Updated Snow in Gettysburg

The park is closed today for snow.  I would love to catch a plane in the morning and fly up to Washington Dulles, rent a four wheel drive car, and get up to Gettysburg to take snow photos, but this isn’t the best time for me.  I was starting to feel bad about missing it until I checked the live feed.  Not as much snow as I expected, at least on Cemetery Ridge.  Well that makes me feel a little better.

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Snow in Gettysburg

From friends in Gettysburg posts on facebook, I have seen snow in Gettysburg.  Living in Texas, trying to time visits in order to see snow is a difficult.  Last minute trips are expensive and I need to justify the expense.  While my books are selling on Amazon, my photo sales on thomasieshen.com have been a little slow to take off.  Remember to use the promo code Getty to get 30% off all purchases on my website.

Spring is coming to Texas and the Irises will be up soon at Mercer Park and I will add a gallery of them and other spring flowers to my site, but what I really want to do is see Gettysburg in the snow.  While the battle was fought in July and they weren’t any major battles fought in the snow, so there is no historical reason to add photographs of Gettysburg National Military Park to my website other than I think they will look cool.

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Own your favorite photo

1st Minnesota

First Minnesota

You can now own your favorite photo from Gettysburg Photographs.com.  I have lots of options available from prints, book marks, coasters, paying cards,  to even a photo on a shirt.  You can find my favorite photos ready to print on thomas eishen.com

If you don’t see you’re favorite photo, just let me know and I will be happy to make it available.




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“The Colors of the Blue – Flags of the Union Army” – February 14 – 15

From the Gettysburg Foundation Latest News


“The Colors of the Blue – Flags of the Union Army” – February 14 – 15

“The Colors of the Blue – Flags of the Union Army” will be on display at the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center, Saturday and Sunday, February 14 and 15. The display will include reproductions of the most common flags of the Union Army infantry, cavalry, and artillery units, and the flags designating corps, division and brigade commanders.

As the Civil War approached, there were 33 stars in the United States flag. Even as states were seceding in the winter of 1860-61, Kansas was admitted to the Union in 1861, bringing the total to 34 stars. Later in the war, West Virginia would make 35 stars in 1863, and Nevada would bring the total to 36 stars in 1864. As states left the Union, some people suggested that their stars be removed from the flag but Lincoln refused since he believed secession was illegal. Thus, the flag included the stars of the seceded states.

Other than the overall size, six by six and one-half feet, there was no standard design for the United States flag carried by the U. S. Army. The flags were made by private contractors and the blue field varied from one-third to one-half the width of the flag. Stars were in various sizes and were placed in rows, circles, ovals and geometric patterns. Most stars were rendered in gold paint.

Flags served practical purposes on the battlefield. They helped to control troops by indicating alignment and direction of movement; observing flags helped commanders follow the course of a battle, and they aided messengers in locating commanders.

In addition to the Stars and Stripes, infantry and cavalry regiments were authorized to carry blue flags with the American eagle. The eagle was painted so each flag was a unique work of art.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania issued special flags to its troops. Infantry regiments received a Stars and Stripes flag that had the state coat-of-arms painted among the stars. Cavalry regiments were given small blue flags with the state coat-of-arms rather than an American eagle as specified in the U.S. Army Regulations.

The Battle of Gettysburg was the first time a new system of headquarters designating flags were used in battle. They indicated the location of corps, division and brigade commanders on the battlefield. Enlisted men carried the flags and followed the commanders so that messengers could easily locate the generals and deliver important dispatches.

The display is being presented by the Civil War Dance Foundation (CWDF) as part of its educational outreach programming. The flags in the display are on loan from the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee, Camp Curtin Historical Society, 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry, James Fouts, and Annette & Lawrence Keener-Farley.

In addition to conducting Civil War balls, dance demonstrations and classes, the CWDF also presents military and civilian artifact displays and lectures on a variety of Civil War topics. The Civil War Dance Foundation leads the dancing at the Civil War Preservation Ball and National Civil War Ball. These two balls have raised over $150,000 for Gettysburg National Military Park. In 2011, the CWDF was named the Reenactment Unit of the Year by the Civil War Trust in recognition of its support of preservation projects.


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Human Remains Determined to be Native American

Study finds human skull, almost sold at auction last year as a relic of Gettysburg, is not from the Battle of Gettysburg. http://www.nps.gov/gett/learn/news/human-remains-determined-to-be-native-american-2-6-15.htm …read more

Source:: NPS Gettysburg Press Releases


Posted in Gettsburg Battlefield

Human Remains Determined to be Native American

Study finds human skull, almost sold at auction last year as a relic of Gettysburg, is not from the Battle of Gettysburg. http://www.nps.gov/gett/parknews/human-remains-determined-to-be-native-american-2-6-15.htm …read more

Source:: NPS Gettysburg Press Releases


Posted in Gettsburg Battlefield

Murray Frazee

Murray Frazee grew up in Gettysburg graduating from Gettysburg High School in 1933.  He was awarded an appointment to the Naval Academy and graduated in 1939.  I learned about Murray from reading one of my favorite books, Clear the Bridge about the war patrols of the USS Tang.  Murray was the Tang’s first executive officer and served on board for her first four war patrols before being selected to command his own submarine.

On her fifth war patrol, the Tang sunk 13 enemy ships.  The last one was d0omed by a patrol Tang fired while on the surface at night.  For good measure, her captain, Richard O’Kane, fired her last torpedo at the stricken Japanese ship.  The torpedo malfunctioned and circled back towards the Tang striking her in the aft torpedo.  Nine men survived the sinking of the Tang.

Many years ago, thinking I could be a screen writer, I optioned the rights to Clear the Bridge and while gathering additional information to supplement the book, I contacted Murray.  He and his wife Betty were two of the nicest people I have ever met.  They invited me into their home and were warm and caring.  He was a great help in putting me in touch with other crewman and relatives of the departed including my friend Clayton Decker and Carolyn Springer Wells.

While in the navy Murray received his law degree and after retiring returned to Gettysburg to practice law.  All of my trips to Gettysburg have been centered on the battlefield except those when I met with Murray.  Instead of talking about the Civil War, we talked about his time in the navy and the details about the Tang that you won’t find in a history book or official report.

While my screen play didn’t sell, I was able to meet some of my heroes and become friends with them.  Murray and Betty are both gone now as is Clayton, but I keep them close to my heart.





Posted in USS Tang, WWII

Klingle Home Restoration

In 2009, as part of the Recovery Act, the National Park Service received funds to restore the Klingle Home on the Emmitsburg Road.  This effort was part of the larger project to return the entire Gettysburg Battlefield to its 1863 appearance.



“The fifteen acre Klingle Farm is south of town on the east side of Emmitsburg Road. It was in the center of the Confederate attacks on July 2nd and 3rd.

Daniel Klingle bought the farm in April of 1863 from Jacob Benner, who in 1862 had received the farm from its original owner, the elderly Ludwig Esick, for payment of debts. Daniel, an Adams County native, lived at the farm with his wife Hannah and two very young children, Samuel and Catherine. Daniel was a shoemaker as well as a farmer.

Daniel was witness to the First Corps advance down Emmitsburg Road on July 1st, and watched as they took down the fence to the west of the road and advanced at the double across the Spangler and McMillan farm fields on their way to the first day’s battlefield northwest of town. In the evening “14 to 16″ wounded Confederates were brought to the house, which Daniel cared for through the night.

On the 2nd the Klingle family left the farm after repeated warnings from Union officers, heading by way of the Trostle farm to the foot of Little Round Top. Daniel was taken up to the Union signal station on Little Round Top, where he helped identify roads and terrain features. When the hill came under fire from a Confederate gun on Warfield Ridge he slipped away and returned to his family. They made their way to a friend’s house near Rock Creek, where they waited out the battle.”

from Stone Sentinels.com

I will leave it to others about the effectiveness of the Recovery Act but the money spent on this one small item seems like money well spent to preserving this wonderful little house for future generations.


Posted in Gettsburg Battlefield Tagged , |

Snow Fall in Gettysburg

The one thing I am missing from my galleries is snow in Gettysburg.   Living in Texas, obviously timing a trip is difficult.  I heard that tonight’s snow was going to be one to three inches, but now the forecast is four to six.  Depending on the track of the storm it could be even more.

If we lived within a couple of hundred miles, i would set off first thing in the morning, but over a thousands miles away, just not as easy.  I am hoping to come up with a plan for next winter, but until then I will just have to enjoy photos posted on facebook from those in and around Gettysburg.



Posted in Gettsburg Battlefield

A taxing issue

Recently the Civil War Trust purchased the Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters.  The Trust is going to tear down the hotel and restore Lee’s Headquarters to its 1863 appearance.  While great news for efforts to restore the Gettysburg Battlefield to its war time appearance, it does cause financial issues for Gettysburg Borough as another property is slated to be removed from the tax roles.  The Civil War Trust has stated it will continue to pay the property taxes on the land the same as when it was operated as a hotel as long as they own it, but the long term goal (I am guessing) is to donate the land to the National Park Service, which would remove it from the tax roles.  With the continued expansion of the park, along with Gettysburg College, and the Lutheran Seminary, the borough’s property tax base is narrowing while the expenses to maintain the  infrastructure continues to grow.

To be honest, I know little about Pennsylvania politics and taxes, but I am wondering if there has been any discussion about the state rebating a back to the Gettysburg Borough additional sales tax dollars to make up for the erosion of the property tax base?  It is critical for the visitor experience to maintain the borough’s appearance and safety and it doesn’t seem fair to do that on the backs of those who live and work in town through higher and higher property taxes.

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