SoldierS & SailorS MeMorial Hall & MuSeuM TruST, inc.
WiTneSS To HiSTory
GETTYSBURG TaleS THe arTifacTS Tell
Welcome to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museumâ€™s publication commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address. To mark the occasion we have gathered our Gettysburg artifacts together and present them in context for the first time in our 103 year history. Soldiers & Sailors collection of Gettysburg artifacts includes swords, long arms, flags and personal items with local connections to soldiers who participated in the battle. Each item has been professionally photographed and captioned. It is our hope that by bringing these historically important artifacts to light, we bring renewed interest to the Battle of Gettysburg and to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum.
Witness to History ,Tales the Artifacts Tell - Gettysburg Author: Michael G. Kraus, Curator Artifact Photography: John F. McCabe, President & CEO Art Direction and Design: Casey Patterson, Senior Staff Assistant Special Thanks to: Sam Small representing The Horse Soldier-Gettysburg Ken Turner (C) Copyright 2014 by Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, except in the case of quotations for articles and reviews, or stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise-without written permission from Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc. For information call 412-621-4253.
CONTENTS lincoln Flags paintings UniForms riFles & mUskets swords photographs BattleField danner collection conclUsion
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soldiers & sailors memorial Becomes a mUseUm Nearly fifty years after the end of the Civil War, aging veterans from Allegheny County realized the need was upon them to memorialize their service. So began the task of gathering support to build a memorial where their collective memory could be held in an appropriate place. Nearly as soon as Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall opened in 1910, the landmark building became a repository for relics and historical objects from the military veteran community. Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum continues to this day to be a place where service members and their families bring objects from their military past to be archived in our important collection.
gettysBUrg and soldiers & sailors The story of the Battle of Gettysburg is evocative in many ways. For Soldier & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum the 150th anniversary of the battle opened a window to examine our connections between artifacts and events. Many of our Gettysburg objects were donated by Civil War veterans who played important roles in deciding the fate of the Union army and our nation. Objects that have been in our collection for decades were assembled and interpreted in a fresh context, one that enriches our understanding of both the Gettysburg event and our holdings. For years, Gettysburg related artifacts were spread around display areas or stored in our archives leaving them disjointed and without a theme. This publication will serve to highlight and refocus the objects to better fit todayâ€™s appetite for all things Gettysburg.
LINCOLN lincoln reMeMbered In the eyes of Allegheny County Civil War veterans Abraham Lincoln was more than an apocryphal figure, he was flesh and blood. During the war, many young Western Pennsylvania soldiers had seen the 16th president creating a transcendental bond between them and “Old Abe” lasting long after Lincoln’s tragic assassination. Nearly fifty years after the war, aging veterans made sure their former commander-in-chief was remembered when the time came to erect the Memorial Hall. Symbols recalling the great president are found in architectural elements of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall beginning with words from Lincoln’s July 4, 1861 address to Congress carved on the front of the building, as well as, the colossal rendition of the Gettysburg Address in the auditorium, making sure Lincoln’s spirit is felt.
Beardless lincoln - the presidential candidate in 1860 bronze by leonard Volk
This bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln was created by Leonard Volk in 1860. Volk’s sculpture is based on a life mask which the artist made directly from the then Republican Presidential candidate’s face. The portrait is notable not only for the fact that Volk created it during Lincoln’s lifetime, but that it shows a rendition of the Presidents face before growing his famous beard. Lincoln was revered by Union soldiers who served during the Civil War, so it seemed fitting to pay homage to the war time president in the new Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall when it opened in 1910. This bust was presented to the Memorial Hall by the Sons of Union Veterans organization and was placed in the front hall foyer on an oak pedestal so that those coming to the building would encounter Lincoln as they entered.
proFile oF lincoln baS-relief SculPTure by Sue c. WaTSon c.1910 Crowning a doorway in the third floor board room of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is a large bas-relief of Abraham Lincoln. One of several Lincoln themed pieces found around the building, this one was sculpted by Sue C. Watson, a colleague of the architect Henry Horbostel. There is no doubt that the Lincoln penny, which was introduced into circulation in 1909, had some influence on the design of this piece. The original inspiration for both pieces comes from an 1863 photograph of the President taken by Mathew Brady.
oUr gettysBUrg address, then and now During construction of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall architect, Henry Hornbostel presented his vision for decorative elements in the building. Included was his sketch for an allegorical painting over the auditorium stage with President Abraham Lincoln as the central figure. At the time (1909) the architect predicted the cost of such a work of art to be $45,000.00, which was nearly half of the entire decoration budget. Although no further written record exists of the discussion generated among the Board of Directors, it appears that the members opted for the simplicity of using the words of the Gettysburg Address rather than a figurative painting. The two hundred and seventy words meant so much to the Civil War veterans responsible for the erection of the Memorial Hall that the immortal speech, hand painted in 7â€? letters, became the focal point above the stage in the 2300 seat auditorium. The rendition, 18 feet high x 70 feet long, is the largest painted version known to exist.
