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Stories From Gettysburg

Thanks for joining us earlier this month during our live stream from the Gettysburg battlefield. It was our privilege to work with the American Battlefield Trust as we learned more about this important battle. We’re highlighting a few of the soldier’s stories and artifacts you may have missed during the broadcast. Our special thanks to David Malgee from the Gettysburg Foundation. His amazing collection of Gettysburg artifacts are both a poignant and illustrative reminder of the impact this battle had on so many soldiers, their families, and communities back home.

John F. Payne discharge paper

John F. Payne enlisted as a private in the Virginia 18th Regiment, Company A, on April 23, 1861, in Danville, Virginia. He was admitted to a hospital in Petersburg under the care of Dr. John Claiborne and discharged in March 1863. He folded up his discharge paper and placed it in his coat pocket and rejoined his regiment. On July 3, the Virginia 18th took part in Pickett’s Charge, the deadly infantry assault on the last day of battle at Gettysburg. Payne was shot in the chest and died on the battlefield. A Union soldier, rifling through his coat pocket, found his folded hospital discharge paper, stained with blood. He scrawled “Rebel Blood” across the document and kept it as a souvenir. This blood-stained record represents just one of the many Confederate deaths during Pickett’s Charge. Learn more about Payne in this video.

Edwin R. Good camp hatchet

Edwin R. Good enlisted in the New Jersey 11th Infantry, Company F, in August 1862. He was later promoted to lieutenant and wounded during the Battle of Chancellorsville. During the Battle of Gettysburg, he was wounded three times. He was hospitalized and tried to return to the battlefield but was later discharged for disability. Pictured here is the camp hatchet Lt. Good used during the war. It is engraved with his regiment and company. Learn more about Lt. Good in this video.

John Allen Kelly was born in April 1841 in Alabama. He enlisted in the 13th Mississippi, Company I, in April 1861, the day before his 20th birthday. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the 13th took part in the assault on the Peach Orchard and adjacent positions. Kelly’s company took heavy casualties but he survived. In 1909, Kelly attended a Confederate Civil War reunion. When asked if he was happy to be there, Kelly responded, “I suppose I am. When I take into consideration the fact that out of 46 members of my company who went into the Battle of Gettysburg, 41 of them were killed, wounded, or missing. Why shouldn’t I be glad?” Pictured here is John Kelly’s 1855 Springfield rifle. Learn more about Kelly in this video from the live stream.  

John A. Kelly’s 1855 Springfield rifle

Francis “Frank” Chester Goodrich was born June 1, 1837, in New Hampshire. He received an appointment at West Point but transferred to Harvard University after a short time. In 1861, Goodrich enlisted in the Massachusetts 3rd Infantry, Company B. He later transferred to the 2nd U.S. Infantry, serving as a lieutenant. On July 2, 1863, during the Battle of Gettysburg, Goodrich was killed during the fighting at the Wheatfield. He was 26 years old. His body was temporarily buried on the battlefield where he fell. This original battlefield grave marker marked the spot. His father later came to Gettysburg and had his son’s body exhumed and brought back to New England for burial. Learn more about Goodrich in this video.

We’d love to hear your feedback about the Gettysburg live stream. Did you enjoy it? Do you have any suggestions on how we can improve? To see all the live stream videos you may have missed, click here. To research your own Civil War story, search our Civil War record collection on Fold3® today!  


  1. D. Michael says:

    John F. Payne the subject of your article had a friend, my 2nd great grandfather James C. Farley. James joined the 18th Virginia on 2/28/62 in Nottoway Virginia and also was in Pickett’s charge with the 18th. Front row all the way to “The Angle” where he was wounded and captured there but by good fortune was exchanged and survived the war actually living until 1916. I have great interest in the 18th Virginia and the history of the battle at Gettysburg. I was able to research my gramp’s records in the archives in Gettysburg it was exciting and informative.

    • Make sure you check out the video that shows the artifact for John Payne and the Pickett’s Charge videos from Gettysburg Live 158! I think you will enjoy them!

    • p. turner says:

      Just as a suggestion, it would be better to list dates such as 2/28/62 as 2/28/1862 instead. I was at first taken aback when I read “62” then realized you did not mean 1962.

    • Anita Law Beaty says:

      My great grandfather was General Evander McIver Law and was very visible from the march on the Emitsburg Road to assault on Little Round Top to Devils Den. Are there articles on this site that include him?

      The Park Rangers at Gettysburg took us on a personal tour that included a reenact who played Gen. Law.

      Anita Law Beaty.

    • Judge Mark Anderson says:

      Try “Law’s Alabama Brigade in the War between the Union & the Confederacy”; Shippensburg, Pa.; White Man Publishing Co., 1996. You probably can find a copy on the website “”

    • Judge Mark Anderson says:

      i forgot to give you the authors: J. Gary Laine & Morris M. Penny

  2. A maternal 3rd great uncle, Sgt F M Ragland, was killed at Gettysburg on 3 July, 1863. He fought for the Confederacy and had enlisted in Mississippi. He had never married, and was 24.

  3. Gary Howell says:

    What truly unique, personal views of the Gettysburg battle. Seeing the blood stained discharge papers of John Payne brings reality to an event that was over 150 years ago. I was a history teacher in my earlier life and stressed the Civil War period. Sadly, that no longer is the case in today’s classrooms. If people could grasp the enormity of the Civil War, I truly believe they would better understand where we are today. It would not make slavery acceptable—it can never be—but, when they consider the 600,000+ deaths and utter destruction-especially in the South-it might take the edge off some of the rhetoric.

