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.