Top: A sea of white haired Civil War veterans fills the lower section of the auditorium at Soldiers & Sailors during opening ceremonies on October 11, 1911. On the stage are representatives from Allegheny County Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Civil War veteran organizations. Above them, painted on the wall for all to see, are the words of Lincolnâ€™s Gettysburg Address. Bottom: One hundred and three years later the grizzled veterans are gone but the auditorium remains today nearly exactly as it was then.
FLAGS rally â€˜round THe flag boyS! Military flags have many functions. During the Civil War every regiment, North and South, carried a stand of national or state colors which literally were the very soul of the unit. Battle flags marked the center of the line and as such were used as a tool by which the men aligned. Some flags marked positions of field commanders, while others like signal corps flags transmitted messages. Soldiers & Sailors is fortunate to have several flags used during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Flag staFF 139TH PENNSyLVANIA VOLUNTEER INFANTRy When the order came for an infantry regiment to move forward the colors then advanced six steps ahead so they could be easily seen and keyed in on for alignment. By doing so the color bearer was exposed to enemy fire, many were struck as they bravely led their comrades forward. The 139th Pennsylvania Volunteers played a role at Gettysburg on July 2nd as part of the Union Army 6th Corps. This piece of flagpole staff was cut off as a souvenir by one of the men who served in the regiment and presented to Soldiers & Sailors in 1910.
a Flag with a message u.S. arMy Signal flag, luTHer calVin furST 10TH Pa reSerVeS
Luther Calvin Furst was a 20 year old student at Jefferson Collegenow Washington and Jefferson College- when he enlisted in the Civil War. Transferred from the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves to the U.S. Signal Corps, Furst was present for the Battle of Gettysburg arriving on the 3rd day of the fight and serving on the signal station located on Big Round Top. This flag, with Furst’s hand written note attached, is one of a pair of flags that Signal Corps men used to send coded messages to the next signal station downrange. The historic flag was donated to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum in 2012 by members of the Furst family.
July 3, 1863 enTry froM diary of luTHer calVin furST baTTle of geTTySburg * “We bivouacked on the field last night. This morning considerable skirmishing ensued and toward noon the battle was raging again and (was) the heaviest and hottest artillery fire of the war. A man sitting beside me struck with a piece of shell and a horse killed within a few yards. We have a signal station on the hill here within rifle shot of the enemy. At 10 a.m. the enemy planted three batteries commanding this hill and three times advanced to try to take it, but were repulsed at every outset. The fight on the right has been more severe but we have whipped them at every point. From one o’clock until 2 o’clock such a hail of shot and shrapnel I never witnessed. During the heat of the contest I rode the whole length of the line with a dispatch From General Warren to Major General Birney, Sedgewick or General Meade. The boys would yell out; “You better stop orderly, you will never get through,” But I was bound to try it, and putting my horse on a breakneck pace, delivered my dispatch to General Meade, nearly killing my horse. Aiken, with another dispatch, did not undertake it and waited until shelling subsided. Today there has been 7 men killed and wounded on our signal station by sharpshooters from Devils Den and hundreds on all sides of us by the shrapnel which was terrific at this point”. *[Sergeant Luther C. Furst, Diary entry, quoted in J. Willard Brown, Signal Corps, U.S.A. in the War of the Rebellion, New york, Arno Press, 1974, pp. 362 – 364
command position brigade flag, 5TH corPS/1ST diViSion/Second brigade 1863 The Maltese Cross on this triangular flag is the insignia of the 5th Army Corps, the red cross indicating 1st Division, and the blue bar indicating the 2nd Brigade. In the turbulent fighting in the Wheatfield at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 the 2nd Brigade was under the command of Pittsburgh native Colonel J. Bowman Sweitzer. This flag marked Sweitzerâ€™s command position on the field. Over 30 rents seen in the fabric were made by bullets which pierced the wool bunting during battle. This artifact was donated to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall on April 10, 1911 by James P. Sankey a veteran of the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Sankey enlisted at age 16, served throughout the four year conflict and was one of the last remaining Civil War veterans of Allegheny County. 9
PAINTINGS geTTySburg THeMed WorkS of arT Gettysburg battle themed paintings found hanging on the walls of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall are among the oldest donations to the museumâ€™s collection. Since action photography was not available during the Civil War, combat scenes had to be created by artists who either drew or painted an interpretation of a particular event. Producing a dramatic version of an historic incident was the result of a collaborative process between artist and patron, both parties intent on creating a site specific work of art.