    • Johnny Dale Ellis says:

      Mr. Howell,
      I believe Sir that you are correct in your observation about understanding. It is my belief that a reeducation of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address is badly needed in this time of political and moral strife. I’m it he speaks of Hallowed ground. I do not think he was only referring to as effort by Union troops. Those Southern troops that she’d their lives blood on that ground were largely uneducated in the nuanced politics of the time. They only knew that their homes were being threatened and for that they would sacrifice all. That is my definition of Hallowing and it should be respected as such today and forever.
      Thank you for your conversation
      John Ellis

    • Judge Mark Anderson says:

      I could not agree with Mr. Ellis more. Lincoln said: “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract”. For there to be a struggle, there must be opposing powers, in this case, Union AND Confederate. The current “enlightened” critics of our history do not attempt to add, or even to maintain, our history; only to detract. Judge Mark Anderson, “the Last Confederate”.

    • Joan says:

      That saying about knowing history and thus not repeating our mistakes is lost on deaf ears. We are so divided as a nation and until people start putting their country and their neighbors before themselves then I am afraid that our nation will only become more entrenched in divisiveness . Once again, the southern states are separating from the rest of the nation as politics invade their thoughts .. I don’t even want to get into the COVID vaccination reasons given NOT to get vaccinated. They may not be hitting one another with a wooden cane or threatening to secede but we are divided , nonetheless. Not just the south but midwestern /western states .. and a recent poll shows those even in California having a high % of those wanting to break from our imperfect union. History Learn It .. Don’t throw your 2nd amendment right at another if you have no clue what the other amendments are .. Don’t let our nation stumble due to pigheadedness and falling into vats of lies so easily believed today when leaders and politicians are backing them. Good people seem to gravitate towards learning about the Civil war.. I wonder why that is…

    • James Rowan says:

      it is so true what you say , the war needs to be told in events like I just read and many would react different when you mention the War , and want to learn more . All had relatives that were in it and for many reasons and many items were brought home and put in special places in the home for others to see.

  4. Timothy A Aines says:

    Great stories – all. Keep ’em coming.

    • Fascinating reading! The Civil War should be taught in school in an unbiased way. It’s a sad time in our nation’s history, but everyone needs to know about it.

  5. Robert W Hunnicutt says:

    CPL Levi Columbus Antrim
    BIRTH 1838
    Ohio, USA
    DEATH 3 Jul 1863 (aged 24–25)
    Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
    Gettysburg National Cemetery
    Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
    PLOT Indiana Plot, Section D, Site #4

    Levi’s brother:

    William Henry Harrison Antrim
    BIRTH 1 Dec 1842
    Huntsville, Madison County, Indiana, USA
    DEATH 10 Dec 1922 (aged 80)
    Adelaida, San Luis Obispo County, California, USA
    San Miguel District Cemetery
    San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, California, USA

    Both brothers fought in the Civil War on the side of the Union, with the Indiana regulars.

    William has further storied history:

    He was the step-father of Billy the Kid.

    Antrim moved to Wichita in 1870,where he met Catherine McCarty and her two sons, Henry (Billy the Kid) and Joseph. He moved with them to New Mexico and the couple was married in Santa Fe. Shortly after, they moved to Silver City where Catherine died of tuberculosis in 1874. Rather than care for his stepsons, Antrim sent them to live with friends of the family while he tried his hand at prospecting. Antrim was friendly with Joe but wanted nothing to do with Henry (and the feeling was mutual). Antrim eventually moved to California to live with his niece and died in 1922.

    History is entwined, and two fabulous cousins that were part of our American history.

  6. Judge Mark Anderson says:

    My great-grandfather, George Washington Morris, (that name was honored in those days) was in Co. E, 10th Alabama, Wilcox’s Brigade, Anderson’s Division, Hill’s Corps, ANV. When it was too late to help Pickett, his brigade was sent forward over the same ground they had fought over on July 2nd. He survived and surrendered at Appomattox. No one in his farm family owned slaves. He fought for his home and the right of self-determination. I proudly honor him and his comrades

    • Randolph M. King says:

      Surprised some wise-guy doesn’t have this information banned from public knowledge. This is just so very stupid. Most of these WOK folks just don’t recognize the damage they are doing to this Great Nation with their attempt to suppress historical information, destroy statues, and etc. which offer the views, insights and etc. of those who supported the Confederate States of America. Those folks who represented both the North and the South in this great struggle were all Americans and all deserve to be treated as such. Can’t think of anyone who has never made a mistake, not even Joe Biden! I am very proud of those ancestors I had who decided to shed their blood for a cause in which they truly believed. This cause included many other issues than the issue of slavery and it is very sad that these other causes are seldom mentioned.

    • Judge Mark Anderson says:


  7. Frances Stanley says:

    My 3rd great uncle Moses Eudailey died in Gettysburg July 4 1863 he was 39. From what I have found he was in the Virginia 2nd Artillery.

  8. Charles R Waldridge says:

    Great information on Gettysburg, it combatants and of the real human drama.

  9. Philip Pokryfke says:

    My 2nd Great Grandfather, Charles Lyman Guild, was a Sergeant in “C” Company, 154th New York, “The Hardtack Regiment”. He was captured on the first day of battle at Gettysburg, July 1st, during the engagement at the brickyard. He died in captivity at Belle Isle Prison, Virginia.

  10. William Crews says:

    Alexander Lafayette Price Williams, my 1st cousin, 3 times removed carried the battle flag of the 56th Virginia Infantry in the 2nd wave of Pickett’s charges. He was wounded, and most of his escorts were killed. He lay on the battlefield for several days, then given some medical care. He was then paroled and sent back. He rejoined his unit and ended the war with the rest of the army. He returned to Halifax County, VA, and later moved to Tennessee. He participated in a study done in the early 1920’s, which is available to read in the Tennessee State Library.

    • Charlene Kozlowski says:

      You referenced a study archived in the Tennessee State Library. What was the study about — Confederate Veterans? Thanks for sharing.

