Archive for Gettysburg

Harry Gilmor

Colonel Harry Gilmor

Colonel Harry Gilmor.

The first Civil War burial that I discovered at Loudon Park was Confederate Col. Harry Gilmor. He was present at the Battle of Gettysburg as a Major in command of the 1st MD Cavalry Battalion (CSA) – part of Fitzhugh Lee’s brigade – though they did not participate in the action at the East Cavalry field.

After Gettysburg, he continued his service in the cavalry, serving most notably under Lt. General Jubal Early during his campaign through Maryland which culminated in the Battle of Monocacy in July of 1864. I actually found out about his burial in Loudon Park from the book I read about that campaign recently. He didn’t fight to the end of the war though; he was captured by Union troops in February of 1865 while on a raid in West Virginia.

After the war, he wrote a book about his experiences, and went on to serve as the Baltimore City Police Commissioner for 5 years.

Col. Gilmor is buried in the Confederate Hill section of Loudon Park. A very prominent headstone marks his gravesite:

Location of Confederate Hill

Location of Confederate Hill. Map by Apple Maps.

Harry Gilmor's Monument

Harry Gilmor’s Monument. Photo by the author.

Detail on the front of Harry Gilmor's Monument.

Detail on the front of Harry Gilmor’s Monument. Photo by the author.

Detail of the left side of Harry Gilmor's Monument.

Detail of the left side of Harry Gilmor’s Monument. Photo by the author.

Detail of the rear of Harry Gilmor's Monument.

Detail of the rear of Harry Gilmor’s Monument. Photo by the author.

Detail of the right Harry Gilmor's Monument, marking his wife's burial.

Detail of the right side of Harry Gilmor’s Monument, marking his wife’s burial. Photo by the author.

As you may guess (with a whole section named “Confederate Hill”) there are certainly a few more prominent leaders with Gettysburg connections buried at Loudon Park. In the next installment, we’ll show the grave of one of the infantry commanders from that battle.

138th Pennsylvania at Relay

Quite a few units rotated through duty at Baltimore – and specifically at Relay – during the war. The one that I want to focus on today is the 138th PA, which took up the post on August 30, 1862 and remained until June 16, 1863.

I mentioned before that Peter Thorn – the caretaker of Evergreen Cemetery in Gettysburg – left his family in August of 1862 to join the army. The unit that he joined went to Harrisburg and became Co. B of the 138th PA. Peter was selected to be a Corporal in the company. Another group of men formed in Adams County became Co. G in the 138th PA. After just a few days in Pennsylvania’s capital, the regiment shipped out to become part of the defenses of Baltimore, and was immediately assigned to duty at Relay House.

Col. Charles Sumwalt, commanding the 138th PA, initially deployed his men as follows (Adams County units bolded):

  • Co. A – Jessop’s Cut
  • Co. B – Ellicott’s Mills
  • Co. C – Dorsey’s Switch
  • Co. D – Elk Ridge Landing
  • Co. E – Hanover Switch
  • Co. F – Relay House
  • Co. G – Fort Dix
  • Co. H – Relay House
  • Co. I – Relay House (with a detachment at Elysville)
  • Co. K – Relay House

Some of these place names may seem a little off to locals. The spelling of “Jessop”, or the separation of “Elk Ridge” as two words, for example. “Ellicott’s Mills” is now known as Ellicott City. These things have evolved over time. “Elysville” is a place that no longer exists. It was a small mill town along the Patapsco river most recently called Daniels, but it was wiped-out in the flooding brought by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. As I explained in the previous post, Fort Dix was the temporary fortification constructed on the hill just above, and to the north of the Thomas Viaduct. It’s a little easier to understand if we put all these locations on a map:

Deployment of the 138th PA. Base map from OpenStreetMap. Annotations by Pete Skillman.

Deployment of the 138th PA. Base map from OpenStreetMap. Annotations by the author.

You can see that the emphasis was on defending the Washington Branch – that’s where most of the troops were deployed.

Now, this isn’t to say that these assignments held through their entire duty in the area. Guard duty like this was a dreary task, and the units were routinely rotated back to the regiment’s headquarters at Relay House where there was a larger encampment that gave the men a chance to drill and practice their military skills. Relay House was also centrally-located in case reinforcements needed to be shifted along the railroad in a crisis. As I alluded-to before though, not much happened along this section of the B&O after May of 1861.

So what were these men spending their time doing? According to the orders of another unit that served at Relay, the 60th NY, the men were supposed to watch all the bridges, culverts, and switches along their sector. They were supposed to periodically patrol the track, looking for sections that had been removed or otherwise damaged, and for obstructions (natural or otherwise) that needed to be cleared. These tasks became even more important at night, when the cover of darkness meant that mischief was easier to pull off. This was not exactly a glamorous posting.

In fact, the task was so boring that Col. Sumwalt himself fell into a less-than-honorable lifestyle and was kicked out of the army for “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman” during the unit’s time at Relay.

At least for a little while though, Peter Thorn and the other men from Gettysburg were stationed practically right outside my front door, protecting the railroad that ran past Ellicott’s Mills. I spend so much time studying Gettysburg, and taking trips up there, that it’s funny to think that men from that little anonymous town spent more than 9 months of their Civil War service within a few miles of my house.

You never know what history might be lurking in your own front yard until you go looking for it.

Elizabeth Thorn

One of the human interest stories around the Battle of Gettysburg that has come to the forefront in the last few years is the story of Elizabeth Thorn.

Her husband, Peter Thorn, was the caretaker of the Evergreen Cemetery on Gettysburg’s famed Cemetery Hill from 1856-1874. The Thorns and their children lived in the gatehouse of the cemetery during this period. Of course, the battle took place right in the middle of their tenure, in July of 1863.

Peter wasn’t home during the summer of ’63, though. In August of 1862, he joined the war effort himself – enlisting with a local infantry company. Elizabeth was left to tend to the children and the cemetery by herself. When the armies started closing-in on the town, she fled the battle zone with the kids.

Despite his being away at war, Elizabeth must have had some contact with her husband during his service. She was 6-months pregnant when she was forced to leave her home.

My niece, Abby and nephew, Nathan in front of the statue of Elizabeth Thorn.

My niece, Abby and nephew, Nathan in front of the statue of Elizabeth Thorn. Photo by Karen Michener.

After the danger passed, she made her way back to the cemetery gatehouse only to find that it had been looted and damaged in the fray. The cemetery itself was right in the middle of the battlefield, and there were bodies strewn everywhere.

The cemetery was her responsibility as well as being her home, and she got right to work – personally burying somewhere between 91 and 106 bodies herself in the mid-July heat.

The daughter she was carrying at the time died young, only barely reaching her teenage years. Elizabeth blamed the stress of her post-battle experience for the poor health and eventual death of the child.

On a happier note, her efforts have recently been recognized more properly. There is now a statue of Elizabeth, placed in 2002, known as the Gettysburg Women’s Memorial just inside the gates of Evergreen Cemetery.

But that’s not all there is to the story. I wanted to tell Elizabeth’s story so that I could set up the telling of part of Peter’s. The wartime service that took him from his home, brought him closer to mine – much closer. But we’ll explore that further in a future post.

Was Sickles Right?

My brother Phil – a USMC Captain – took a trip up to Gettysburg with me last Friday. Phil’s interest in going was to see the field and analyze what happened there from the perspective of his modern Marine Corps infantry training. Of course, I thought it would be cool to see how a modern soldier goes through that process. It would be a learning experience for both of us.

It was a really great day (if not a little on the cold side). I took him through almost the whole tour. While we hit Culp’s Hill, we didn’t get to the East Cavalry or South Cavalry fields, and we tended to ignore the Confederate perspective, focusing instead on the Union defensive positions to get our views of the field.

The biggest surprise of the day was his reaction to Maj. General Daniel Sickles‘ part in the battle.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a fan of Sickles (as you could maybe tell). My thoughts prior to last week were more-or-less middle-of-the-road on his actions during the battle. I can see both sides of the argument, but I tend to lean in the pro-Sickles direction if I’m pressed. Obviously, I’m OK with the over-all outcome of the battle, and I find counterfactuals to be…difficult (to say the least). Even if they are fun, they’re a sloppy way to do historical analysis.

All that said, I did my best to be even-handed. On the drive up, I reminded Phil about Sickles’ murderous history, and his path to the army by way of political considerations rather than military acumen. As the highest-ranking non-West Pointer in the Army of the Potomac, he was the very definition of “black sheep”.

