Gettysburg Confederate Presentation Cannon Ball From Gener...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionGettysburg Confederate Presentation Cannon Ball From General Meade's HQ And Battlefield Relics.
Presentation cannon ball found near General George Meade's Headquarters (Leister farm) at Gettysburg, Pa. The inscription reads "Found near Genl Meads (sic) Head quarters after the battle of Gettysburg July 1,2,3 1865". The 24lb. cannon ball was engraved by John Good, c. 1870's, who lived in Gettysburg, and operated a small shop on Race Horse Alley off Chambersburg street. This Confederate "Case Shot" is in excellent condition, and has three prongs added for display. A rare presentation piece. Also included is an Enfield rifle, in two pieces, that comes from the Gettysburg Battle Field, and was once in a display of Gettysburg relics at a GAR post. The last piece is a wonderful dug canteen that has an old identification label that reads: "N.W. (Northwest) decent of Little Round Top Gettysburg". Another fantastic relic from the most famous battle of the Civil War. The cannon ball comes with a letter of provenance from the "The Horse Soldier" addressed to the owner dated April 1988, and other documentation. A great collection!
More Information: The farmhouse of Lydia Leister is on Taneytown Road at the intersection with Hunt Avenue. Its central location close behind what was roughly the center of the Union lines made it a perfect location as headquarters for the Army of the Potomac.
James Leister had died in 1859, leaving behind his wife Lydia and six children. Lydia bought the wooden two-room house in 1861. It had a small hayfield and several apple and peach trees, as well as a spring. Lydia's sister, Catherine, had married John Slyder, whose farm near Big Round Top was just a short distance away and also played an important role in the battle.
Lydia and her two girls who still lived with her left the farm as the battle grew near. Its position on the reverse slope of Cemetery Ridge just inside the fishook curve of the Union lines made it a perfect location for the nerve center of the Union Army. Meade's famous council of war on the evening of July 2nd took place in the house's tiny main room.
This nerve center was disrupted during the artillery bombardment preceding Pickett's Charge. The farm's location immediately behind the central point of the attack resulted in its being deluged with numerous overshoots from the hour-long Confederate barrage. One burst among the staff horses in the yard, while others carried away the steps and porch supports. Flying splinters dictated a move outside.
When Meade saw some members of the staff clustering on the downrange side of the flimsy house, the fearless, twice-wounded Meade joked with them about their imaginary shelter. But for the sake of efficiency he eventually moved his shot-torn staff a few hundred yards away to a nearby barn. When it, too, proved to be a target, they moved on to the 12th Army Corps Headquarters on Powers Hill, which was part of the Union Army's series of signal stations.
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