    • Joanie Cool Jackson says:

      I have the 5 volume set of The Tennessee Civil War Veterans Questionnaires and looked up your ancestor, Alexander Lafayette Price Williams. He left quite a lengthy entry! If you have not looked through the entries of the Veterans, do so, fascinating reading from the memories of those who were there!!

  11. Robert Lee Taylor, III says:

    This is such wonderful information and comments.
    As a retired U. S. History Teacher it saddens me to see what a ‘woke’ generation has done to the teaching of this subject matter. Those who used to be American historical heroes are now being denigrated to something less than human. Sad. Hopefully, our once great nation will awake from its self-enforced punishment for every wrong and perceived wrong our great historical figures committed. I read a few days ago that a statue of Robert E. Lee was removed in Charlottesville, Virginia. In my county seat there is a move to removed a statue of George Custer. Again, sad. Lord, help us see.

    • Judge Mark Anderson says:

      Where will it end? I have admired Custer since my youth. In spite of the ravages and arrogance that he inflicted on my people during the WBTS, I had a print of his Last Stand on my bedroom wall. What a man! But for Reno’s actions or failure to act, The Little Big Horn might have turned out so differently. Go there. You can feel it, even 150 years later.

    • Bill Whitlow says:

      I could not agree more with your plea of “Lord, help us see.” But we need to see with eyes that have not been dimmed by whitewashing history. I was born a Virginian and grew up in the lore of the South – John Mosby (the Grey Ghost), Stonewall Jackson, Robert E Lee – thinking that Grant was a bulldog but no great general who just had more troops to expend. Ron Chernow’s biography of Grant has opened my eyes to a different narrative and when I visited Gettysburg for the first time this past June, I was most struck by how no mention was made of either any Black troops fighting in that battle or any of the slaves that tended Confederate officers. The story of a grand reconciliation that is celebrated in the reunions at Gettysburg is a story of reconciliation of white soldiers, without any recognition of the facts that the Confederates were in fact insurrectionists and their cause was in fact the perpetuation of slavery.

    • Bill Whitlow,

      I challenge you on this statement you made— “The story of a grand reconciliation that is celebrated in the reunions at Gettysburg is a story of reconciliation of white soldiers, without any recognition of the facts that the Confederates were in fact insurrectionists and their cause was in fact the perpetuation of slavery.”

      Perhaps you would be so kind as to show us your source of information proving the South was fighting for the institution of slavery and the cause of the war was slavery.

      Hopefully Fold3 won’t do like they did in the last “Gettysburg” thread shut it down when you and others fail.

      Two all Negroes who served the Confederacy wasn’t there to attend the officers, many fought many died and many were free. The South was their home also.

  12. Carol Johnston says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. Gives a good insight into the war.

  13. Thank you, I appreciate you finally recognizing some of the brave men who fought for the Confederacy. Well done!!!

  14. Herb kalish says:

    One cannot know where we are without knowing where we have been. One cannot know where we are going without knowing where we are! Great site!

  15. John Brion says:

    In all wars, old men with conflicting views send young men with unquestioning loyalty and allegiance in to battle to find resolution. To be sure, the civil war was fought over slavery and the need of the landed gentry to maintain a cheap labor pool or face a questionable financial future. Those with money and the desire to maintain their affluent lifestyles, were driven to extreme measures to assure their legal right to own other humans. The propaganda about states rights to self determination was used to help justify the Confederate States attack on the United States and motivate loyal southern men and boys to take up arms against their own country. All of the men, on both sides of the battle, were being loyal to their leaders and defending their homes. They should rightfully be honored equally for their brave citizenship and allegiance. As in the Revolutionary war, many of my ancestors fought for the United States in the Civil War. My 3rd great grandfather, John Dillen, Pa 153rd, was wounded in the wheat field, but survived his injuries. He had his femur shattered by a mini ball and walked with a limp from that time on. While I am glad to see you include confederate soldiers in your story, I hope it is not seen as a justification for their cause. It would be a clear rewriting of history to justify the confederate state’s treason against the federal government.

  16. Harriette C. Rinaldi says:

    My great-grandfather Michael Carroll, a Lieutenant in the Union Army, fought in almost all Civil War battles, including Gettysburg. After seeing a 1931 newspaper article about then 91 year old Carroll, a Black man wrote to him, stating that he was born on the battlefield of Gettysburg to a runaway slave. His lengthy letters trace his family from slavery in Haiti, freedom in Philadelphia, their daughter’s abduction by slave catchers, and her escape on foot from Virginia to Gettysburg, a major Underground Railroad stop. On the day she arrived, the battle broke out. Shortly after, she gave birth to her son on the battlefield. Details can be found in my book “Born at the Battlefield of Gettysburg; an African-American Family Saga” Markus Wiener Publishers, Princeton.

  17. Mary Ellen Davidson says:

    Dear Mr. George Purvis:

    I had ancestors on both sides of the war between the states and I have no desire to re-write history; only to put it into perspective that can be understood by present generations.
    Often people in the present times fail to take into account the lifestyles, customs and beliefs of the past which were so understood at the time that there was no need to put into words or write down as evidence what was everyday knowledge. Also the political aspects which led to the decision to secede from the United States had made the leaders at that time draw up carefully worded documents regarding their desire to self-determination of the laws and rights of their states. Of course there was no need to mention slavery per se. Slavery was an understood part of life in the South. The economy was built to be dependent upon slave labor and over a hundred years(at that time) of slavery had ingrained the general population of the South with the belief that it was as it should be. With pressure from the US government and the North to change the basic tenants of their lives, the South felt threatened because slavery was threatened. But to the leaders of the Confederacy, it would have been unnecessary and politically disadvantageous to write down on paper what was understood by the general population. To argue that you want to see written proof for something that was basic knowledge is silly and argumentative. We are not here to re-fight a war that tore our country apart. We are here to commemorate our ancestors, study history, and hopefully learn from the past. We need understanding of differences as much today as back then, and not defensiveness, division and intolerance. I understand your desire to defend the integrity of your ancestors who believed in their cause of states rights. And it is important that we all try to see the other person’s perspectives and keep discussion friendly and open.
    I had a 3xGreat Grandfather, Private Charles Gray of the New York Volunteers, who was a survivor of the battle at Gettysburg. My southern ancestors did not participate in that battle.

