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The Battle of Gettysburg Ends: July 3, 1863

Fold3 Image - Map of the battlefield of Gettysburg. [July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 1863]
On July 3, 1863, the three-day Battle of Gettysburg came to a close, leaving behind an estimated 51,000 total casualties—the highest number of any battle in the Civil War

Following a series of military successes in Virginia, Confederate general Robert E. Lee took his troops north in June 1863 into south-central Pennsylvania. Lee was unaware until late June that the Union’s Army of the Potomac, under General George G. Meade, had followed his army north, as Lee’s cavalry, under JEB Stuart, was separated from the main body of the army and was thus unable to provide intel on the enemy’s movements.

On July 1, elements of Lee’s army came up against Union cavalry by chance outside the town of Gettysburg and fighting broke out. Both sides received reinforcements, and the Confederates were eventually able to push back the Federals to south of Gettysburg. During the evening and the following morning, both sides gathered the rest of their armies, for a total of 83,000 Union troops and 75,000 Confederate.

At the commencement of fighting the following afternoon, July 2, the Union army was arranged like a fishhook, with the Confederates surrounding them to the north and west in roughly the same shape. The 2nd saw bloody fighting on the Union left and center, but despite high casualties, the Union was generally able to repulse the Confederates. Fighting also occurred on the Union right later that evening and continued on after dark in a rare night battle.

On the 3rd, the Confederates once again launched an attack on the Union right, which was ultimately unsuccessful. Then, following a massive artillery bombardment, Lee attacked the Union center in what is commonly known as Pickett’s Charge. During this attack, approximately 12,000 Confederate troops crossed nearly a mile of open ground to attack Union positions but were decimated by Union fire. The Confederates who made it to the enemy lines managed to briefly break through, but they were eventually repulsed. Also on this day, the Confederate cavalry—which had arrived on the afternoon of the 2nd—was put into action off the Union right flank, but with little result.

On the 4th, Lee waited for Meade’s counterattack on his position, but it never came, so Lee’s army withdrew back over the Potomac. Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the war, with 23,000 Union casualties and 28,000 Confederate. It is often considered the turning point in the war and commonly referred to as the “high tide” of the Confederacy.

Do you have ancestors who fought at Gettysburg? Tell us about them! Or learn more about the battle on Fold3.

341 Comments

  1. My great-great-grandfather Thomas Dawson died at Culp’s Hill on July 2nd serving as Sergeant with the New York 78th Regt., Cameron Highlanders Infantry, and is buried in the original New York section of Gettysburg Battlefield Cemetery. After several previous battles, he was 29 years old.

    • I believe there was another Dawson who fought for the Union. On the first day, there was apparently a skirmish near a Railroad Cut north and west of town. It was a nice documentry on the History Channel narrated by Sam Rockwell. Could possibly be a relation for you.

  2. My great great grandfather Stuart Winters fought with the 68th Pennsylvania un der General Dan Sickles. He fought on the 2nd and 3rd day in the battle of the Peach Orchard, next to the Wheatfield, He attended the 50th reunion at Gettysburg with my Uncle Joe Moor. He said that if you picked you head up during the battle you were dead. He survived, and also had fought at Fredricksberg and Chancellorsville. I have the complete history of the 68th Pennsylvania Regiment.

    • To William S. Zeising: My namesake and great, great grandfather, Albert S. Jamison must have fought side-by-side with your ancestor. Serving in the 26th New Jersey regiment, they mustered out in September, 1862. The 26th saw action during the Battle of Fredericksburg and Chancerlorville, same as your ancestor. They were also involved in the first action of the Gettysburg Campaign during the Battle of Franklin’s Crossing. Fortunately, he was discharged after serving his 6 months, just days before the main battles of Gettysburg. I still have his original discharge papers, dated June 27, 1863. Your ancestor had the right idea. I have often said in kidding that I was glad my ancestor kept his head down.

  3. My great-grandfather John G Robinson was a bugler at Gettysburg with Company D of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry. His life size image is on the wall of the Cavalry display in the Museum there.

  4. Reading these stories gave me chills and a tear in my eye..please answer me this: Why on earth would the Confederate Flag and the statue of Robert E. Lee be taken down and discarded as if these events had never happened. This is a part of our U.S History. It’s like some offended group of this era doesn’t understand the pain and suffering from both sides. We Are America and we have history! Teach the children of today what it mean to go through a battle to gain what we now have.

    • AMEN & my forefathers died for the north. History makes us who we are. We best learn from it not hide it.

    • OK, enough. If we were talking about people like you who are only interested in preserving the lessons of history I doubt many would disagree with you. But these symbols are daily appropriated by those who refuse to learn the lessons of history and would rather “take the country back” – all the way back to 1860 when white men were white men and everyone else knew their place. That makes them nearly as toxic as a swastika or a statue of Adolph Hitler. And by the way, they’re not gone, they’ve been moved to museums and proper display venues, where they belong.

    • The leaders of the Anti-Confederate movement’s now want all confederate troupes removed from all Federal Cemeteries! These people are sick,evil monsters

    • Quite right! Our history is our history. People need to understand just what that really means. How can we be true to it if we hide some of it? Those statues honor the men who fought for what they wanted to hold onto, North AND South! Leave them up as a reminder of what this nation has endured.

    • “In the beauty of the lillies
      Christ was born across the sea
      With a glory in His bosom that transfigured you and me;
      As He died to make men holy
      Let us die to make men free
      While God is marching on!”

      That’s the meaning of the sacrifices made in the Civil War. Period.

    • Because they have been brain washed by 8 years of obama believing that they syand for white racism. And the libetal teachers didnt argue and feed thesame lies.

    • Only the truly brainwashed believe that nonsense. The Confederate battle flag has been adopted by white supremacists as a prominent symbol of their movement – only the willfully blind could possibly not be aware of that.

    • We CAN and definitely should be teaching our children about the greatness of men such as Robert E Lee, but also about the misjudgement and unfortunate choice he made in rejecting Lincoln’s offer to join the right side and assist the Union in quickly forcing an end to slavery. Talk all we want about the rationalization of the war being about states rights vs federalism, but in the end, it was about an attempt to protect the heinous institution of slavery for the South!

      So if telling the true story with statues of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, JEB Stuart and other fellow Virginians and Southerns who fought to preserve that horrible institution and supporting the gross disregard of human rights that we tolerated since the founding of this country, by all means, leave the statues in place.

      Just tell the true story with them, instead of glorifying the “cause” and those that fought for it, at great pain and suffering for so many!! It is a sad chapter in our story of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and while I am proud to say I’m a Virginian, because of all the great people that came from there, I remain embarrassed by this deep wound of the Civil War.

      To think that truly great men like Robert E Lee chose state patriotism over the true spirit of our US Constitution is indeed a sad lesson to be shared with our children. To me, worse than the choice of Lee, was the choice of the Virginian legislature to succeed from the Union, placing Lee and the other great military minds of the time on the wrong side of history! Just think how quickly, with much less loss of life, the uprising would have ended if Virginia held to the tenets of my fellow Virginians, Jefferson and Madison, and had Lee leading the righteous cause of freedom for all!

      And scarier, we again see the “South” trying to rise again, as they said they would. Let’s hope we can close this next chapter without bloodshed.

    • Amen.

    • Do we honor other enemies of our country? Do we erect statues of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini or the 911 enemies that blew up the World Trade Center? The Confederacy was the enemy of our country and wanted to preserve enslaving human beings why should we glorify enemies?

    • I agree with you. People have a tendency to place blame where it doesn’t belong. The Confederacy and Southern States were not to blame for slavery but rather Africans who enslaved their own kind for profit. No one ever talks about the Europeans that were enslaved by an illegal draft imposed by Abraham Lincoln who blatantly committed Treason against the American People. The Southern States were well within their rights to secede from the Union. Since people want to rewrite history then let us do away with Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights, Affirmative Action, The Underground Railroad, Black History Month, Roots, and everything else, Remove Harriet Tubman, Lincoln and Grant from the U.S. Currency. These are just a mere drop in the bucket of the key issues that need to be approached. Let us not forget we must also do away with the NAACP since it is an exclusive organization that discriminates against all others as its name implies. National Alliance for the Advancement of “Colored People” this is Extremely Racist hence Race Specific.

    • Those how wanted it down do not know their history well nor do they intent to learn. This is a shame. There were thousands of black confederate soldiers that fought and gave their lives for the southern cause. It’s a shame they were left out of the history books!

    • Kathryn,
      It is deliberately left out because if it was added then that would take away the Race Card they love to throw around in order to get freebies and positions they have not earned. A more educated and skilled person who may be white will be turned away or denied a job or benefits because of Affirmative Action because they are holding that position specifically for a person of a different race.