My character assassination prep work was all undone as soon as Phil set foot in the Peach Orchard. Instantly, he said that this is where he’d want to be. It was the same when we got out on Houck’s Ridge. He became more adamant as I explained how Sickles came to his decision to move. Let’s go through it.

The III Corps had arrived at Gettysburg the night of July 1, 1863 by way of the Emmitsburg Road. They would have passed right over the Peach Orchard on their way to the field. Coming down off of that terrain to take the position they did to the left of the II Corps must have felt strange. By the morning of July 2, Sickles was asking headquarters to clarify his orders as to the III Corps positioning. Was Sickles playing a game here?

The orders were to extend the II Corps line to the south, and occupy the position held by Brig. General Geary‘s division the night before. Does anyone know what position Geary’s division held? Sickles sure didn’t – Geary vacated the position and moved to Culp’s Hill at about 6am, and Sickles slept in until around 9am. So where was Geary? Where was Sickles supposed to end his line? Little Round Top.

While LRT is a nice piece of real estate, take a look at the rest of this proposed position. Have you ever ridden the line from LRT up to just before the Pennsylvania Monument with a critical eye? This was Sickles’ assigned position. It’s kind of a drive-through wasteland until you get up to United States Ave. There’s hardly any regiment markers along there, and NO cannons on display. Ever wonder why?

Next time you’re in Gettysburg, drive up to the VI Corps headquarters marker. Pull over to the right side of the road and park. Now look around. Where are you going to place a line in here? The open ground to the left (west) is rocky, marshy, and low-lying – generally unfit for troop deployments. It’s also got a great view of…those woods in front of you. You won’t see the enemy approaching. Placing your line on the small, tree-covered hill to the right (east) will affect your visibility even more, and that hill isn’t big enough to cover the whole sector effectively anyway. And there’s NO WAY to use artillery anywhere around here because of all the woods.

North of United States Ave. it isn’t much better. At least you can place artillery here (and the NPS has pieces out to help your imagination), but as you look west, you can see how the ridge that the Emmitsburg Road is on (including the part that contains a certain Peach Orchard) absolutely OWNS (as Phil would say) this line. With enemy artillery placed there, and a concerted infantry effort to go along with it, any troops in this position could be dislodged. It’s NOT a very good place to be.

I think this is why Sickles was confused the morning of July 2. “This is my position? THIS? Are you for real right now?” It was such a bad placement that it couldn’t possibly be what was intended. He HAD to be confused.

Sickles would much rather be up on that Peach Orchard and along the Emmitsburg Road. It’s much higher, open ground. He’d have no problem employing his artillery effectively. It’s obvious to anyone who really looks at it that this is the better position, right?

By late morning, Sickles is up at headquarters lobbying for someone to come help him deploy his corps. General Meade was too busy to have a look. Besides, if the Confederates attacked, it would probably be from the north – where they were known to be located. General Warren, the Chief Topographical Engineer, couldn’t be spared to examine the position either. Since the main concern expressed by Sickles was related to placing his guns, General Hunt, the Chief of Artillery, was allowed to go to the left flank and advise General Sickles.

Hunt agreed that Sickles’ position was horrible for artillery. There were no good options. Sickles asks Hunt to ride out to the Peach Orchard – his preferred position – to have a look.

Immediately Hunt realized – like my brother 150 years later – that this ground was commanding. Artillery placement would be easy and effective out here. Sensing Sickles’ enthusiasm, Hunt was quick to remind the III Corps commander that, while he agreed with the assessment of the terrain, he could not authorize a troop movement. Of course, he did give a final piece of advice: If he were to make such a move, he’d want to know what’s going on in the woods over on Seminary Ridge first. Sickles agreed and sent Hiram Berdan‘s Sharpshooters on a recon mission.

Of course, Berdan finds Confederates – the right flank of Wilcox‘s brigade. This is enough evidence for Sickles to believe that an attacking force was massing on his front. He decided to make his move, and the rest is history.

The move was not without problems, though. Sickles’ small III Corps didn’t really have enough men to cover his intended line effectively. He was now trying to cover nearly twice the frontage that he had been originally assigned – from the Codori Farm down to Devil’s Den. He tried to compensate for this by using artillery to hold the gap between the Peach Orchard and Rose’s Woods. Sickles feels like he doesn’t have much of a choice though. He can’t force other units to come to his aid, and headquarters doesn’t seem too concerned with what may be happening on the left flank.

