It's always so surreal, reading the words of someone who was there at the time, isn't it? It's as close as we'll ever get to being there, appreciate you sharing his words- thanks very much!
 

48th Miss.

First Sergeant
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
1,143
Location
North Carolina
Here is a letter, written July 9, 1863, that my GGGrandfather wrote after Gettysburg. His Daughter, I believe transcribed it and sent it to the Vicksburg Evening Post, July 19th, 1913 seven years prior to his death in 1920. I will post it here and later start a thread possible of its own or for letters from the front. I am still looking for my scan of the 50th reunion and will post it as well. It is a great story that shows the general respect each side had for each other after so long a time and good time had by all when the time was more appropriate for a remembrance of a battle that cost so much.

The scan is there but does not show open like @JPKHuson 1863 original scan. Please advise as to how It can be corrected to show in the thread. Thanks

EDIT.....SEE POST 23 FOR BETTER SHOT. Sorry but had to learn somewhere, sometime.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

48th Miss.

First Sergeant
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
1,143
Location
North Carolina
20160731_142211.jpg

The title is self explanatory and from the 50 th Anniversary of Gettysburg. My apologies for the sideways shot from my phone. PErhaps it can be turned on a PC or somebody can school me or fix it. I will not be offended. Thanks

EDIT RE-POSTED AT # 20 CORRECTLY
 
Last edited:

Yankeedave

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
4,764
Location
Colorado
View attachment 106485
The title is self explainatory and from the 50 lth Anniversary of Gettysburg. My apologies for the sideways shot from my phone. Purhaps it can be turned on a PC or somebody can school me or fix it. I will not be offended. Thanks
I am still trying to figure the phone posting picture thing myself. Most of mine want to be upside down...
 

48th Miss.

First Sergeant
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
1,143
Location
North Carolina
assuming you use windows

just rightclick and select 'turn to the right' or somesuch

edit: you need to download it to your computer first
Thanks. My computer does not recognize my phone, too old. But that reminded me that my sons lap top will be available early this week and can fix this. Thank you. Hold on the light bulb just went off. Be right back. ....
 


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top