    • Mary Ellen Davidson,

      A great narrative , even though it is historically inaccurate. Slavery had noting to do with the start of the war. It had nothing to do with the freeing of the slaves during the middle of the war, that was nothing but a war measure. If you have doubts about that read the EP , it only frees the slaves in the “rebelling areas”, not in Union controlled areas or the slaves of the “loyal slave owners.” In fact slavery was legal in the United States until the 13th Adm. was passed in 1865.

      To be sure slavery is the excuse the North using for committing the atrocities on the population of the South.

      Now what was the actual cause of the war? The collection of revenue from the South. Buchanan said it, Lincoln said it. It is the reason the Union invasion fleets were sent to Charleston. Nothing more nothing less.

    • Mary Ellen Davidson says:

      Thank you for your explanation, Mr. Purvis. I totally agree that the Union did not want to lose the revenue of the southern states and that was the lynchpin of the beginning of the war. I was addressing more the beliefs held by the general populations at the time as reflected in news articles and books of the period. Most people now are not familiar with how people in the past perceived life. I find that window into history to be fascinating and wish more people would be as curious. Fold3 indulges my curiosity. And healthy discussion in this blog gives me new insights. I am always willing to learn.

    • Mary Ellen Davidson,

      To be sure slavery was just one cause of secession ( for four states) but it had nothing to do with the start of the war. In fact Lincoln was a racist, the North folks didn’t want Blacks, free or slave living amongst them and passed laws to that effect.

      If you want true and factual history, look someplace beside Fold. Fold3 is good for really nice clear records and a few stories, mostly about the Union men, but little else. I have spent quite some time gathering credible sourced information about the start of the war and some of the issues that we hear about today– The racism of Confederates, Sumter, Yankee atrocities Black Confederates etc. If you are really interested in learning I have some great information at —

      This website is currently being updated so comments are not and joining is not possible


      Here you are most welcome to read and comment

  18. D. Michael Blank says:

    p.turner: You are 100% correct of course. I do a great deal of ancestry research running thru six different centuries so I should have known better in my comment to indicate 1862. Thanks for your input. Joining the same day as James his older brother John also joined the same company G. of the 18th Virginia. He was wounded in the battle of Gains Mill and like many civil war deaths perished a week later of the subsequent infections. James was one of only six men in the company not killed or wounded in that engagement.

  19. Roy Knight says:

    Mr. Purvis,
    Your request for documentation for evidence that the WBTS was fought over slavery is easily provided with an examination of Alexander Stephens’ (Vice President of the Confederacy) “Conerstone Speech”, where here clearly expresses that the new Confederacy was a result of “the cornerstone rests on thegreat truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
    I hope this evidence will provide you with the kind of documentation you needed.
    Though he opposed secession, his lengthy speech leaves no doubt about the cause of secession and war.

    • Robert W Hunnicutt says:

      Actually, many “northern” states continued to practice slavery even after the civil war commenced. There are several eferences for this. The issue of slavery was NOT a “North-South” dichotomy. The issue was over “states rights,” or rather, just how much “autonomy” that the individual states possessed within our federation, that included the “right” for certain persons within those societies to “possess” slaves. It is worth considering that — hardly any “white people” could not afforod to “buy” a slave. The vast majority of “white people” were themselves impoverished, worked as sharecroppers and pushed West in search of a btter iife. Two additional points: The “upper” 3% existd even then, and they were predominantly slave owners. The second point is that the media of that time was just as powerful an influence upon the population, publishing the biases of it’s owner-masters as well as it’s own. States rights issues are becoming a divisive issue in our present time. May God grant us the wisdom to see and understand, that we do not become divided yet again, and into another civil war.

    • George Purvis says:

      Ray Knight,

      I have replied to you twice with factual info about Stephens speech, both times my posts have been removed. Seems like Confederate bashing is accepted, factual responses are not by Fold3.

      Best Regards,
      George Purvis

    • Lloyd Wing says:

      Thank You! Those followers of the “Noble Cause” always say slavery was a minor issue. They also say things like most slaves enjoyed it and it was the White Man’s burden. Just like January 6, 2021 was a freedom march. More states rights B.S. and the excuse for Jim Crow/Lynching’s ! My great great grandfather escaped from his “home” in NC to join the Union to fight for his family’s FREEDOM!

  20. Michael Reardon says:

    My great-grandfather Pvt Charles Reardon was a member of Co. A, 71th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He survived the Battle of Gettysburg, and his name is on the ten ft granite Monument to the 71st on the Battlefield. He served 3 years and was one of only 153 left of that regiment out of an original 2,200. After the Battle of Cold Harbor, he was transferred to the 69th to serve out the rest of his enlistment

  21. laura snyder says:

    In response to the comment that only 1% of southerners own slaves in 1860, I believe census data shows 1% owned 200 or more slaves, 20% owned at least 1 slave and in South Carolina, 50% owned at least one slave. This should be easy to fact check

  22. Michael Reardon says:

    I posted above that my great-grandfather survived the Battle of Gettysburg as a member of the 71th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Not mentioned was that my maternal great-grandfather was a member of the 24th Virginia Cavalry Regiment who served 2 1/2 years and who laid down his arms at Appomattox. Abraham Lincoln deliberately started the the WBTS when he broke an armistice with the state of South Carolina by reinforcing Fort Sumter, forcing that state into war. Lincoln knew it meant war, and he had been planning it within days of being elected. As the great author Charles Dickens wrote, the cause of the WBTS was “wholly fiscal,” and that the North was using slavery as a false justification for the War. Just do an Internet on Dickens and the WBTS. (I have no desire to continue this discussion on the cause of the war.)