Harpers Weekly Special Artist Alfred R. Waud sketching in Devils Den July 1863 Photo credit: Library of Congress
over the valley oF death farnSWorTHâ€™S cHarge and deaTH The engagement illustrated in this A. G. Richmond painting shows Alon Farnsworth leading a fatal charge through the boulder and tree strewn ground between Little Round Top and the Emmitsburg Road. As the fighting wound down on July 3rd, General Judson Kilpatrick ordered Farnsworth to lead a difficult charge against Confederate Infantry. After protesting and being admonished by Kilpatrick, Farnsworth reluctantly obeyed orders. His troopers were met with heavy enemy musket fire which raked them with staggering results. Many cavalrymen fell in the futile charge including Farnsworth, who was struck by five bullets. This painting has been part of the Soldiers & Sailors collection since 1910.
cavalry Fight gettysBUrg JUly 3, 1863 Painted in 1865 by American artist Henry Collins Bispham (b.1841-d.1882) this large oil painting depicts the famous cavalry encounter east of Gettysburg between Union troopers commanded by Brigadier General George A. Custer and Confederates under Major General Jeb Stuart. Stuart’s cavalry was in the process of moving on the Union left flank when it crashed into Custer’s men who came at them head on with sabers drawn. Some Union troopers in the painting are seen wearing red neckerchiefs identifying them as Custer’s Michigan Wolverine Brigade. The encounter effectively eliminated Stuart’s potential threat to the Union positions on the battlefield. Several West Virginia cavalry regiments belonged to the brigade, most likely the reason why the painting was donated to Soldiers & Sailors.
UNIFORMS arTifacTS Worn in baTTle Articles of clothing and military insignia documentable to the Gettysburg battle are quite rare. Soldiers & Sailors’ collection is fortunate to have several examples to present.
a woUnded man’s cap Union soldiers were issued this type of headgear which was known as a “forage cap”. This example was worn during the Battle of Gettysburg by Thomas Crossan Company D, 97th New york Volunteer Infantry. On July 1, 1863 Crossan was wounded while facing North Carolina troops from Iverson’s Brigade in the vicinity of the Railroad Cut and the Mummasburg Road. Private Crossan’s forage cap was donated to Soldiers & Sailors in 1941 by a nephew of the former Union soldier.
conFederate “drUm” canteen Confederate canteens differed from those produced for the Union. Covered in cloth for insulation and with its’ original tarred canvas strap, this drum style is typical of those used by Confederate soldiers who fought at Gettysburg.
sgt. John B. mcclelland Pittsburgh native John B. McClelland was a member of Hampton’s Battery (Battery F Pennsylvania Independent Light Artillery) when he wore this jacket, trousers, cap and belt. The short “shell” jacket is trimmed in red as directed in artillery regulations. McClelland’s nieces donated his uniform to Soldiers & Sailors in 1975 stating that he wore it during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Photo credit: Library of Congress
a pittsBUrgh general at gettysBUrg brigadier general THoMaS roWley Thomas Rowley, a Pittsburgh native, commanded the 1st Brigade 3rd Division 1st Corps during the Battle of Gettysburg. After fighting all morning on July 1st his troops were outflanked and took part in the Federal retreat through town. Rowleyâ€™s action on the field was controversial and the subject of an inquiry into his military conduct in 1864. He most likely wore the generalsâ€™ shoulder straps insignia seen here and carried this knife, fork and spoon into the battle. 16
From lieUtenant to colonel James Patchell served as an officer in the 102nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry from 1861 to 1865. He was Captain of Company â€œDâ€? during the Gettysburg Campaign where he wore the shoulder straps fourth from the top. The 102nd belonged to the 3rd Division 3rd Brigade of the 6th Corps and saw very limited action, mostly to guard the supply train on its way to the battle. Wounded twice during the war (Cedar Creek and Petersburg) Patchell held nearly every commissioned rank in the regiment; Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lt. Colonel and Colonel as shown by this collection of his insignia.
RIFLES & MUSKETS ready, aiM, fire! Of the nearly 160,000 soldiers that took part in the Battle of Gettysburg, most were infantry soldiers. Infantrymen bore the brunt of the fighting, most equipped with a muzzle loading, single shot weapon. Improvements in 1860â€™s technology advanced the rifle-musket past outdated linear tactics of the day, resulting in dramatically increased battlefield casualties.
Photo credit: Library of Congress
a veteran oF twenty Battles M1853 enfield rifle-MuSkeT The British .577 caliber Enfield (Tower) rifle was one of the best single shot muzzle loading weapons of its’ day. This Rifle was carried by Private George Allison of Company D, 149th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, also known as “Bucktails”. Allison carved a battle diary in the stock of the rifle chronicling 20 engagements he participated in. Third on his list is “Gettysburg, Pa”, a fight in which the 149th suffered 336 casualties in a a few hours on July 1, 1863. Allison’s rifle has been in the Soldiers & Sailors collection since the 1920’s.
lost caUse riFle 1863 c.S. ricHMond rifle-MuSkeT TyPe iii Produced by the Richmond, Virginia Arsenal for use by the Confederate Army, the CS Richmond Rifle was a copy of the US Springfield M1855 Rifle-Musket. The equipment used to manufacture this .58 caliber weapon was captured by Confederate forces early in the war from the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry and transported to Richmond. With captured technology, as well as a large cache of parts, the Richmond Arsenal furnished Confederate made rifles to Southern troops in the field. Although not produced in numbers sufficient to arm the entire Rebel army, many Richmond rifles like this one were used against Union troops at Gettysburg.
direct hit- grape shot vs. mUsket M1842 SPringfield MuSkeT No sooner did the smoke of battle clear and weary armies depart Gettysburg; did throngs of civilians flock to the battlefield, to search for missing loved ones or marvel at the effects of three days of intense combat. Noting the large number of people roaming the field and with tons of military ordnance still scattered about, not to mention, hastily buried dead soldiers and thousands of decaying horses, military authorities evoked martial law to halt access to the battlefield. Around the same time the 36th Pennsylvania Emergency Militia was dispatched to Gettysburg to evacuate wounded and collect salvageable weapons and equipment. A report filed afterwards notes 26,664 long arms reclaimed from the battlefield. This battlefield recovered 1842 musket was struck along the upper barrel by canister shot fired at close range. Whether or not it was in the hands of a soldier upon impact, one can only imagine.
