Tuesday, November 29, 2011

America's Most Haunted Battlefields

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:
Gettysburg is a borough that is the county seat, part of the Gettysburg Battlefield, and the eponym for the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg.
    The battle was fought July 1-3 of 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg. The battle had the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War, it is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee's invasion of the North. 
    Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle. After the gurling three day battle the confederates retreated, prior to Gettysburg Lee had established a reputation as an almost invincible general, achieving stunning victories against superior numbers, although usually at the cost of high casualties to his army.
    So is Gettysburg haunted? many believe the answer to this question is yes without a doubt.
    Many people have claimed to see full body apparitions, dressed in their uniforms walking around. Others have claimed to hear battle cries and gun shots going off. While others have seen the battle as it was in 1863.

Antietam, Maryland:
The Battle of Antietam aka the Battle of Sharpsburg, fought particularly in the south on September 17, 1862 near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, as part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single day battle in American history, with about 23,000 casualties.
    Although the battle was tactically inconclusive, it had significance as enough of a victory to give President Abraham Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, which discouraged the British and French governments from potential plans for recognition of the confederacy. 
    People report hearing, seeing and feeling things they cannot explaine. Whats your take ?.

Chickamauga, Tennessee:
The battle was fought on September19-20, 1863, and marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia called the Chickamauga Campaign. The battle was the mosst significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and involved the second highest number of casualties in the war following the Battle of Gettysburg.
    It claimed an estimated 34,624 casualties (16,170 for the Union; 18,454 for the Confederates).
    Since then there have been claims of every type of haunted and ghostly occurrences in this area. There have been mysterious deaths, numerous ghost sitings, and even claims of a mysterious "green eyed beast" that roams the battle sites at night.

The Alamo, San Antonio Texas:
The battle was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. That started on February 23, 1836 and following a 13-day siege finally ended on March 6, 1836.
    Mexican troops under President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio, Texas. All but two of the Texian defenders were killed.
    Santa Anna's perceived cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians both Texas settlers and adventurers from the United States to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the revolution. 
  As Mexican soldiers scaled the walls, most of the Texian soldiers withdrew into interior buildings. Defenders unable to reach these points were slain by the Mexican cavalry as they attempted to escape. Between five and seven Texians may have surrendered; if so, they were quickly executed. Most eyewitness accounts reported between 182 and 257 Texians dead, while most historians of the Alamo agree that 400–600 Mexicans were killed or wounded. Several noncombatants were sent to Gonzales to spread word of the Texian defeat.
    The Alamo is probably the best-known psychic "dead zone" in the United States. Ghostly tales about the Alamo can be traced all the way back to 1836.      During the late 1800's, the ghostly activity at the Alamo was big "news" in San Antonio. In 1894, the City of San Antonio pressed the mission into service as a police headquarters and jail. It was not long before, prisoners housed in the old barracks started to complain about all kinds of ghostly activity there. People have claimed to see shadows and hear moans, whispers. Yet others claim to see vanishing lights, feel eerie cold spots and hear other unexplained noises.

Little Bighorn, Montana:
Aka Custer's Last Stand and, by the Indians involved, as the Battle of the Greasy Grass, was armed engagement between combined forces of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho people against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. It occurred on June 25 and June 26, 1876, near Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory, near what is now Crow Agency, Montana.
    The battle was the most famous action of the Great Sioux War of 1876 (also known as the Black Hills War). It was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho,led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Gall, inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull.
    The U.S Seventh Cavalry, including the Custer Battalion, a force of 700 men led  by George Armstrong Custer, suffered a severe defeat. Five of the Seventh's companies were annihilated; Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew, and a brother in law.
                           Indian Casualties
Native American casualties have never been determined and estimates vary widely, from as few as 36 dead to as many as 300.
    The Sioux chief Red Horse told Col. W. H. Wood that the Native American suffered 136 dead an 160 wounded during the battle
                           7th Cavalry Casualties
The 7th Cavalry suffered 52 percent casualties: 16 officers and 242 troopers killed or dead of wounds, 1 officer and 51 troopers wounded. Every soldier in the five companies with Custer was killed (3 indian scouts and several troopers had left that column before the battle; an indian scout, Curley, was the only survivor to leave after the battle had begun), although for years rumors persisted of survivors. 
    The sole surviving animal reportedly discovered on the battlefield by General Terry's troops was Captain Keogh's horse Comanche. (Though other horses were believed to have been captured by the Indians.) 

  An obelisk commemorates the U.S. Army dead, and marks the spot of the mass grave where all US soldiers were re-buried   

    People have described sudden, mysterious drops in temperature, the sensation of being grabbed by an invisible hand, inanimate objects moved by an invisible force (such as light switches being turned on), and apparitions or groups of apparitions. Strange sounds have been heard, including disembodied voices and footsteps, high-pitched whistling, and frightening screams. One man reported witnessing the battle itself.

