Living With Colonel Burgwyn

Welcome to the very first post of Gettysburg Sentinels 'Sentinel Posts'. As way of introduction, I am Greg Allen, owner of Gettysburg Sentinels having purchased it from its founder, Colonel William Hewitt, on March 1, 2022.

My wife Tina and I have lived in Adams County, Pennsylvania since 1978. We've lived in our current home since late 1985. We're located on Chambersburg Road about a mile west of the Gettysburg National Military Park boundary at Willoughby Run and about a quarter mile east of the First Shot Monument where late in the afternoon/early evening of June 30, 1863 Confederate Sentinels from the 26th North Carolina Infantry fired up0n troops from General John Buford's 1st Division Cavalry. Our house was near the middle of that exchange of fire.

The 26th North Carolina Infantry was at the lead of a line of Confederate troops, wagons and artillery that stretched over twenty miles to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The 26th came to Gettysburg with 843 men. They were the first in line and the first to engage their enemy. Through the three day Battle of Gettysburg the 26th North Carolina suffered more casualties than any other It lost 81.9 % casualties (172 killed, 443 wounded, and 72 missing or captured, a total of 687). Every man of Company F was killed or wounded. No regiment on either side at Gettysburg suffered more casualties than the 26th North Carolina.

The 26th North Carolina was commanded by Colonel Henry Burgwyn. He was the youngest colonel in the Confederate Military at age 21 at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was shot through both lungs during the first day's actions while rallying its colors after ten color bearers had already been killed or wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Lane then took up the colors and resumed the attack but was badly wounded in the neck and jaw. Colonel Burgwyn died on the battlefield in the woods just east of Willoughby Run. He was taken to our house and buried 75 yards from the northeast corner of the house at an angle of approximately 75 degrees. Researchers have confirmed this spot.

Colonel Henry K. Burgwyn, commander of the 26th North Carolina Regimental Infantry until his death on July 1, 1863.

Our house stood at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg. It appears on the Bachelder Map and was part of a farm that lined both sides of Chambersburg Road. A yellow barn was directly across the street. The house was typical of its time, a simple two story stone structure. In the mid 1950's the house was substantially enlarged with additions to the east and the west. The old part of the house was gutted. The stone was removed from the sides and rear and reused on the additions.

There are 100's of structures on or near the Gettysburg Battlefield that have hauntings. Ours is one of them. And, like many others, ours was also used as a hospital during and after the battle. While Colonel Burgwyn's body was removed and reinterred in North Carolina in 1867 there is a spirit that has appeared to Tina and me a handful of times over the years. In every case the sightings have appeared to us individually, and, only in the old part of the house. The term haunting is too severe for what we have experienced. In every sighting the apparition appears to have no sense of us being present. There is nothing 'scary' about the sightings. The apparition simply opens doors, walks down hallways and stands in bedrooms that no longer exist, but they did in 1863.

We have accepted the presence as part of the house and, of course, we have no way to confirm it is Colonel Burgwyn or some other unfortunate soul who died during that awful battle. But we like to think it's the Colonel and we like living with Colonel Burgwyn.

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