SWORDS accouTreMenT for officerS Rather than carrying a side arm, an officer was equipped a sword which served as a symbol of rank and as a communication device employed when directing men in battle. Swords used by officers were ornate and often given as gifts by the men of a regiment to an endeared leader. Several swords in the Soldiers & Sailors collection have Gettysburg histories.
William J. Moody in 1861 wearing the sword on the following page. Photo credit: Ken Turner
“wield this sword in the worthy caUse in which yoUr coUntry is engaged” * William J. Moody raised Company D 139th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (aka “Semple Infantry”) early in the war. He was presented this sword at a patriotic gathering in Allegheny City on August 11, 1862. Moody carried his prize sword in all the battles in which the 139th was engaged including Gettysburg, where he was praised for gallantry by his superior officers. On June 3, 1864 at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, Lt. Colonel Moody was struck by a sharpshooter’s bullet which entered his left side exiting in the front. Moody survived for a few hours, enough time to dictate letters home to his mother and sister before he died. *Excerpted from a speech given by W. C. Moreland in Allegheny City when presenting Major Moody with this sword on August 11, 1862.
Painting of Lt. Col. William J. Moody from the Soldiers & Sailors collection.
exqUisite giFt This jeweler made, silver and gold 6th Corps pin was presented as a gift to Lt. Col. William H. Moody. Engraving on the reverse reads; “Presented to W.H. Moody 139th PV by his friend Lt. Col. G.W. Dawson 61st PV”. Dawson, also from Allegheny County, was badly wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864. 22
secUring a critical position on little roUnd top MaJor general gouVerneur kiMble Warren
Civil War veterans and family members from Pittsburgh pose on Little Round Top near the monument to Major General G.K. Warren sometime around 1910.
This collection of artifacts belonged to one of the true heroes of the Gettysburg battle, Brigadier General Gouverneur Kimble Warren. General Warren who was already having an eventful military career as one of the commanding officers of the famous 5th Ny Zouaves, when he was appointed to the post of Chief Topographical Engineer to the Army of the Potomac in February 1863. On July 2, 1863 while surveying the positions occupied by Union forces from Little Round Top, Warren noticed that the Federal left flank was exposed and, if not immediately covered, could be exploited by the enemy with drastic results. Orders to defend the hill were sent to elements of the 5th Corps. Colonel Strong Vincent of Erie, quickly rushed his brigade to the crest of the hill just as the enemy made contact. After fierce fighting, Vincentâ€™s Brigade held Little Round Top and thus contributed greatly to the final Union victory. Warrenâ€™s sword, telescope, spur and brass drawing instrument on loan to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum (2013) were passed through his family and are on public display for the first time.
a token oF esteem SWord PreSenTed To caPT. WM. J. PaTTerSon JuST before geTTySburg
William J. Patterson was among the first Allegheny County men to answer Lincoln’s call for volunteers in 1861. A seasoned veteran by the end of 1862 Captain Patterson, Company “F” 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers, had been wounded three times and taken as a prisoner of war for two months before being exchanged for a Confederate colonel. This ornate silver handled presentation sword was given to Captain Patterson as a token of esteem by his men on June 27, 1863, only days before the 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry would fight in a life or death contest with Confederate troops in the Wheatfield at Gettysburg. On July 2, 1863, Patterson was struck by a bullet in the thigh which ended his military career. After the war, William J. Patterson served as a Battle of Gettysburg Commissioner for the fiftieth anniversary commemoration held in 1913 and in 1916 held the post of National Commander of the GAR. “Presented to Lieut. Wm. J. Patterson by the members of Company F, 62 Regt. Pa. Vols. As a token of their esteem for him as a Soldier and a Gentleman Kelly’s Ford June 27, 1863” Painting of William J. Patterson from the Soldiers & Sailors collection.
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PHOTOGRAPHS caPTuring a MoMenT in TiMe It takes less than a second to capture a scene on film. Once printed the photographic image becomes an object of record, creating a document that transcends time. Soldiers & Sailors archival collection contains several significant Gettysburg themed photographs somedisplayed here for the first time ever.
Nearly 60 aging veterans of the 38th Pennsylvania (9th Reserves)Volunteer Infantry pose on September 11, 1890 in front of their regimental monument located on the Gettysburg Battlefield in the notch between Little and Big Round Top. The 9th Reserves, from Allegheny, Beaver and Crawford counties, arrived late to the fight on the July 2, 1863 and suffered light casualties with only 5 men being wounded. These survivors were attending the dedication ceremony for the monument.
