August 26, 2020
The Civil War was an unprecedented event in United States history that reached every corner of the country. Thousands of men lost their lives at Gettysburg in 1863 in a battle for freedom and unity; a battle whose after-effects still reach us today. Though the story of these men is one to be remembered, we often forget about the people they left behind.
July 29, 2020
The line between freedom and slavery in antebellum Gettysburg was remarkably thin. Slaveholders frequently crossed the border in pursuit of freedom seekers and free people of color who could pass as fugitives. Catherine “Kitty” Payne and her children, Eliza, Mary, and James, were a legally emancipated family living in Adams County, Pennsylvania, when Samuel Maddox, Jr., had them seized as slaves in July 1845.
June 18, 2020
The American Civil War touched the lives of almost every American. Women watched their husbands and brothers march off to war, and fathers and sons fought together on fields of battle, sometimes side by side and occasionally under the enemy’s flag. Factories were built and burned to the ground and millions of enslaved people wondered what this fighting would mean for their futures.
June 10, 2020
Though the Battle of Brandy Station is remembered as the largest cavalry engagement of the American Civil War, discussion of the aftermath is often lost as the Gettysburg Campaign marched north towards Pennsylvania. Much like soldiers, homes, churches, and communities also became casualties of the fighting. Many of these historic structures retain strong associations with actions that raged around them. Brandy Station is no different.
June 09, 2020
“A battle so fierce that friends and foes knew not who they fought, or behind which banner they charged.” The Battle of Brandy Station, fought on June 9, 1863, would become the largest cavalry engagement ever fought on the North American continent. It was said by one of the aides to Confederate Major General J.E.B. Stuart that “Brandy Station made the Federal cavalry.”
June 01, 2020
In the face of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate invasion, African Americans fled en masse, fearing enslavement. Abraham Brian, a farmer on Cemetery Ridge, left with his family. Basil Biggs, a veterinarian, made a hasty retreat, as did Owen Robinson, a retailer of oysters and ice cream. They knew better than anyone that Gettysburg was not safe for people of color.