USS Arizona, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii:
Located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by Japanese imperia forces and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of O'ahu was the action that led to United States involvement in World War II.
    The sunken remains of the battleship were declared a National Historic Landmark on May 5, 1989.
    The USS Arizona is no longer in commission, but is an active U.S military cemetery. As a special tribute to the ship and her lost crew, the United States flag flies from the flagpole, which is attached to the severed mainmast of the sunken battleship. The USS Arizona Memorial has come to commemorate all military personnel killed in the Pearl Harbor attack. To this day, oil can be seen rising from the wreckage to the surface of the water. The oil seeping is sometimes referred to as "the tears of the Arizona" or "black tears."
    So is this site haunted?, while many without a doubt believe it is others arn't so sure.
    A friend of my visited this site many years ago, she said that while at first she was dumb struck at the view of it she then had flash backs of what had happened there so many years ago, and that she suddenly was overcome with a sad feeling in the pit of her stomach something she says she will never forget, it was as though the lost souls were standing there beside her trying to tell her their story. She later said that after leaving the site she still felt saddened for what she says had to be a few hours and then it dissappeared.
    The above photo was taken by a woman from Australian on September 26, 2011, she was taking a picture of the sun reflecting off the oil ridden saltwater above the shipwreck, she says she feels as though its the face of a young sailor who perished on the ship. 

Chalmette National Battlefield and Cemetery, Chalmette Louisiana:
Aka The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces, commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, defeated an invading British Army intent on seizing New Orleans and the vast territory the United States had acquired with the Louisiana Purchase. The Treaty of Ghent had been signed on December 24, 1814 and ratified by the United States Senate on February 16, 1815. However, official dispatches annoucing the peace would not rech the combatants until late February, finally putting an end to the war. The battle is widely regarded as the greatest American land victory of the war. 
                       United Kingdom Casualties:
772 were killed from December 23 to January 8, 1,521 wounded and 552 missing.

                        United States Casualties:
 55 were killed from December 23 to January 8, 185 wounded and 93 missing.  

The victory for America was surprising to say the least most of the American Army believed that a vastly powerful British fleet and army had sailed for New Orleans.
    The battle boosted the reputation of Andrew Jackson and helped to propel him to the White House. The anniversary of the battle was celebrated for many years.
     With the Americans outnumbered it seemed as though the city of New Orleans was in danger of being captured. Consequently, the Ursuline nuns along with many faithful people of New Orleans gathered in the Ursuline Convent's chapel before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. They spent the night before the battle praying and crying before the holy statue, begging for the Virgin Mary's intercession. On the morning of January 8, the Very Rev. William Dubourg, Vicar General, offered Mass at the altar on which the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor had been placed. The Prioress of the Ursuline convent, Mother Ste. Marie Olivier de Vezin, made a vow to have a Mass of Thanksgiving sung annually should the American forces win. At the very moment of communion, a courier ran into the chapel to inform all those present that the British had been defeated. General Jackson went to the convent himself to thank the nuns for their prayers: "By the blessing of heaven, directing the valor of the troops under my command, one of the most brilliant victories in the annals of war was obtained." The vow made by Mother Ste. Marie has been faithfully kept throughout the years.
 This site also holds a cemetery, it is now closed to new interments, it is the burial place to over 15,300 veterans of American military campaigns from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War.   
    The cemetery suffered considerable damage due to Hurricane Katrina, toppling headstones and much of the perimeter wall. The days and hours the cemetery and battleground are open to the public are still limited as of 2008. 
     It is said to be haunted by the soldiers who fought here, people claim to hear the sound of ghostly cannon and voices barking commands to unseen troops. Many heard whispers in the cemetery and seen the wandering figure of a lone British soldier walking among the headstones. 

Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia: 
The battle was fought December 11-15, 1862, in and around Fredericksburg Virginia, between General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. The union army's futile frontal assaults on December 13 against entrenched confederate defenders on the heights behind the city is remembered as one of the most one-sided battles of the American Civil War, with Union casualties more than twice as heavy as those suffered by the Confederates. 
                                  Union Casualties:
1,284 were killed, 9,600 wounded and 1,769 captured/missing.

                               Confederacy Casualties:
608 were killed, 4,116 wounded and 653 captured/missing.

    The memories of the battle and the months and days of apprehension that led up to it have left their mark and visitors of modern times have reported many strange encounters and paranormal events.

