The Jennie Wade House Story.

Over one hundred and forty years ago Jennie Wade died at the tender age of twenty. She is the only civilian to have lost her life to the famous 3 day Battle of Gettysburg. She lived on Breckenridge Street and was at her sister Georgia’s residence along with her mother, brother and 6 year old boarder Isaac, as her sister had just given birth. The McClain’s lived on the opposite side of the home. Jennie was a seamstress, like her mother. The home, while not in the middle of the actual battle, was within close proximity. So close, in fact, that Jennie and her mother provided bread and water for the Union soldiers.

The morning of her death she was kneading dough to make more bread for the soldiers when around eight thirty bullets shot through the door on the north side of the house. One struck Jennie and she passed away immediately much to the shock and dismay of her family within. At the time of Jennie’s passing, she was rumored to have been engaged to Corporal “Jack” Skelly. He was wounded in the Battle of Carter’s Wood and passed away 9 days after her without ever learning of her fate.

The Jennie Wade House is still standing today and open to the public for touring. The home is authentically furnished from cellar to attic and encompasses the way of life during the Civil War. There is a superstition that says if you’re single and 18 years of age and you put your ring finger through the bullet hole in the parlor door, you will receive a marriage proposal within a year. Is it true? Angela Korbel wanted us to share her story for those skeptics out there:

“When I participated in your tour of the Jennie Wade house and heard about the legend that if a single female inserts her ring finger through the hole in the parlor door she would receive a marriage proposal within the year, I was highly skeptical….However, I cannot deny the fact that apparently, there might be some truth to it.

I attended the tour in June 2010. My mother convinced me to stick my ring finger through the hole in the parlor door after hearing about the legend. I reluctantly did so just to make her stop harassing me. Well who would have thought that 6 months later (Christmas Day to be exact) my boyfriend would propose!”

Sounds convincing to us! The Jennie Wade House will be open for the season beginning on March 12th. For more information please visit our Jennie Wade House page.

This entry was posted in Interesting History, Jennie Wade, Things To Do and See and tagged , , , .
  1. Dana Roberts says:

    I visited the Jennie Wade House in July, 2011. Being a single mother of two with no romantic interests, I decided to stick my ring finger in the door’s bullet hole. Less than two months later, I met a wonderful man. He was interested in both me and my children, and things started looking up. Just two months later, he proposed to me, with the blessing of my family. We were married on February 11, 2012.
    I never thought this would happen for me. My daughter regularly reminds me of how I had placed my finger in the bullet hole. I know I have someone to thank to helping me find my amazing husband, and that’s Jennie.

  2. Carol Ullmann says:

    True story (thought this was kind of funny): We went to Gettysburg in 1996 and visited this house. When we came to the part about sticking your finger in the door and being married within the year, we laughed. My friend said, “Go ahead; do it!” I did, and was married 10 months later to a man I had met one week before our trip to Gettysburg. LOL I had totally forgotten about the legend until my friend reminded me several years later.

  3. Molly says:

    In 2010 I visited the Jennie Wade House while on vacation with my family. I saw the legend on the door about sticking your ring finger in the hole in the door and you will get a marriage purposal. Of course I did it and really didnt think anything of it. Two years later I did get married! I guess it worked!

    • bonnie says:

      Congratulations! Wish you a healthy and happy life together.

  4. Paige says:

    I visited the house in June 2014 and I placed my ring finger in the bullet hole and then in December my boyfriend proposed! It really did work!

    • bonnie says:


  5. Jessie says:

    I went on the tour in July of 2014 and put my finger on the bullet hole, my boyfriend proposed in May 2015. Woohoo Jenny Wade!! =)

    • bonnie says:


  6. Barbara says:

    I can beat the previous writers. While visiting The Jennie Wade House way back in 1986 with my no where near ready to marry boyfriend, I teasingly showed him my finger in the bullet hole. His reply was not encouraging. 10 months later he’s saw the light and he asked me to be his wife. While watching the rebroadcast of The Civil War” on PBS I was reminded of that moment nearly thirty years ago. We’re still happily married all these years later. Thanks Jennie!

    • bonnie says:

      What a nice story.

  7. Becky Pupo says:

    I was on a school trip when we went on the tour. I had been dating my boyfriend for a year and he had been married before. He had made it clear to me from the beginning that marrying again was not going to happen and I had accepted that. Of course, I was encouraged to put my finger in the hole and a picture was taken as proof that I did. It was on my birthday, 3 months later, that I got a proposal and a ring! I had originally forgotten about the Jennie Wade house until we started school this year and a student reminded me. The band director located the picture we took in May. All I can say is WOW! Wedding date-june 2016!

    • bonnie says:


  8. makayla ayers says:


  9. Katie Barton says:

    I visited Jennie’s house October 2014. I gladly put my finger through the bullet hole in hopes that Jennie would help me out. I was engaged in May 2015! Married June 2016! Thanks Jennie :)

    • bonnie says:


  10. Charlotte Lyons says:

    In July of 2008 I visited Gettysburg with one of my good friends. Him and I joked about the legend of the door and I even took a few pictures with my finger in the hole. Within the following month I met my now husband and we’re married July 2009.

    • bonnie says:


  11. Tabitha Lewis says:

    I went to the Jennie Wade House back in aug. 2010 my friend told me to place my ring finger in the bullet hole, I did and by aug. 2011 I was engaged

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