    • Well said… Unfortunately there are a select few that are trying to re-write our history. This needs to be stopped. These elite think that if they remove these statues or anything relating to that part of US History, that it will simply disappear. What a shame…

    • Pat,

      I have the same question. I’m from NOLA, and they have taken down Robert E. Lee statue It’s history, are they going to erase the history books as well?

    • I agree Pat. It concerns me greatly that some people would paint Robert E Lee in the same light as Hitler which makes it very clear that these people do not understand American History, history of the Civil War European history OR Robert E Lee. First of all, Robert E Lee was not fighting in defense of slavery. He was fighting for the very reason the war began: States sovereignty. Yes, slavery was of course the central point of contention, but used by eleven states as an example of state sovereignty versus federal authority. The war was fought over state’s rights and the limits of federal power in a union of states. The perceived threat to state autonomy became an existential one through the specific dispute over slavery. The issue was not slavery per se, but WHO DECIDED whether slavery was acceptable, local institutions or a distant central government power. The question of local or federal control to permit or prohibit slavery as the country expanded west became a critical issue in new states, eventually leading to that battle at Fort Sumter.
      If I were descended from slaves, I would want that statue erected as a reminder to every American citizen how slavery was used by eleven southern states to defend the Tenth Amendment. This is very important to understand because we’ve witnessed many times our government exploiting an issue or opportunity to justify removing our civil liberties.
      In 1863, after the war had begun over a year earlier, Lincoln decided to exploit the war opportunity as a means to abolish slavery BUT slavery was NOT Lincoln’s priority. Robert E Lee believed that every state should have the right to declare a federal law, null and void which does not make him a racist.

    • So very true….so very true as I also cry with you…….

    • I agree with you Pat. We can’t just erase history because people are offended by it. In my home town, we have confederate memorials and memorials to black people who distinguished themselves in their lifetimes. We cannot only memorialize the “Union” side of the war. Mistakes were made, lives were changed, but you cannot simply undo history by tearing down memorials. History lives on.

    • The flag is a symbol of what caused the civil war. Given Germany soldiers fought bravely, would you object to taking down a WWII German flag and a statue of Hitler?

      I have a great and a great great grandfather who fought for the south. I am for removing flags and statues.

    • I couldn’t agree more. History is history, and if anyone is offended by the events that formed our country, grow up. We are supposed to learn from these events so as to not make the same mistakes. To ignore them is to leave us open for more of the same!

    • The confederate side to African Americans is like the nazi side to Jews. No one is denying they existed and did what they did except people like you. They were not heroes. They were traitors determined to undermine the unity of this nation and brutal enforcers of the enslavement of four million (not 40 or 400) human beings of whom more than half were children under age 15. Even if they were fighting for so-called states’ rights how could that concept supersede the human rights, including right to be free and right to be paid for their labor, of 4 million human beings in a civilized humane society? Only alt-facts can justify that lie.

    • Because nowadays, everything has to be politically correct so you don’t offend anyone. It doesn’t matter whether it was an important part of this country’s history.
      Slavery is associated with the Confederates and people think this was evil and all traces/mention of it should be erased and forgotten. Forgotten history is bound to be repeated.

    • Amen, it’s all a part of our history good or bad.

    • I agree with you. My husband and I had ancestors on both sides! My husband’s ancestor served in Co. D, 40th regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers. My great grandfather died of a disease in a swamp in Louisiana. His mule was stolen by another soldier, a letter to his widow tells us. He had a few dollars pay coming.

    • Amen! I have been told that I have family that fought on both sides. All are Americans who served their country. God bless all of our men and women in uniform and keep them safe.

  5. Visiting the Gettysburg battlefield is very moving for me. My second great grandfather James C. Farley was in the 18th Virginia under Garnett. at the front of Pickett’s charge. He was wounded and captured at the “angle” He was exchanged on 8/17/1863 at City Point. This and a great many other details and documents i was able to gather from Fold3. I have always had an acute interest in the civil war, these Fold3 insights have made the family military history a great more meaningful. Currently researching my uncle who was in the 101st on June 6th 1944. He is photographed with General Ike, hours before his deployment in France.

    • My husband’s G-grandfather was also named James (H.) Farley – from PA (34th PA Volunteers). I’m sure you’ve run into the same walls on the Farley side…too many of them named James and Patrick!

  6. My GGFather, James Story, was in the 11th Georgia, Anderson’s Brigade, Hood’s Division in their attack near Little and Big Roundtops on the Confederate right on 7/2/63. This area was described as the Devil’s Den; two Confederate Divisions were involved in this battle, McLaws and Hood. On 7/3 a Union calvary attack was on their right with maybe 100 riders involved; penetration but an inability to escape without casualties. The calvary could not match up with the Enfields of the Southerners.

  7. My Gt. Gt.Gt. Uncle was Wounded By a Shell (Probly Buford’s Horse Artillery) Serving With A.P Hill on the First day. He was Hit in the Hip Which Partially paralyzed his right side of his face. He Served The rest of the Battle As a Stretcher Bearer Thus also being Captured. He spent the rest of the war At Ft. Delaware. Part of his Face was Paralyzed the Rest of his life Due to the Hip Wound.

  8. My Grandfather, Joseph P Mayo of Tarboro, Edgecomb Co , NC was named after his Uncle Joseph Mayo of The Virginia 3rd under Pender.

  9. 5th great uncle General John Brown Gordon..His book Reminisses of General John Brown Gordon was awesome.It puts you there.I highly recommend it.

    • I envy you that Gen. Gordon was your collateral ancestor. As I researched the War during its sesquicentennial I learned something about him and came to respect him as a great leader in the CSA and afterward as a civilian, as Governor of Georgia. Be very proud!

    • He was the best non-trained military man in the conflict, a LTG; one of the better fighters. He also was a Senator from Ga. Ft. Gordon, Augusta,Ga is named after him. In the Wilderness in May ’64, he could have rolled up the Union right if his Corps Cmdr had not been too timid(Ewell).His troops were NEVER accused of any abuse or illegal acts against POWs or civilians.The best Corps cmdr. when the conflict ended.

  10. My great-grandfather Graham may have fought at Gettysburg. I’ve not found a record of his service in the Confederate army, but I do know that very early in the War William Robert (Bob) Graham volunteered and was assigned to Company D “Meriwether Volunteers” of the 13th Georgia Regiment, that this unit served briefly in western Virginia (in what is now West Va.), then returned to Georgia to help guard the coast, was made part of Gordon’s Brigade (famed as an elite unit of Georgians), which became part of the Army of Northern Virginia commanded by General Robert E. Lee. As I say, I haven’t seen records of his service after he volunteered, so although Co. D 13th Georgia was at Gettysburg I cannot declare with 100% certainty that Pvt. “Bob” Graham was there. The only thing further that I know about his Confederate service is that he was wounded in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, on 12 May 1864, the heaviest day of fighting, and that his company fought on the east end of the “Mule Shoe” salient, opposite Yankee Gen. Burnside. My great-grandpa limped for the rest of his life (back in Georgia), because he got hit by two minie-balls in the left foot. I journeyed to Spotsylvania in May of 2014 to be at the place where he was wounded and stand near the exact spot on the exact sesquicentennial of his wounding. I have yet to visit Gettysburg but I’d certainly like to someday.

    Glen Alan Graham
    Chaplain, Camp 225 Sons of Confederate Veterans

    • Mr Graham ~
      A picnic-visit for me to Gettysburg over forty years ago – very near the monument to the Seventy-fifth Penna. Regiment – resulted in a hasty departure and another three hour’s drive home.
      Too many ghosts there.
      I hope this helps.
      Kind regards,
      DAL-K

  11. Capt John Dewberry of th1 13th SC Vols,Greggs later McGown Brigade was wounded the 1st day at Gettysburg fighting dismounted cavalry behind a stone wall on Seminary Ridge. his .arm was amputated by Surg, Tazwell Tyler (son of President John Tyler) taken to Johnson Island, Lake Erie prison. Endured harsh winters and later exchanged due to empty sleeve on Feb 26 1865

    • Damned good fighters. Gen. Lee on 4/1/63 said to BG McGowan when he noticed the SC infantry disorganized; he said,”General those boys of yours seem to be running like geese.” McGowan, ” General they just need a place to rally; they’ll be ok then.” Just an incident from day one. In reality, no unit fought harder or stayed longer than the S.C. troops.

    • My Great Great Grandfather William Jefferson McMakin was left at Gettysburg as a nurse, He was taken to Davids Island in New York as prisoner of war. Two months later he was back with the 38th Georgia Infantry. He was with Lee when he surrendered . I have noticed that a lot of people still don’t know that slavery was not the cause of the Civil War, it was over states rights, They also think that all white people in the south owned slaves. The fact is very few people had enough money to own one, In a time when the average income was a dollar a month and a slave brought $5,000. I had ancestors on both sides in the Civil War.