Cold Harbor, Richmond National Battlefield, Richmond Virginia:
The battle was fought from May 31 to June 12, 1864 (with the most significant fighting occurring on June 3). It was one of the final battles of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign during the American Civil War, and is remembered as one of American Historys bloodiest, most lopsided battles. Thousands of Union soldiers were killed or wounded in a hopeless frontal assault against the fortified positions of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army.
    On May 31st, as Grant's army once again swung around the right flank of Lee's army, Union cavalry seized the crossroads of Old Cold Harbor, about 10 miles northeast of the Confederate capital of Richmond Virginia, holding it against Confederate attacks until the Union infantry arrived. Both Grant and Lee, whose armies had suffered enormous casualties in the Overland Campaign, received reinforcements. On the evening of June 1, the Union VI Corps and XVIII Corps  arrived and assaulted the Confederate works to the west of the crossroads with some success.                             
    On June 2, the remainder of both armies arrived and the Confederates built an elaborate series of fortifications 7 miles long. At dawn on June 3, three Union corps attacked the Confederate works on the southern end of the line and were easily repulsed with heavy casualties. Attempts to assault on the northern end of line and to resume the assaults on the southern were unsuccessful.
    Grant said of the battle in his memoirs, "I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. ... No advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained." The armies confronted each other on these lines until the night of June 12, when Grant again advanced by his left flank, marching to James River.

                                                Union Casualties:
1,844 were killed, 9,077 wounded and 1,816 captured/missing.

                          Confederacy Casualties:
83 were killed, 3,380 wounded and 1,132 captured/missing.

    Some say that the ghostly battles are still raging on in the afterlife. some locals state that they see or hear them around 1am every morning.
    Also, a lone secluded path runs thru the park for visitors and if you're lucky you can photo a ghost. Many of these pictures have been published in the Richmond Times Dispatch and Mechanicsville Local.
    Often the smell of gunpowder is dominate and other times the smell of fear and pain, say many who have visited.
Mechanicsville - Cold Harbor - Cemetery - The cemetery beside the Battlefield park is haunted by a little girl's ghost. always dressed in white with a bonnet and a very pretty face.
Local legend has it that she fell out of the window of the Gravekeeper's house, Garthright House. Her little ghost is often seen in the window of the house or just waking or running around the lonely cemetery. she often appears sometimes happy sometimes sad and crying.

Stones River National Battlefield, Murfreesboro Tennessee:
The battle was fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, in Middle Tennessee, as the culmination of the Stones River Campaign in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. Of the major battles of the Civil War, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. Although the battle itself was inconclusive, the Union Army's repulse of the two Confederate attacks and subsequent Confederate withdrawal were a much needed boost to Union morale after the defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and it dashed Confederate aspirations for control of Middle Tennessee.
    Union Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland marched from Nashville, Tennessee, on December 26, 1862, to challenge General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Murfreesboro. On December 31, each army commander planned to attack his opponent's right flank, but Bragg struck first. A massive assault by the corps Maj. Gen. William J. Hardee, followed by that of Leonidas Polk, overran the wing commanded by Maj. Gen. Alexander M. McCook. A stout defense by the division of Brig. Gen. Philip Sheridan in the right center of the line prevented a total collapse and the Union assumed a tight defensive position backing up to the Nashville Turnpike. Repeated Confederate attacks were repulsed from this concentrated line, most notably in the cedar "Round Forest" salient against the brigade of Col. William B. Hazen. Bragg attempted to continue the assault with the corps of Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge, but the troops were slow in arriving and their multipile piecemeal attacks failed. 
    Fighting resumed on January 2, 1863, when Bragg ordered Breckinridge to assault the well-fortified Union position on a hill to the east of the Stones River. Faced with overwhelming artillery, the Confederates were repulsed with heavy losses. Aware that Rosecrans was receiving reinforcements, Bragg chose to withdraw his army on January 3 to Tullahoma, Tennessee. 

                                Union Casualties:
1,677 were killed, 7,543 wounded and 3,686 captured/missing.

                           Confederacy Casualties:
1,294 were killed, 7,945 wounded and 2,500 captured/missing. 

    Many people report feeling sorrow when they walk onto the battlefield, they also claim to see soldiers walking around, some say they could hear battle cries.

Mississinewa Battlefield, Marion Indiana:
Was an expedition ordered by William Henry Harrison against Miami Indian villages in response to the attacks on Fort Wayne and Fort Harrison in the Indiana Territory. The battle is significant as the first American victory in the war of 1812. The site is near the city of Marion, Indiana.
    Today, the location is the site of Mississinewa 1812, the largest War of 1812 reenactment in the Untied States, which is held every October. The annual festival draws thousands of visitors from all over the world. In 2004, a large memorial was unveiled and is currently on display near the Mississinewa River in downtown Marion.  

                            Miami Tribe Casualties:
38 were killed, 8 men and 34 others captured.

                          United States Casualties:
12 were killed, 46 wounded.

    People who are brave enough to camp over night here claimed to have heard battle cries, footsteps in the water and the sounds of shots being fired, along with the smell of sulfur.


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