In Gettysburg, most people know about Jenny Wade. She was shot while baking bread for soldiers outside her sisters house. But the one women people should know more about, have never heard of her. Her name is Elizabeth Thorn.
Elizabeth Thorn moved to Gettysburg from Germany in 1854. Shortly after this she married Peter Thorn. Peter Thorn was the superintendent of the Evergreen Cemetery and was living in the gatehouse. Peter enlisted in the Union army in 1862.
On June 26, 1863 Confederate Cavalry troops arrived at the gatehouse to Evergreen cemetery demanding to be fed. They had bragged to Elizabeth about killing a Union militia man nearby and would not rape her “like the yankeys did to their ladies,” she later wrote. The mention of rape would have only made her more nervous as a woman living alone.
After the Confederates moved on, the fighting started on July 1st west of her home. Union General O.O. Howard’s staff officer stopped by her home and asked if there was a man home to guide him along the unfamiliar roads so that he could speed the Union reinforcements marching to confront the Confederates. Elizabeth volunteered. The man said he could not accept her help since the roads were under fire but she insisted as there were no other men to help. As she guided him along the road, the troops cheered at her courage as they saw her pass.
As the Union XI Corps(made up mostly of Germans) moved past her home and then had to retreat back after Barlows knoll. Elizabeth cooked dinner for the Corps commander, O.O. Howard, and his German general Carl Schurz that night.
The fighting was centered around the gatehouse on July 2nd and the Thorns had to evacuate their home. Elizabeth and her three small sons returned home on July 7th. Their home and the grounds were transformed from what it once had been. The air in Gettysburg was putrid and the heat did nothing to help. In her garden were seventeen dead men and 34 dead horses. The gatehouse floors were covered in blood from when it was a makeshift hospital.
Elizabeth and her elderly father personally buried at least 100 Union soldiers, lets remember she was five months pregnant. This exertion damaged her heath and she believed caused the baby that she had months later to die as a teen. Peter Thorn returned home after his service and when he died in 1907, he was hailed as a true American citizen. It wasn’t until 2002 Elizabeth was recognized for her contribution. She is still relatively unknown.
On the weekend of June 8,9 and 10th, Lord Nelsons Gallery hosted ” History Meets the Arts weekend” at Gettysburg College. In attendance were artists ranging from painters to sculpture’s to artisans making trunks and pottery!
Its so much easier to show you than to try and describe the beautiful artwork we saw……so here you go!
We bought a bandbox for one of my bonnets and the cutest “Ugly” jug!
Until next time!
Yesterday It was a beautiful day and I actually had some free time(gasp!). I decided to take a walk since the weather was so nice and I ended up at an fun and offbeat attraction Gettysburg called ” Civil War Tails at The Homestead Diorama Museum”. If you like cats, the civil war, history or dioramas you will love this place! I figured this museum would have beautiful dioramas and the rest would be ok. The rest being the tour portion.
I was partially wrong.
The museum does have beautiful Dioramas. But Rebecca (one of the sisters who gave me a tour) was knowledgeable beyond what I find in most museums! As I was looking at the dioramas, she was regaling me with the history of every scene and going into technical detail on how they were constructed! I was blown away. Right now this is a very small museum but they are working to expand right now.
So now for the important details:
This museum is run by two sisters Ruth and Rebecca Brown. They are both awesome!
There are a grand total of 8,500 cats in the museum but *only* 6,000 are on display in the dioramas. That’s a lot of cats. Rebecca told me it takes her only 7 minutes to make one cat. If she is sculpting a horse with a cat rider that takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. That’s impressive.
And there is only one dog in the museum:
There are 3 huge dioramas and many small ones. Currently they are in the process of making Little round top.
Now I will leave you with the photos and the website to get more information on this wonderful attraction!
Have you ever wanted to dive deeper in the world of the 1850s or 1860s? The Citizens forum of the 1860s is coming up on March 24th-26th, 2017. This conference touches on a number of subjects for the civilian reenactor and historian of the Civil war era period. During this conference there will be a talk given by my chaperon, Samantha Stanley! She will talk on dolls from 1850-1865 including what to look for when choosing a doll and fashions for the well dressed doll!
Here is the preview video that was made in preparation for it:
If you want to learn more about this opportunity to learn more about our past check out this site:
Most people will cook a huge feast for Thanksgiving day; not in my house! Samantha told me to put on something nice but also something I was able to travel in. I also added my paletot to my ensemble since it was so chilly outside. The big museum we went to visit as the Smithsonian museum of American History.
My favorite exhibit was the First lady’s gowns. My favorite gown is Mary Todd Lincolns! It is a purple velvet with white silk piping to accent it. It also has it original evening bodice with it still!
There were plenty of accessories to admire as well. Jewelry and shoes seemed to be a theme. I also found a fan that I love!
I saw one of my cousins in the museum as well! She belonged to John Quincy Adams daughter.
After a full day wandering the museum we packed into the car and traveled back to Gettysburg. Next time I go to Washington, DC I want to visit the White House! They have to let me in!
Until next time friends!