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 Posted: Tue Oct 5th, 2010 05:06 am
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Well it's that time of the year, and one of my favorite times too. Like I said in the what's you favorite part thread, there's too much for me to narrow things down to just one item. One of them being ghost stories. So since it is October, I thought I'd try making a thread for Halloween and folks could share some ghost stories that are related to the war. They can be from things you've read, things you've seen, things you've heard from others, or even your own experince.

For my part I'd like to start off with an old NC legend. When I was a kid we used to move a lot as my dad's job changed often, and one of the places we lived was NC. Our first family vaction was to the Outer Banks and one of my sisters picked up the book North Carolina Legends as a souviner. One of the stories in it is called The Evil Hunter of Purgatory Mountain and it's this one I'd like to share at this time.

The story goes that Quakers had settled in Radolph County and when the war broke out they wanted no part in the Confederate Army. In 1864, with the Confederacy in need of soldiers, a recruiter known simply as the Hunter was sent to the area to round up new recruits. Any recruits he could get his hands on, whether they were willing or not. So the Hunter rounded up twenty-one healthy young Quaker boys, 14 and under, tied thm up and took them to Willmington. In Willmington the boys managed to escape and returned home only to find the man still there. Fearing capture, the boys hid out on Purgatory Mountain where they observed the habits of the evil Hunter. Even though they were Quakers, they knew this man had to be eliminated, so three of the older boys were selected for the task. They killed him one morning as he was checking his fishing traps on Richland Creek. Following that day none spoke the names of the three selected to kill the man and as they grew up they all steered clear of the mountain as the ghost of the Hunter haunted Purgatory Mountain searching for his killers. According to the story he's still there.

No idea how true the story is, it is after all a legend. The North Carolina Zoo is located atop Purgatory Mountain and I visited it several times while we lived there. Never once did I experince anything of a supernatural nature there. But maybe the Hunter haunts a different part of the mountain.



 Posted: Wed Oct 27th, 2010 05:53 am
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Ok, this second story comes from Chistopher Coleman's Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War. Mr. Coleman records the story of a class fieldtrip to Antietam by the 7th class of a Mr. OBrien of Baltimore's McDonogh School. Prior to lunch the students learned the parade drill and the manual of arms, they also saw demonstrations of loading and firing muskets as well as the details of the life of the average soldier. After lunch they toured the battlefield to learn the history of the battle.

Towards dusk they had to visit the Bloody Lane where they were given time to consider everything they'd seen that day. Then as they returned to the bus Mr. O'Brien instructed them to write an essay about what they'd learned and what impressed them the most about the battlefield. Many wrote about hearing chanting, others about hearing Christmas carols in a foreign language.

Now Mr. O'Brien didn't give the boys time to talk with each other so they weren't able to come up with a practical joke. And all those who wrote about the caroling said they heard it at the Bloody Lane. When questioned as to the caroling it turned out it was between the Anderson Cannon Monument and the War Department Observation Tower. And that it sounded like the Chorus to Deck the Halls.

There was no one but the class in that area on that day and what the class didn't know was the battle cry of the NY 69th was Faugh a Ballagh, a Gaelic battle cry. Pronounced Fa-a-bah-lah. But to the kids it sounded like Fa-la-la-lah.



 Posted: Thu Oct 28th, 2010 02:19 am
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This next one also comes from Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War and deals with a location established after the war. Creston, Iowa was established in 1868 as as a survey camp for workers of the B&M railroad. Following the both the war and the founding to the town many settlers from back east came to settle in some of the newer districts on the east side of town. Because so many in this part of town were Democrats, who during the war the Republicans had labeled as being either disloyal or as having secessionist views, or both, this part of Creston jokingly came to be called Confederate Hill. Another reason for the name appears to have come from the number of people from the South who settled there, some of whom may have been Confederate veterans.

The story goes that a citizen from the Republican part of town known as Mr. Jones was walking home one evening and as he was passing by Confederate Hill he heard a voice shout "Halt! Who goes there?" Mr. Jones was then confronted with an apparition dressed in a rotting butternut uniform, the figure smelling of decay and mold and being more skeletal than flesh. It carried a rusted musket, which it pointed at Jones and cocked. Mr. Jones shouted for the aparition not to fire at which point it let out a mocking laugh before vanishing.

Jones ran back to the Summit House, a popular watering hole for the men of Creston, where he told everyone what he'd just seen. Natrualy folks thought he'd drunk a wee bit too much (and he probably had) and mocked him for his story. Undoubtedly quite a few must have called him coward and yellow-bellied because he challenged all present to return to the spot with him. Well seeing a chance to humilate their friend a bit more, the men at the saloon followed him back to the hill, hiding in a ravine near where he had seen the phantom. By now the moon had risen, better illuminating the seen. And in it's glow the men saw the apparition Mr. Jones had described, an aparition clearly on sentry duty as it paced back and forth at a distance of fifty yards.

Now nervous, and sobered by the sight, the men crept forward until they were within a hundred feet of the phantom. At which point it challenged them as it had Mr. Jones. One of the men responded that they were friends of the Cause. All agreed that at this point the spectre let out a demented laugh, but what t said next they couldn't agree on. Some said it asked "What Cause?" while others inststed it hysterically laughed that the Cause was lost. Either way all agreed that when it finished speaking it let out the Rebel yell before slowly vanishing from sight.

Last edited on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 02:19 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Thu Oct 28th, 2010 07:49 am
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One of the better known ghost stories related to the war is perhaps that of one of the better known trains from the war. A train which carried at least twenty-nine members of the Volunteer Reseve Corps and was pulled by several different engines through over four hundred towns and cities. And the most important passenger aboard the train had been dead for days before it began it's one and only journey. It is the Lincoln Funeral Train.

I've seen various stories on the phantom funeral train and have one in Coleman's Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War and one in Nancy Roberts' Civil War Ghost Stories and Legends. The basic story of the funeral train is that it appears, either as a locomotive hauling several cars draped in black or as a locomotive hauling a single flat car with Lincoln's casket atop it, at night; usually around midnight. The phantom train follows the 1865 funeral train and if there are still any tracks on that path, the air around the tracks goes cold while just a few feet to either side it can be a warm night. All this happens in April, at the anniversary of the journey back to Springfield for burial. Many claim that clocks and watches anywhere near it's passing stop.

In Civil War Ghost Stories and Legends Roberts relates the story of Doctor Carter Strothers who lived near Albany, NY. During the last week of April, on the night of his 30th annivarsary in fact, Dr. Strothers found himself not with his wife but thirty minutes away making a house call. A mother had contacted him about her sick daughter, and something in her voice had caused him to visit rather than suggest they try to see him in the morning. On examining the little girl he discovered she had a temp of 105 brought on by a case of pneumonia. The good doctor treated the little girl until her fever broke. It was then that he packed up and made to return home.

It was around 10:30 when he came to the tracks. Naturally he stopped for he could hear a train coming, and could see it too. But it was coming on slowly, perhaps no more than twenty miles an hour. More surprising to him was the sound of a train's bell, he hadn't heard one in years. Pulling a little closer, he rolled the window down to get a better look. Doing so allowed him to hear a couple of near by railroad men discussing the approaching train. One mentioned that the locomotive looked like the Union, the other mentioned the train looked like something out of a book. Dr. strothers merely watched the train go by at it's slow pace.

The locomotive was draped in black and had logs for refueling the fire behind the cab. The brass fittings on the eight or nine cars gleamed silver in the moonlight. In the second to last car men clad in blue stood around a casket. It was at this time that the doctor realized how quite everything was. The train made no more noise than what he'd already heard, not even the clack clack clck of the wheels over the rails. As soon as the last car passed he took a look at his watch and was shocked to see it had stopped.

Years later the doctor read an article in the Albany Evening Times which explained what he had seen. According to the article, late at night in the last week of April the Union, one of the locomotives to haul the Licoln Funeral Train, returns pulling nine cars. The phantom train causes clocks and watches to stop and if a real train passes by at that time it's noise is hushed by the phantom.

Coleman relates the tale told to him by his father, who in turn had heard it from his father, Augustus W. "Pop Gus" Coleman, who had been an engineer in the Hudson River Valley and upstate NY. Pop Gus had himself apparently seen the trian which Coleman describes as appearing on the old right of way in upstate NY. It's an old steam locomotive with a flared funnel pulling passenger cars draped in black crepe and then the funneral car itself. A military band can be seen playing their instruments, but no sound reaches those who see them. If one looks closer the band members are all skeletons.

According to Coleman the sight of the phantom funeral train only lasts for a few moments. But time seems to stand still as it passes. Coleman also seems to suggest that the rails need not still be there, the phantom merely follows the old right of way. Farmers whose fields the right of way now runs through avoid that part of the fields at night.

And it's not just a NY phenomana. Coleman reports that there have been sightings in Ohio, Indiana, and elsewhere along the route of the Lincoln Funeral Train.



 Posted: Fri Oct 29th, 2010 03:04 am
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This one's a little different from the last three presented. It comes from Strange Tales of the Civil War by Michael Sanders.

The story goes that Sergeant Major George Polley of the 10th Massachusetts Infantry sate down with the top of a cracker box and carved away at it. Every now and then he'd stop to admire his own work then with a chuckle gor right back to carving. It was the 20th of June, 1864, three years since the regiment had been mustered into the army. And the men of the 10th had a reason to be excited. The night before they'd been pulled from the Oetersburg trenches and now most of the regiment was going home, their three year enlistment up. Sergeant Major Polley and a few others had reenlisted in order to see the war through to the end and would soon be joining the 37th Mass. Polley was already scheduled to recieve a promotion to 2nd Lieutenant in the 37th.

The 10th was stationed near the Jordan House on their last day, the former Confederate Battery #6, having been one of a seires of battiers on the Dimmock Line captured on June 15th. And it was here that Polley finished his carving. The Sergeant Major showed first to his commanding officer, Colonel Joseph Parsons, then to Lieutenant Elisha Hont Rhodes of the 2nd Rhode Island. It was nothing less than Polley's tombstone, complete with everything but the date of death. Now Polley was still a young man so it seemed odd that he'd be expecting to die soon. Of course for a soldier on the front lines age was far from a defense against death. Still Lt. Rhodes asked if Polley expected to die soon. The reply was that it was only in jest.

As this was happening a scofflding was being erected for the execution of William Johnson of the 23rd US Colored Troops. He'd been sentenced to hang for

attempting to "outrage the person of a young lady at New-Kent Courthouse."

This was to be a very public execution in full view of the Confederate lines. It may well have been a response to articles from Southern papers which proclaimed Northern soldiers to be nothing but murderous, raping savages. It may have also been meant to send a message to the contraband flowing into the Federal lines in the hopes of reducing their numbers in federal camps.

Just prior to the execution a Federal battery to the north of this position opened up on the Confederate defenses. Naturally the Confederates returned fire and an artillery duel began. And during the duel Brigadier General Marsena Patrick ordered the troops who were to witness the execution behind a hill for protection against the shelling. At around 9:30 Johnson was carried by wagon to the scaffolding where a chaplain read him the final rights.  Soon Johnson's execution was carried out and soon after the artillery duel ceased. But the General's orders had not saved all the witnesses. For lying on the ground gasping for breath, the victim of a direct artillery shell to the abdomen, lay Sergeant Major Polley. He died a short time after carving his own tombstone and would be buried in the City Point National Cemetery before the 10th left for the federal capitol.

And his tombstone became one of stone and not the one he carved. For the one he carved became firewood for the coffee.

 

Last edited on Fri Oct 29th, 2010 03:05 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Fri Oct 29th, 2010 07:56 am
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In the superstitions of the British Isles there is there belief in the Black Dog, an ennormous dog with glowing eyes. To see the dog is an ill omen as it means you'll die next. In Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War Mr. Coleman reveals that among the folks of Celtic descent there was also a Black Boar of Doom whose sighting meant the same thing.

Apparently during the war there were reports from several Confederate regiments in the Western theater about just such a thing. One regiment in particular, a cavalry unit operating in southeaster Missouri, claimed they were haunted by a Black Boar of Doom. Whenever a cavalry trooper saw it the men of the unit knew he was going to die within the next seven days. Usually in action or as the result of a recent action. It was described as being monsterous in appearance; a huge boar, black as night with burning coals for eyes.

Naturally there's always folks who don't believe in ghosts and who mock those who do. One trooper saw the Black Boar of Doom and mocked his fellow troopers. To him it was nothing more than an over grown, black razorback. And shortly after his seeing the beast the unit was involved in a major battle. The trooper came through th battle unscathed, something that he had to brag about to his friends because he'd seen the beast and come through the battle unharmed. Obviously there was no such thing if he could survive such a battle when all said the beast spelled his doom.

