Friday, January 21, 2011

Haunting at the 147th Gettysburg reenactment

This one is from Matt

When I was back in Gettysburg for the 147th Gettysburg reenactment my dad and I went out to the real battlefields south of the town. As we walked down cemetery ridge towards the Pennsylvania volunteers monument to make a video I thought I saw a group of confederate reenactors charging towards the angle  as we walked. Thinking they were just reenactors I took out my camera to take a picture but when I looked back they were gone. In the two seconds it took to get my camera out, they were nowhere to be seen. I was already shooting the video. 

When we went to the angle I asked some of the nearby tourist if they saw a small group of confederates charging the wall. They all said no. When I played the video back, I could hear this group of confederates charging but could not see any of the group. Right then I knew I had seen something paranormal and it still lingers in my mind about who's regiment and who's division they were with.

I guess I always knew of paranormal activity at the Gettysburg battlefield because of all the accounts one hears of such things going on there and around the town itself However, I never went out looking for anything like that at all. So I also wonder why was I the person to experience any paranormal activity at all. Why did this group of confederates choose me to see this and to experience this.

For more information on hautings and other paranormal activities at the Gettysburg Battlefield, read The Hauntings of The Gettysburg Battlefield.

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1 comment:

  1. Brendan O'CallaghanJuly 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    The slaughter of the Civil War took place thousands of miles from Ireland’s shores and has remained far from our historical consciousness. However, outside of World War One, the conflagration that engulfed the United States between 1861 and 1865 saw more Irishmen in uniform than at any other time in history. Wartime America was home to over 1.6m people of Irish birth; they accounted for over a quarter of New York’s population alone.

    Many of these immigrants had fled an Ireland ravaged by famine, hoping to find a better future for themselves and their families. For thousands these hopes were dashed when war erupted in 1861.

    The Irish representation in the armies marching towards Gettysburg in 1863 was not evenly spread.

    The majority lived in the industrialised North in New York, Boston and Philadelphia, and as a result most wore Union blue. At least 150,000 Irishmen served in the Yankee ranks, with 20,000 in Confederate grey.
    There are no figures as to how many Irishmen died in the Civil War, but it is likely that it ran perilously close to the 35,000 Irish lost during World War One. In a war that killed some 750,000 people, the Battle of Gettysburg is remembered as one of its greatest bloodbaths.
    Ethnic Irish units such as the Irish Brigade and 69 Volunteers performed heroics at locations that would become known simply as the ‘Wheatfield’ and ‘Bloody Angle.’ On Jul 3, 1863, the battle reached its zenith, when 12,000 Confederates stepped off to attack the Union line in what became known as ‘Pickett’s Charge.’ Colonel Thomas Smyth, a former farmer from Ballyhooly in Co Cork, was one of the Union soldiers who faced down the desperate charge.
    Struck in the face by a shell fragment, he turned to his men saying he was ‘willing to sacrifice my nose for the sake of my country.’ Smyth would survive Gettysburg, but on Apr 9, 1865, he became the last Union general to die in the American Civil War, succumbing to wounds inflicted by a Rebel sharpshooter.
    Brothers Patrick and Denis Downing from Skibbereen were also among those who faced the Rebel tide. Both were Fenians and hoped to return to Ireland and fight for Ireland’s freedom. Serving with the New York Infantry, Denis was so severely wounded that his foot was amputated.
    So many Fenians died at Gettysburg that Patrick wrote to Fenian leader John O’Mahony from the battlefield to tell him of the Brotherhood’s losses. Pickett’s Charge also impacted another notable Irish nationalist, John Mitchell. The former Young Irelander was a staunch supporter of the Confederacy and his youngest son Willie had been among the dead.

    With the Southern retreat from Pennsylvania the process of remembrance began quickly. Only two days after the fighting ended Irishman Timothy O’Sullivan arrived at Gettysburg. He was one of America’s most notable battlefield photographers. The images of the bloated and disfigured brought the war home to thousands of people in a way unimaginable only a year previously. They remain some of the most powerful images recorded in US history.

    The Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War exacted a terrible toll on the Irish community. Only weeks before the battle Union soldiers donated thousands of dollars for the relief of the starving in Ireland. These were men like Michael Cuddy, Hugh Murphy and Dennis Brady, who despite being in the midst of unspeakable horrors found time to remember those at home. All three died at Gettysburg.

    Despite the scale of the Irish sacrifice in the American Civil War, it receives little attention here today. There is no national memorial and there have been no efforts by the State to mark the anniversary. Just as men like Michael Cuddy, Hugh Murphy and Dennis Brady took the time to remember their homeland before giving their lives for the United States, perhaps it is time that Ireland now takes time to remember her 19th century emigrants and one of the most important conflicts in Irish history.

    Damian Shiels is author of The Irish in the American Civil War