Apr 18

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Joseph E. Mieczkowski is the host for this series on Emmitsburg, Maryland. He is standing by a historic mural of Emmitsburg near the Jubilee Shopping Center on the east side of town. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Joseph E. Mieczkowski is the host for this Emmitsburg series. A resident of nearby Fairfield, Pennsylvania, Joe is a Civil War living historian and educator. Joe portrays Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Simon Cameron as well as Gettysburg resident, David Wills. In addition Joe is a Licensed Town Guide in Gettysburg. He is also the past President of the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable.

Educated at Salem College, Salem, West Virginia and at Pennsylvania State University, Joe has been employed for over 30 years with the Social Security Administration. He has served in a variety of locations and assignments including 16 years as a manager and director in Washington D.C. Presently he is the Area Director in Harrisburg PA.

If you would like to contact Joe, click here to reveal his email address.

To see Joe Mieczkowski’s previous series on Gettysburg Idols click here.

In today’s Emmitsburg post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Joe Mieczkowski shows us a historical Emmitsburg mural, the Toll House on the Frederick Road, and the area of the Great Emmitsburg Fire.

This map shows us the locations taken of the videos for the Gettysburg Idols series. Video #1 was taken at the Jubilee Shopping Center. Video #2 was taken near the Frederick Road Toll House. Video #3 was taken near the town square. This map was created facing north at approximately 7:00 PM on Sunday, April 15, 2012.

Another view of the Emmitsburg mural. It was painted by members of the Gettysburg High School National Art Society, and was dedicated on June 17, 2008.This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

In Video #1 Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Joe Mieczkowski presents the Emmitsburg mural, and shares some history of Cole’s Maryland Cavalry. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

This wonderful photograph shooting into the sun is an attempt to show the mural on the right and its relation to the front door of the Jubilee Foods store. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.
George Shriver of Gettysburg volunteered for service on August 27, 1861 and mustered into Cole’s Cavalry, Co. C. This image, taken circa the 1860s, is courtesy of Joe Mieczkowski.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Joe Mieczkowski is standing near the Toll House, located south of Emmitsburg along the Emmitsburg-Frederick Road. Emmitsburg is to the left (north), Frederick is to the right (south). This view was taken facing east at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

In Video #2 Licensed Battlefield Guide Joe Mieczkowski shows the Toll House along the Frederick Road, and explains that Captain George Armstrong Custer was camped here when he was promoted to Brigadier General. This view was taken facing east at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.
The Toll House is shown as the viewer travels from Frederick towards Emmitsburg. This image was taken facing northeast circa the early 1900s and is courtesy of John Miller and the Emmitsburg Historical Society.

A modern view of the Toll House taken from a similar angle as the previous picture. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

Captain George Armstrong Custer, on horseback on the left, was on the staff of Brigadier General (on June 22, 1863 Major General) Alfred Pleasonton, shown on horseback on the right. Custer received word of his promotion to brigadier general near the Emmitsburg Toll House on June 28, 1863. This image was taken less than three months before that event, in Falmouth, Virginia.This view was taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan at Falmouth, Virginia in April, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Joe Mieczkowski is standing in the Emmitsburg square. The Great Fire of Emmitsburg of June 15, 1863 began behind the structures shown in the right background. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

In Video #3 Joe Mieczkowski describes the Great Fire of Emmitsburg which occurred on June 15, 1863. This view was taken facing northwest to east at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

The Emmitsburg fire of June 15, 1863 began in a stable located behind the buildings in the left background. It caught the buildings on fire on the northwest section of the town square (the buildings that were then located here left of the cars shining their headlights). Because the wind usually blows from west to east (left to right) in this area, the fire jumped across the street (left to right)… This view was taken facing north at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

… and began burning the buildings in the northeast section of the town square, such as ones that were then located where the large grey building and red brick building currently stand. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

There is then some controversy about what the fire did next. Did it jump across the square from left to right and begin burning the buildings on the southeast section of the square, and then start burning to the east on both sides of the road (Main Street)? And/or did it continue on the left or east side of Main Street for two blocks (as at least one account suggests) and then start burning west back toward the town square? This view was taken facing east at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

Some Emmitsburg historians today believe that it not only continued east on the north side of Main Street, that it also jumped across the square and burned the hotel located where the large gray building is located… This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

… and then burned east on the south (other) side of Main Street because that is the direction in which the wind was blowing. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

Because the wind was blowing from west to east (right to left) it did not harm structures then located on the right side of the Gettysburg-Emmitsburg-Frederick Road. This view was taken facing south at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

The structures then located in the southwest corner of the town square were saved from the fire, not only because the wind was blowing favorably, but because at least one resident put wet blankets on the roof of his building. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012.

This stereo view of Emmitsburg was taken from the south of town near the St. Joseph’s Academy a few weeks after the fire. Some of the burned out structures are visible. This view was taken facing northwest by Timothy O’Sullivan circa July, 1863. It is courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Joe Mieczkowski has issued this book on Jefferson Davis and His Cabinet. For ordering information click here.
Joe Mieczkowski has issued this book on Abraham Lincoln and His Cabinet. For ordering information click here.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.

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