  12. My GGfather, Ben Braswell fought at Gettysburg. He was in Co.F 30th Inf. Regt.(NC)
    Gen. Ramseur’s Brigade, Gen. Rode’s Div.,Gen, Ewell’s corps.
    They engaged on July 1st after battleline had formed from initial contact with Buford’s calvary by 2 Div. of AP Hill’s corps. His regt. and brigade were in the attack by Early and Ewell’s corps that pushed the union forces back through Gettysburg on to Culps Hill. His unit was lightly engaged on the 2nd at Culps Hill. No engagement on the 3rd as major battle took place in center, i.e. Pickett’s Charge.
    He served the remainder of the war and was pardoned at Appomattox On 9 April 1865.

    • Brig. Gen. Stephen Ramseur was first cousin of my g’grandmother, both from Lincolnton, NC. He later was promoted to Maj. Gen. and was killed while leading his division at Cedar Creek, VA in 1864.

    • Your ancestor Major General Ramsuer
      was one of the best generals in the Army of NVa
      He was congratulated by Lee and the Richmond press for saving the south
      at the battle of Spottsylvania Court House. Unlike a lot of the northern Generals in the rear Ramsuer could be seen with his men on horseback like a Lion that he was. The Richmond press usually had a habit of giving the Virginia regiments credit for battles
      They had little to no involvement in.
      It was at Chanceroville that Ramsuers men were behind a brigade that wouldn’t move forward ( rumored to this day to be the infamous Stonewall brigade, and Ramsuer asked Gen Jeb Stuart who had taken over for Jackson after he was wounded if he could advance literally over the brigade in front. Upon Stuart’s ok Ramsuers men
      Walked over the backs of this brigade
      Which Col Grimes( later Major General) wrote he stepped on the head of a high officer in the brigade
      and ground it in the dirt.
      As they moved over this brigade a call
      was heard from the men behind the earthworks ” youall will be back as fast as you left!)”
      Sure enough Rhodes men were almost wiped out and returned 50%
      Lighter than when they started. Ramsuer as well as some other Confederate Generals would never ask their men to go where they wouldn’t go with them. Ramsuer was
      “Gallant personified”, being wounded
      In battles in 62,63,64.
      Your ancestor was a great example of the grit of the Tar Heels.

    • PARDON him?

      Should have hung him…and all other Terrorists…who fought against USA & our Constitution. MAGA

  13. Former glover and probable pre-recruitment in Calbe-an-der-Saale, Germany, Friedrich David Erxleben was put into the Fortieth Pennsylvania Regiment of Volunteers (later the Seventy-fifth) on disambarking from his ship in October, 1861, aged thirty-two. Two promotions and several battles – including Freeman’s Ford where he was wounded – later, he was killed in action on the first day of action at Gettysburg, 1 July.
    I see his photo daily.
    His widow never remarried. His very young son was my Great-Grandfather.

    • All ~
      As a follow-up to the above story, they say the Civil War will never be forgotten?
      Twenty-five years ago I worked selling wine in Loudoun County, Virginia. Stopping at one of my accounts – and for a pulled pork sandwich – at the General Store in Aldee, a ‘good-‘ol-boy pushed himself away from his pick-up to come up and poke a finger at me, “We don’t like your kind here!”
      “My kind? What’s that?”
      “Yankee!” (Several years in England had tempered speech, I was wearing a tie and driving a Jensen Healy.)
      “Do I sound a Yankee?”
      “Yeah! No! Aww, man!” (I was headed for a fight I would lose.)
      Mother wit came to me, “What Regiment?”
      “What? Why, (I forget) Virginia!”
      “My Grand-father was in the Seventy-fifth Pennsylvania.”
      He flung a hand behind him, “Why, your Grand-daddy walked right down that road! That road!”
      “Yes, sir. Would you like a beer?”
      “Naw, I’ve had enough…”
      We parted with a handshake.

  14. Gt. Gt. Gt. Grandfather James Rippy joined at 37 years old the Cleveland county “farmers unit” out of N.C. Fought at Gettysburg in Pickett’s Charge in the N.C. 37th infantry Co.D. I don’t know how he survived that, the subsequent battles, and ended up at Appomattox. Nothing short of a miracle.

    By the way, if you think our statues of real heros “belong in a museum” I would like you to consider how bad things are in this country now. We need real men back in control.

    • Well, we agree on one thing – we need a real man (or woman) in the White House, not the pathetic baboon that’s there now. If you think the world thinks otherwise, see the ultra-conservative Australian journalist Chris Uhlmann’s devastating assessment of the baboon’s performance on the world stage at the G-20 this weekend. Yes, we need real leaders, not clowns.

    • I am reading all of close relatives, family individual people that served for our country and family.
      I want to thank you to fought with our brothers and sisters that changed America, home of the free.

    • OMG ! My man Please !!!
      Ok,ok,ok so you never called anyone any names !! Whewww

      There is medical treatment for your mental issues that if not treated will cause you to die .. com’on man lay off the cool-aid spew!
      My gosh you’d think by reading your rants and your almighty wisdom (but no name calling mind you) you’d see.
      I sure hope you don’t have any offspring !
      That isn’t name calling Dr.Hogan ! LOL

    • Wow, starting with the fact that I admitted to resorting to name-calling – albeit as an unfortunate part of a longer, reasoned argument – that’s just a remarkable display of nonsense, even by your standards. I hope it makes you feel smarter. It shouldn’t, but whatever works for you…it’s a free country.

    • Stop it, both of you. You are cluttering up my inbox!

    • Consider it stopped. Enough crazy for one lifetime. My apologies for giving in to it. Happy to get back to learning the stories of others whose ancestors also sacrificed for this country. I had many direct and indirect ancestors who fought in the War, including my GG grandfather’s brother Adolphus Macomber, a private in the 16th New York Infantry (the “Straw Hat Brigade”), who was killed as they were re-taking an artillery battery on the right flank of the Union line late in the day at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill in 1862. He was 18 years old. Others were in various NY and PA regiments, including a GG grandfather James Ashcraft who enlisted in the 207th PA Infantry at the age of 36, the father of 5 children, and was engaged in the heavy fighting around Richmond toward the end of the war. Thankfully he survived. I don’t know if any of my ancestors were engaged at Gettysburg, but I suspect some were.

    • Yes, please stop!!! This is supposed to be about your (our) ancestors who fought st Gettysburg. NOT about the current or past president. Calling President Trump a baboon is disrespectful to the office. And — if anyone had called Predidebt Obama a baboon — that would have been deemed racism. So why do some oropje think it is okay to call a white nsn a baboon?

      As I used to tell my children when they got into these stupid, endless arguments, where neither was going to change the other’s mind —- KNOCK IT OFF, CHILDREN!!

    • And calling Lincoln a traitor and a criminal who deserved to be assassinated is respectful to the office? There’s plenty of thin skin to go around, Patricia. Anyway, I agree, we’re back to Lincoln, Gettysburg and the Civil War, where we belong, rather than talking about treason and who started the war, which is how we got diverted to this unproductive nonsense in the first place.

  15. My 3rd great grandfather lost 3 sons to the civil war. The first died at Helena Arkansas Feb 27, 1863, second Aug 26, 1864 in Andersonville, GA, the 3rd March 1865 at Nashville, TN. I am sure we also had family from both sides at Gettysburg.

  16. I have a great uncle who was in the Minnesota 1st battalion as a major. He was wounded four different times in the Battle of Gettysburg. I don’t know much about him but he retired as a full Col. and later died of one of his wounds after the war. His name was Colonel Mark Downie and I have his sword on my wall.

  17. Micheap Hogan,
    You are an Idiot !! LOL !!
    Get a job man ! and do us all a favor and get some medical help …

    • And there it is. Eric T, the quintessential half-wit with a Phd in What my Daddy Told Me, who gets all of his history from the boys down at the fillin’ station; who doesn’t seem to know the difference between illegal human trafficking and institutionalized slavery; who can’t sort out the difference between a war started by one side to preserve and expand the institution of slavery (which it was) and the idea that the other side was willing from the start and for the first two years of the war to tolerate slavery in the Southern states but was not willing to accept the rebellious dissolution of the Union; who mindlessly repeats the fiction that the Constitution (and the Articles of Confederation before it) freely entered into by the states included a right of states to withdraw from the Union if the mood struck them to do so, blithely ignorant of the consensus among Constitutional scholars (and the lone Supreme Court ruling on the matter) that no such right exists in the Constitution, indeed just the opposite; who thinks he “completely understands both sides of the Civil War” (because he thinks he had thousands of family members who fought on both sides, none of whom he ever met even if it’s true), then proceeds to demonstrate that he understands exactly nothing about either side. It’s the Eric Ts of this country that make it so dangerous to toy with the symbols of such a tragic and heroic chapter in this Nation’s history. It’s the Eric Ts we have to thank for so much of the poison that has come to the surface in recent years and that threatens to destroy what so many people have fought and died to create and preserve. Many people whose ancestors fought on both sides of this War have commented so eloquently on this thread, it should not be disgraced by such nonsense.

