Jennie Wade

Jennie Wade

Original Name Mary Virginia Wade
Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 3 Jul 1863 (aged 20)
Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 1064 · View Source
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Civil War Figure. Born Mary Virginia Wade, she was known by her family and contemporaries as merely "Jennie". Arguably the "greatest battle ever fought on American soil" commenced in the environs of her native Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863. The three day Civil War battle of Gettysburg began on July 1, and fearing the effects of it, she sought haven at the home of a relative. The "Jennie Wade House" as it is now known in the borough of Gettysburg, was the home of her married sister Georgia Wade McClellan, and it was there that she found refuge from the rapidly escalating battle. In a short time, the locality of the McClellan home became a battlefield with Union and Confederate forces frequently dueling within site of it. Throughout this ordeal, Jennie repeatedly offered comfort in the way of foodstuff and water to the Union soldiers who were combating the Confederates outside the home. Sadly, her guardian angel ultimately failed her. The twenty-year old fell dead after a rifle ball penetrated the home's doors on the morning of July 3 and struck her while purportedly at the chore of preparing bread dough. With the cessation of the battle, she was buried in her sister's garden on the 4th of July. In January 1864, her remains were re-located to a cemetery "near the German Reform Church" in Gettysburg. A later re-interment in the Evergreen Cemetery occurred in November 1865. Within this burial ground is another tragic story which has always been intertwined with her own - the one of Corporal Johnston Hastings Skelly, Jr. He was a friend, beau and presumed fiancé of Jennie's, and he died on July 12, 1863 of wounds received in a Virginia battle and is now buried in close proximity of her plot. The two died without knowing the other's fate. For several years, her grave was marked with a non-descript gravestone, however, through the tireless efforts of her sister Georgia, an elaborate marker stands today in the remembrance of Jennie, "the only civilian killed in the battle of Gettysburg".

Bio by: Stonewall

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1064
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jennie Wade (21 May 1843–3 Jul 1863), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1064, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .