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 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2012 06:44 pm
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Darryl
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Many years ago my friend and I made my first trip to Gettysburg. He had been there before. What happened one night still boggles my mind.
We were heading back to where we were camped at about 1015 at night. We walked by Servant's and noticed a light in the window of the house across the street. At that time, I did NOT know the story of John Reynold's sweetheart sitting with his body in that house.
We went across the street and looked in the window. There was the body of a man in a union general's uniform stretched out on a cot with a young woman sitting beside the cot in a chair reading a book by the lamplight. I thought wow, what a nice touch! We made a note to let Servant's know we liked the set up the next morning.
When we went back, the next day, the house was set up like a business and there was no way, they could have redone it over night. About 8 months later I was reading Mark Nesmith's latest book of the ghosts of Gettysburg, when I came upon the description of the scene we saw!! I about fell off my friends couch. My friend Linda said I got really pale and she thought that there was something wrong.
I told her what had happened. Later on my next trip over there, I got to talk to Mark and told him about it. He told me I wasn't the only one to see it, other people had experienced it too. There have been other experiences rather strange over there.



 Posted: Tue Dec 18th, 2012 07:08 am
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Anastasia
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I'm sorry, we just sell the game.If you like, you can come here: http://www.mmomesos.com and http://www.diablo4shop.com, I am here waiting for you!



 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2013 12:49 am
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Well it's October again. Almost three years to the day since this thread started. I thought I'd start things off where I started back in 2010 with Richard Walser's North Carolina Legends. This time it's not really a ghost story, but it is a legend related to the war.

Anyone who knows much about North Carolina knows that the state is known as the Old North State and as the Tar Heel State. Now there are a number of legends as to why North Carolina became the Tar Heel State and you've probably read some of them yourselves. Walser's version is among the versions that come out of the Civil War.

According to this version the nickname for the state and North Carolinians was originally an insult among their fellow Confederates. They were viewed as poor and ignorant and it was easy to make fun of the troops from North Carolina. Especially since they often were barefoot, and some of these barefoot troops would enter battle with pine pitch on their feet.

But things changed when North Carolinian troops went into battle along side Virginian and South Carolinian troops. In this unnamed battle the boys from Virginia and South Carolina broke and retreated while the boys from North Carolina held fast.

After he battle the Virginians and South Carolinians, so the story goes, decided to make light of their own cowardice and suggest that it was supposed to be a retreat and the tar on their feet wouldn't let the North Carolinians follow suit. Someone asked "Any more tar down in the Old North State, boys?" Some North Carolinian shot back "No, not a bit. Old Jeff Davis has bought it all up." Which prompted a South Carolinian to ask "Is that so? What's he going to do with it?" The prideful answer, and perhaps meant to be a bit insulting in response to the insults hurled at the North Carolinians for having tar on their heels, was "He's going to put it on you'ns heels to make you stick better in the next battle."

How true it is, who knows, but this exchange reached the ears of Robert E. Lee and he is said to have said "God bless the Tar Heel boys!"

Not a ghost story, but like I said it is a legend related to the war. And one some of you may have seen in various forms.



 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2013 05:49 am
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The old railroad track ways aren't only haunted by the Lincoln funeral train. Tony Reevy relates the tale of a particular railroad that gained notoriety during the war in his Ghost Train! American Railroad Ghost Legends.

The Western and Atlantic Railroad is famed today for the Great Locomotive Chase. But it is also haunted by the ghost of a Confederate soldier buried just north of the Allatoona Pass. Apparently the man was returning to his unit and having to pass through Federal lines, leading to his death. He was then buried near the track.

Railroaders working the area near his grave have claimed to see his ghost wandering the tracks with a lantern, searching for his friends. Perhaps still searching for his unit. Some have also seen the ghost of the soldier's dog which is said to sometimes run in front of a train until it passes by the soldier's grave.

The best report comes from a Polly Milan who at one time was an engineer on the railroad. And one of the engineers on the run past the grave site. One night the train he was driving past the grave broke down, forcing him to walk past the grave and flag don any approaching trains in warning. As he was passing the grave the ghost of the Confederate soldier suddenly appeared, walking towards him. The ghost then proceeded to sit down on the ties. Milan tried to gather up the courage to talk to the ghost and even touch him, but in the end he did what most of us would do when confronted with a ghost. Ran away in terror.



 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2013 11:24 pm
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This next story comes from Nancy Roberts' Ghosts of the Carolinas. In some ways it reminds me a little of Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death.

In late August 1862 the steamer Kate left Nassau for Wilmington, North Carolina. This is likely the same Kate that was reported lost near Fort Caswell November 18, 1862 in an article from the North Carolina Whig dated November 25, 1862. It may also be the side wheel steamer Wikipedia calls the CSS Kate (the date and location suggest their one in the same). The people of Wilmington may not have welcomed the Kate had they known what was to follow. It is through the experiences of a local doctor that Roberts tells us the story of what happened to make Wilmington, as she titled the story, a City of Death that September.

For a week days Dr. James H. Dickson had been treating a sick child against a disease supposedly new to Wilmington in September 1862. This disease so terrified the country people that the were no longer willing to risk their own lives to bring supplies into the city. Dr. Dickson had just lost his young patient after a week of futilely trying to save the child's life. And they weren't the first he'd lost, he'd been powerless to save close friends from this horror. It had no care for station in life. Wealthy business men or dirt poor paupers, it struck all down just the same. And worse was the rumors of a faceless horror roaming the streets of Wilmington, a grim reaper cutting down all in the city. Burning barrels of tar were being used to try and purify the air and supposedly on the morning of the child's death Dr. Dickson thought this the perfect setting for such a rumored evil spirit.

At the moment he was leaving the scene of the child's death a gust of wind blew past and he felt what seemed a soft cloak brush against his face. Yet when he tried to defend himself against it he found nothing there. It was as if the rumors were true and he had come into contact with this faceless horror.

