The town of Gettysburg has grown to such an extent since 1863, that most residents from that period would have a hard time recognizing their small town. On the north side of town, there wasn’t much residential property past the railroad tracks where Abe Lincoln traveled from Hanover to Gettysburg in November 1863. The area was a rural mix of farms and fields.
Over those fields on July 1, 1863, the soldiers of both North and South battled. The Confederates trying to advance toward town while the Yankees made a desperate attempt to hold at all cost. Eventually, the rebel army would be victorious on this day, but it was not easy. Many a brave northern soldier would lose his life as they made attempt after attempt to hold on.
With so much determined and desperate fighting going on over this area, it is only natural for the spirit energy to remain behind. Today, the stories of hauntings are many but I believe that there are many more stories still waiting to emerge from the realm of the unknown to be told at a later date.
For now, I would like to relate the stories of a few of the ghosts who have made it through to our side in the hope that their bravery and sacrifice might be recorded.
Along the northernmost street of town, Broadway, there are many fine homes that have been built over the years. They may not have been standing at the time of the battle, but they may as well have been. It seems that the fighting continues around and through this neighborhood. Just to the north, where the Union artillery made a determined resistance, unseen cannons are still heard firing away at an invisible enemy. Through the neighborhood ghostly muskets are firing at the advancing army of spirits. Orders are still being shouted out and footsteps are heard. It seems that the route of the Union army is still going on around this part of town.
Not far away, in fact, just down the street, another ghostly encounter takes place on Coster Avenue just off Stratton Street. There is a beautiful mural on the wall of a block building depicting the stand made by Costers’ Union soldiers. The hauntings here are not as loud and audible as those are on Broadway, but they may be a bit more unnerving and dramatic. The scream of a man in pain has been heard breaking the silence and solitude of this seldom visited area. After the scream, if you listen closely, you might hear a man’s voice softly moaning and calling out for help.
Check back next month for the continuing story…