    • Oh, I must have touched a nerve. So Michael you approve of men like Tecumseh Sherman to March across the South burning towns, cities and homes, murdering innocent men, women and children both white and slaves alike, destroying non-military targets. You believe and approve of War Crimes? With what you are saying, that is exactly what you support. I am far from an Idiot with no job. I work and pay taxes like a true American, but since you brought that up. Let me ask you a question, What race gets the majority of welfare, food stamps and child tax credits? Then estimate what race pays the most money in on taxes? Take your uneducated liberal views and hop the quickest jet to a third world country. I wouldn’t be criticizing a person whose family fought for and provided the very freedoms you’re exercising.

    • The touched nerve appears to by yours, my friend. You’ll see I said nothing about whether or not you have a job or pay taxes. I said nothing about approving of the methods employed by either side in what was a brutal, total war. I also had ancestors who fought and died, not only in this war but in every conflict this country has ever fought in going back to King Philip’s War in the 1670s. And then there’s your gratuitous and racist rant about blacks and welfare. You know nothing about me yet presume many things, I simply dealt with the impoverished grasp of history you exhibited in your several posts that dishonor the sacrifice of so many ancestors honored elsewhere in this thread. You seem to be a very troubled man whose troubles are not helped by carrying around a lot of half-baked persecution myths about the past.

    • No, I can’t stand people who condemn an entire section of Americans but refuse to condemn the other side. Yes, you did say Get a Job and don’t deny it. I have a valid right to point out the welfare system and everything else. Ever since the Civil War most African Americans have used slavery as an excuse to obtain sympathy but the European people that were dragged from ships and forced into conflict is never mentioned. People like you want Confederate monuments removed or destroyed and Confederate Flags removed but what you and millions of others fail to realize is those monuments and flags are the only gravemarkers those soldiers have. We’re discussing Gettysburg but what most people don’t realize is that the hills located at the battlefield are mass graves that contain Union and Confederate soldiers all piled together. Removing and discarding the Confederate Flag and Monuments is the same as destroying or removing a headstone from your parents or your children. How would you feel if someone refused for your beloved ones to have a gravemarker or they desecrated it? Think about that long and hard before you respond.

    • How instructive that you continue to insist that I said “get a job” when I clearly did not (I just went back and re-read my post to be sure, because I’m always prepared to admit when I’m wrong, a mindset you should seriously consider adopting). And no, removing the Confederate battle flag is not the same as removing a headstone from someone’s parents’ graves, yet a further illustration of your persecution complex. The graves of both Union and Confederare soldiers are preserved at the Gettysburg cemetery, as they should be. The racist stuff about welfare simply doesn’t belong in this discussion, even if you were correct (which you are largely not).

    • I’m not being racist but I am stating facts. Groups like the NAACP and other push an agenda to remove the Confederacy. Well the two go hand and hand, The Confederacy got blamed for slavery, then remove anything associated with oppression. This includes Black History Month, Harriet Tubman, The Underground Railroad, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Remove the Lincoln Monument, anything affiliated with, formed from or derived from the Civil War. Educate our children about what Lincoln really was and that was a Traitor who deserved execution.

    • You really are a deeply disturbed and misinformed individual.

    • Hogan,
      You seriously need to lookup all the crimes Lincoln committed. The research is there. As far as Obama and his ACA is an illegal law to begin which requires taxpayer approval before being implemented. Being attached to the IRS is Taxation without Representation which is the same thing as the Tea Tax imposed by King George which led to The Revolutionary War or was our Founding Fathers wrong as well for picking up arms against the Monarchy. Your liberal views will get you nowhere. Then you have Bengazi which led to The deaths of Americans and like he said the Buck Stopped With Him and then failed to take responsibility like the coward he is. Back to the Union Forces and you thinking they are so great and did the right thing. Why don’t you tell that to all the Native Americans that were slaughtered at the hands of Union Forces. Like the cowardly scum they were attacking before daybreak when the braves were away hunting. Sneaking in murdering innocent men, women, children, helpless elders, even raping and murdering pregnant women. They kill the wild horses, buffalo among other things to starve them and then constantly lie to their faces while stealing from them. Sounds like Liberal Democrats to me.

    • The ACA was passed by Congress and the “illegal” provision you refer to was upheld by the Supreme Court. If you don’t like the government the Founders set up you’re welcome to suggest an alternative; good luck with that. If that’s a sample of the quality of your “research” I think we know where the rest of it leads. You really are so far out of touch with reality.

    • Oh yes, and how could I have forgotten to mention that sterling genius John Pierce, whose contribution to this honorable thread couldn’t seem to rise above a muddled, five-year-old schoolyard name-calling rant. Thanks for your contribution John, a gentleman and a scholar you are.

    • Stop it, both of you! You are cluttering up my inbox.

  18. I’m a direct descendant of men who fought for the Confederacy. I’m glad the South lost that tragic conflict, for slavery is a scar that still haunts our Nation to this day. I do, however, think it’s important to point out that the South didn’t desire to take over the Union, just merely leave it. Both sides believed they had the Constitutional right to act as they did. Doesn’t make it any less horrific, but to act as if one side (or the other) was totally honorable in the argument doesn’t do justice to the times OR the politics of those days. Present politics should put the early 1800’s in a better perspective; rancor, disrespect, and pontificating is not a new concept.

    • Talking about Slavery look up Anthony Johnson a black colonist from 1600’s Virginia. An indentured servant that gained freedom, becambecame a tobacco farmer who had whites and blacks as slaves. The first legal case approving slavery was the John Casor Case, a black man who was an indentured servant to Anthony Johnson that worked off his indebtedness and gaining his freedom. After which Anthony Johnson sued John Casor in a Virginia court whereby sending John Casor back to Anthony Johnson into lifetime servitude aka SLAVERY.

    • I agree with you!

    • That is, I agree with Charles McGuire, about the both sides issue and that neither was totally honorable. I too have several direct ancestors who fought for the Confederacy (my great-grandpa from Georgia and 3 on my mother’s side from Tennessee). And one other who fought as a Yankee (from Maine). I do also agree with Eric T, about the fact that he cites of a Black who owned Black slaves and also White slaves.

  19. My Great Great Grandpa, William Murphy, was flag bearer of Co A, 2nd Mississippi Riflemen. On July 1, 1863, the first day of the battle of Gettysburg and after a tug of war with Francis Waller of 6th Wisconsin, Waller ripped the flag from Grandpa’s hands. Waller would receive the Medal of Honor and Grandpa was captured and went to Ft. Delaware. 30 years later, Grandpa went back to Gettysburg and the Railroad Cut were this incident happened, then went to the War Department in D.C. and saw his flag for the last time. He died in 1915 and had received word from the War Department that “his” flag was returned to Mississippi and would be there if he wanted to see it again. It eventually was on display at Beauvoir and with the threat of Katrina wiping out the Jefferson Davis Library, it was sent back to Jackson ….the state capital.

  20. I am a lady in her 70’S .I have read the coment, I am just now searching out my ancestor. I have traveled to many of the National parks and landmarks of that horrible war and it saddens my heart. In reading each story I could feel the pride in each and everyone. I thank each and everyone for sharing .

    • Thank you for your appreciation Ma’am, I only wish people would stop with the political correctness and using history to feed their own agendas. They fail to acknowledge true facts and preceding events that lead up to issues they have a problem with. Most people nowadays fail to take responsibility for their ancestors’ actions. They talk about Slavery like African Americans are the only ones who suffered but Jews, Scotish, Irish, and Romanians formerly Wacchia under Vlad the Impaler suffered slavery under the Turkish Sultan. Africans are a small segment of this issue but yet whites are still being enslaved in Africa today. So what about this issue. I don’t hear African Americans condemning their own former country for this atrocity.

    • I love how people criticize the Southern States for becoming the Confederacy. My point is this, the Southern States has every right under the Constitution to become a Sovereign Territory just like the 13 Colonies exercised against the British in the formation of our country during The Revolutionary War. The Colonials did not enact a draft but has volunteers just as the Confederacy did. It was the British as well as the Union Armies that forced people to fight for a cause that they did not believe in. People need to seriously research history before stating their opinions of ignorance.