Recovering from his own terror he continued on his way to his home. But his terror once more began to return when, nearing his home, he saw movement in the shadows. Surely this was the same thing that had brushed his face outside the child's home come for him. As there is no escaping the reaper when your time has come the doctor found the courage to approach and discovered he need not have feared. It was only an old man, a Mr. Fairly, who had come seeking his services. The man's only daughter, recently made a widow just a week before thanks to the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) was in need of medical attention. Despite his exhaustion he allowed himself to be led to the Fairly house, but it was already too late to do more than comfort the dying young woman. The Fairly's only daughter was already hemorrhaging badly when Dr. Dickson arrived. All he could was prescribe fruit juices to comfort the dying woman in her final days, tortured in the knowledge that the Fairly's probably wouldn't be able to get them thanks to the Federal blockade.

The next morning he continued his rounds of trying to help the inflicted of Wilmington somehow survive this dreadful illness. At every house he stopped someone always asked him if the rumors were true. At the home of the Lassiters James Lassiter asked if it true that the nameless horror, which he called "The Thing" had killed Ben Trumble the night before. Dr. Dickson could only shake his head, too tired to respond.

At home he would write exhaustedly in his journal even as his body was becoming racked with aches and pains. And by that Friday he could no longer make house calls, being a victim of the nameless horror. By Saturday night he lay dying from the touch of The Thing. And he realized at last what was happening.

Oh but the horror named by James Lassiter as The Thing had a name. The Wilmington Journal in it's September 29, 1862 edition reported the death of Dr. James H Dickson on September 28th. The cause, a hemorrhagic disease. Perhaps Poe would today write of what struck Wilmington that year in a story called The Mask of the Yellow Death for it was that yellow fever inflicted nearly a thousand of the citizens of the city, killing more than three hundred of them. Including Dr. Dickson.

Last edited on Mon Oct 28th, 2013 04:53 pm by Hellcat



 Posted: Sun Oct 6th, 2013 11:59 pm
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For this next one I'm going to turn Arthur Myers' The Ghostly Register. The book is not really a ghost story book, it's broken down as more of investigations into locations that are supposed to be haunted, or were supposedly haunted.

In the late '60s a Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Cutler moved into a house in Gilsum, New Hampshire. Mr. Cutler had been a student at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire, which may have been important in what would happen. Almost as soon as the Cutler's moved into the house they discovered they weren't alone. They would hear heavy footsteps they could not explain, lights would turn on and off on their own, and objects would be moved for no apparent reason. Thinking their house might be haunted, they decided to have someone come in to investigate. From 1956 to 1966 one of the teachers at Keene State was Charles Hapgood, an anthropology teacher noted for his hypothesis on polar shift while teaching at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hapgood had also worked for ten years with the medium Elwood Babbitt. Babbitt lived in Massachusetts

Though it doesn't mention it within the book, Cutler may either have known of Hapgood as he may have been one of his former students or as an alumni of Keene State he may have had relations with the school since graduating. In any case the Cutlers asked Hapgood to come to their house to investigate for the possibility of a haunting and see if he could exorcise the spirit. Hapgood's method of investigation was through automatic writing. Now for those not familiar with automatic writing, the basic idea is that you hold pencil or pen to paper and let spirits guide your writing.

In his initial investigation Hapgood discovered the ghost was the ghost was named George and that he had been there for a hundred years. The ghost admit that he would sit in the kitchen or on the steps to the cellar or the second floor. And that he wanted to move on but couldn't. At this point Hapgood called Babbitt into the investigation. The medium revealed that George was the spirit of a young man and that he appeared to be dressed in a Civil War uniform. Together they determined that George was too self-centered to pass on. The ghost admitted to praying daily to cross over and that he had even done everything he should have to pass over. This lead to Hapgood trying a little bit of paranormal psychotherapy, suggesting that the ghost leave the house and try to help other's in Gilsum. It was reported that George may have followed this advice as the ghost never appeared again.

On checking of the history of the house it was discovered that during the Civil War two Georges did live in the house, a father and his son. The son is believed to have been a soldier in the war and Hapgood believed he may have died, possibly in battle, during the war.

Last edited on Sun Oct 27th, 2013 11:25 pm by Hellcat



 Posted: Mon Oct 28th, 2013 04:57 am
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This next story begins in 1908, some 43 years after the war ended. This one comes from Nancy Robert's Ghosts of the Carolinas.

1908 in Deadwood, South Dakota, Francis Moore published a book. Moore had been an officer in Federal army and had served on Folly Island during the siege of Charleston and the book appears to have at least dealt with some of the activity of the siege. But Moore was only the one to tell the following events, he did not take part in them.

From April 3rd to July 10, 1863 the 62nd Ohio Infantry had taken part in the occupation of Folly Island, including action during the Skirmish of Folly Island. In preparation for the fighting to come General Gilmore ordered that all black residents of Folly Island be removed to Port Royal. Among those supervising the move was one Lt. Yokum of the 62nd. Yokum went to the house of an old woman and child, possibly her granddaughter/grandson or great granddaughter/great grandson or possibly just some child under her care as well as watching out for the old woman themselvesself, trying to get her to leave. She refused to leave and Yokum was forced to sit and listen to her, believing that showing her a little kindness would convince her that the Federal forces really did have her safety at heart.

The woman mentioned that her family had been living on Folly Island for a long time, dating back to the early part of the previous century. Some time as a little girl the woman, who appeared close to a hundred, and her family had witnessed pirates come ashore and bury six treasure chests, which she claimed were filled with gold, silver, and jewels, between a pair of nearby oaks. With the chests in the hole the pirate captain proceeded to run one of his men through. The victim fell into the hole and the pirates quickly buried them and the treasure chests before leaving the area. It may have been just in time to for apparently as soon as there ship was out of sight a British man of war appeared on the horizon searching for pirates.

The story of a treasure naturally interested Yokum and he asked if it had ever been dug up. The old woman told him it never had as the family was too afraid of the ghost created by the pirate captain to guard the treasure. In fact no one dared go near the spot for that reason. After this Yokum managed to convince the old woman and child to board the boat. Who knows what he said to her to convince her to leave. Maybe it was that she just needed a little kindness. Maybe he didn't give her a choice. Or maybe she had been serving sentry over the spot and needed to pass on her knowledge to someone else so that they could then take up her role. Whatever the case Lt. Yokum succeeded in getting her to leave. And with her and the child safely out of the way Yokum returned to the 62nd Ohio's camp and related her story to his friend Lt. Hatcher.