By the time General Meade starts paying attention, it’s too late. The Confederate attack has already begun, and Meade feels like his only choice is to commit resources from the V and II Corps to try and shore-up the position.

Of course, we know that this was not enough, and the failure of that line to hold is attributed by some people to Sickles’ incompetence. After all, he didn’t have enough men to cover the line. Obviously, the fact that he doesn’t have the proper resources doesn’t mean that the position is a bad one. Could he have done a better job communicating the issues he was seeing to headquarters, and more forcefully requesting reinforcements? Sure. Could Meade have not ignored the concerns of his political general, and taken a closer look at the positioning of his entire army? Absolutely.

The two military virtues that Phil really saw Sickles living out were making decentralized command decisions, and being offensive-minded.

While many people will fault Sickles for disobeying orders (or at least being loose with their interpretation), my brother argues that it’s a positive thing. Sickles knew things that Meade didn’t, and rather than wait for permission, he took initiative and did what he could to counter the threat.

In taking his action, even in a defensive posture, Sickles was thinking aggressively. He was looking for a better position for his troops. He was actively seeking out threats to his front, and looking to deprive the enemy of the elements of surprise and superior terrain.

Yes – the III Corps took about 40% casualties on July 2, but with his line placed in the horrible position it was “supposed to be in”, do we really know that things would have turned out any better? Sickles’ move definitely caused the Confederates to change their attack plan, and delayed their advance significantly.

Like I said before, it’s very hard to do counterfactuals. You can never really know the answers to all the “what ifs”, but I think that my brother is right. Being on that ground you can tell that the Emmitsburg Road / Peach Orchard / Devil’s Den line is a much better piece of terrain than the marshy mess that the III Corps began the day with. And who knows – if Meade had been involved in making the move, and provided an adequate number of troops in the first place (instead of as last-minute reinforcements thrown in almost haphazardly), could that line have held against the single wave of Confederate attacks that came against it? I think it stood a pretty good chance.

We’ll never really know, and that’s part of the fun.

More Tour Research

Over the Christmas holiday, my brother Phil – a Captain in the USMC – and his wife will be visiting from North Carolina. We’ve wanted to do an extensive tour of Gettysburg together for a while. During this visit, we’re finally going to do it.

You may think that winter is a bad time to go touring around a battlefield, but at least in the case of Gettysburg, it’s my favorite time of year. For one thing, there are NO crowds. Even at the “touristy” parts of the field like Little Round Top, you practically have the place to yourself. If you’re doing any walking around on the field, you also don’t have insects like gnats or ticks, or the ever-oppressive sun to deal with. Further, there are clear views of the terrain since the underbrush (which would not have been present at the time of the battle) has lost all of its leaves.

It should be a good time. Apart from sharing my passion with Phil, I’m really interested to see the field through the eyes of a modern infantryman. Hopefully, he’ll come with some good questions and I can really test my knowledge of 19th century tactics and how things would be different (and similar) today.

To get ready, I’ve been reading through the U.S. Army War College guide to the battle. Their suggested tour has quite a few more stops than my normal one, but I wanted to see how they portray the events for a military audience, so that I can make sure I don’t skip over anything that may be of interest to Phil. The book itself is really dry – even for being a work of military history. It’s basically just a collection of maps and quotes from the official records.

But there was at least one thing that caught my attention. In the “How to Use This Book” section, there’s a quote from George Macauley Trevelyan that really speaks to me:

The skilled game of identifying positions on a battlefield innocent of guides, where one must make out everything for oneself – best of all if one has never done it properly before – is almost the greatest of out-door intellectual pleasures.

I couldn’t have said it better myself, sir.

Charity

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a libertarian. I’m also a recently-converted Christian. Some people (on both “sides”, as it were) see this as being something of a conflict. Libertarians are supposed to be free spirits – we’re not supposed to like authority, so we’d naturally hate church, and church people wouldn’t be accepting of us because we wouldn’t be as rigid and controlling as they are.

In reality, these two traits are totally compatible. For one thing, not all churches are stuffy and authoritarian. And part of being free to choose how you want to live your own life means that you are free to live in a “conservative” way, too. In fact, there’s quite a bit that libertarians and Christians have in common – one of those is on how we look at charity.