  21. I had four paternal ancestors who fought for the Confederacy and four maternal ancestors who fought for the Union. Of the eight one died serving in the 8th Texas Rangers, CSA at the battle of Mill Creek, Limestone County, Alabama on May 9, 1862. Another died on April 1, 1865, from disease serving in the Bayous at Red River, Louisiana with Union General Nathaniel Banks. Three from Saratoga County, New York, one from Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Three from Alabama and one from Tennessee. Litterly hundreds of relatives fought in the war, my great-great-great-uncle served in the 4th Alabama Infantry, took part in the first battle of Manassas, and was standing within a few feet of Gen. Bee when he made his remark, “There stands Stonewall Jackson”, and saw the General fall from his horse after he was shot dead. He and four of his cousins all served at the Battle of Gettysburg those fateful days, they all survived, but one cousin suffered from battle wounds and became a prisoner of war, serving the rest of the war in a New York Hospital Prison Camp. One cousin tried in vain to bring Alabama back into the Union, later after the war, he was appointed a US Supreme Court Justice for the District of Columbia, appointed by President U.S. Grant. His name was David Campbell Humphreys.

  22. All total I had over 2,000 family members that fought in the Civil War over 1,000 Union and over 1,000 Confederate including my cousins Cole Younger and siblings and Jesse and Frank James. I completely understand both sides of the war but the simple fact is the Civil War was never about Slavery but rather Northern Greed looking for any reason to acquire the south’s iron ore to manufacture weapons for Europe. If Lincoln was so great and concerned about Slavery. Then why did he wait until 2 years after the war started to make slavery an issue but let us not forget that it was Lincoln himself who wanted to eliminate slaves altogether and ship them all back to Africa, but after the war he allowed northerners to remain to keep slaves but condemned the South for having them. Lincoln was a low-life individual.

  23. My GGrandfather James C. Doody was an original member of the Garabaldi Guard or the 39th New York Volunteers. He fought at Gettysburg and miraculously survived the 4 years of his enlistment. There is a monument to the Guard on the battlefield of Gettysburg. He was awarded his citizenship for his service to his country.

    • Here is a person talking about a monument dedicated to the 39th New York Volunteers. This monument and all other Union monuments need to be removed. This is discriminatory because these men fired upon and attacked fellow Americans. Remember it was the North that came South not the South going North. Understand historical facts people.

    • Its not who did what to who…The Civil War is over. Has been for a very long time. What did we as a nation learn from its carnage???? When I stood at the monument imagining how my GGrandfather must have felt standing in the face of death, I understood why it took him 20 years to be able to find a wife and raise a family. When I learned of the casualty count of the original 39th New York Volunteers and absorbed the fact that it was a miracle that he survived, it made me grateful to be alive. Had he been killed I would not exist and neither would my entire family. Lastly, history has shown that killing people even in the legalized killing of war has never resolved anything because history shows that retribution begets retribution.

  24. You need to also think about who is responsible for Racial Tensions in this nation today. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nikki Haley and a host of others.

  25. Eric, it was the State of South Carolina who bombarded a Federal Fort located in the harbor outside Charleston, South Carolina. For this action, the call to arms was initiated by President Lincoln. Shortly after the call, several other states met at Montgomery, Alabama to formed what we know as the Confederate States of America. Many times I have been asked which side would I choose if I was forced to fight in that war. My heart saddens for my Southern Kinfolks, but I would have to say the Union because I love my country and preserving my nation is more important than any other reason. Slavery was never the original issue of the war. Lincoln himself pleaded for the Southern States to rejoin the Union and they could continue slavery. Many of my black relatives even enlisted and fought for the Confederacy, some died fighting in that war. And they served with distinction. I don’t know how politics got into this subject, but I am proud of our current President. I believe he will go down in History as the Greatest President since Abraham Lincoln. The last knucklehead moron made a mockery of our Country and should have been impeached a long time ago, even before his second term. Unfortunately for America, the Congress was ruled by the Democrats and he remained in power for eight long miserable years.

    • Hi Dennis,
      Actually the Federal troops were asked to leave South Carolina prior to secession but Lincoln gave the order for the Federal troops to occupy and hold the southern forts at all costs. This order violated Article 3 Section 3 of the U.S Constitution explaining Treason. This order granted Federal troops the authority to fire upon American citizens. The Federal troops originally occupied Fort Moultrie and then moved to Fort Sumter instead of obeying South Carolina’s wishes to leave the area to prevent bloodshed. South Carolina was even going to provide escort to avoid war. Instead, Fort Sumter became occupied by the Federal troops and when a cannon was accidently ignited by Federal troops it was Confederate soldiers that returned fire in response. When the troops at Fort Sumter were running seriously short of provisions and ammunition. Lincoln was notified and asked to remove the troops. He pretended to agree and the ships he sent were stopped by Confederate ships and discovered 20,000 reinforcements and supplies. The ships were immediately turned back. So Lincoln committed Treason and started the Civil War by his own actions and criminal behavior.

    • Eric, South Carolina was in rebellion, since no provision of the Constitution grants a state the right to secede (Texas v. White). South Carolina had no right to eject the US military and South Carolina committed rebellion when it chose to do so by force. Those are simply the facts of the matter. You may not like the fact that Lincoln refused to accept armed rebellion but that doesn’t make it treason – it makes you wrong. Lincoln was honoring his sacred pledge to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States. I know, in your fevered little mind you don’t agree with that, but over a hundred years of Constitutional scholarship says otherwise, and unless you can produce evidence of any particular expertise in Constitutional law, in going with them..

    • It’s amazing actually how convoluted your thinking is. The people who actually commenced firing on Americans, South Carolina, are not the traitors, because they supposedly gave prior notice they were going to do so, despite having no such right, but Lincoln was a traitor because he authorized US forces to defend themselves against armed rebellion, as was his right and indeed his obligation according to the oath of office he took. That’s your argument? You need to do some serious soul-searching.

    • Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion Dennis. For a somewhat more informed and objective view, you may want to pull up the video of conservative political commentator Chris Uhlmann of Australia assessing the performance of the current occupant at this past weekend’s G-20 conference. He has taken our country to a low point we may never have reached before, but hey, it’s still early, maybe he’ll grow up and get a clue. As for Obama, let’s leave aside your failure to realize that Republicans controlled the House (where articles of impeachment are drafted and voted upon) for all but the first two years of his presidency – that aside, what exactly would you impeach him for? For not agreeing with you? Happily, the Founders didn’t consider a failure to agree with Dennis to be an impeachable offense. Get over it, man, Obama’s gone and the baboon is in charge. He (and you) own it now, and you folks had better figure it out before the whole enterpise goes up in smoke.

  26. Micheal Hogan, your attempt to impress everyone with your choice of articulate wording of yoda wisdom is comical to say the least. LMAO !

    Hogan = a typical very proud communist hypocrite at large ! as well has a very deep depression of Obama no longer president and his wanna be wonder woman Hillary lost. And, oh yes also will never accept the election results.
    Hogan = CNN with special guest Yoda

    • Not a coherent thought or cogent argument anywhere in that post, just the usual insane, incoherent babbling, senseless hatred and baseless name-calling and ad hominem attacks on anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Either you don’t know what a communist is or you don’t care – but to help you out, a person who disagrees with you is not therefore a communist. (A person who disagrees with you is probably therefore sane, but thankfully I don’t know you nor do you know me, so unlike you I won’t presume that to be the case.) I do apologize if all this “articulate” stuff is over your head – if you find it tough going, maybe you should stick to something you’re more comfortable with. I shudder to think of what that might be….

    • Your words……..
      Well, we agree on one thing – we need a real man (or woman) in the White House, not the pathetic baboon that’s there now. If you think the world thinks otherwise, see the ultra-conservative Australian journalist Chris Uhlmann’s devastating assessment of the baboon’s performance on the world stage at the G-20 this weekend. Yes, we need real leaders, not clowns.

      You also called someone an idiot with a phd…..

      WAKE UP… All you screaming liberals do is promote violence, carry out your violence, under the guise of your “Right to protest”… You are all insane, and still can’t get over that the criminal Clinton lost. What is it with your derangement syndrome… Do you drink from the same watering hole as all the idiots on TV?

    • Let’s see, where do I begin? First, you assume I’m a liberal, which would come as a huge surprise to my liberal friends. I’m actually quite conservative on most issues. If you were actually paying attention to things outside of the bubble you apparently live in you’d realize that most of the traditional conservative political class agrees with my (and Chris Uhlmann’s) assessment of Trump. Uhlmann is a true conservative, and he nailed Trump’s performance beautifully. Second, you assume I was a fan of Hillary Clinton. Far from it. I’m not a fan of being lashed with a bullwhip either, but if given a choice between a bullwhippong and being shot in the head I know which one I’d choose. (Get it? Hillary was the bullwhipping and Trump was the shot in the head. I get the sense I need to spell it out for you.) Third, “all the idiots on TV” would presumably include Hannity and Co., which is presumably the watering hole from which you drink. I watch both, I choose to use my critical faculties and draw my own conclusions rather than be led by the nose by some unhinged nut job, from either end of the spectrum. Other than that, you really nailed it! Well done!