It was just before the witching hour, which we all know is when the creatures of the night are said to come out, when Yokum and Hatcher stole from their camp and returned to the old black woman's cabin, shovels in hand to unearth the long buried ill gotten booty. There was no breeze in the air to cool the evening. So perhaps it should have been a bit strange that the tops of the to oaks began to rustle as the treasure hunters approached. But then thoughts of gold and silver and jewels undoubtedly were all that occupied their minds.

Find a spot directly between the two oaks the men began t dig. There was a sudden flash of lightning, causing them to look up. Yokum searched for signs of an impending summer thunderstorm but to hi surprise the lightning was not accompanied by thunder of any kind. It was Hatcher who noted the change in the trees, their tops were now being buffeted as if by a strong wind though there is no mention of if either man could feel one. Most likely not as the men did not feel a breeze earlier when the tree tops were merely rustling.

The men returned to their digging. This time they did feel a wind as it blew sand against their faces and shirtless bodies. Perhaps it was they were willing to tolerate the blowing sand as it offered some relief from the heat of the night. But as they continued to dig the noiseless lightning became a constant companion, at times illuminating the darkness so that they could see each other as if it were daylight. And following one particularly long flash the two men suddenly realized they were no longer alone.

There, beside them was a figure dressed clearly like a pirate from days gone by. Neither man waited for anything to be said or even for a ghostly cackle or scream. They quickly fled the site and returned to the 62nd's camp. Once their they agreed to never tell another sole what they saw. The next day the 62nd went into action on Morris Island. In the days t come the regiment would take part in the infamous assault on Fort Wagner. Both men would be decorated for bravery. But not once during the war or in the years following it did either man relate the story of what happened. It wasn't until years after Hatcher had passed away that Yokum would relate the tale to his friend, Francis Moore.

Now for those saying "but the woman couldn't have been alive during the age of piracy" here is something to think about. Even though the golden age of piracy ended around the 1730s, the US would be dealing with coastal pirates well into the 19th century. So it would be possible for someone born prior to the Revolution and in their 90s or early 100s might still have witnessed pirates burying treasure.

But did Yokum and Hatcher really see the ghost of a the long dead pirate or did they find his skeleton wrapped in the tatters of it's 18th century clothing. And if they did see a ghost, is the treasure still there to be found? Surely by now that old cabin and one or both of the oaks gone. After all the city of Folly Beach is located of the island. Is it possible the treasure was dug up by some city developer long ago. Or has the treasure some home managed to remain buried, waiting for a modern treasure hunter with modern equipment to come along and find it?



 Posted: Mon Oct 28th, 2013 08:26 pm
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Well I'm guessing this thread is in line with the soldiers themselves. Michael Sanders in his Strange Tales of the Civil War mentions that the telling of tall tales and ghost stories was among the past times of the soldiers during the Siege of Petersburg. Likely like gambling and singing the telling of tall tales and ghosts stories was one of the past times of the soldiers throughout the war, not just during Petersburg. And this next one, coming from Sanders' book, actually was apparently told by one of the officers of 116th Pennsylvania.

1st Lt. Eugene Brady had been listening to the stories of George Halpin during his time with the British Army in India and decided to counter with a ghost story of his own. It would happen that around the time of the Battle of Chancellorsville there was an old woman living in Hockendaque (likely an old spelling for Hokendauqua, Pa), a villageon Pennsylvania's Lehigh River, whose son was serving in the Eleventh Corps. On May 3rd the woman crossed the river to Catasauqua in order to see a pastor there.

The woman told the pastor that her son John was home and wandering the village but would not talk to her. He had arrived home the not before, completely unexpected. The woman was to shocked at his appearance that she did not immediately go to him and he did not offer to come to her either. Instead he merely went up to the next floor. Coming to her senses the woman tried going to her son, but he was no where to be scene. Instead she saw one of the upstairs windows was open and believed that he had climbed down the trellis outside. She expected he would, at some point that evening, come back to the house but he never did.

The earlier that day she had gone looking for her son and found him walking the streets of the village. She tried running to him but he turned a corner and vanished. She reached the corner and could not see hide nor hair of him. She believed he had gone into one of the houses, but could not tell which one it was. Believing her son was angry with her for some reason she asked the pastor if he would return to Hockendaque with her and try to talk with John.

Having pity for the poor woman the pastor agreed to do what he could. He looked everywhere in the village, but could not find John anywhere. And questioning the residents of Hockendaque revealed that the old woman was the only one who had seen the young man. It was not until May 5th that they learned just what it was that she had been seeing. On that day a letter came announcing that John had been killed on the night of May 2nd, at exactly the same time his mother saw him come in through the door.

Could it be that John was killed at around Jackson was shot? Certainly he was among the soldiers who had to face Jackson's flanking attack on May 2nd.



 Posted: Tue Oct 29th, 2013 05:14 am
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These next two come from Lighthouse Ghosts & Carolina Costal Legends by Norma Elizabeth and Bruce Roberts.

We begin at Fort Macon. Now as some of you may already know in the early part of 1862 Ambrose Burnside launched his North Carolina Expedition. Put in command of the expedition by McClellan, the North Carolina Expedition was probably the high point of Burnside's military career for 1862. The expedition would see Burnside's forces take Roanoke Island, Elizabeth City, and New Bern all by mid-March. Then late in march he began the siege of Fort Macon which would last from March 23rd to April 26th before the fort fell to Federal hands.

Today Fort Macon is a state park which normally draws visitors into the millions. Though if you ask some of the visitors and staff, Fort Macon is haunted and the spirit doing the haunting is a Confederate soldier named Benjamin Combs. Now apparently according to historical records Combs was killed by shrapnel in his back, suffering for several hours before finally succumbing to his wounds early in the war. Just how early the book does not actually say, only that it was during the early days of the war. This could mean some time in 1861, perhaps during a live fire training drill gone wrong, or, as I suspect, during the siege of the fort. Now I have looked on CWSS and discovered five Ben Combs serving in the Confederate army there, one with an unlisted Maryland unit, one with the Virginia Cavalry unit Harness' Independent Company, one with the 2nd Arkansas Mounted Rifles, one with the 35th Arkansas Infantry, and the last one with Company F of the 1st North Carolina Artillery. The last one would seem the most likely though I can't find evidence Co. F was at Fort Macon during the siege or before. I do find that the company was captured at Fort Fisher, which would fall later in the war.