It’s well known that libertarians don’t look at government programs (or taxes that go toward them) as being charitable – they are even seen as forced theft to some of us. REAL charity we say, comes from giving of yourself because you want to, not because someone else is making you do it. Christians see it the same way. When the collection plate comes past, or when a friend or neighbor needs help, it’s not enough to say, “I already paid my taxes.” You’re supposed to have a giving spirit, and that means going above and beyond.

I was thinking about all this in church this morning. Last week, my pastor Mike approached me about leading a tour of Gettysburg when some of the men in our church head up there for a retreat this coming spring. He knows about my interest in Civil War history and especially Gettysburg. In fact, we went up there together a little over a year ago. One of the things that I mentioned to him on that visit was about how practically all the buildings in town became hospitals in some sense. Of course, there were major hospitals set up in big buildings in town: one was at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. There was an outdoor hospital – Camp Letterman – set up on the east side of town, too. But there were so many wounded that those hospitals weren’t enough, and many citizens took a few wounded men into their own homes to care for them. It was a point that resonated enough for Mike that he mentioned it in a sermon last fall.

The story I relayed to him was one I’d picked up from the diary of Sarah Broadhead. She was one of the 2,400 residents of Gettysburg left to deal with the 50,000+ casualties left over from the battle. Here’s what she wrote on July 9, 1863 – less than a week after the fighting ended:

Nearly every house is a hospital, besides the churches and warehouses and there are many field hospitals scattered over the country near the scene of the battle. A man called to-day and requested me to take into our house three wounded men from one of the field hospitals. I agreed to take them, for I can attend to them and not be compelled to leave my family so long every day as I have done.

You can see why Mike wanted to use this as part of a message about Christian charity. Sarah was “compelled” to leave her family for a long time each day to help these men. Indeed, having these sick, wounded, needy people in her own home was a convenience for her.

I think we’ve lost some of that spirit as a culture. What Sarah’s story embodies is true charity. When we see stories like hers on the news nowadays, we think, “what a remarkable person.” Actions like hers are special and noteworthy – even abnormal – in these times, but in the Gettysburg of 1863, she was just one of many (as she notes) who were doing the very same thing.

You have to remember – there was no FEMA (and you have to wonder how effective they’d be anyway), no PEMA, no CDC, not even a Red Cross (yet). There were no telethons to raise money for the victims. No “change your Facebook profile pic to support…” campaigns. All of these organizations that we have in our modern, so-called advanced society have come together to remove our individual responsibility to help others. And it’s not just that either – our culture is so litigious that if you try to help but fail, you may face legal consequences. Everything is set up to actively prevent us from helping each other. In 1863, people had no option but to help each other directly – person to person. Taking in people who need help, getting their entire family involved, altering their own routines, making sacrifices for their fellow man.

Isn’t that more like the kind of world we want?

As libertarians, as Christians, as humans – this is what we are “called” to do. To help each other, not to sub-contract that out to someone else, or some private or government organization who we make “responsible”. We’re ALL responsible.

It’s a message I believe in, and one you can be sure I’ll be talking about with our group in a few months.

Gettysburg at Hollywood Cemetery – The Confederate Pyramid

This is a continuation of my series on famous burials in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA. Other posts in the series can be viewed here.

I never posted about the massive Confederate monument in Hollywood Cemetery during my series at Gettysburg Daily. That makes this post the first of the “lost episodes”.

South of Gettysburg Hill is a giant monument to the Confederate dead that was erected by the Hollywood Memorial Association in 1869. It’s a 90-foot, 4-sided stone pyramid on top of a hill. It makes for a very hard-to-miss landmark.

The Confederate Pyramid

The Confederate Pyramid. Photo by John Dolan.

Each face of the monument has an engraved stone with an inscription near the middle of it, about 6 feet off the ground. The one on the west side reads, “Erected by the Holly-Wood Memorial Association A.D. 1869”. On the south side, “Numini et Patri ae Asto” (my Latin is a little rusty, but I think this translates to “God and the Father Await”). On the north side, “Memoria in Aeterna” (or “Eternally in our memory”). Finally, the main inscription is on the eastern face:

The inscription dedicating the monument. Photo by John Dolan.

The inscription dedicating the monument. Photo by John Dolan.

As I said above, the pyramid is located just south of Gettysburg Hill, and is plainly visible on satellite photos. It’s that big.

The Confederate Pyramid is located inside the red box.

The Confederate Pyramid is located inside the red box.

In the short video below, I give a description of the monument and tell one of the stories people tell of how it was built.



