On our way home from VA, We made a stop in Gettysburg, PA. I had never been there before, though always heard various stories about its Civil War history. I know of soldier accounts and the large battle that took place. What I never heard, were accounts from those who were northern civilians who had their homes overtaken by the Confederate army. I had always heard many stories of the southern states being overtaken by the Union instead.
Although I don’t like war one bit, and am into seeking peace and reconciliation, I will say that I have learned more about the Civil War history than any other type of US history. The time period just seems so hectic, stressful, sad, and upsetting, that I tend to do a lot of research about that time. I don’t really like US history, either, but seem drawn to it.
The Shriver family was a bit prosperous to me. They owned a nice large home in Gettysburg with a saloon in their basement and a ten pin (bowling) alley behind it. The couple had two daughters together, and were still in their twenties when they ran these things in their home, as they had married when eighteen years old. George Shriver inherited a distillery and had a lot of land.
The house that we visited was actually their second home, as they sold off their land and farm they owned when first married. They were not living in their home in Gettysburg for that long before the war took place. George was enlisted and left his family to fight for the Union. He did die in the war after being held as a prisoner, but saw his wife once in between battles. He was only 28.
The battle of Gettysburg extended out into the streets and near the circle that is so close to where the Shriver House stands. Hettie Shriver was concerned for her children and set off to go to her parents’ home a couple miles away from those streets, taking a 15 year old neighbor girl named Tillie with them (I read Tillie’s book which they sell in the gift shop section of the house). Even though they attempted to escape the battles, they still were a part of everything as it reached her parents’ home. As for her own home, that was overtaken by Confederate soldiers and bullet shells were found there later. Later during the battles’ ends, the Shriver House was used as a hospital area for wounded soldiers to be cared for.
We had a fun tour guide who did not want to be photographed at all (which is a pity because she was so great). She was all dressed up and was a southerner with an accent, as she said she was born in VA, so sometimes she’d say, “our boys” when talking about the Confederates. She showed us each room in the house and explained things that would have been a part of every day life for the Shrivers. She also explained some of the history of what happened there during the war. It was quite interesting and I enjoyed the tour.
I think I liked this portion of our vacation more than my family, but they enjoyed it too. It was a good lesson for us all to learn about. Want to go? Here’s the website!
This concludes our summer vacations (All caught up)!