No matter what unit Combs belonged to, his ghost has been said to be responsible for locking one park ranger out of their office. The ghost is also said to turn lights off and on, slam doors, and do other things that aren't considered harmful or dangerous but more playful little pranks. When this happens all the staff has to do is tell Ben to knock it off and the pranks stop for a while. As for visitors, their more likely to actually see the ghost in some for or other. Reenactors who have spent the night at the fort have reported seeing someone or something hanging around their equipment. Perhaps as they are re-enactors dressed in period clothing and carrying period equipment the ghost believes they are fellow Confederate soldiers returning to the fort.

From Fort Macon we travel south to mouth of the Cape Fear River and Fort Fisher. In January of 1865 Federal forces launched the 2nd Battle of Fort Fisher. Among the Confederates present at the fort was Major General William H.C. Whiting, commander of the District of Cape Fear. Upon arriving at Fisher prior to the battle Whiting is to have told the commander of Fisher's Garrison, one Colonel William Lamb, "Lamb my boy, I have come to share your fate. You and your garrison are to be sacrificed" Whiting would be wounded in the battle and by 10 PM on January 15 would be forced to surrender his command. Taken prisoner, the general would die on March 10th of dysentery while on Governor's Island in NYC.

It was just a few years after the war that the story of the haunting of the grounds of Fort Fisher would first be reported. And it would be appropriate that it was Confederate veterans of the 2nd Battle of Fort Fisher who would be the first witnesses. Near to dusk as the men were conducting their pilgrimage to the site where they and their friends had shed their blood, sweat, and tears all those years before the men discovered another being at the remains of the old fort with them. They believed at first it was another veteran, this one dressed in his old uniform, also making a pilgrimage to the site of he fort. The figure mounted the gun emplacement near to the Wilmington road and they realized not only was this man wearing the uniform of the Confederate Army but he also wore the stars of a general. The group suddenly realized that they recognized him as the man they had called "Little Billy" It was, as you already know, none other than General Whiting. The men moved to welcome the general back only to have him suddenly vanish before their eyes. As they stood in wonder of what had just happened one of the veterans suddenly realized that the spot they had just seen the figure in was the very spot where General Whiting had been wounded.

This would not be the last time the ghost of General Whiting would be seen. Indeed today some still claim to see Whiting's ghost. A column today marks the center of the old fort. Visitors to the fort claim that if you wait long enough around dusk you will see General Whiting appear at this spot before moving off to a nearby hill. At a distance you can tell the figure is an officer with generals stars. He reaches the low hill and appears to be scanning the horizon, perhaps seeing the now long gone Federal naval force that took part in his last battle or perhaps searching for blockade runners, before he vanishes.



 Posted: Wed Oct 30th, 2013 12:06 am
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Until now I've been doing stories from books. Now I'm going to turn to a DVD and the TV series Unsolved Mysteries. These come from the fourth disc of the Unsolved Mysteries: Ghosts DVD set.

Of course we all know about Gettysburg. Those of us from the US had to learn about it in school for years. And while I can't say that those of us who aren't from the US learned about it in school, I would say that those joining this forum have studied the American Civil War at least a little and are familiar with. And certainly there are those of us who have heard that the battlefield is haunted. In fact Darryl graced us with a story from his first trip to Gettysburg.

It's not been unheard of for re-enactors to have encounters on the battlefield. One such re-enactor was a man named Ray Hock. Hock and another re-enactor were taking a break from a Gettysburg re-enactment when they were approached by what appeared to be another re-enactor. The man was dressed in period outfit and gear, naturally not uncommon for re-enactors. But this man's clothing and gear looked even more period accurate than both men were used to. It looked to Hock like the guy wasn't wearing and carrying reproduction uniform and equipment but rather the period original stuff. Hock says this man smelled heavily of sulfur and looked tired. The figure approached the two men, asking them if it was a hard day. He then proceeded to give each man what appeared to be authentic live cartridges even though live rounds are banned on the battlefield today. The men looked at the rounds in their hands and when they looked up the man was gone. There was no sign of him anywhere, as if he'd vanished into thin air. Hock took the cartridges to a university for examination and says they determined that the cartridges, right down to the minie ball and powder inside, were authentic to the Civil War.

The story then moves on to the hunt for the wounded during the battle. Search parties went out each night looking for the day's wounded and host Robert Stack says that some of the searchers may still be carrying on their duties to this day. In '93 a group of friends who had been witness to the 130th anniversary re-enactment were out walking the battlefield at night along a creek called Bloody Run. Richard Knapp, one of the re-enactors and a member of the group, and his wife discovered the body of a man, which Knapp describes as more of a hazy mist. The figure looked to be in pain, probably a wounded soldier. His brother David would go with a group to an area called the Slaughter Pen. David says he could hear cannon shots and drumrolls and men marching, and one member of his group saw a ghostly figure. All this activity caused David to tell the group it was time for them to leave.

The story then ends with the surgeons of Gettysburg and the field hospital at Pennsylvania Hall. Today Pennsylvania Hall serves as the central administrative building for Gettysburg College, so it is little wonder that the story ends with a pair of school administrators. They boarded the elevator close to midnight one night preparing to leave the school after work years ago. They were the last ones in the building that day. One of them pressed the button for the ground floor, but instead they found themselves going to the basement. Their thoughts at this point were that there was someone else in the building, in the basement, who had called for the elevator and it was going there instead of letting them off on the 1st floor. But when the door opened they found themselves transported to another time as they witnessed the surgeons of a hundred years before hard at work tending to the wounded. The to administrators claimed they could smell the stench that went along with the field hospital. They were only able to escape their ordeal only after one of the orderlies beseechingly turned to them. Stack reveals that they have never submitted to a formal interview, but the night of there ordeal they did tell the story to a campus security officer, a Timon Linn who does say that the two were obviously frightenedby something. Linn says he doesn't himself believe in ghosts but he does believe the administrators saw something because they are credible people.



 Posted: Wed Oct 30th, 2013 08:55 pm
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Comets. For centuries these heavenly bodies were viewed as the harbingers of death. Bringers of doom and destruction. In early 1861 there was at least on comet spotted in the skies over DC. Both Christopher Coleman in Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War and Michael Sanders in Strange Tales of the Civil War tell the story of Oola an the War Comet.

Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War says that Oola was an ancient black woman, the slave of the Woodward family. She was tall with wrinkled features and hawk-like eyes. The black community at large were afraid of her, claiming she the evil eye and was a conjurer of spells. She was also the teller of fortunes and the children of the neighborhood would have their fortunes told by Oola. One day she told the Taft children that the comet in the sky was a fiery sword with it's handle pointed to the North and the point pointed towards the South. It was predicting, according to Oola, a war between the North and the South in which the North would take this "sword" and cut out the heart of the South. But it was not without it's consequences for if Lincoln took the sword then he would perish by it.

The Tafts were playmates with Willie and Tad Lincoln and Julia Taft (later Julia Taft Bayne, author of Tad Lincoln's Father) told Tad Oola's prophecy. Now Ghost and Haunts of the Civil War says that Tad told his father about the prophecy and Lincoln laughed at it. But that he did take interest in it and could be spotted a few nights later staring up at the comet. Strange Tales of the Civil War takes the conversation between father and son a little differently. Here Tad tells both his parents about Oola's prophecy and that it was his mother who laughed at the prophecy but Lincoln was interested by it. When Tad asked if he thought that was what she had meant Lincoln supposedly said he hoped it wouldn't come to that.

This comet was supposedly seen in April 1861. Of course we all know what happened that month and in the years to come. And we know that the war ultimately cost Lincoln his life. Did Oola actually see Lincoln's death or was it just a coincidence?



 Posted: Thu Oct 31st, 2013 06:35 pm
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Well gonna return to Pennsylvania Hall. This time this is coming from Angus Konstam's Civil War Ghost Stories.

Now in the 30th post I mentioned that during the Battle of Gettysburg Pennsylvania Hall served as a field hospital. I also mentioned what happened to the two school administrators, which Konstam reveals were two men who did not believe in ghosts before that night. Tour-guide Mark Nesbitt reveals that at the time of the books writing both men were still working in the building but never took the elevator again. Konstam says that both men are reluctant to submit to any formal interviews as they know they will not be believed and would even be seen as being a little crazy for telling their story and revealing their identities.

But their incident hasn't been the only one at Pennsylvania Hall. Staff and students alike have reported seeing the outlines of people in the cupola. Whenever anyone would try to investigate they would find no one there. Some of these witnesses have reported that the figures appear to be Confederate soldiers, which has led to some claiming the building, or at least the upper portion of it, is haunted by soldiers from the Army of Northern Virginia. With what the administrators witnessed in the basement, perhaps it's likely we can say the entire building is haunted by soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia. That is if you believe in ghosts.



 Posted: Fri Nov 1st, 2013 05:01 am
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN




Well it's Halloween once again, and will probably be November 1st when I finish this post. This will be the last ghost story I tell this year, maybe I'll tell some more next year. My next post in this thread is going to be a bibliography of my sources.

Back in 2010 I did a number of stories concerning Lincoln, in fact I've done at least one this year concerning him. How about I go a different route to close this on out. Let's go to Fort Monroe. And like 2010 I'm going to look to Christopher Coleman's Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War to finish out this years stories as well as using Angus Konstam's Civil War Ghost Stories. in place of Nancy Roberts'Civil War Ghost Stories and Legends.

As many of you know Fort Monroe probably holds the distinction of being the only fort to have served as a prison for a president. At the end of the war and after a man hunt, Jefferson Davis was imprisoned in Fort Monroe without even a trial of any kind. Coleman suggests that the radical Republican's were actually afraid to try him for treason because they were afraid he'd get a fair trial and be proved innocent. This is something we have an open discussion on an if you would like to discuss it please go here. Konstam does point out that he was indicted on charges of treason in May 1866 even though he'd already been a prisoner in the fort for a year at that point, again pointing out he was never brought to trial.

Davis would be placed in Casemate No. 2 where he would be placed, hands and feet, in shackles which would result in his health beginning to decline. His wife, Varina, would constantly fight for his freedom and for improved living conditions for him. It may have been this coupled with the doctors concern for his health, that lead to his being moved to different quarters which would allow family to stay with him. Finally in 1867 he was released.

But did Davis and Varina truly leave Fort Monroe. It's true we know what happened to Davis and his wife after his release, but some times we never truly leave places that may have had some kind of important link to us in life. And this may be true of the Davis'.

Of the two Varina is the most commonly associated to haunt Fort Monroe. Varina stayed in the quarters opposite Casemate No. 2 while Davis was incarcerated there. The second floor window to her room is the only one directly opposite of Davis' cell. Witnesses have claimed to have seen the figure of a grown woman and a little girl standing at the window, staring out it. If approached the figures will vanish. This window itself is a bit perculiar as it will vibrate. According The vibration starts around 4 PM and continues on into the night. And the sound can be loud enough to drown out any TV in the room. Army personnel have tried to stop this strange vibration, but apparently it's a bit like the stories of bloodstains in other places where the bloodstain can't seem to be removed no matter what is tried.

And if Varina and apparently their daughter Winnie appears at Fort Monroe, what of Davis himself. Though not witnessed as often as his wife, Davis has been witnessed as well. Konstam says that Davis is rarely witnessed in either of the locations of the fort where he was imprisoned, though he does reveal that Both Davis and Varina have been spotted in Casemate No 2, she seated and he on his knees in front of her, his head cradled in her lap.

It is more common to see Davis's ghost wandering the ramparts of the fort. Whether or not he was allowed to go to the ramparts in his life time, his ghost does so today. It appears to walk past the area of the flagstaff. Coleman speculates that the ghost's appearance here is more a desire from his time in Casemate No 2, a desire for freedom that may have somehow manifested itself. But Davis was eventually liberated, so was it possible that Davis did actually get to walk the ramparts before leaving in 1867? Or did he perhaps visit Fort Monroe at some point prior to the war, perhaps when he was Secretary of War.

Last edited on Fri Nov 1st, 2013 05:02 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Fri Nov 1st, 2013 06:56 pm
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Well as promised this post will be a bibliography of the sources used this year, not me posting another ghost story. or those who feel like posting ghost stories they've read or scene, or for those who wish to share there personal experiences, please feel free to do so.