    • You completely avoided answering your “Name Calling” accusation… So typical, and for the record I don’t believe a word coming out of your leftist mouth. Do me a favor, crawl back into your hole, or MOVE… Go to another country if you hate it so much hear… Maybe you can take all of NY and California with you… MAGA !!!!!

    • I did indeed refer to Trump as a pathetic baboon, but I accompanied that with evidence that he is – watch the video, if he doesn’t remind you of a pathetic baboon wandering the halls of the G-20 you’re not being honest with yourself. And yes, I did refer to Eric T as a “half-wit with a PhD in ….”, but again I proceeded to follow it up with a series of well-supported arguments. In other words, I wasn’t engaging in pointless incoherent name-calling, I was putting forth a reasoned argument and, admittedly, I spiced it up with a colorful description or two. Mea culpa. Far different from the unhinged poison and hatred spewed by John Pierce. It’s typical of these discussions with Trumpistas – the hatred just pours out of you, incoherent, untethered to reality, tinged with violent overtones, and then when someone pushes back and disagrees with you the immediate response is whine about hatred and violence. The formula is so consistent one would almost think you’re all reading off the same script…. You don’t want to believe I’m not a “leftie” because it would screw with your whole twisted world view, but if you don’t like my take on it then read any of the commentary in The National Review or listen to a few of the more objective of the right-wing radio hosts – they’ll tell you pretty much the same thing. And I’m not going anywhere – I love America and cherish the fact that I can disagree with someone without getting shot – or at least so far that’s been the case. Exchanges like this make one wonder and make one want to stay and fight even harder for civil public dialogue. You’re the one who seems to really, really dislike the 70% of Americans who feel the same way about Trump I do.

    • Hogan,
      For what it is worth, I actually feel sorry for you. Because you really have no idea just how brainwashed you really are. Don’t worry there is hope out there. It is called INDIVIDUALIZED THINKING and I know someday you will make it out of DENSE FOREST…. I don’t blame you at all. You’re just the product of a very poor education. Private school for me because my parents loved me enough to do so. Just remember since I’m actually in the medical field please don’t come to the hospital. I would hate for my years of critical knowledge to interfere with your great intellect.

    • And again with the pointless, hate-filled rant – no coherent response, just a stream of venom. I could regale you with the number of degrees I hold but it’s really beside the point. It doesn’t take a fancy education to know that (a) the ACA is the law of the land, including the affirmative decision by the Supreme Court, and (b) Trump has demonstrated over and over, to conservatives as well as to liberals, that he’s unfit to serve as President of the United States. But thanks for your concern – I will take it to heart. Or maybe not.

    • You an Steve W. get out of your mommies basement and get a job.
      You both are hypocrites do nothing but go name calling rants, whipping ?

      Oh yes less we forget you are the chosen one ! LOL

    • Hey Hogan…

      Look in the mirror… Almost all of your posts involved name calling!!! Just like the idiots on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc etc….and of course most newspapers across this country, you think you can say something on a Monday, and then contradict that same statement on Tuesday, and think no one notices… Why don’t you move to North Korea, then send me a post card…

  27. I know we are a country that allows free speech. However, I think it would be fair for the sponsors to read the comments first and then only put on the ones that relate to their invitation to share stories about ancestors. Please consider setting it up that way next time if possible.

  28. My 3rd Great Uncle John Buell Jr. was a private in Company D 147th New York Infantry, 1st Corp, 1st Division, 2nd Brigade. Of the 380 men who were mustered before the battle, he was one of the 79 men who survived.

  29. My GGG Grandfather on my Mother’s side Thomas L. Yergey was in Co. D of the 6th PA Cavalry(Rush’s Lancers) was at the Battle of Gettysburg having survived a very heavy fight at Brandy Station a short time before. He was from Pottstown, PA and died in 1915. His obit said he was the oldest serving fireman in Montgomery County at the time.

  30. I wanted to be able to read the stories from both sties of this war, about the people who survived the fight of brother against brother. The stories of wemen who sent their men off to fight a battle for our freedom . I get enough of today’s happenings from the TV.I don’t have to read it here , I came to fold 3 to read about mine and your ancestors.

    • Amen to that. Thanks for the reminder. I get baited into exchanges with crazies too easily. The stories here are a reminder of what this country has endured to become the greatest nation on Earth – sacrifices by both sides.

  31. Mr Hogan states these statues are not gone. They have been removed to museums. I am curious as to how he determined this. He obviously is not a citizen of New Orleans or he would know they are now sitting in a warehouse! Every generation makes mistakes and this country has made some bad ones. But that doesn’t change history. These monuments need to be left in place for all to remember this mistake of slavery. It cannot be changed but every generation, black and white needs to know about this time in our history. There should be no “rewriting” of history to suit any one group. It is what it is and we must learn from it.

    • You might be surprised to hear that I largely agree with you – there’s little point in whitewashing history. It was my understanding the statues would be moved to an appropriate place in a museum or other setting – perhaps the warehouse situation is temporary, I hope not. That said, I have sympathy for those who take offense at something that looks like veneration. We should not be as dismissive of that concern as some in this thread have been – recognizing the agonizing sacrifices made by those who fought on both sides is essential, but we need to be cognizant of the fact that there is a line somewhere regarding veneration of the leaders of a rebellion in defense of slavery that we should not cross. I’m not sure NOLA has found that line in this case, but a line exists.

  32. I came across this website for the history of our nation, for the information on people who created a history so we living today may learn from both the good and the bad. I didn’t come in to talk about current political garbage but to call our elected President a babbling baboon or directed to a foreigner’s rants, I had to speak out in defense of the man who was overwhelmingly elected by the American public to be our President. A man who is doing so much more for our nation in just a few days after taking office, than any other President has done in years while in office. I would hope the monitors of this great website would take note and do a better job censoring posts that don’t pertain to the subject at hand. This was about the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War, Not about the G-20 meeting going on in Europe today.

  33. Some Confederate soldiers knew only that they were fighting against the enemy.

  34. One should read “A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION” be William Rawle, LL. D 1825
    It will answer many questions about to reason so many men went to serve with their state. We are a Republic made of individual states. We are not as we have been taught a Democracy. It is sad that we still wax and wain over this point. Sad that we cannot see that we are one body. When you hurt one side you cannot get rid of them with out harming the other. Sad we see the same argument over and over. When are we going to learn from our history? Well the system is just. Now we need to make it fair for everyone. You must learn to respect all citizens of this country against anyone who thinks that we are the enemy.

  35. My 2 times great grandfather – Wilhelm H. Noehren – fought at Gettysburg. He joined the 20th Indiana Infantry. He was 43 years old, a farmer, and had only immigrated from Germany 9 years earlier. He said he was fighting to help keep his new country together. Like most (I assume) other soldiers, he had no full understanding of all the details of why we were fighting, he just felt it was his duty. Wilhelm had been injured at Falmouth (dislocated shoulder and broken ribs), was on light duty with his unit until Chancellorsville. After Gettysburg he “contracted varicose veins” and spent the rest of his enlistment in hospital. While in hospital he contracted TB. After the war he went home to family and farm, and had 3 more children…one of whom was my great grandmother… but was never able to fully work his own farm again. I think from this we learn that all the little stories, the unimportant personal stories, they are the real legacy of this war – rather than the list of battles and generals.

  36. James G Jobe

    My great grandfather, Captain Benjamin Alpheus Job, joined Company H of the 11th Pennsylvania and saw hard service from Bull Run to Cold Harbor with the Army of the Potomac. By the time of Gettysburg, he had gone from a private to first sergeant and was wounded by a shell fragment on July 3rd. His name is displayed on the Gettysburg monument for the Pennsylvania Volunteers. After his wound healed he resigned from the 11th Pennsylvania and joined the Army of the Potomac as a Captain and remained an infantry officer. He was wounded again at the Battle of Gaines Mill and lost his left eye when he was hit by a miniball and was taken prisoner but was released in a prisoner exchange in time to fight at Antietum. He was also wounded at Cold Harbor when a shell exploded on a breastworks of railroad ties and one of the ties flew through the air, hit him on the head and “knocked him senseless” according to his military record. Apparently, the he convinced his commander that he had regained his senses after one week and returned to duty in time to fight in the second Battle of the Wilderness and was present at Appomattox for Lee’s Surrender to Grant.

