Raising the Spirits


Raising the Spirits On July second Cpl. William H. Poole (ninth LA) entered the McCreary residence and climbed the stairs to the second floor.  He pushed a drop leaf table across a doorway that led out to the balcony on the south side of the home.  Using the table top to steady his musket and feeling secure behind the leaf, he began the deadly chore of killing Yankees.  It didn’t take long for a Minnie ball fired from up the hill to return the favor.  The ball pierced the wooden leaf and entered the Rebels chest, killing him instantly.

The McCreary family was left with the dirty task that follows such an event.  They wrapped Pooles body in a quilt and buried him behind the house in their yard.  After the hasty interment, the job of cleaning the blood from the table, floor and walls still had to be performed.  The family spoke of their ordeal for years afterwards.

But what of Pooles body, was it ever removed for proper burial down south?  Does it remain today forgotten in the ground here at Gettysburg with the other eight hundred Confederate dead still missing around the town?

Perhaps the ghost of Cpl. Poole is trying to tell us something.  Rising up from his burial plot and staring toward the house; toward the second story room where he spent the last sad seconds of his mortal life.  Maybe he wonders why he used the wood table as a shield instead of the window where he would have been protected by brick.