For those interested in further reading or watching further, or just to get how these stories originally appeared, try checking out


Books
  • Coleman, Christopher K. Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War. NY: Barnes & Noble Books. 2003 (First printing 1999)
  • Elizabeth, Norma and Bruce Roberts. Lighthouse Ghosts & Carolina Coastal Legends. Morehead City, NC: Lighthouse Publications 2004
  • Konstam, Angus. Civil War Ghost Stories. San Diego, Ca: Thunder Bay Press. 2005
  • Myers, Arthur. The Ghostly Register. Chicago, Illinois: Contemporary Books, Inc. 1986
  • Reevy, Tony. Ghost Train! American Railroad Ghost Legends. Lynchburg, Va: TLC Publishing, Inc. 1998 (Sixth printing 2002)
  • Roberts, Nancy. Ghosts of the Carolinas. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press 1967 (First Printing 1962)
  • Sanders, Michael. Strange Tales of the Civil War. Hippenburg, Pa: Burd Street Press. 2001
  • Walser, Richard. North Carolina Legends. Raleigh NC: Historical Publications Section, North Carolina Division of Archives and History. 1980 (Twentieth printing 2007)


Video
  • Unsolved Myseries. Eisode "Gettysburg Ghosts." Exec. Prod. Terry Dunn Meurer and John Cosgrove. Host Robert Stack. 1996. DVD (DVD collection Unsolved Mysteries: Ghosts. Cosgrove/Meurer Productions, Inc. 2004)

Last edited on Thu Nov 7th, 2013 06:10 pm by Hellcat



 Posted: Fri Oct 3rd, 2014 01:27 am
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Once again it's October. Halloween is just twenty-nine days away. And I don't wish to wait another two years before posting in this thread again. So to paraphrase a movie that has been a favorite since I was a kid

Just gather round and let's elucidate
About what goes on when it gets late
It's time for spooks, it's time for chills
It's time to share stories personal or read
About the Civil War and Halloween.


Ok enough of that. Been too much in a mood for Disney's animated version of Washington Irving's classic short story lately and I let it influence ho I'd start this post. Doesn't help that I'm currently watching it now either. Anyway, as I said almost four years ago the number of ghost stories that cropped up after the Civil War made them even more a part of our modern Halloween traditions, and they already been a part of Halloween long before the country was even formed. So it seems fitting to tell some that relate to the war. So I hope folks will once again join me in telling stories they know, have read, or of encounters they have had.

Again I shall kick things off. And I shall actually start in a most unusual way for me in this thread, revisiting a ghost story already told in the thread. But this time it shall be told from a different perspective. My first story is retold by S. E. Schlosser in her book Spooky Campfire Tales

A railroad worker had been transferred to the Hudson Division of the old New York central, working on the main line that ran between Albany and NYC. The man was something of a night owl and was assigned to the late shift.

It was one night in April, around near midnight so the man related, that word came in of brush on the track near his station. Naturally this could not be had, debris could cause a train wreck causing who knows how many deaths. And of course who knows how long the delays would be if there was a wreck. The good news was that there was an hour before the next train was scheduled in, plenty of time to clear the tracks without having to rush.

The night was overcast and the only light the man had to work by was his lantern As he strolled along the tracks there was a sudden and strong gust of wind that nearly blew him over. He flailed about to keep his balance, and just barely kept ahold of his lantern. In the wake of that blast of wind the man found himself in a sudden cold. But worse yet was what was coming towards him.

As said it was overcast and his only light was his lantern. But ahead was a blanket of utter darkness that blanked out everything as it rolled forward. Was it fear or the survival instinct that took over the man? Who can say but the man turned to flee. Yet before he could even get a yard away from the tracks he was engulfed in the blackness and his lantern blown out. Unable to see more than a few feet ahead the man stopped moving. And at this point things began to get creepier as the tracks began to glow with a strange blue light.

Through the all encompassing darkness a headlight could suddenly be seen. A train, even though the next scheduled train was still some time away. But this headlight was unlike any he was used to as it glowed a blue-white in the darkness. And as the train crept forward the rails took on an ever brighter glow. And there on the rails it was, a steam locomotive draped in black crepe, the brass gleaming in the eerie glow and smoke rising steadily from it's stack. Behind the engine were several flat cars. As the locomotive came closer the man tried to look in the windows but could see no crew.

And then his ears heard the sound of music and his eyes were drawn to the flat cars, the sight of which caused him to back away in terror into the trunk of a tree. A glowing orchestra of skeletons, or so the man described them, sat in a semicircle playing and nearly silent funeral dirge on glimmering black instruments. The man could see them playing with passion as their skeletal conductor lead them in their song. And then the train passed him by only for a new headlight to draw his attention.

The first train had held the orchestra, this train was the true funeral train. As with the first the man could see no crew in the locomotive. And this one pulled a single flat car carrying a black draped coffin. The air around this train seemed to swirl with the ghosts of soldiers clad in blue, lining up to salute the coffin as it passed. The man even claimed the ghosts were joined by the ghosts of Confederate soldiers who would also salute the coffin.

It was then the man knew what he was seeing and having served in the Federal army all those years ago he too straightened and offered a salute to his fallen commander-in-chief.

As the Lincoln funeral train passed by so to did the chill and darkness that had preceded both it and the train carrying the orchestra. Even the clouds seemed to disappear in in it's wake, allowing the moon to shine through. His lantern came back to life of it's own accord and the man was able to clear the debris, which shockingly was right there in front of him. The next day he discovered that all the clocks in the Hudson Division were off by six minutes, even the trains were running late. Asking the station master about it he was told not worry, that the Lincoln funeral train always stopped time as it went by in the night.


So did this actually happen or was it a story created by some long forgotten author? Seems likely the latter with the idea of Southern ghosts saluting the fallen President. But then some folks in the South did regret Lincoln's death when it happened because of what it would mean for the South. And if the person who originally told the story that Schlosser retells in her book really was an eye witness to the Lincoln funeral train then it presents a sight of the train not mentioned earlier in this thread, that is someone most likely in the 19th century witnessing the ghost train.

Last edited on Fri Oct 3rd, 2014 01:30 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Sat Oct 4th, 2014 05:40 am
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This next one is one of the most famous tales of ghosts related to the war and one many of us have likely heard time and again. Indeed it's one that has cropped up in many books on ghosts, especially ghosts of the nation's capital. I wouldn't be shocked if some of you have already guessed the destination. And the destination is probably the best known address in the nation. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Yep, the White House itself and the ghost has to be none other than Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln haunting the White House, surely it shouldn't be a surprise. It makes more sense for him to roam the halls of the executive mansion than some of the other locations his spirit has been said to be seen (such as the Lincoln Memorial). Perhaps it's more surprising there haven't been more Presidents, and first ladies, haunting the White House than stories of the hauntings would list. These include John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Dolley Madison.

