Author Archives: Sarah Kay Bierle

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, author, speaker, and researcher. Past and present, everyone has a story. What will we discover and discuss?

At McAllister’s Mill on July 4, 1836

McAllister’s Mill along the Baltimore Pike near Gettysburg was a hiding place along the Underground Railroad. Many enslaved individuals seeking freedom north of the Mason-Dixon Line found refuges in the Gettysburg community, though many of the stories and locations can … Continue reading

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Brothers in the 8th Virginia

The 8th Virginia Regiment charged toward the stonewall on Cemetery Ridge on July 3, 1863, as part of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge during the battle of Gettysburg. Sometimes called “The Bloody Eighth, this regiment lost nearly 70% of its strength in … Continue reading

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The “Dutch” Artillery Sergeant Declares He Is NOT Retreating

The 123rd New York Infantry, part of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the XII Corps of the Army of the Potomac, built substantial earthworks on Culp’s Hill on July 2, 1863. However, as the Confederate attacks on … Continue reading

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John Burns: The Cantankerous Neighbor

John Burns of Gettysburg seems to have several images in Civil War memory. The grim-looking fellow seated in a rocking chair when his photograph was taken. The old, oddly-dressed man who appears alongside enlisted Union volunteers with an ancient musket, … Continue reading

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Unpublished: Thomas D. Evans Pocket Diary, 1864

It’s smaller than my hand, delicate, and hard to hold open to read the fading ink and pencil. However, this pocket diary is where Thomas D. Evans wrote about the weather, notes about military actions, and later the daily record … Continue reading

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Unpublished: Channing Price’s Pocket Diary, 1861-1862

If you know the historical name “Channing Price,” you probably associate him with the “glory days” of General J.E.B. Stuart and the Confederate cavalry in the East. This young officer served on Stuart’s staff from July 29, 1862, until he … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Lavender at Cross Keys Battlefield?

It’s one of those places that I’ve always driven by in a rush (or couldn’t persuade my fellow battlefield explorers to stop). Off Route 276 and just about half a mile from the left turn to the Cross Keys Ruritan … Continue reading

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Captain Barton: Advising His Daughter To “Serve and Sacrifice”

For Father’s Day Clara Barton wanted to make a difference. She wanted to go to the battlefield and camps to care for the sick and wounded. For long weeks of 1861, she had been laying her plans, strengthening her political … Continue reading

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“There is not one of you a slave now”: Escaped Union Prisoners Announce Freedom in South Carolina

While Juneteenth started as a celebration of the announcement of emancipation in Galveston, Texas in 1865, other accounts of freedom announcements to enslaved communities also offer joyful moments during the Civil War years. In his published narrative Seven Months a … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: York County History Center

Recently, a project at my real job took me to York, Pennsylvania, and when I finished my task, I had a about 90 to spare before I wanted to get on the road to home. Since it was rainy, I … Continue reading

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