Or was there? The following evening he and his friends were going over some captured weapons they'd taken in the battle, inspecting them. One of the men had captured a self-cocking, double-action revolver of a new make and model. The man wasn't familar with it's workings and so accidentally discharged the weapon. The bullet struck the skeptic in the head, a kill shot. All within seven days of the man seeing the Black Boar of Doom.



 Posted: Sat Oct 30th, 2010 02:42 am
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How about a little bit of murder and house haunting. This next one comes from John Alexander's Ghosts: Washington's Most Famous Ghost Stories.

During the fighting outside of the nation's capitol three soldiers became seperated from their unit during a skirmish across the District line in Maryland. Mr. Alexander doesn't say whether they were federal or Confederate, only that they decided to wait until morning to try and find their unit and were welcomed into a local house. But the welcome was far from the warm hospitality the men believed they were recieving for their host merely used it as a trap to lure the men to their death. You see, the man held different political views than those the soldiers were fighting for and saw this as a chance to act on those views. As they slept, he bludgeoned the soldiers to death. Once the deed was done, the man was able to dispose of the bodies and the three soldiers were merely written off as casualties of the fighting going on. Naturally the man wasn't brought to trial for murder.

But though he disposed on their bodies, he wasn't able to dispose of the bloodstains on the floor of the room where he murdered the men. Hard scrubbing was useless, the stains remained. Tell-tale spots of his crime. He kept a rug over the spots so anyone visiting didn't see them and ask too many questions. Eventually  his time in the home came to an end, whether through his own death or through his moving away. The house was owned there after by several different owners over the next few decades, none of whom knew what the stains were or how they came to be.

But many, if not all, agreed that strange things happened in that room, things that brought into question what could have happened to cause such stains. According to a reporter, at least one of the owners tried getting rid of the stains by simply painting over them. But as with all stories of ghostly blood stains, there was no simple way to permanently get rid of them. The stains bled through the paint. Just as with other tales of ghostly blood stains that always return to mark the spot of a murder, even if washed away, the stains remained a tell-tale sign that returned no matter what.

Others told of being unable to close the oak door into the room and keep it closed. They'd close and bolt the door. But as soon as they turned away from it the sound of it unbolting, followed by the door creaking open, could be heard. WAs it the three soldiers returning to keep watch on the room where they had died?

And were these soldiers the only one's to die because of their host. According to Alexander, some folks believed that one of the owners of the house died because of it and the ghosts within. He reveals that in the '20s there was a newspaper report that one of the owners was sitting in the room where the murders occured when the French doors out to the balcony were suddenly ripped from their hinges only to land on the ground without breaking. Neghibors said the owner was found in a state of shock from which he never recovered. He died a few days later. And according to one version of this story, the neighbors discovered he had the same last name as the owner who had lived in the house during the war. The owner who had murdered the soldiers. Were they trying to extract revenge frombeyond the grave on their murder only to get the wrong man?



 Posted: Sat Oct 30th, 2010 07:05 am
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Did John C. Calhoun know the South was going to secede in the 1860s. Certainly he was a supporter of states right and a man whose rhetoric could be said to have been admired in the South. But did he know that ten years after his death the Southern states would start to secede?

According to Ghosts: Washington's Most Famous Ghost Stories he might have known what was to come. Mr. Alexander tells us that not long before he died Calhoun was  visited in his apartment in the Old Brick Capitol by the ghost of George Washington. Washington warned Calhoun of the coming secession of the Southern states. It was with this knowledge that Calhoun was able to predict the South seceding.

As a side note, Alexander also relates that there were tales that Calhoun's spirit continued to roam the Old Brick Capitol well into the Civil War. Several of these tales tell who his spirit became restless after the building was turned into a prison for Confederate prisoners. Perhaps he was concerned with how his fellow Southerners were being treated even after death. Or perhaps he did't agree with his one time home becoming a prison.

However, Christopher Coleman in Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War and Michael Sanders in Strange Tales of the Civil War tell a different story. They tell of a dream Calhoun had. In the dream, Calhoun had been up late at night engrossed in his work when a man had entered his room. The stranger, wearing a weather-worn, dark blue thin cloak that concealed their features took a seat across from Calhoun.