But the 16th President seems to be the most prolific spook of the White House. Let us turn to Daniel Cohen's Civil War Ghost, John Alexander's Ghost: Washington's Most Famous Ghost Stories, and Angus Konstam's Civil War Ghost Stories to see some of these stories.

Perhaps one of the most famous stories of Lincoln haunting the White House comes out of WWII. Both Cohen and Alexander tell of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands' visit to the White House. According Alexander she was put up in the Rose Room, what since 1963 has been known as the Queens' Bedroom. According to a staffer at the executive mansion during FDR's administration, the queen told the story the following evening of how late the night before there was a knock at her door. Answering it she found herself face to face with the spirit of Lincoln. Cohen tells us Lincoln was standing their in his famous top hat. Both authors tell us the queen fainted at the site.

But why would Lincoln be visiting the Queen's bedroom? It's possible Lincoln was looking for John Nicolay and/or John Hay who both worked as his secretaries during the war. Until 1902 the Queen's Bedroom had been the bedroom and private office of the President's secretary and Nicolay and Hay could expect to work well into the night under Lincoln so it would not have been unheard of for Lincoln to seek them out there.

Konstam tells us that Queen Wilhelmina's granddaughter, Queen Beatrix also encountered the spirit of Lincoln during a visit in which she stayed in the Lincoln bedroom. As she did visit during Regan's first term in office then this may have taken place then or perhaps it took place between then and the mid-'00s when the book came out. According to his book, again there was a knock on the door in the night and when the queen answered door where again a queen of the Netherlands came face to face with the specter of the 16th President. Unlike her grandmother there is no mention of Queen Beatrix fainting. Rather Konstam tells us that Lincoln appeared to be looking for someone and seeing the Queen he walked away.

Konstam speculates Lincoln was looking for his wife. But during Lincoln's time the Lincoln Bedroom was used by Lincoln not as a bedroom but as an office. In fact prior to 1902 it served as office or meeting room for the Cabinet. As it was Lincoln's office during the war, perhaps if he was looking for someone it was not his wife.

But queens are not the only ones to have experienced Lincoln's presence. Teddy Roosevelt is supposed to have said "I think of Lincoln, shambling, homely, with his sad, strong, deeply furrowed face, all the time. I see him in different rooms and in the halls." Cohen tells us the 26th President may have been speaking figuratively, which it certainly sounds so. But Alexander says that this is a confession of seeing Lincoln. According to Konstam Teddy may have detected his presence, but only in the Lincoln Bedroom. It would make sense that if Lincoln's spirit is drawn back to this plain of existence then that would be the room he'd most likely haunt given how much time he spent there in life.

Grace Coolidge is the first person to ever report seeing Lincoln's spirit. According to Coolidge he was dressed in black with a stole draped across his shoulders and staring out the window of the Oval Office. Of course the Oval Office of today did not exist in Lincoln's time, in fact the President and his staff worked on the second floor of the White House until Theodore Roosevelt created the West Wing as a temporary office building, and the first Oval office appeared in 1909 when Taft had the West Wing expanded. So was the Oval Office Mrs. Coolidge refered to the 1909 Oval Office, which would have been a conservatory and stables in Lincoln's time? Or was it what is today the Yellow Oval Room? We can only but guess. One thing is certain is that it wasn't the Oval Office of today, Mrs. Coolidge would never have seen today's Oval Office as the modern layout of the west wing originated in 1934.

Truman would recall being awoken by banging at his door only to open it and find a cold spot, hearing footsteps receeding down the hall early one morning. This was just over a year after succeeding FDR as President. His daughter Margaret reportedly told her father to having encountered Lincoln's presence outside his bedroom and had also heard knocking and thumping. Truman is supposed to have written that he wished he had been brave enough to ask Lincoln to scare his daughter and a friend who were staying in the Lincoln Bedroom.

Eisenhower told his press secretary, James Haggerty, that he often felt Lincoln's presence. According to Konstam, it was in the Lincoln Bedroom where he felt the presence. Haggerty would relate this story on air on ABC-TV news.

Eleanor Roosevelt is said to have sensed Lincoln's presence according to Cohen. But according to all three authors one of her secretaries did the first lady one better. She actually saw Lincoln sitting on the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom pulling on his boots. The young woman ran screaming from the room and refused to set foot in the room again.

Even Winston Churchill may have had encounters in the Lincoln Bedroom. Both Cohen and Alexander report he didn't like staying there. Cohen tells us he would often stay in the room across the hall, today's Queen's Bedroom, but Alexander suggests that he would start out in the Lincoln bedroom and be found across the hall in the morning. According to this news article from almost two years ago Churchill is said to have said "Good evening, Mr. President. You seem to have me at a disadvantageā€ as he was coming out of a bath. After that he refused to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom.

During Truman's Presidency the White House underwent major renovations that saw the reconstruction of the interior of the executive mansion. So it is no longer the White House of Lincoln's day. Since that time sightings of the 16th President have declined. But as already discussed with Queen Beatrix, Lincoln may not have stopped haunting the White House. Susan Ford did admit to believing in ghosts and explained that was the reason she would never sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. So she may never have encountered Lincoln, but one of Reagan's daughters did encounter a ghostly presence there according to Konstam.

Of course Lincoln isn't the only Lincoln to have been seen haunting the White House. Willie Lincoln died in the residence in 1862 and his ghost is said to also haunt the White House, or to have haunted it. Konstam tells us he was often seen during the war speaking with members of McClellan's staff. According to both Cohen and Alexander when the war ended little Willie didn't stop haunting the White House as members of Grant's presidential staff are to have seen and even talked to him.



 Posted: Tue Oct 7th, 2014 01:10 am
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This next story comes from Phantom Army of the Civil War and other Southern Ghost Stories, compiled and edited by Frank Spaeth. The book states the stories are from the files of FATE Magazine and Spaeth was associate editor of the magazine at the time so these are actually from articles from the magazine. To break it down further this is from The Haunted Capitol by Kathie Farnell and is stories that have to do with the Alabama State Capitol, which was the first capitol building of the Confederacy.