    • Michael Reardon,
      Sir you are absolutely correct in stating Lincoln deliberately started the war. The “relief force” to Sumter was nothing more than an armed invasion force which fooled not a single person. As a matter of fact, the Union troops at Sumter were being supplied by South Carolina!!

  23. Judge Mark Anderson says:

    I have my own opinions about the causes or the War and who really started it and why. My sympathies are Southern and Confederate but I hope that we contributors to this discussion won’t get angry and bitter with each other over our differing opinions. Let us just share our particular stories related to the Battle of Gettysburg and not digress into current political arguments, Trump, Biden, Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, or whether to receive the Covid vaccine, or the many contradictions in Dr. Fauci’s advice. Gettysburg is the common heritage of all Americans. It is a rich one. Let’s keep to that subject.

  24. Mary Ellen Davidson says:

    Mr. Purvis, I hope you agree that the items shown on Fold3 are considered for the most part to be factual in that they are historic items, although even historic documentation can have discrepancies, errors, and sometimes plain falsehoods. As I have been working on my personal genealogy since 1982 I have found errors and oversights that were taken up by family members as the truth. I have heard stories that turned out to be boldfaced lies given as evidence in disputes within the family. If I had not known FROM MY OWN KNOWLEDGE what was really true, without having any written documentation to back it up, I would have believed the telling of those lies. I am NOT saying that you are lying so please do not jump to that conclusion. I AM saying that there is not always documentary evidence to support even the most truthful of statements, even in the present day. Go back a couple hundred years and the difficulties are exponential. No one today can get 100% factual understanding of what those who fought and suffered through the tragedies of our National past said, did, felt and believed. The best we can do is to try and glean what we can while keeping our minds open and our hearts tolerant.

    • Mary Ellen Davidson,

      I never said the items shown of Fold 3 was inaccurate. Their Compiled Service Records (CSRs) are accurate, and can be found in many other places. The state archives, the National Archives, and several family research sites. Now I suppose you wonder why I subscribe to Fold3 sating their history is crap, right? It is simply because of this, their records are very good quality and I get Fold3 with my subscription to Ancestry. No9thing more nothing less.

      Now as I said their history is crap as to the accuracy of it. Fold # was promoting the idea the WBTS was all about slavery. They have closed down another blog post about Gettysburg when not one person posting could show me any documentation proving the war was about slavery. Fold3 has removed at least two posts I made in response to a person who wishes submit Stephen’s Cornerstone speech as proof the WNTS was about slavery. Finally Fold3 only made a post about the Confederates who fought at Gettysburg after I loudly complained that they completely ignored the bravery and sacrifice of the Confederate soldier. Note in this post they still return to the Union soldiers.

      No there is not any discrepancies, errors, and sometimes plain falsehoods in documentation. This is done by biased and bigoted so called historians. What I use is the words of the people who made these decisions, Buchanan, Lincoln, Davis. I use their speeches and writings. these docs can be found if one only looks, if these docs are lies then everything in history is a lie. I don’t so much study the individual soldier (except family) as I study study the Presidents and their actions. After all these are the ones who made the ultimate decision to go to war.

      I have given you just two websites I maintain and post to, you are most welcome to go there read and post your thoughts and counter with fact anything I have posted.

      Best Regards,
      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

    • Mary Ellen Davidson says:

      Well now, Mr. Purvis. You say “No there is not any discrepancies, errors, and sometimes plain falsehoods in documentations.”
      What about the names that are spelled incorrectly? What about dates that were written wrong? What about people who lied about their ages so the could serve their country or get married when they were not of age? What about immigrants whose last names were changed by the authorities they met on the docks because they couldn’t understand them?
      Public records are chock full of wrong information. I worked at our county record rooms for many years, as did my mother before me, and I studied genealogy with my late aunt who worked at our local historical society. Mistakes happened in the recording of documents and sometimes people gave the wrong information either in error or on purpose. We cannot be 100% sure that historical documentation is accurate. Any creditable genealogist would tell you the same.

    • Lloyd Wing says:

      Amen !!! But if we do not learn from the past we are doomed to repeat it !! We now have these same “modern confederates” are trying stop my right to vote or invalidate it. They say we (black, brown & yellow) are un-American for demanding equal rights and should leave ! Where does it stop maybe as you say “keeping our minds open and our hearts tolerant”

    • Lloyd Wing,

      Not one person is trying to stop your vote or invalidate it. Especially ” modern day confederates.” Perhaps if you would educate yourself your comment is more closely related to “modern day Yankees.”

    • Mary Ellen Davidson,

      Now you are talking about documents that have no bearing on the start of the WBTS.

      Yes you will find those errors in public documents, I agree, but sorting out these family connections despite the errors is half the fun, isn’t it?

      Now you want to talk about errors, I have two birthdates, one in my grandmothers bible, one on my birth certificate. My last name has been spelled Pervis, Perves, Purvis, and Porvis. Now this much I will say, none of this has to do with the start of the WBTS or the cause of it.

  25. Keith Martin says:

    The more time that goes by, the more I think Abraham Lincoln was not a good president. Yes, he was the one known for his backbone fighting to recruit the generals with the Right Stuff, but then he completely blew it at the end of the war. We can only wonder how he would have reacted had he survived the assassination. Instead, he let the rebel generals off the hook instead of convening a trial and hanging them for treason. As a result, the defeated generals went underground and formed a terrorist organization called the Ku Klux Klan that, and like the Taliban, tortured and killed those who had helped the USA. Today, like the Taliban, many Southerners hold these terrorist in high esteem and even defend statues celebrating their insurrection against America. It sickens me to no end to see these terrorist honored in any way. Otherwise, we should erect a statue in New York to Osama bin Laden. There is NO difference.