    When what we learn what the soldiers on both sides went through it makes me wonder how they could have lived through the Civil War. The Captain was 18 when he joined his regiment as a private and rose to the rank of Captain in the Army of the Potomac upon discharge in 1865 at age 22. After the hostilities ended he was promoted to “the rank of Major for gallant conduct on March 13, 1865 in the Battle of Wilderness, Virginia” He never wore the Oak Leaves of a Major saying he was just doing what he was supposed to do. When he returned home everyone called him “Captain” He lived in pain for the rest of his life but died a prosperous business man in 1919. I don’t know if we have the dedication that Americans had during the Civil War.

  37. For my part, I was surprised to learn about my fifth great Grand Uncle Frederick William Stowe (son of Harriet Beecher Stowe) was wounded in the head on the second day I believe. He survived the battle but never fought after that. According to what I have read about his life, he left on a ship for San Fransisco and died shortly after.

  38. I’ve read through this whole thread but only wish to focus on the historic and genealogical elements here. For those who wish to go back and forth with other users on here, go ahead. But I’m just here to make a comment.

    I had at least two ancestors, to my knowledge, who fought in the civil war on the side of the union. One joined a unit in Plainfield, MA, fighting north of New Orleans, in a six month tour. The other ancestor was drafted in New York and served on a gunboat south of Florida. To my knowledge, there are no ancestors in my family who fought for the Confederacy. But that isn’t a surprise since they mostly lived in New York and Massachusetts.

    I would also like to note that the Confederacy and Union both had drafts. There were volunteers on both sides but there were also draft riots in North and South. So the individual who said those in the South were volunteers was not quite right. Ordinary people on each side had their own personal reasons for serving on each side.

    I look forward to hearing other people tell stories of their families who participated in the civil war, which like the Revolutionary War, was brother against brother, family against family although each was about different issues which others can debate throughout this forum.

    • Amen!!!!

    • And can we all agree that that goes for the people who chose to offer their unsolicited opinions on the removal of statues and Confederate battle flags? After all, that’s what got all of this started. Let’s all agree that this site is for honoring our war dead. Period. No political opinions, no editorials on current events, no commentary on how stupid or brainwashed or politically correct others are. It doesn’t belong here. NONE of it.

  39. Michael Hogan, just another sad Democrat.

  40. You don’t really appreciate a battle until you see the terrain. I arrived at the battle site at the center of the Union line. I looked down at the ground PIckett’s charge would cover, and thought it would be “like shooting fish in a barrel.” Later I drove around to the bottom of that slope and looked up. From that angle it looked like it might be possible to storm the heights. I could see why Pickett was tempted. I could also see, quite clearly, why it failed in such a spectacular fashion. Many brave men on both sides, worthy of being commented. The tour of Round Top was instructional too.

  41. My ancestor, Simon Knowles, fought for the Union Army. He was a private, and I would like to get more information about him.

  42. My great grandfather, Tenney Walsh, fought in the Union army at the battle of Gettysburg and survived. That’s all I know about him. He was my mother’s grandfather.

  43. As the descendant of Civil War soldiers who fought on both sides, perhaps my pained reaction to some of the chatter on this thread are compelling me to comment. Just a few points: (1) Robert E. Lee was an excellent commander, who by all accounts lent himself to healing wounds after the war, even though presented with the opportunity to resort to guerilla tactics, which would have merely prolonged a useless conflict. He never wrote much, but in a letter to his wife he acknowledged slavery’s difficulties, leaving one to believe (as did many of the southern gentry) that slavery was akin to having the “wolf by the ears”. It is undoubted that the economic institution of slavery and the worth of that “chattel” inventory was itself an economic driver in the south. These men on both sides, however, were a product of their times. The discrimination against those of African descent on both sides of Mason Dixon was rather evident; witness the conscription riots in New York.(2) The real scar on the south was Jim Crow and that dark period in southern history. But it also existed elsewhere but in a less lethal form and without the same publicity. (3)The true history lesson of the Civil War should be the way it ended. Two men, one with dignity and the burden of defeat and the other (Gen’l Grant) with as much compassion as he could offer. It was a solemn and historical event. It was the beginning of a healing process, but, alas, others opened new wounds. As we march into another time, we would be well served to examine not just facts, but our reactions. The problem is, however, that we don’t see things the way they are; rather we see things the way WE are. Referring to comments of others in pejorative fashion, insulting current leaders, straining to find analogy in current events and raising the level of emotion in discussing the lessons to be learned from this significant historical moment we call “The Civil War” can only cause the loss of lessons to be learned. History is a marvelous teacher;we just need to listen in class.

    • Amen and Amen!

    • As a descendant of many of those 4 million in captivity I don’t have the luxury of reflecting on how great a commander Robert E Lee was. He was first a slave owner and defender of that system that greatly enriched him and his family. Nonetheless I am definitely in favor of remembering the likes of Lee and Davis et al as long as you properly and fully define them for what they were — traitors and enslavers, defenders of an inherently violent system that systematically stripped 4 million plus human beings of their humanity.
      Once Louis Farrakhan praised Hitler as brilliant and wicked. The world rightly so condemned those words given Hitler’s taste for genocide and barbarism. So why is it acceptable to praise the brilliance of confederate traitors and enslavers? Do not black lives matter also?
      The confederates started the civil war to defend a cruel inhumane barbaric system for enriching themselves. As a result hundreds of thousands of lives were lost and wealth destroyed. So really how do you overlook that to narrowly focus on the brilliance of military decisions? Of course, in the end their greed and stupidity opened the door for my family to be emancipated and find life as a free people so maybe stupidity is not always a stupid thing.

    • Iona Davis, I understand your point. While I still maintain that Jim Crow was far more devastating to race relations than the Civil War, it is understandable to react to the southern (and northern) slaveholder with negativity. However, you would be well served to temper your bitterness with a more clinical approach to history and why its study is necessary. You have apparently been inculcated with generational bitterness, perhaps exacerbated by personal experience. But to study history is a clinical exercise, which means forgoing being consumed by that bitterness. July 4th, 1863 was the turning point of the Civil War. The presumably invincible Gen’l Lee abandoned the field at Gettysburg and Gen’l Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg to Gen’l Grant. It was the beginning of the end. The real question (to be answered within yourself) is what significance this fateful day had in terms of future events and the lessons to be applied, if any. To do so will not degrade your lineage nor cause you disadvantage In spite of some of the inflammatory remarks made on this thread, it is more than fair to say that not all of Caucasian descent are culturally atavistic. Sometimes it’s beneficial to talk TO people and not AT them. I leave you with a couple of quotes that I have personally taken to heart:.”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santyana) “Wisdom too often never comes and so one ought not to reject it, merely because it comes late.” (Felix Frankfurter, 1949).

  44. One day my cousin, Barney Eaton an Attorney whose office was located in Gulfport, Mississippi, took his father-in-law, my paternal great-great-uncle, Alexander Heath Simpson to his law office to meet a gentleman coming in from New York.

    As the story was told to me, by Barney’s son, James Eaton, the two men met, the gentleman from New York, whose name I have now forgotten, was introduced to my Uncle, even though my Uncle shook the gentleman’s hand, he refused to say anything to him. The meeting between the three men finally ended, and as the Gentleman from rose up to leave, my Uncles finally said, “hold on Sir, now I recognized you from the Battle of Gettysburg.” At first, I couldn’t remember where I saw you before until your turned your back on me.” The gentleman, asked, “why is that.” My Uncle remarked, “Because you were running away from me when I was trying to shoot you, but my gun got jammed up”. Both men got a good laugh, shook hands, talked about the battle, and became very good friends thereafter. Alexander H. Simpson enlisted May 1861, at Huntsville, Alabama, as a Private in Company F, 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, Confederate States Army. He later transferred to Company G, 4th Alabama Calvary, CSA and served until the surrender in 1865. {Source: “Madison County, Alabama, 1907 Census of Confederate Records,” (Cullman, Al: The Gregath Company, 1982), Vol. 25, Page 35, No. 242}. {“Confederate Patriot Index, 1894,” (1976) Vol. 1, Page 392. United Daughters of the Confederacy, Tennessee Division. Tennessee State No. 28, Application of Mrs. Samuel Allen (Simpson) Wilkinson}.

  45. Seeking names of Swain’s serving in the Civil War. I believe there were Swain’s in both sides
    Very much appreciate assistance.
    Richard Koeppel Swain

  46. Gary w. Loyd, Member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
    07/11/2017.
    Did you know that the first slave owner was a black tobacco farmer ? Did you know the the North had more slaves than the South? Did you know that one of the largest slave ports was in Long Island, New York ? Did you know that the Civil War was not about freeing slaves? Did you know that the Northern General Ulysses S. Grant was a slave owner, and later became President of the United States, and is featured on the 50 dollar bill. The SCV is all about researching the truth.