Major renovations on the capitol building began in the '80s and completed in '92 (though there is still some work going on today). One night in early '92 a renovations worker named James Gammage, who was doing some decorative painting around the second floor elevator, saw the figure of a woman in Victorian dress walk down the hall only to vanish. Gammage told the custodian about what he'd seen, siting it as the reason why he no longer wanted to work nights at the capital. The custodian understood how Gammage felt as he had apparently heard footsteps and voices.

It would seem that the disturbances seemed to center on the old Lt. Governor's office located on the second floor. And investigation by the custodian had turned up an empty office with a telephone off the hook. This would seem to settle the matter of the voices. But things were about to get more interesting. It would seem that the sighting of the woman in Victorian dress and the sounds heard by the custodian would prompt some of the renovators to do a little searching through the old records. It was there that they found the account of a widow from the war who roamed the halls of the capitol during the 1870s and 1880s trying to get officals there to tell her where her husband's body was buried. When the story originally came out in '96 it was unknown whether or not the apparition seen by Gammage was that of this war widow or if it might have been another woman. If it was the widow, was her ghost still looking to find where her husband is buried. Might she still be roaming the halls today doing so?



 Posted: Fri Oct 10th, 2014 10:34 pm
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Turning back to John Alexander's Ghosts: Washington's Most Famous Ghost Stories for this next one.

In his lifetime he served in the patent office, as Postmaster General, Secretary of War, and finally Judge Advocate General. When he was recommended for the position of Postmaster General it was said by the person recommending him that "he has no heart." And an author of a book on the Post Office Department described him as having been "taciturn, vindictive, and ill-mannered." But he is perhaps best remembered today as the Judge Advocate General who had been the lead prosecutor in the trial of the Lincoln conspirators. He was Joseph Holt and it appears he was a hated man before the trial he has become famous for.

It would seem that the outcome of the trial didn't do much to change public opinion of the man, he was still apparently a hated man. The controversy that followed the trial is believed to have been the end of Holt's political career. These two may have lead to Holt's publishing his 1866 pamphlet Vindication of Judge Advocate General Holt From the Foul Slanders of Traitors, Confessed Perjurers and Suborners, Acting in the Interest of Jefferson Davis which was aimed at defending his actions in the trial and clearing up any confusion folks may have had. But the fact is that Holt would serve barely over another ten years after the end of the trial as Judge Advocate General before retiring.

Newspaper articles from the time suggest Holt became something of a recluse. His house, which was only a few blocks away from the Old Capitol Prison where Mary Surratt was initially held, would be described as "decaying, with bars on the windows, and shades that never permitted the sun's rays inside." By the late 1880s the garden was over grown with weeds and kids were crossing to the other side of the street to avoid the place. As August 1, 1894 slowly crept closer Holt would rarely leave his home save to buy food, according to Alexander. And neighbors are supposedly quoted as having said that his decision in the trial weighed heavily on his conscious, so much so that it was speculated he may have spent his time going over and over the transcripts of the trial. And then on August 1, 1894 Judge Holt passed away at the age of 87.

But did Holt leave his house? After his death his house fell to new owners who would fix up the old place and make it a cheerful home. Yet stories were told that Holt's spirit was still present. The sounds of someone pacing in the upstairs library would be heard, often lasting for hours. Capitol Hill residents said it was Holt's spirit. According to the stories the now remorseful judge had been sentenced to spend eternity pacing back and forth in his old house, constantly reading the transcripts of the Lincoln conspirators trial.

And even when his house was torn down Holt's spirit did not leave this world, so the story goes. The house may be gone, but according to Alexander when the hour is late you may see Holt dressed in his blue uniform and wearing a cape pulled tightly around him. Holt walks down 1st street heading for the Old Capitol Prison to speak with Mary Surratt so as to learn the truth he never discovered in life.

Is it true that Holt's spirit stay roams the streets of Washington seeking to know the truth? If so, then today his destination is the Supreme Court Building as the Old Capitol Prison building was razed in 1929 to make room for the building.



 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2014 09:55 pm
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Gettysburg seems to haunt this thread almost as much as Lincoln. And this next story isn't about to stop that. This one is from Daniel  Cohen's Civil War Ghosts.

B. Keith Toney is or was a historian and Gettysburg battlefield guide who in 1997 published the book Battlefield Ghosts. Prior to publishing his book, as said in the book's intro (read it on Amazon as part of the look inside preview), he had worked for too many years building a reputation as a historian to at first consider such a book. But then he changed his mind when he realized what kind of an opportunity it offered. As both he and Cohen explain, Toney began collecting accounts of Civil War battlefield ghost stories, talking to beople and getting their stories for his book. One of those he talked to was his own wife, Jill.

At the time the Toneys were living along Route 116 near to the Gettysburg battlefield. It was just after the 4th of July holiday weekend around 2 in the morning. One of their children had been having a nightmare and Mrs. Toney had had to calm the child back to sleep. Once that was done she stepped outside for a breath of air.

Standing there in the door way she first heard the sound of moaning coming from the direction of Seminary Ridge. The sound seemed to become loauder, with cries of pain and a strange creaking sound cutting through the moans. Mrs. Toney thought she must be dreaming or maybe it was a recent car wreck and someone was badly hurt. Yet she'd heard no squealing of brakes or crunching of metal.

As she stood listening she could soon see figures on horseback and wagons filled with wounded men. For four or five minutes she watched the eerie spectacle go by before it vanished. She wondered if it had all been a dream. But at some point she talked about it with others in Gettysburg and some of them had at various times also seen the ghostly wounded along Route 116. The road follows Lee's retreat and the ghosts are believed to be that of the Army of Northern Virginia's ambulances in the retreat. Nobody who has seen this sight ever reports seeing it more than once. According to Cohen, Toney theorizes that retreat is only able to be seen once per person.



 Posted: Mon Oct 20th, 2014 09:54 pm
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Hellcat, I have enjoyed reading through the ghost stories (must be getting close to Halloween). Even though I don't believe in paranormal stuff, even I've had the odd creepy, hair-raising moment on an old battlefield. You are the last man standing, sir (must be that garlic wreath)! All the best of the season. :)



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