JoshUa l. chamBerlain visits the pennsylvania monUment Hat in hand, Charles F. McKenna, a veteran of Pittsburghâ€™s 155th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, poses in mid May of 1913 in front of the newly erected Pennsylvania Monument in Gettysburg. The old gentleman with the white mustache standing just to the right of McKenna is the former Colonel of the 20th Maine, a Medal of Honor recipient, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Private McKenna and Colonel Chamberlain had both fought defending Little Round Top fifty years earlier. Joshua Chamberlain made many return visits to the Gettysburg Battlefield, his last was this one for the planning of the 50th reunion to take place in July 1913. Poor health and residual pain from a wound received at Petersburg in 1864 made it impossible for Chamberlain to attend the formal summer anniversary. The respected old veteran of Little Round Top would pass away 8 months later on February 14, 1914 at age 85. Charles McKenna, a private at the time of the battle, was a judge appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico from 1904 to 1906, and was one of the first judges of the County Court of Pennsylvania. Active in veteransâ€™ affairs, McKenna was a member of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association and for many years held a seat on the Board of Managers of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall. 28
stand By yoUr gUns! PHoTo of MeMberS of HaMPTon’S baTTery SHoWing THeir PoSiTionS on THeir gun c.1888 Twenty five years after the battle, mustachioed veterans of Hampton’s Battery posed on the Gettysburg Battlefield standing in the positions they occupied during the fighting on July 2, 1863. Standing around a 3” Parrott Rifle (note the crude carriage and wheels which were constructed for post war battlefield display) in the positions they occupied during the battle from left to right are: BM Clark, Benjamin Carlisle, Casper Carlisle, Lt. Robert Taub, Jacob Wills, David Lewis and John Kennedy. Casper Carlisle, third from rear, received a Medal of Honor for gallantry at Gettysburg when he saved a cannon from capture while exposed to heavy enemy fire. This is the only known photograph of Carlisle. Hampton’s Battery (Battery F Pennsylvania Independent Light Artillery) was recruited in Pittsburgh in late 1861 and served throughout the war. 29
BATTLEFIELD PreSerVing MeMory Nearly as soon as the fighting ended prominent Gettysburg citizens suggested that parts of the battlefield be preserved so visitors might see where the most ferocious action occurred. The spark from those conversations initiated what we now know as Gettysburg Battlefield National Park. Over the years sightseers, especially in the years right after the battle, looked for souvenirs to take home as a memory of the historic 1863 encounter. Both the battlefield itself and objects from the field conger up mystical ties that connect Gettysburg to Americans then and now.
BattleField recovered canteen
the BattleField is his memorial On July 2nd, Major General Daniel Sicklesâ€™ 3rd Corps occupied ground between Cemetery Ridge and Little Round Top. Not satisfied with his position, Sickles moved his corps forward which precipitated an attack on his line. Mounted on horseback, while directing the advance from the rear, a cannon ball struck Sickles leg, causing the general to be carried from the field. Controversy surrounded Sicklesâ€™ move, but the flamboyant New york general made the best of it. years later, Sickles saw to it that he was nominated and received a Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions. Even through the haze of controversy, Sickles remained popular with Civil War veterans and was frequentlyasked to attend dedications, like the one held on October 11, 1910 at Soldiers & Sailors, where he was the guest of honor. This photograph was taken on opening day at Soldiers & Sailors in the Hall of Valor (known at the time as the Shiloh Room) during the first meeting of the Military Order of the Medal of Honor October 11, 1910. In attendance were twelve recipients of the nationâ€™s highest honor, including General Dan Sickles who is seated 7th from the left. The document below the photo is autographed by those recipients present at the opening of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial. The illustrations and hand lettering were done by Noble C. Preston, himself a recipient of the Medal of Honor. 32
cannon Ball imBedded in tree For three days of battle the air surrounding Gettysburg was literally full of bullets, shell, shot and shrapnel, all intended to strike human targets. Many of the airborne missiles killed and wounded soldiers on both sides, but a far greater number hit inanimate targets like boulders, buildings and trees. For decades after the last shot was fired, visitors to the battlefield came and marveled at bullet riddled landmarks. This piece of a tree, with an embedded canister shot lodged deep inside, was recovered nearly fifty years after the battle on Little Round Top when it was blown down in a storm. Mrs. Frank Blair, whose husband was a Civil War veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg, presented it to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in 1913.
assemBlage oF relics The never ending flurry of tourists to Gettysburg gave birth to the battlefield souvenir industry. This desk set was produced in the 1870â€™s and contains an assemblage of artifacts from the National Cemetery, where Lincoln gave his immortal Gettysburg Address. From left to right is an engraved piece of a 3â€? artillery shell, a sliver of marble from a cemetery stone, two fired Minnie ball bullets, a tree knot with a Minnie embedded, a piece of granite and an engraved canister ball, all topped by an eagle insignia mounted on a revolver ball. 33
stopping a BUllet bulleT iMbedded in a Siding board froM Meade’S HeadquarTerS General Meade’s Headquarters was located on the eastern sloop of Cemetery Ridge just behind the Union line in the house of widow Lydia Leister. On July 3, 1863 this .577 elongated ball struck the siding of the house when Pickett’s Charge hit the Federal line not more than 100 yards away.
