While organizing my photos of Gettysburg and researching monuments for future blog ideas, I discovered that there is a monument to Amos Humiston who I wrote about a few months ago. I’ve never seen this monument (I didn’t even know about it), but if anyone wants to check it out it is located beside the fire station, on Stratton Street between York Street and the railroad. The text reads:
Near this spot on July 1, 1863 a Union soldier fell mortally wounded. When a local resident found the unidentified body, he also discovered a photograph of three children. News of this poignant find was soon widely covered by the press, and copies of the photograph were distributed and sold for charity. One of these reached Mrs. Phylinda Humiston of Portville, New York, who now realized that her husband, Sergeant Amos Humiston of Company C, 154th New York Volunteers, had been killed. The plight of the Humiston children – Frank, Frederick, and Alice – touched an outpouring of sympathy and donations from throughout the North, leading to the establishment of a Soldier’s Orphan’s Home in Gettysburg in 1866. Sergeant Humiston’s body was removed from here to the Gettysburg National Cemetery.
The images was taken from separate photographs of Amos and the three children.
As the text states, Humiston was reinterred in the New York section of the National Cemetery. When I was in college, one of my favorite professors took us to Gettysburg every year. Each time he would end his two day tour at Amos’ grave, finishing his telling of the battle with this very personal story of loss. When he finished his concluding remarks on Humiston and the trip, it was tradition for us to place our pennies (face up of course) on the grave. In his conclusion he always asked us to keep these stories alive, that these men would never truely die if their memories were kept alive. I recently shared the tradition of visiting Amos and placing a penny on his grave with my fiance, and I ask you to do the same if you ever find yourself near Amos’ grave.