    • Truth mixed in with lies is still a lie. Your approach to truth is akin to that of big tobacco companies using corrupt science to deny links between tobacco and cancer. Even if half of slave owners were black and half of slaves were white, slavery would still be brutal and inhumane. So what’s your point beyond issuing lies to convolute a serious condition that maimed and ruined the lives of millions?
      Who said the North was no complicit in slavery? New England shipping companies were big time slave traders. No one except confederate lovers are looking for ways to absolve and deny the evil of slavery and the wide spread involvement of much of the nation.
      Oh and BTW for the record I happen to know the names and locations of all my great grandparents former slavers, and guess what, not one was black but some were their daddies!!! So white men enslaved their own children. How does a man of any value do that? And Why aren’t the anti-abortionists appalled by that little dirty non secret?

    • And no, nobody would know “the first slave owner was a black tobacco farmer”‘since black history was never taught in this country until the establishment of Negro History Week. In that one week we had so much more positives to celebrate we didn’t have time for that obscure alleged alt-fact. Maybe the SCV will push for black history in the public schools. BTW one of my white cousins from slavery is a SCV post commander in Georgia. I’ll ask him about starting that as a campaign.

    • The first slave owner was not a black tobacco farmer; the first court case decided in favor of a slave owner (in the 17th century) involved a black tobacco farmer. From the time of the first census (1790) through Emancipation “the North” never had more than a tiny fraction of the number of slaves held in “the South,” either per capita or in total; that’s an absurd claim. Northerners played an enormous and reprehensible role in the slave trade; that’s hardly new information. The Civil War was not started “to free slaves,” it was started by what was to become the Confederacy because they wanted to expand slavery into the new territories, but the Founders knew that slavery was always a going to be an issue that had to be decided eventually, and the Civil War decided it. The “fact” that U.S. Grant once owned one slave for less than a year, and freed him rather than sold him, is part of a much longer and more complicated story that has no bearing whatsoever on anything here. So in the end, (a) if the SCV are really interested in the truth, they should take the time to find out what the whole truth is, and (b) as many others have already said, NONE OF THIS BELONGS HERE. Take it someplace else. Preferably far, far away.

    • Thank you and amen!!!

    • Did you know that for decades the states of the old confederacy have received more money from the Federal Government than they pay, while the states of the old north pay more to the Federal Government than they receive? So why are you still in rebellion with your “Stars and Bars” flags and singing Dixie? You lost the war and because of your loser attitude of looking backwards rather into a new future for your region we in the north are still having to give our tax dollars to the old Dixie Land!

      Y’all enjoy our money now!

      From a great grandson of two Pennsylvanians who served in the Army of the Potomac and fought at Gettysburg.
      J G Jobe

    • And you will recieve more from Social Security than you paid in….by far.

      Too much of all federal money comes not from “our tax dollars” but from irrational borrowing and that far beyond our means. We will all pay for this.

  47. And I thought that the war between the states was fought because the south wanted to charge lower import duties than the north!

    • You raise a valid point. The Morrill Act became law two days before President Buchanan left office. It basically raised duties on European imports by as much as 40%. The south, being primarily agricultural was much more dependent on items not produced in the south.
      However, this was but one example of the north provoking the war. Virginia was debating abolition a year before the war and did everything possible to avoid it. About that time John Brown funded by a group known as the special six out of Boston , left Kansas and came to Virginia.His radical abolishinest
      views and activities were well known.The raid on Harpers Ferry was intended to acquire arms from the federal armery there and put guns in the hands of slaves with which to kill their white masters and families.Fear spread throughout Virginia and any hope of preventing war was lost.
      The special six fled to Canada as they feared being hung for treason.
      A study of Lincoln quickly reveals that he was not the great emancipator that history now incorrectly portrays.His idea was to remove slaves to Latin America and the carribean islands.Not until 1863 did he emancipate the slaves. Up until that time tGeneral Lee was making fools of union commanders and Lincoln was desperate to break the back of southern labor.Union general McClellan threaten to resign if Lincoln freed the slaves and in fact did so on the day of emancipation. Interesting to note McClellan ran against Lincoln on the issue of ratifying the proclamation in 1864 and defeated Lincoln in New York.
      Remember that Lincoln freed only the slaves held in the cofederate states. many union generals including Grant owned slaves until 1865.Lee was made the administratior of a will which left him slaves to be kept for five years. Lee had no legal authority to sell the inheritance. As directed the slaves he inherited were freed, not sold, in 1862. Delaware ratified the emancipation in 1901. many historians believe the emancipation proclamation was a military strategy for Lincoln and something which he himself did not expect Congress to ratify.His assasination may have very well been responsible for its ratification.
      Today many facts leading up to the war have been
      altered by the victors who usually write the history.
      The truth is that many brave men lost their lives on both sides.Most would probably say they fought for their countries , families and way of life. very few soldiers on either side owned slaves and certainly did not forfeit their lives with the main issue of slavery being their primary motivation.
      General Sherman served as a pall bearer at the funeral of Robert E Lee. I think he would be appalled today to see statues of Lee and others being removed because they were the evil promoters of slavery.
      northern businessmen wanted the profits of the agricultural south.People such as the special six promoted it. The carpetbaggers sent to the south after the war delivered exactly that. Isn’t greed the main culprit in all wars?

    • Very well stated. The States considered themselves separate entities held together only by the fragile glue of the Constitution. As the late Shelby Foote was fond of saying “Before the War you would say “The United States ARE; after the War one would say “The United States IS”. Unquestionably, the War strengthen the Federal Government. Unquestionably the Southern States resisted such centralized power and those thoughts fueled the zeal for the conflict. However, do note that most, if not all, Southern state in their articles of secession referred to slavery and its preservation as a cause for the separation.Gen’l Lee turned down command of the Union Forces because he could not bear the thought of raising his sword against his home state. His final decision came after Virginia seceded. It was really a complicated time.

  48. This thread was fine until douchebag mike Hogan offered his unsolicited views having nothing to do with honoring the dead and making it all about racism. If hypersensitive daisies like mike are easily offended by a statue or a flag atop a capital or in a town square, I feel sorry for him, as I imagine he can hardly walk down the street without being offended by something. Can’t you see there are bigger problems in the world now to be offended about? Is your life experience so pristine that flags and statues are your cause? If so, you might get out of your neighborhood, look around, and broaden your worldview a little.

    And by the way, you need to double check your history. The Civil War was NOT over slavery. It was over states’ rights.

    • I didn’t start it, and I’m not bothering the rest of the good folks on this site with it anymore, but obviously you seem unwilling to let it go. We’re here to honor our sacred dead from both sides of the conflict. Leave it alone.

    • Why has the moderator allowed this post with that offensive name calling in the first sentence to remain on this blog? Is there a moderator?

    • Web lacks basic human compassion or sense. He is so numb and blind to the satanic cruelty and barbarism of slavery that more than 150 years later, he can’t even acknowledge that its abolition was a good thing for the enslaved as well as his enslaving ancestors. Whatever the lie his ancestors told themselves about why they were fighting their beloved country, the abolition of slavery also allowed white people the rare opportunity to reclaim their humanity and escape rotting in hell for eternity.
      No enslaved person cared whether Lincoln had a pure heart or intentions. The issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation overrode any and all such judgments. Freedom and citizenship were the primary concerns.
      I’ve seen many piercing critiques of Lincoln by scholars of all races but I’ve never heard tell of an enslaved person refusing emancipation even if they did think Lincoln was a hypocrite, a racist or whatever.
      To continue to argue that slavery was an insignificant side issue dwarfed by some mythic notion of state rights reveals a stark lack of humanity. Or as Jesus observed –a bad case of choking on gnats while swallowing camels.
      Please tell me how and why states rights is greater than human rights, the basic right to be protected and recognized as a human being. And oddly enough that very states rights centered government that confeds fought for ended up devouring the lives and property of the very people it claimed to champion
      As I reflect I too have relatives who died for the CSA — white uncles and cousins because white men imposed themselves into our African bloodline. I am decidedly NOT proud of them and could care less that they died fighting on the wrong side.

  49. Today was the first time I have seen this site and I thought it was all about history. I am a teacher. I did not realise that it was a place to argue opinions. I don’t think I will be back.

  50. My g-great grandfather George Calvin Wilcher was at Gettysburg with the Virginia 33rd Infantry Company G. I know that he went through several days of battles and engagements. He had survived to live a life of work, family and love in Braddock, Pa. He was a private upon entry and was later discharged a private upon completion of the war. He left on Nov 23. 1864 to go home because his young wife had died around that time. He was able to participate in several years of Decoration Day parades until his death in 1910. Rumor has it that he went to fight in the Indian Campaigns from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. So I have not been able to substantiate these information.