Above: View of entry hole from outside of siding board Left: View of backside of board with bullet
compensation For loss In the immediate years after the Battle of Gettysburg, area citizens whose property had been damaged during the campaign sought financial retribution from the Federal government. Numerous claims were filed for ruined crops, burned buildings, missing livestock and personal goods. Of the many claims filed only a small percentage were awarded compensation because the Federal government determined that it would be more inclined to pay for damage caused by Union troops as opposed to damage caused by the enemy. A “Certificate of Adjudicated Claims for War Damages” dated 1872 was filed on behalf of Lewis B. Eyster of Butler Township in Adams County. Mr. Eyster was awarded $335.84 worth of damage after stating that his crops were carried off, as well as, the loss of 2 Heifers (milk cows) plus equipment taken by Rebel scouts on July 2nd. Ironically no such reimbursement opportunity existed for Southerners who suffered property damage after battles on their soil. This document is signed by two former Civil War generals. John W. Geary, who was Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1872, during the Battle of Gettysburg commanded the 1st Division of the 12th Corps which fought on Culp’s’ Hill. Also signing was John Hartranft, a Medal of Honor recipient for his action at First Bull Run in 1861. 35
Governor of Pennsylvania and former Civil War general John W. Geary Photo Credit: Ken Turner
“colored” servant For a Union oFFicer Pay VoucHer for an african aMerican SerVanT. It is a well known fact that military procedure generates copious amounts of paperwork in the form of orders and daily reports which detail the minutia of soldier life. This voucher records payment for the month of July 1863 to Lt. R. Henry Wilbur (102nd N.y. Vols.) who was Aide de Camp to General John W. Geary during the Battle of Gettysburg. Wilbur not only received his allotted payment for the month ($70.70) but was reimbursed for his personal rations and those of his African American servant Andrew Green. It is interesting to note that because Wilbur was an officer he was entitled to three rations per day where Greene only received one. General John Geary, commander of the 2nd Division 12th Corps who fought on Culp’s Hill, certified the request for payment.
BiBle carried By an allegheny coUnty soldier Oscar A. Oehmler volunteered in 1861 as private in the 74th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and carried this German language New Testament throughout the war. The 74th was one of several regiments recruited from German speaking citizens across the State of Pennsylvania. A penciled note on the fly page states Oehmler carried this bible in the Gettysburg Campaign and later in the operations in South Carolina. The 74th Pennsylvania Volunteers lost 51 men out of total 134 men present at Gettysburg. Private Oehmler’s bible was donated to Soldiers & Sailors in 1915 by his daughter.
Jennie wade Virginia “Jennie” Wade was a 20 year old local Gettysburg resident who is famous for being the only civilian killed as a result of the battle. Most citizens evacuated town when the fighting began, but Jennie stayed behind to help her sister who had recently given birth. While making bread on July 3rd, she was struck by a bullet that crashed through the door of the house killing her instantly. Her photograph became an iconic image and has been sold in tourist locations since the late 1860’s. This print, with the accompanying note, has been a part of Soldiers & Sailors collection since 1910.
delicate Flowers - swirl oF Battle SHadoW box caPTureS a differenT geTTySburg
The tiny dried flowers in this miniature 3” splint basket were actually growing in meadows and fields of Gettysburg as the ferocious battle swirled around them. After the fighting ended they were collected and arranged in a tasteful display, assembled as an object of memory to be marketed to outsiders who came to view the battlefield. The powerful symbolic contrast between a beautiful flower and the cruelty of the battlefield was appealing to Victorian sediment.
“Memento Of The Battle field of Gettysburg July 1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd 1863” 38
“charge Bayonets!” Col. Joshua Chamberlain ordered a bayonet charge against advancing Confederate soldiers on Little Round Top that changed the tide of battle. Bayonets were an appendage used on the end of a musket to extend the function of a rifle into a spear. Many bayonets were dropped or abandoned all over the battlefield and were a popular artifact to find. These pieces were recovered over various years as evidenced by their condition.
horseshoe This large iron shoe was picked up on the battlefield not long after the fight. Nailed to the hoof, iron shoes were necessary to protect it from splitting when traveling on rough surfaces. Iron horseshoes often came loose and were “thrown” off the hoof and lost.
personal eating Utensils Personal articles abandoned by soldiers were prized souvenirs for early tourists walking the battlefield. These eating utensils were collected by General Thomas Rowley on a post-war visit to the field.