    • Robert W. Hunnicutt says:

      Dear Mr. Martin,

      With fascination, I have read the perspectives of each individual in regards to their views of our last Civil War. The insights into what other persons see, and their beliefs–based on whatever rationale that they wish to present, are actually informative, by demonstrative of the many considerable differences held — North/South and even within those camps, they may disagree. I can respect those differences and at the same time, also realize that many are based on rather narrow observations, and not the so-called “Grand Scheme of Things,” if you will. We were actually very fortunate to have survived the aftermath. The Civil War can be a great teacher and it is my prayer that we will learn from the history of that war, because my sense is — another one could easily occur today, given the encroachment by the Biden regime upon States Rights as well as attempted dissolution of the balance of powers, between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

      I may live in the year 2021, but the ripples of the Civil War have impacted my family, and even myself, 150 years later. Many of my kin fought in that war, two great-grandfathers on opposite sides, many cousins, many of them are well-known to you and those who read this forum. The harms that were inflected directly upon my grandfathers continued to ripple through the families, and shaped the families in ways that would not ordinarily have been the result. In so saying this, again, it is my prayer that we ALL learn from the last war. And do not try to provoke “half” of the people against the other “half” such as is happening now.

      May God save our country, the United States of America!

      Robert W. Hunnicutt

      Son of the North
      Son of the South
      An American Patriot

    • Keith Martin,
      Your comment is a great indication of the bias and bigotry that exists in the United States today, it is a perfect example of the lack of knowledge of American history especially the WBTS.

      Lets take at look shall we– Treason. There was no treason among the Confederates, if you think so, prove it. Name one Confederate who was tried and convicted for treason.

      The KKK- man you sure know a lot huh? Name the Confederate generals a who formed the KKK and the reason for this organization. name the place. Oh and do you know what the official flag of the KKK is?

      Now speaking of terrorist, do you have any idea the atrocities committed against the South. The rapes, burnings kidnapping, theft and murder all in the name of “collecting the revenue.” I doubt it.

      Oh there are plenty of statues erected to American terrorist, Lincoln, Sherman, Grant etc etc.

  26. Michael Reardon says:

    Above I wrote that I did not want to continue in this discussion of the cause of the WBTS. The reason for that is because so many people have their feet set in concrete on this subject and ignorance abounds. As one whose paternal great-grandfather fought for the Union at Gettysburg and in all the major battles for the Union from the Peninsula Campaign through Cold Harbor and as one whose maternal great-grandfather fought 2 1/2 years for the Confederacy, I think I can speak with a bit less bias than most. I am proud of both brave men, but I have no doubt in my mind, after studying the WBTS for decades, that Mr. Purvis is right in all he writes here, that is, without questioning the good will of other writers.

  27. Keith Martin says:

    Purvis, are you so uninformed, or are you just trying to sway others who might believe your fake news. Presidential pardons do not mean the people charged in the crime were innocent. It just means they were pardoned for their crimes. It is interesting that you chose your wording so carefully. They were not tried and convicted. They were ‘pardoned’ for treason. That was my complaint, remember? Lincoln pardoned them for their treason!

    As far as the Confederate Generals starting the terrorist organization KKK? The very first Grand Wizard of the KKK was Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. This was nothing more than an terrorist attempt to turn the defeat around by terrorizing blacks who did not fully cooperate with the losers. All of this can be found in ANY unbiased report of history. I am white and I remember talking to my 104 year old white Great Aunt whose family in East Tennessee fought on the side of the Union like the majority of families in East Tennessee. She had all kinds of stories about Confederate solders showing up after the war trying to recruit for the KKK. Most were so uninformed that they did not know that part of the state was fought for the Union!

    And you ask me if I know what the official flag of the KKK was? Why do you think I would want to know more about such a terrorist organization? That’s like asking me if I know the motto of the Taliban! I can tell you though that there are a lot of people trying to wrap themselves up in the United States flag as if to say THEY are the TRUE Americans, while still trying to destroy everything the US stands for! We saw that January 6th in Washington! So, please tell me how the Klan leaders who hold the US flag up and say they are true Americans joined the Confederacy, became Generals, snd fought against this country!! It takes more than holding a flag. Flags are cheap. It takes fighting FOR our country, not AGAINST IT!!

    And nice touch getting the lackie to follow your post to say you speak the truth. Anyone can here can search history and see you guys have an agenda.

    I am a white Republican. I am disgusted by you guys. You do not speak for me, nor most of my Republican friends!

    • martin,

      Thank you for your brilliant display of ignorance. I am certain there is not one person who can top it. Now please tell me what “fake news” I have posted.

      Well back to treason– The Confederates did not commit treason, they were citizens of another country. Now you want to argue that, show us the law that says secession was illegal, then or now. It is that simple.

      The KKK– You clearly stated this— “As a result, the defeated generals went underground and formed a terrorist organization called the Ku Klux Klan that, and like the Taliban, tortured and killed those who had helped the USA.”

      That is nothing but a lie and I addressed it as such. Was N. B. Forrest the first Grand wizard? He is the man who broke up that organization. You said nothing nothing of the sort., but this website here gives the founders and the 1st Grand Wizard—- “The actual Grand Wizard of the KKK at that time was former CSA General, George W. Gordon, a resident of Pulaski, Tennessee, where the club was formed. He was often identified with the Klan and personally claimed to have been involved with the group. His robes and Klan regalia are in the Tennessee State Museum.”

      So you have your aunts stories? Am I impressed? Not likely. You can make up anything and tell me Lincoln himself told you. So you see I really don’t believe you. Why don’t you post some of your “unbiased” history. You know you already got the founders wrong, I would love to see what else you get wrong.

