1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

Unseen Details in Familiar Photo

Discussion in 'Battle of Gettysburg' started by Gettysburg Greg, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Gettysburg Greg

    Gettysburg Greg Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Decatur, Illinois
    The top photo below is the untouched photograph of Lee's HQ on the Chambersburg Pike taken by Mathew Brady's crew o/a July 15, 1863. The widow Thompson can be sitting on a kitchen chair next to Brady's often photographed assistant. This is one of many Gettysburg photographs available to be downloaded from the Library of Congress in the high resolution format, tiff. Then the photo can be blown up to reveal very interesting and otherwise unseen details. Check out the details in the second photo below and you can clearly see that Brady can be seen somewhat camouflaged among the roses. Notice that the widow's roses and trellis appear to have survived the battle rather unscathed. Also, of particular interest to me is the horseshoe seen nailed to the fence post in the right foreground. I can't help but wonder if it was there prior to the battle. Was it placed there for luck and why is it oriented with the open end down. I have always heard that means your luck will run out so it is usually the case that you will see a good luck horseshoe with the open end up. Just one of my meaningless observations that I found interesting. :D
    leeshq4.jpg

    lees hq - Copy.jpg
     
    PeterT, 1stMN, bankerpapaw and 11 others like this.

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    8,495
    Location:
    England
    Some people orientate the horseshoe upside down so that the good luck and protective powers shower the ground and surround the home.
     
    PeterT, Eleanor Rose, Bee and 2 others like this.
  4. USS ALASKA

    USS ALASKA First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,107
    During WWII, both HMS Walker and U-99 used the horseshoe as ship insignia. Walker's faced up and U-99's faced down. When HMS Walker sank U-99 on 17 March 1941, Captain Donald Macintyre told Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer that the reason for U-99s loss was that his horseshoe was facing the wrong way and the luck was bound to run out.

    Source, The Golden Horseshoe: The Wartime Career of Otto Kretschmer, U-Boat Ace by Terence Robertson.

    Cheers,
    USS ALASKA
     
  5. James B White

    James B White Captain Trivia Game Winner Honored Fallen Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,183
    It looks like there's an iron ring below the horse-shoe, perhaps to keep the post from splitting where the holes were drilled/chiselled in it? Any other ideas what it's for? I wonder if the horse-shoe had anything to do with that, an additional thing to prevent splitting?

    None of the other posts have such openings. Was this post just randomly different, or was it a gate post for bars that were taken down as needed? Is that area beside it built up enough to be a road if necessary, not everyday use, but maybe occasionally to get equipment in and out of fields? I'm wondering if the other bar post, on the other end, was taken out for firewood if it was loose, but somehow there was a reason for the horse-shoe in connection with the iron ring, the chiselled hole and the missing bar.

    I went to find a picture of a bar gate just in case some people weren't familiar with it, and wow--I couldn't find a single one. Do modern people know what I'm talking about? Surely farmers do. It's a place where there are three or four bars run across from post to post, temporarily fastened in place by going into holes in the posts or something, and you take them down one at a time and set them aside to "open" the gate.
     
    Wallyfish and EJ Zander like this.
  6. EJ Zander

    EJ Zander First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,139
    Location:
    Gettysburg, PA
    There are those that say if u find a shoe to hang it from the nearest fence post. Some say luck some say for the owner to find it and reuse. Kinda like putting a hubcap on a post along the road.
    Some other horseshoe lore:
    *There are those that believe horseshoe nails are lucky. (Which is good cuz they are much more portable then the shoe itself and fit in your pocket better)
    * When churning butter if it doesnt gather to throw a shoe in the fire
    * Put a shoe in the fire to protect your sheep herd
    * A shoe nailed to the hog trough protects them

    Like old tires these things were quite plentiful. Folks have to get creative on finding uses for them. A buddy of mine welds them together in a pattern that forms a star. Looks great to.
     
    Yankeedave, PeterT, Bee and 3 others like this.
  7. Eleanor Rose

    Eleanor Rose Sergeant Major

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,975
    Location:
    central NC
    I can't spot Brady in the second picture. Please provide me with a little direction.
     
  8. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    12,876
    Standing directly behind the assistant, who is seated on the ground facing right.

    33002u.jpg

    That's some fine photo-sleuthing, @Gettysburg Greg !
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  9. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    8,495
    Location:
    England
    In fairness, U99 had previously survived 7 other attacks.
     
  10. Wallyfish

    Wallyfish Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Messages:
    829
    Location:
    Greensburg, Pa
    Great photos and conversations. My grandmother who was born in 1893 always believed that the horseshoe had to be in a U position, otherwise all the luck drained out. I grew up in a house built in the 1880's that had a horseshoe hanging in several rooms.

    Take a minute to look at this old Gettysburg Daily page on the Thompson House. Interestingly there is an identical photo taken as in Greg's post with no people shown. But the chair remains in the same position.

    There is also another photo taken on the east side of the home that possibly shows Mrs Thompson dressed in white along with possibly her daughter. However that person looks different than the older women who is seated. Check them out.

    http://www.gettysburgdaily.com/semi...-the-thompson-house-lees-headquarters-part-1/


    Another site below talks on Mary Thompson and the photo of her in this site looks like the person in Greg's posted photo.
    http://civilwarwomenblog.com/mary-thompson-house/


    Great stuff.
     
    Gettysburg Greg and EJ Zander like this.
  11. DixieRifles

    DixieRifles 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,968
    Location:
    Collierville, TN
    Was this house under any direct fire? Is there evidence of damage to the house or fence due to small arms fire??

    Regarding the horse shoe in the photo--- Sometimes I look at the close-up and I see a horse shoe with the horizontal ring. Then again I look at it and see the ring holding a vertical bar and the "horse shoe" is the top support for this bar. Just wondering if it really something else related to a gate hinge.
     
  12. Eleanor Rose

    Eleanor Rose Sergeant Major

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,975
    Location:
    central NC
    Thanks Andy! I was looking too hard!
     
  13. Bee

    Bee 1st Lieutenant Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,881
    Love the resolution!! Stands up well to enlargement!
     
    Gettysburg Greg likes this.
  14. John Winn

    John Winn Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    I've not read of any damage and I didn't see anything obvious when I had the chance to give it a close look in September. However, there was a lot of shooting on day one very near the house. It's pretty much in the middle of Buford's position. Apparently soldiers did not occupy the house during the first day's shooting so I'm going to guess that's why it wasn't directly targeted and thus didn't sustain damage.
     
  15. USS ALASKA

    USS ALASKA First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,107
    :sneaky: All those depth charges rattling the hull must have made the luck run out sooner, given the downward turned horseshoes...:wink:

    Cheers
    USS ALASKA
     
    Waterloo50 likes this.
  16. Schwallanscher

    Schwallanscher 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    4,906
    Location:
    berlin
    it was one of the better boats - and 'till this horseshoe-on-horseshoe incident it was quite lucky

    http://uboat.net/boats/u99.htm
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)