“a BrieF BUt FearFUll strUggle” JUly 3, 1863, diary of JoHn eVanS coMPany H, 12 PennSylVania VolunTeerS reSerVe corPS TH
Homer City (Indiana County) resident John Evans was a hospital steward (aide to the regimental surgeon) with the 12th PVRC during the war. Evans kept a diary from October 5, 1861 to October 15, 1864 in which he recorded daily experiences including the Gettysburg entry below. “July 3rd at 3O Clock we were on the road again. At 2 O Clock we halted with the rest of the corps in supporting distance of the rest of our army having marched 50 miles in 36 hours. About 5 O Clock we marched out to the support of the left flank and got there in time to save the day. The Rebs was driving the two other Divisions of our Corps pell-mell back. Our boys went in with a cheer louder than any I ever heard in battle before. The Rebs were met on the charge and after a brief but fearful struggle what was left of them was driven in the most utter confusion from the field and the victory which they felt sure they had gained on Penna. soil in a moment was snatched from them by Penna. own sons” 40
gettysBUrg BattleField memorial association As the smoke cleared after the Battle of Gettysburg, local citizens began to explore the devastated landscape that had once been farms and fields. A consensus formed among forward thinking individuals to preserve certain important landmarks from the battle, so others might come to see and understand them. To that end, the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association was formed, by act of the Pennsylvania Legislature on April 30, 1864, to acquire parcels of ground that represented the most severe fighting. This certificate was given to Duquesne GAR Post 259 for being members of the Association. The name of the Post is hand lettered in beautiful Spenserian calligraphy. Pictured in the vignettes are renditions of battlefield scenes: Culpâ€™s Hill, Little Round Top and a view of the field showing the Lutheran Seminary in the distance. The two portraits are of Pennsylvania generals who played major roles in the fight, John Reynolds and George Meade. The first was killed on July 1st and the second commanded the Union Army. Association President James A. Beaver, former colonel of the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and later served a term as governor, signed the document. Beaver Stadium at Penn State is named in his honor.
“it is all together Fitting and proper that we shoUld do this”. SoldierS naTional ceMeTery book When the entangled armies disengaged on July 4, 1863, they left behind thousands of hastily or unburied dead. Between the months of July and November of 1863, three thousand three hundred and fifty four Union bodies were moved to the new semi-circular burial ground designated as Soldiers’ National Cemetery, Gettysburg. When the work was finished a consecration ceremony was set for November 19, including an oration by the Honorable Edward Everett followed by “Dedicatory Remarks” by President Lincoln. History records that Everett spoke for a full two hours while Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address lasted some two minutes.
Once the dedication was complete, an official report was filed in March of 1864 outlining the procedures and paperwork involved. This 111 page book, Report to the Select Committee to the House of Representatives, contains all the background associated with the creation of the cemetery. Included is an account by contractor Samuel Weaver detailing the procedure by which the dead were exhumed (even listing the articles which were found on the bodies) in the hope that some grieving relative might be able to identify a fallen loved one. The entire 27 page speech of Senator Everett is included, as well as, the half page address given by Lincoln.
DANNER COLLECTION WHiTe nuMbered arTifacTS While researching Gettysburg artifacts in the Soldiers & Sailors collection, a key was discovered to unlock the provenance of our artifacts with white numbers painted on them. A recently published book titled “Gettysburg Battlefield Relics and Souvenirs, O’Donnell 2009” contains a chapter on 19th century Gettysburg vendors who sold battlefield relics as souvenirs, including a shop owner named Joel A. Danner. As early as 1863 vendors in and around Gettysburg sold artifacts to throngs of curious battlefield visitors who came to see the only major battlefield north of the Mason-Dixon Line. One of the more prolific sellers was Joel A. Danner, who operated a combination museum and small store on Baltimore St. from 1864 until his death in 1904. Each artifact in Danner’s inventory was labeled with a 1” hand painted white number which corresponded to a numerically listed key. Over the years Danner had several different cabinet card photographs taken of his wall display in the store, which were used as an illustrated sale catalogue; as well as, a souvenir that tourists could purchase. O’Donnell’s book published several versions of Danner display photos which were used to compare our pieces to the old inventory. A “eureka” moment came when a canteen marked “UNION 7” from our inventory was spotted in a Danner photo. Our piece was identical, down to the tears in the fabric, to the example in the photo. Soon afterwards other pieces were positively identified as the actual objects in the 1890’s images. Each piece was confirmed by comparing number positions, imperfections and unique marks appearing in the photo and on an artifact. It is not known when or how the white numbered stock came to Soldiers & Sailors, but it is certain they were purchased in Gettysburg at the Danner Museum sometime in the late 19th century. This is the first time our discovery has been made public.