Before he could say anything the stranger asked him what he was writing, addressing him simply as senator from South Carolina. Surprised, as he had left instructions with his servant that he was not to be disturbed, Calhoun explained he was writing a plan for the dissolution of the American Union. At this the stranger asked to see Calhoun's right hand. He stood up, his cloak parting to reveal the uniform of the Continental Army. And the face was that of General Washington himself.

Washington held Calhoun's hand, as if examining it. As he did so, Calhoun felt the hand tingle. The former president then asked if that was the hand Senator Calhoun would use to sign the dissolution of the nation. The reply was that if certain things came to pass it was. At this a black mark appeared on Calhoun's hand. Washington dropped the hand, explaining that the mark was the mark with which Benedict Arnold was known in the afterlife. He then pulled a skeleton from under his cloak, explaining they were the bones of Issac Hayne of South Carolina. A Patriot who had been hung by the British in Charleston while trying to establish the Union. If Calhoun was going to dissolve the Union, he might as well have the bones of a fellow South Carolinian before him. One who had not been marked by the black spot.

Had Washington visited Calhoun not to warn him of what was to come but to threaten him with the fate of Benedict Arnold? Could his restlessnes in the Old Brick Capitol been due to his spirit being imprisoned there after death? Or was this just a story. According to Sanders, the story had appeared in the Evening Post during the Nullification Crisis. Doesn't mean it actually happened, but it does suggest it wasn't something created in the 20th century. Or even more recently.

Last edited on Sun Oct 27th, 2013 11:23 pm by Hellcat



 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2010 04:53 am
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Well here it's after 12 AM on October 31st as I type this. Halloween. So things are winding doing and I'll soon stop posting more of these stories. For those who are getting annoyed with my posting them, I appologize and ask you to be patient with me. For anyone else, I hope you'll have enjoyed reading these. I'll post a few more before the clock strikes midnight again and then that's it for this year, probably for quite a while to come as I've not got very many sources. I'd hoped others would have had some to share, but I'm not going to complain as folks seem to have been patient with me to this point.

This one comes from Strange Tales of the Civil War. Mr Sanders tells us of the wife of Sergeant Charles Stevenson of Company G, 108th NY Infantry. The 108th NY Infantry had been mustered in in August 1862 when Sergeant Stevenson was 23. Their first action was at Antietam.

At some time on December 13th Mrs. Stevenson was working in her yard back home in Henrietta, NY. Being the late fall, it could well have been she was bringing firewood or shoveling a walk way. But as she worked she felt a presnce behind her. She turned to see who it was, feeling a warm breath on her cheek as she did so, and to her surprise saw her husband standing there. Surprised, and possibly delighted, she called out his name. Asking if it really was him. But before her eyes the image vanished. For Sergeant Stevenson had been among those to perish in front of the stonewall at Fredericksburg.

Checking the 108th NY's Roster (page 128 of this PDF http://dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/rosters/Infantry/108th_Infantry_CW_Roster.pdf), Sergeant Stevenson did indeed die at Fredericksburg. So was this a case of a last goodbye to one held so dear?



 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2010 10:14 am
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From Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War  and Strange Tales of the Civil War comes this next story. Anyone studying Lincoln during the war is bound to come across the stories of Lincoln having dreams of his own death at the hands of an assassin. They may also come across storyies of a bizarre incident Lincoln had following his first election.

As Lincoln had told a reporter, the excitment of the election had left Lincoln exhausted and he retired to his home to rest. Across from the lounge chair in his chambers where he had seated himself was a bureau with a swinging mirror attached. Glancing into the mirror he saw himself reflected nearly full length. But his face, there seemed to be two images of his face . Each staring into the other.

Bothered, he got up to examine the reflection. But in doing so the bizarre reflection vanished. Taking his seat agin, the image returned, this time more distinct. One of the images was paler than the other. According to Lincoln, it was perhaps five shades paler. Again he got up to examine it and again the reflection faded. Believing it was merely the excitment of the election getting to him, Lincoln paid it little heed.

