Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
We're very familiar with the 1863 sign within Evergreen Cemetery's gates prohibiting the discharge of firearms. Shattered windows on the Masser's side of the gatehouse and general debris beneath Elizabeth Thorn's laundry indicate perhaps no one saw it. The burnt bodies encountered by Elizabeth by her well are removed by the time of this photo, Elizabeth is just over the rise behind the gatehouse, with a shovel and pickax burying them and 100 others. Firearms discharged all the heck all over the place.
Kept running into references to H.J. Stahle's arrest sometime during the Gettysburg campaign. You see various stories. A Democrat running The Gettysburg Compiler, also a Burgess and involved in Gettysburg ' doins', he seems to have been darkly suspected of Southern sympathies- nothing new there. Not far from the border, men like Dr. O'Neil also openly expressed their loyalties and not to the Union. Heck, we have O'Neil as well as the Weavers to thank for ensuring Confederate grave sites were not lost and men were returned home when The Gettysburg Dead ' project commenced. Caring for wounded from both armies, Doc O'Neil took careful notes when coming across the grave of a Confederate soldier. Southern PA could be awfully Southern.
Only including one of several references in papers to HJ Stahle's arrest. None list why.
Anyway, articles in The Compiler unsurprisingly express outrage at Stahle's arrest, The Adams County Sentinel seems a little ' he had it coming ' smug. Conjecture was rife- he'd revealed the location of Union soldiers to Confederate authorties is one, another speculation held seems to have been he was just, plain considered an enemy.
SOOOO came across this. Newspapers at the time being what they were who knows how to judge veracity? CWT has a few knock-down, drag out experts in All-Thngs-Gettysburg, what better place to bring it up? I'd ' at ' those members but would forget someone and risk being annoying. IF true, it's a pretty darn good story. And I'm not saying it is. The thing is, there's the famous sign already in place in Evergreen Cemetery about how no shots were to be fired inside the grounds. Genesis? No idea.
DID H.J. Stahle remind both armies firing guns was forbidden inside the boundaries of Gettysburg? Best irony of the battle if so. Trying to shove Commanding generals around seems a good way to get yourself arrested. What's awfully interesting is this later story makes no mention of Stahle's arrest.
Gettysburg Borough forbid the firing of guns inside city limits just in time for two armies to collide there?
An editor with fine irony- " ... and they do say that there was firing ... "
Guessing poor H.J.'s story has been around- had it on a side burner to poke around in because it's Gettysburg. Everything is interesting. If true, can you imagine Lee and Meade's level of tolerance for a town official buzzing around ensuring no one fired a gun in his town? Maybe he was arrested as a Southern sympathizer or maybe just for being the most intrepid man in two armies.