Danner Photos Credit: Sam Small representing The Horse SoldierGettysburg
soldier’s cap (kepi) nuMber 35 Short caps like this one were known by their French name “kepi”. Popular with Union and Confederate troops alike, this example is of Confederate manufacture. Telltale details include a painted canvas “patent leather” chinstrap and a jean cloth body, a typical Confederate fabric woven from a combination of wool and cotton. Cleary visible nailed to the shelf in the Danner museum photo is this identical cap complete with the number 35 on the visor. 45
canteen From the Field oF Battle nuMber 7 union Seen here is an ovoid tin canteen complete with its original cover and strap, the type issued to Federal troops in the Civil War. This example has distinctive white paint labeling found on artifacts sold by the Danner Museum in Gettysburg. Research done at Soldiers & Sailors has positively identified this very canteen, by the unique positioning of the lettering and the two distinctive tears in the cover, as the one in the Danner photograph.
artillery shells It is hard to imagine how many hundreds of thousands of artillery shells fired from 653 cannons, shrieked, hissed and screamed as they filled the air during the three day Battle of Gettysburg. For years after the battle, exploded and unexploded artillery rounds were the object of curiosity as they were found imbedded in trees or buried in the ground. Some were even found lodged in buildings surrounding the battlefield. Fragments and whole shells were collected by visitors and many others were picked up by local citizens and sold to tourists as souvenirs. The Gettysburg artillery shells in Soldiers & Sailors Memorial & Museum collection, with large painted numbers, were once part of the Danner Battlefield Museum in Gettysburg in operation from 1863 to 1904.
nUmBers 19, 21, 34 and 39
whitworth cannon The distinctive breech of the Whitworth cannon can be clearly seen in this tourist photo taken in 1954. Also shown are twelve rare shells laying by the gun. The same gun can be seen today on Confederate Avenue but the shells have long since disappeared.
These shells are rare examples of Whitworth pattern shells, which only fit British manufactured breech-loading cannon, which have corresponding grooves found inside the cannon tube. These examples were produced in Southern foundries and are inferior to those produced in Britain. Only two British Whitworth breech-loading guns were present at Gettysburg, both operating with the Confederate artillery. Given the proper powder charge and elevation, the Whitworth could fire a round up to a distance of six miles. Due to the shell’s unique shape, Union soldiers commented on the peculiar “scream” of a Whitworth which was different from sounds produced by other ordnance. Each of these four projectiles are the identical examples seen in the Danner photo from the 1890’s.
nUmBer 11 Confederate “Read” type artillery shell. This example is solid iron weighing eight pounds and has a copper ring (sabot) at the base which grabbed the rifling grooves in the cannon barrel as it exited, giving the projectile a football like spin. This shell is the identical one pictured in the Danner photograph taken in the 1890’s.
nUmBer 10 Union “Dyer” type artillery shell with a zinc ring (sabot), which expands when fired, causes the sabot to grab the grooves in the cannon barrel. Dyer shells weigh ten pounds and were fired from a 3” ordnance rifle. This shell is the identical one pictured in the Danner photograph taken in the 1890’s.
nUmBer 27 Union “Shenkl” type artillery shell weighing eight pounds was fired from a 3” ordnance rifle. When the Shenkl round was prepared for action, a paper-mache ring (sabot) was attached around the lower part where the ribs appear. The sabot helped to grab the grooves in the cannon barrel causing the projectile to spin. This shell exploded after burying itself in the ground, thus containing its detonation which preserved both halves.
Soldiers & Sailors Gettysburg collection includes several other Danner artifacts on display that are not pictured here. Four of those identical additional shells appear in the original Danner photographs from the 1890’s. 48
conFederate saddle When fully accoutered the cavalry saddle had a pair of leather bags attached onto the rear of the saddle tree. Inside the bags were found combs, picks and other tools used to groom horses. These bags are of Union manufacture and bear the Danner Museum collection number “42”, which is the same as the Confederate saddle in our collection. Because both pieces are numbered the same they were most likely found as one unit when recovered from the Gettysburg Battlefield. Confederate soldiers often used Union equipment as it was better made and more available than Southern manufactured gear.
Union saddleBags nuMber 42 When fully accoutered the cavalry saddle had a pair of leather bags attached onto the rear of the saddle tree. Inside the bags soldiers carried the combs, picks and other tools which were used to groom their horses. These bags are of Union manufacture and bear the Danner Museum collection number “42”, which is the same as the Confederate saddle in our collection. Because both pieces are numbered the same they were most likely found as one unit when recovered from the Gettysburg Battlefield. Confederate soldiers often used Union equipment as it was better made and more available than Southern manufactured gear. 49
CONCLUSION 150 yearS Soldiers & Sailors has been a Pittsburgh landmark since it opened in 1910. The 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg battle has provided a chance to bring to light many artifacts that have been donated to the museum over the past 103 years. By reexamining our Gettysburg artifacts the museum staff has learned more about the battle, its’ participants and the way objects from July 1863 have been saved and interpreted. The intent of this publication is to bring awareness to, and share, our rich collection with those who enjoy American history. Witness to History, Tales the Artifacts Tell - Gettysburg is the first installment of a series of publications from Soldiers & Sailors focused on artifacts in the collection, each volume themed to showcase and interpret selected important historical objects.
gettysBUrg stained glass window in Board room Twelve Civil War themed stained glass windows decorate the 3rd floor Board Room of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. Each window contains two Civil War Union army corps insignia and beneath them the name of an important battle. The fifth window is named “Gettysburg”. Decoration of the room, including the meticulously hand painted decoration and copper foil ceiling, was a gift donated by Mrs. Ida Burchfield in December 1910 in memory of her husband, Albert P. Burchfield who was the first president of the Board of Managers, who passed away shortly before the Memorial Hall opened. 50