      Ah you do know what the flag of the KKK is. I am surprised!! Now can you prove that you are more American than members of the KKK or even those PATRIOTS of Jan. 6. Go ahead break your arm patting your back while wallowing in your total ignorance. Ah Mr. Brilliance, the KKK did not exist until after the war. I thought you knew so much about this organization—- (shaking head and sighing) You say flags are cheap, I note you didn’t exclude the US flag— HHHHUUUUMMMMM.

      You wanna fight for this country? Educate yourself, put aside your bias, bigotry and hate and learn some true history.

      I have not asked anyone to follow me or show any support for my posts. Because someone is more educated in history that you is no reason for you to call them names.

      Yes I have an agenda, it is to prove ignorant comments such as the ones you make or nothing but lies. You may feel free to post any real history( assuming you know some) that you feel can prove anything I said incorrect. Get on it that is a tall order.

      Another report on Forrest you can read—;view=fulltext

      You can say you are anything but EDUCATED. I think you commnets support my statement.

    • Mary Ellen Davidson says:

      George Purvis, are you saying that the people who smashed the windows of our Nation’s Capitol building and beat the police who were guarding it and trespassed illegally and some of whom are in the process of being tried for their crimes are PATRIOTS??? I only speak of what I saw unfolding in real-time on live television.

      If so, then I think I have read enough rhetoric fashioned to incite to know it when I see it. I will not be told to believe that up is down or wrong is right.

      This is supposed to be about The Battle of Gettysburg. Let’s either bring it back on topic or let it be. I will not respond further.

    • Mary Ellen Davidson ,

      It is the right of every individual in this country to protest , Not just Antifa, and BLM. Now the protest was over a stolen election, no small matter mind you, now the proof is coming out about irregularities in several states, so yes these folks were patriots, just the same as in 1776. Beat the police? How about the one lady who was shot and noting happened to the shooter who has yet to be ID. Oh BTW she was a vet if you don’t know. No weapons’ charges against any protesters at this time so what is your point exactly? two it has come out in dribbles that the capitol was ill prepared for such a demonstration and some democrats knew this was going to happen. Again I ask what is your point?

      Rhetoric? I wasn’t the one who who came here with all kinds of ignorant bigoted and biased statements. I simply answered such with facts. I wasn’t the one who came here trying to pass off family records as historic documents as documents proving the cause of the war. Guess who did that? You can either believe me or not, your choice, but what you can’t do is prove me wrong. It is that simple.

      The fact you say you won’t respond further is simply an admission that you are lacking in the history department. You can’t compete with facts so you just leave in a huff and take your ball and go home. Well I am tired of playing with you at any rate.

  28. Keith Martin says:

    Please do not misrepresent me. My family is from the South. I live in the South. I will die in the South. I am NOT provoking 1/2 the people of this country against the other 1/2! What I am saying is the Generals and the leaders of the Southern Rebellion should have been tried and hung like any other treasonous criminals were. That would have stopped the hero worship. This is why we buried Bin Laden at sea, because we did not want his grave to become a shrine! When you let these traitors live where they can build a following of the uninformed, then you allow division! You do not unite the country.

    This is not an argument between North and South. This is an argument between America and a small group of bigots. That is all. Nothing more.

  29. Michael Reardon says:

    Keith Martin, you and those like you are the reason I wanted to stay out of this discussion. Your ignorance and total lack of respect for others clearly shows your bias. I listen to those who show respect regardless of their position. You don’t. I don’t like being called a lackey. I’m nobody’s lackey. I was part of the Civil Rights Movement back in the sixties. II worked for equality between the races. I worked with blacks and have many black friends. A while back there was an article in Confederate Veteran magazine that proved the Nathan Bedford Forrest not only was not the grand wizard of the KKKK but that, in fact, he was never a member of that organization. When a person starts calling names and become sarcastic, as you do, it is proof that he has no case, and I stop listening.

    • Keith Martin says:

      It is true that I do not respect those that try to rewrite history. I let the truth speak for itself. I have heard the stories of a handful of people who try to whitewash Forrest’s background, but the preponderance of facts speak for themselves — from Encyclopedia Brittanica to Local history, to eye witness accounts, to the testimony of his friends. Truth is hard to contain.

    • martin,

      Respect you have no clue as to the meaning of the word.

      You wouldn’t know the truth if it fell on you, you have already proven that.

      You have “heard” stories, quite a difference in hearing something than actually have facts on hand.

      When are you going to prove treason? When are you going to prove anything you say?

  30. here is an interesting story regarding one Mississippian who fought at Gettysburg—

    Note the author of the webpage tries to say it could not be L. Purnell because of the battle timeline of his unit and questions on what day he might have been wounded. This info is sourced thorough many credible places, but I do not see where his CSRs are listed,. Using Fold3 I looked up his CSRs and found that the copyist just used a basic form to record the wounding of Purnell– His cards simply say he is on a register of sick and wounded AFTER the battle of Gettysburg July 1,2,3,. There s no exact date of Purnell’s wounding.

    Now because these are only copies of the actual records, we must assume that the date of Purnell’s wounding was not recorded, or the copyist did not feel the exact date was important. At any rate for those who want to be exacting in dates, unit reports and causality reports would need to be researched. Perhaps letters home have the exact date and cause of the wound. Then there is the possibly the exact date is simply loste to history.

    Myself I have no doubt the soldier pictured is L. Purnell and he was wounded at Gettysburg.