But the image stayed with him, and a few days later he tried experimenting with it. Once again the double image appear. One appearing his normal, healthy self. And the other as if of the grave. He told Mary Todd of the image, in fact he tried to tell her. Though he made light of the double image, it more frightened her. Mary Todd Lincoln said the image predicted he would be elected to a second term but would die before he left office.



 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2010 07:30 pm
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This comes from Ghosts abd Haunts of the Civil War.

Before the war, on Cedar Lane, Montgomery House was one of the mansions on the outskirts of Nashville. It had originally belonged to Mrs. Alexander Montgomery. She was a devout Confederate, so devout that when others left Nashville ahead of the approaching Federal army she was among the few who choose to stay. According to at least one Confederate vet, she didn't just stay when the North occupied the city, she remained long after her death.

One day a soldier from the provost marshal's office with orders that Mrs. Montgomery was to vacate her home within the next twenty-four hours. It was the desire of the military governor that Montgomery House was to be turned into a hospital. Being a devout Confederate, rather  than merely turn the house over as ordered she determined no to give it to the enemy. Rather, she'd burn the place down before they could have it. But first she stripped the house of all silver and other valuables, which were then buried in the rose garden of Montgomery House.

Once her mission to destroy her home was accomplished, she set free her slaves and set out along the Natchez Trace. This was to prove the end of Mrs.  Montgomery for as she was crossing no-man's land she found herself caught in the middle of a brief skirmish. Now how many know the story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Of how the Hessian trooper whose head was carried away by a cannonball in some unnamed battle. You guessed it, this was Mrs. Montgomery's fate.

Local legend said that Mrs. Mongomery returned to the burned out shell of Mongomery house, a headless phantom of Ceadr Lane who those passingby would see wandering the grounds. Some said she was there to protect her treasure. And perhaps she was.

For you see, many years after the war some folks decided to find out if their was any through to the legend. They crept out  one night with shovels and slowly made their way to the ruins of the once magnificent house. Keeping an eye out for the phantom, they began digging in the now over grown rose garden. After a while they struck something in the dark. Holding up their lanterns to better see, they discovered a cache of silver and other treasures that had once belonged to Mrs. Montgomery. Most they sold for cash, but a few pieces they kept so as to verify that at least the buried treasure part of the story was true.

And what of the headless phantom? Legend says that once it was claimed by locals, and not by anyone from the North, Mrs. Mongomery was freed from this earthly coil to move on to the next realm.

Last edited on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 07:30 pm by Hellcat



 Posted: Mon Nov 1st, 2010 03:57 am
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN






 This shall be the last one I post and comes from Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War and Civil War Ghosts & Legends. It takes place during the Battle of Gettysburg.



Now we all know of what happened on July 2nd at Little Round Top But the story goes that the offical reports of the fighting that day may have left something out. After the battle reports came in that at the crucial point in the battle for Little Round Top an apparition appeared to the men of the 20th Maine. Many said they saw a pale rider dressed in an atiquated uniform appear from nowhere in their midst. The figure rode along the federal line and all who saw it suddenly felt their morale go up. It's said that at least a number of the Confederates saw this figure, dressed in blue, as well for they opened fire on the figure, to no avail. The phantom turned to them and those Confederates who beheld it are said to have felt a sense of panick.



At this point the 20th Maine charged. We know the results of the charge. And Chamberlain had difficulty restraining his men from carrying on the chase. Many of the men claimed it was George Washington who had appeared to lead them to victory. Preposterous? Perhaps, but at the time the War Department actually did consider the possibility as Stanton dispatched Colonel Pittenger to investigate these reports. He gathered a number of eyewitness accounts, including a report from General O.O. Howard, but his report was never officially published.



According to Mrs. Roberts, this wasn't the only time the 20th Maine may have encountered the spirit of George Washington during the Gettysburg campaign. As they were marching to Gettysburg the regiment reached a fork in the road during the night. They had been on a road that had had many spurs leading off and had as yet had little trouble finding their way. But here they came to a stop, knowing this fork must be important and not wanting to take the wrong fork the officers of the 20th Maine gathered to discuss which to take.



It was already night, which may explain why the decision was so important. As the officer discused which to take, the clouds parted revealing a horseman wearing a bright coat and a tricorn hat riding a pale horse. The horseman waved them to follow. Chamberlain would later report that a staff officer went to each of the colonels, telling them that McClellan was again in command and that it was he who was leading them down the right road.



