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Gettysburg 1863: After Math of the Battle of Gettysburg

Church

GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- The moans of dying and wounded men called to Elizabeth “Sallie' Salome Myers from inside the walls of St. Francis Xavier Church. The 21-year-old school teacher who lived nearby on West High Street couldn't stand the sight of blood, but she went anyway. Dozens of injured men lay on the pews and across the floor. The putrid smell of death and human excrement filled the air. ydr

Elizabeth "Sallie" Myers

Two things about Elizabeth Salome “Sallie” Myers: she was a Gettysburg school teacher who had summers off, and she couldn’t stand the sight of blood.Two things about Robert E. Lee: he didn’t take summers off during the Civil War, and the sight of blood was second nature to him.Destiny is a sadistic joker at times.Myers, the daughter of a wealthy Justice of the Peace, had recently celebrated her 21st birthday when fighting broke out west of town on the morning of July 1, 1863. Gettysburg Profiles

Cornelia Hancock

Upon Cornelia Hancock's arrival in Philadelphia on July 5, 1863 - along with a group of women seeking to become volunteer nurses - she was the only one Dorothea Dix turned away.The 23-year-old Hancock, a Quaker from New Jersey, did not let Dix's rejection of her as too young and attractive for nursing get in her way, though. Instead, she boarded the train to Gettysburg and went on to become one of the most respected nurses of her day. nps

When the Smoke Cleared

When the battle was over, the Army of the Potomac suffered 23,049 casualties. The Army of Northern Virginia suffered 28,000 casualties. With a total of 51,000 casualties, the Battle of Gettysburg is bloodiest battle in American history. In an area of 25 square miles, the battle was fought with 172,000 men and 634 cannon. 569 tons of ammunition was expended, and 5,000 horses were killed. Gettysburg the Aftermath

After the Battle

"And then, these scenes themselves, who can adequately describe them? Houses demolished, fences destroyed, tall forest trees mowed down like so many stalks of hemp; artillery wagons crushed, broken muskets scattered in every direction, unused cartridges in immense numbers, balls of all kinds, ramrods and bayonets, bits of clothing, belts, gloves, knapsacks, letters in great quantities all lying promiscuously on the field; dead horses in great numbers, some torn almost asunder by cannon balls, some pierced in the side by grape shot, and others with their legs completely shot away; some noble chargers apparently kneeling in death, thir necks, crested with flowing manes, gracefully arched, as if still proud of the riders on their backs. And then many of the human dead, whose mutilated bodies, still unburied, where lying around in all positions. Some with their hands gently folded over on their breasts, others reclining gracefuly on their elbows, and other still leaning against trees, stumps or stones, as if wrapped in the arms of sleep, and given over sweet dreams." The Battle of Gettysburg

Wagon Train of Wounded

‘It was all my fault this time. Form your ranks again when you get back to cover. We want all good men to hold together now.

With these words, General Robert E. Lee exhorted the broken remnants of George Pickett’s and Joseph Pettigrew’s divisions to regroup as they staggered back from the hail of Union gunfire on Cemetery Ridge outside the village of Gettysburg, Pa. For three long days, Lee had hurled his army against the Federal positions, storming their right, left and center in turn. Although badly mauled, the Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade held firm and ultimately drove back the Rebel fury. Civil War Trust

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The Dead

It’s a little hard to imagine Gettysburg after the three days of fighting that took place there in July of 1863. Thousands of dead soldiers and horses littered the battlefield, and a horrible stench filled the town and surrounding area. Rains that followed the battle washed away the shallow graves that had been dug for fallen soldiers, and an even greater number of dead soldiers had never been buried at all. Diaries of townspeople and those left behind to “clean up” told of the horrible aftermath of the battle. Civil War

Books

Byans Barn

The Brian farm (or Bryan) is located on the Gettysburg battlefield just south of town and west of the of the old Cyclorama in Ziegler's Grove.  It was the home to Abraham Brian (often spelled Bryan), an African-American widower with five children who bought the farm in 1857 when he married his third wife, Elizabeth. The twelve acre farm grew wheat, barley and hay and had a small apple and peach orchard. Stone Sentinels

The Dead

JULY 6, 1863 -- The stench of death hangs heavy over Gettysburg as the bodies are gathered in rows where they fell, then buried in shallow graves or long trenches. Soldiers and civilians alike do the grisly work as quickly as possible, fearing outbreak of disease. The Evening Sun

Gettysburg Reunion

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