George Leo Frankenstein’s View of Evergreen Cemetery

The above painting depicts the top of Evergreen Cemetery as it looked in the summer of 1866. The focus of the painting is clearly the gatehouse of Evergreen Cemetery, one of Cemetery Hill???s most prominent landmarks, and a familiar symbol of the Ba…

By Sean Parke

Evergreen_cemetrey_1

 

The above painting depicts the top of Evergreen Cemetery as it looked in the summer of 1866. The focus of the painting is clearly the gatehouse of Evergreen Cemetery, one of Cemetery Hill’s most prominent landmarks, and a familiar symbol of the Battle of Gettysburg.   It is interesting to note not only what the painting prominently displays, but also what it does not.  In the bottom right corner of the panorama is the gate to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Why would the artist not make this historically significant and patriotic setting the focus of the painting or at least one of his other paintings? What message was the artist trying to convey?

This painting was one of many of the Gettysburg area completed by George Leo Frankenstein.  Frankenstein (1825-1911) was a native of Germany and a member of a family of artists who emigrated to Ohio in 1831.  He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and in the years following the war returned to many of the great battlefields to preserve them in watercolor “before any changes in their features had been made.”  By his own accounting Frankenstein traveled over 3,000 miles in visiting Vicksburg, Knoxville, Gettysburg, Atlanta, and several Virginia battlefields.  Continue reading “George Leo Frankenstein’s View of Evergreen Cemetery”

Patriotism or Greed? More to the Story?

“Undoubtedly many of the citizens of Gettysburgh and vicinity are patriotic and generous, but they had a queer manner of showing it.”

By Sean Parke

July-24_crounse_articleThis blog post is a continuation of a topic first introduced in my earlier post entitled “Patriotism or Greed? Damage Claims after the Battle of Gettysburg.”

The adjacent artifact is a newspaper article by Lorenzo L. Crounse , a reporter for The New York Times. The  first post in this series cited an article that he wrote on July 7 and (published on the 9th) about the lack of patriotism among the citizens of Gettysburg (Click here to view Crounse’s July 7 article). The above article was written on July 21 and published on the 24th. This report is in response to a piece in the Gettysburg Star and Sentinel which defended the reputation of Gettysburg civilians and was signed by over twenty clerics and businessmen.

Continue reading “Patriotism or Greed? More to the Story?”

Patriotism or Greed? Damage Claims after the Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg brought the reality of war to northern civilians. Typically when people discuss the experiences of the citizens of Gettysburg they include tales of bravery, such as the well-known hero John Burns…

Image001
Image002

The Battle of Gettysburg brought the reality of war to northern civilians. Typically when people discuss the experiences of the citizens of Gettysburg they include tales of bravery, such as the well-known hero John Burns, or the tragic Virginia “Jennie” Wade.  The stories rarely include themes of greed, selfishness, or unpatriotic behavior. However, this was a claim made against the citizens of Gettysburg in 1863. Lorenzo L. Crounse , a reporter for The New York Times wrote on July 5 that, “The actions of the people of Gettysburg are so sordidly mean and unpatriotic as to engender the belief that they were indifferent as to which party was whipped. . .. they have only manifested indecent haste to present their bills to the military authorities for payment of loses inflicted by both armies . . . .” This post will explore this accusation through an examination of a damage claim submitted by a Gettysburg resident.

Continue reading “Patriotism or Greed? Damage Claims after the Battle of Gettysburg”