A Ransom for Gettysburg
When Jubal Early’s division of Ewell’s Second Corps arrived in Gettysburg on Friday, June 26, 1863, it
wasn’t their actual destination; they were on their way to York, Pennsylvania, to seize the bridge spanning
the Susquehanna River.  But Early and other commanders had established a pattern of moving into a
town and making demands on the town council for money and supplies. It was a way not only of
potentially securing provisions for their troops, but of instilling uneasiness into the local population at the
same time. At about 4 pm, Early – who had sent advance word to the borough council that he would be
wanting to meet with them to “make a requisition” – rode to the Diamond, seeking Robert Martin, the
Burgess (Mayor) of Gettysburg.  Upon learning that Burgess Martin had left the area (along with most of
the council members), Early was directed to speak to David Kendlehart, president of the town council.
Early leaves the Diamond heading south the short distance to Kendlehart’s Baltimore Street home,
passing the David Wills house and Spangler’s Dry Goods Store.
David Kendlehart would come out to meet with General Early, but in the end the Confederate commander
received little of what he was demanding; most of the available supplies had already been moved to safer
locations away from town. Even so, Gettysburg resident Sarah Broadhead felt the impact of the
occupation that day: “The Rebel band were (sic) playing Southern tunes in the Diamond.  I cannot tell how
bad I felt to hear them, and to see the traitor’s flag flying overhead.” Another resident, Sallie Myers,
added, “We were not afraid, but it is exasperating that we are now under the control of armed traitors.”
As authors Jim Slade and John Alexander summarize in Firestorm at Gettysburg, “June 26th brought
the war to Gettysburg once and for all, presaging terrible events still to come.”
The Original Artwork
Image: 13 1/2"H x 17 1/2"
W
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January 9, 2013

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