  31. I would be curious to find out if this John H. Buchanan is any relation to Pres. James Buchanan

    Battle Unit Details
    Return to Results
    2nd Regiment, Mississippi Infantry
    2nd Infantry Regiment completed its organization at Corinth, Mississippi, in April, 1861, with men from Tishomingo, Tippah, Itawamba, and Pontotoc counties. Ordered to Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, it was there mustered into Confederate service with 784 officers and men. During the war it was assigned to General Whiting’s, Law’s, and J.R. Davis’ Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. After fighting at First Manassas, the regiment served with the army from Seven Pines to Cold Harbor, except when it was detached to Suffolk with Longstreet. It saw action in the Petersburg siege south of the James River and in numerous conflicts around Appomattox. The 2nd reported 25 killed and 82 wounded at First Manassas and totalled 477 men in April, 1862. It sustained 111 casualties during the Seven Days’ Battles, 97 at Second Manassas, and 154 in the Maryland Campaign. Of the 492 engaged at Gettysburg, more than forty-five percent were disabled. Only 1 officer and 19 men surrendered. The field officers were Colonels William C. Falkner and John M. Stone; Lieutenant Colonels John A. Blair, Bartley B. Boone, and D.W. Humphreys; and Major John H. Buchanan.

  32. A battle few know about.

    A Sharpshooter’s Postscript to Gettysburg, Part 6: “The Wagoners’ Fight” – A Battle To Hold Williamsport

  33. Ronald Kick, Gettysburg Class of '53 says:

    I had to great grandfathers who served with the Union Army. Charles Severs with the 10 New Jersey. Eventually captured and kept in Libby Prison in Richmond. My other grand father was Henry Kick, who arrived in the USA in 1854 from Hanover, Prussia (Germany as we know it today).
    In 1861 hw enlisted for 3 years with the 68th New York. When the regiment left for Washington it numbered over 1,000 men. Henry survived the Chancellorsville blood bath and then went on to Gettysburg. The 68th New York was on the right of the line on Cemetery Ridge when Picket made his charge. After Gettysburg the Regiment was under 200 in strength and was transferred to Tennessee, to secure lines of communication, etc. When Henry’s enlistment was up he was discharged in Chattanooga, and returned to Brooklyn, New York.

    • Mr. Kick,

      I have some info that there were quite a few Germans (mercenaries) who served with the Union Army that went back to Germany. I have no been able to find any solid numbers on this at this time. Do you have any sources or numbers you can share?

  34. Anita Lyte Williams says:

    My great-grandfather, Eliphalet Oram Lyte served from Pennsylvania and fought at Chancellorsville (wounded knee plagued him all his life) and at Gettysburg. Went on to teach, then serve as President at Millersville University, PA. The Lyte Auditorium on campus is named in his honor.

  35. Roy Hill says:

    My Great Great Grandfather was Giles Carter and was at Gettysburg with the 14th South Carolina. He was wounded on July 3rd and captured. Exchanged in the Fall and was with the Army of Northern Virginia until the end of the war. Similar to many other Confederate soldiers. The really interesting and unusual story involved his younger brother. When I made my first visit to Gettysburg in 2012, I stopped by the main information desk and asked the rangers if they could show me where the 14th SC fought. They asked why the 14th and I told them who my G G Grandfather was. They asked if he was kin to Lt Sidney Carter. Yes, he was his younger brother who was wounded on the 2nd and died several days later. Here is the really interesting part. Not sure how they determined this, but it seems the NPS has identified 9 Confederate soldiers who were by mistake buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery. My G G Uncle Lt Sidney Carter was one of them. He’s buried in the Connecticut section. I’ve visited his grave. Who would have thought!

    • Judge Mark Anderson says:

      I am sure that you are familiar with his letters that were edited and published by Bessie Mell Lane in 1978, under the title “Dear Bet; The Carter Letters 1861-1863; The Letters of Lt. Sidney Carter, Co. A, 14th Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, Gregg’s-McGowan’s Brigade, C.S.A. to Ellen Timmons Carter”. I found a copy of that work at the Alabama Department of Archives & History here in Montgomery, Ala.

  36. Roy Hill says:

    I am. My Aunt gave me a copy. She knew the author. I believe at the time the book was written they thought Uncle Sidney was buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. He also had a brother who was killed at Chancellorsville and one who died at Pocataligo, SC while in the Confederate Army. The war was hard on the Carter family, like many many others in the South and the North. Thanks for your response to my post!

  37. Michael Reardon says:

    We often hear of post war stress syndrome suffered by Vietnam vets, who, for the most part, served for a single year in Vietnam. I have to wonder just what those WBTS soldiers went through who served for multiple years. Many of them must have suffered terribly after the War. My own great-grandfather served for three years, fighting in all the major battles, including being stationed a Bloody Angle at Gettysburg during Pickett’s Charge. Unfortunately, that disease was not likely recognized in the post war years and treatment not given. Victims would more likely be placed in prison than treated properly.

    • Joanie Cool Jackson says:

      Suicide can be the unfortunate culmination to PTSD and from an article in JAMA, we see what the rates of suicide were.

      Starting in 1843, the overall trend in annual suicide rates among active-duty service members in the US Army increased, with a peak rate of 118.3 per 100 000 in 1883. From that historical high point, the rate decreased in 3 successive waves, each corresponding to the end of the following wars: the Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1914-1918), and World War II (1939-1945). The latter had the historically lowest rate of 5 per 100 000 in 1944 to 1945. During the Cold War (approximately 1945-1991), the rate generally stabilized in the low teens to midteens (ie, 10-15 per 100 000). The rate increased again during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, increasing to 29.7 per 100 000 in 2012. From 2008 to present, the annual rate has remained within the range of 20.2 to 29.7 per 100 000.

      ( JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(12):e1917448. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.17448 )

  38. Michael Reardon says:

    Thank you for those statistics. The first impression that I get is that , from my perspective, suicide was at its lowest following a just war and highest following unjust war. People don’t mind fighting for what is right and consider it their duty but are repelled for having to serve in an unjust cause. Of course, suicide is just one manifestation of PTSD. Broken lives don’t usually end in suicide but a broken nonetheless. A greater care should be shown to all our veterans.