But though the men had be excited at the prospect of McClellan leading them again, his name soon began to fade from there lips. Up and down the line the cry went up that the horseman was Washington, come back to lead them. Already energized by McClellan's name, the men became even more excited, willingly following the apparition to their next battle.



So was it really Washington returned to help preserve the Union or was this just a story that arose after the war to suggest that one of the best known figures from the nations past was still watching over it? It seems a little strange that George Washington would not have sided with the South, but the men suggested he sought to protect the nation he helped to create. Of course we do have the story of Calhoun's dream of Washington appearently threatening him with a black spot should he sign the paper that would disolve the Federal Union. And we also have a vision from Washington himself in which he claimed to have seen the

"thundering of the cannon, clashing of swords and the shouts and cries of hundreds of thousands in mortal combat."
This vision has been interperted as Washington predicting the Civil War. A few have gone as far as to say it's not just the Civil War, but the Battle of Gettysburg itself. Could any of this be true? Who really knows.


Well, again I thank you for being patient with me as I posted all these little stories for Halloween. For those interested in reading the actual stories, and others like them, I got all of these from:
  • Alexander, John Ghosts: Washington's Most Famous Ghost Stories (copyright 1988)
  • Coleman, Christopher K. Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War (Copyright 1999)
  • Roberts, Nancy Civil War Ghost Stories and Legends (copyright 1992)
  • Sanders, Michael Strange Tales of the Civil War (copyright 2001)
  • Walser, Richard North Carolina Legends (copyright 1980)
One final note before I leave you. According to a recent History Channel special, though ghost stories have always been a part of Halloween, it was the Civil War which made them very much a part of our modern Halloween. Many more ghost stories were told following the War Between the States as a part of Halloween celebrations in this country than had been told before. Seems more appropriate to tell those that some how relate to the war now with that in mind.

 

 

 

 

Last edited on Sat Jan 8th, 2011 12:50 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Tue Oct 2nd, 2012 08:12 am
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Hellcat
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Well it's that time of the year again. Hopefully folks will show interest in posting this year.



 Posted: Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 02:10 pm
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I've always been interested in the Chickamauga hauntings. The Indians always called it the River of Death due to bad things happening there. They reported seeing "Old Green Eyes" back before the battle was fought. From what I've read in the past the Civil War soldiers at the time reported seeing it on the evening of the battle. They said it moved amongst the dead and dying.

There is also supposed to be unexplained things as marching or volley fire sounds. A woman in white is supposed to be roaming the battlefield looking for her dead husband.

I read people describing driving through the battlefield late at night and having a overwhelming sense of sadness. Whether its true or not it makes for good entertainment.



 Posted: Thu Oct 11th, 2012 06:11 am
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Hellcat
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What exactly is Old Green Eyes?



 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2012 09:21 pm
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Old Green Eyes was supposedly seen by the troops during the night of the battle hovering over the dead and dying. The Indians thought it was a hairy beast with green eyes that scared the hell out of them. Another story is that it is a Confederate soldier who had his head blown off from his body. So he wonders the battlefield looking for his missing body parts.



 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2012 09:21 pm
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BHR62
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sorry...double post

Last edited on Fri Oct 19th, 2012 09:23 pm by BHR62



 Posted: Sat Oct 20th, 2012 04:56 am
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Hellcat
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That second explination sounds a little like a certain galloping Hessian. But something I don't get is why the second explination exists if the Native Americans were supposed to have seen Old Green Eyes before the battle was even fought there. Still it is a good Halloween story.



 Posted: Sat Oct 20th, 2012 09:18 am
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BHR62
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I don't think people knew about the Indian story until the dead Confederate story took root. Civil War soldiers supposedly seeing it hover over the dead and dying makes for a good scary story.

Last edited on Sat Oct 20th, 2012 11:50 am by BHR62



 Posted: Mon Oct 22nd, 2012 07:37 am
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Hellcat
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Guess that makes sense. I mentioned already that the war really helped make ghost stories a part og the modern Halloween traditions. It's not that they weren't a part of Halloween traditions before, but that the number told at Halloween seemed to skyrocket following the war. Which when you look at what was happening then it makes sense this would happen.

Really need to look and see what I have to add that I did post back in 2010. Plus I've gotten a few books since then.



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