Sunday, November 1, 2009

Old Soldiers

This photograph shows two old soldiers. Both were veterans of the Battle of Gettysburg. The picture was taken in 1913, at a reunion held on the battlefield. The man sitting on the rocks is a Rebel soldier, and the man standing is a Union soldier. I find it interesting that there are many people alive today who knew Civil War veterans, and heard about the war first hand from them. The Civil War seems like ages ago, but in generations, it is recent history.


  1. What a Great Photo PJM! I love the looks on their faces; it looks like they are discussing the battle and from their expressions it is very much alive in their memories.
    The other day I thought, I'm only as removed from WWII as my grandparents were from the Civil War so you are right. The Civil War is recent history as far as generations go.
    My husband's great-great grandfather fought for the South from Missouri. He left a wife and child at home for three years and never received any pay for his service. Can you imagine being that dedicated to a 'Cause'? I sure cannot.

  2. Last year, one of our SCV camp members, Woody Plaugher, died. His father had been in the Civil War and he liked to talk about a time where he went back east and was at a battlefield park and was talking to people about the things his father had told him at the same battlefield. A park ranger overheard them talking and asked if he could listen to Woody instead of conducting his own tours. It made Woody proud to be conducting a tour for the park tour guide.

  3. The man on the right has the same taste in hats as you do, PJM.

  4. The two in the photo might have a little different perspectives today about the issues back in the day.

    It would be interesting to have heard them commiserate about the Battle of Gettysburg and other matters of those times.

  5. What an amazing photo, and a perfect illustration of how time heals old wounds (to a certain extent).

    As that picture was taken about 50 years after the Civil War, I would guess that those guys must have been in their '70s.

    Since the last surviviing civil war veterans died in the early 1950s (when I was born), it DOES seem like ancient history to me.

    But . . . it's my favorite period.

  6. Merideth got me thinking: I was born in 1954, about the time that the last of the civil war baby boomers would have been passing away. The youngest of the civil war veterans would have passed away twenty or so years before I was born, so my parents would certainly have known some of them and talked to them. Amazing to think about.

  7. I guess it's perspective. But there is no way I would have to tell a Texas boy anything.

    We have a bunch of Texas boys here in town, first thing you see when you enter the cemetery. We keep a big flag flying above and a small one on each grave. We honor the graves of all every April.

    My Poppy was born 1880 and passed 1985. The night before he passed he chased a nurse down the hall. He had a lot to say.

    My dad, the youngest of ten, was a POW in WWII. He had a lot to say about Hitler.

    In the Deep South, maybe it's more of an attitude or things that are not spoken instead of what is.

  8. A wonderful photograph.
    The way they are communicating, by
    gesture and sight, comes across
    very strongly.
    A first rate photo.

  9. That's surely an ancestor of Richard Petty there on the rocks.

  10. My grandfather was born in p. in 1844, and was at Gettysburg as a Union soldier. He returned home after the war and went to work for the P.R.R. My father was born in 1886, and I came along in 1946, still in Pa.

  11. Honestly, this is a classic. That war was horrible in how effective one canon shot could kill and maim so many people.

    I had my grandfather who was in the Civil War and my great uncles.

  12. I can tell right now I'm going to love this week's photos. This photo is great. Thanks PJM.

  13. There was an old man who rented a shack on my great grandfather's farm in the NY/PA area back in the 30s and 40s. My dad got to know him, and that fellow was a CW vet. Today we would say he suffered from PTSD but back then they said he was crazy. He had a lot of problems and I think he lived alone. He'd talk to my dad and his uncle about the war though, and both were history buffs. My dad still loves CW history.

  14. Merideth,
    Where in Missouri was your husband's grandfather from? My family is from the West Central part of the state. I have two cousins who are buried next to each other, one for the South and the other for the North. I have read some of the burial notes for them said both of my Uncles brought shotguns to the funeral, figuring if anyone had issues with a Johnny Reb being buried next to a Yankee they could voice them somewhere else. As the caretaker for the cemetery said, "They may have had differences in life, but in death they were family." The county seat has two makers in front of the County courthouse, one with the names of the Confederate soldiers from the County who died and one for the Union soldiers from the County who died. Lot of history there.

  15. Anyone ever try to find the names of the two gentlemen


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.