Video by John Dolan
 

Next time, we’ll showcase another landmark in Hollywood Cemetery from the “lost episodes” archive.

Gettysburg at Hollywood Cemetery – John Wesley Culp

This is a continuation of my series on famous burials in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA. Other posts in the series can be viewed here.

Most Gettysburg nerds have heard of Wesley Culp – the boy from Gettysburg who went south and fought for the Confederacy. The story is that he was killed on Culp’s Hill (owned by members of his family) during the battle some time between July 2nd and 3rd, 1863.

John Wesley Culp

John Wesley Culp

As you can imagine, since we aren’t really sure when he died, we aren’t really sure where he died either. So we don’t know for sure where his remains ended up. That being said, he has a marker here at Hollywood:

The marker for John Wesley Culp. Photo by Scott L. Mingus, Sr.

The marker for John Wesley Culp. Photo by Scott L. Mingus, Sr.

This marker is located among the multitudes on Gettysburg Hill:

John Wesley Culp's marker is located at the red square.

John Wesley Culp’s marker is located at the red square.

I explain more about the controversy here (along with giving some more background on Private Culp) in the video below:



Video by George Skillman
In the next installment, we’re going to move away from the Gettysburg Hill section of the cemetery and explore some of the other notable landmarks.

Gettysburg at Hollywood Cemetery – Richard B. Garnett

This is a continuation of my series on famous burials in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA. Other posts in the series can be viewed here.

Anyone who has seen the movie Gettysburg knows the story of Brigadier General Richard Brooke Garnett (or at least an interpretation of it). The fact of the matter is that he is shrouded in some mystery.

For one thing, we don’t reliably know what he looked like. The usual picture that you see of him is this one:

Richard B. Garnett?

Richard B. Garnett?

But there’s some thought (spurned on by members of the Garnett family, I think) that perhaps this was a photo of his cousin, Brig. Gen. Robert S. Garnett, the first general killed during the Civil War. Apparently the two men had very similar features.

There is another photo that could be Garnett. This one was found in the Library of Congress labelled as “Franklin Gardner“. At least some people think that this is in fact, Brig. Gen. Garnett:

Is this Richard B. Garnett, and not Franklin Gardner?

Is this Richard B. Garnett, and not Franklin Gardner?

Yet another mystery surrounds the whereabouts of his remains. As I explain in the video below, none of the Union burial details ever made note of finding the remains of a General among the Pickett’s Charge dead.


Video by George Skillman
The location of his marker is right in the middle of Gettysburg Hill:

The monument to Richard Brooke Garnett is located at the red square.

The monument to Richard Brooke Garnett is located at the red square.

His “headstone” itself is also unique. Since the whereabouts of his remains is unknown, it’s more of a memorial than an actual marker. It was placed here (as it says) by family and friends in the 1990s.

The front of Richard B. Garnett's monument. Photo by John Dolan.

The front of Richard B. Garnett’s monument. Photo by John Dolan.

The back of Richard B. Garnett's monument. Photo by John Dolan.

The back of Richard B. Garnett’s monument. Photo by John Dolan.

In the next installment, we’ll highlight another mysterious “burial” on Gettysburg Hill.

Gettysburg at Hollywood Cemetery – John T. Ellis

This is a continuation of my series on famous burials in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA. Other posts in the series can be viewed here.

Another of Pickett’s officers that was involved on July 3, 1863 was Lt. Colonel John T. Ellis of the 19th VA Infantry. He didn’t participate in the attack itself though, because he was killed shortly before Pickett’s division set out across the field.

Lt. Colonel John Thomas Ellis

Lt. Colonel John Thomas Ellis

Ellis is buried at Hollywood Cemetery in the Gettysburg Hill section, just a short way down the hill from General Pickett himself.

The grave of John Thomas Ellis is marked by the red square.

The grave of John Thomas Ellis is marked by the red square.

In the video below, I give a very brief biography of Lt. Col. Ellis and explain how he was killed.


Video by George Skillman
And of course, we have a close-up shot of Lt. Col. Ellis’s headstone. One of many here on Gettysburg Hill.

The headstone of Lt. Col. John T. Ellis. Photo by John Dolan.

The headstone of Lt. Col. John T. Ellis. Photo by John Dolan.

Next time, we’ll talk about another high-ranking officer in Pickett’s division who is likely to be buried here among his men.