Jul 7
Henry J. Stahle, was the editor of the Gettysburg Compiler, the newspaper associated with the Democratic party in Gettysburg. He was arrested following the battle on charges of disloyalty while the Confederates occupied Gettysburg in July, 1863. It was later determined that the charges against him were politically motivated. Stahle was released from his imprisonment at Fort McHenry near Baltimore, Maryland at the end of July after taking the Oath of Allegiance, and giving his parole. He was not brought to trial. This image was created during the 1870s.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is a retired American History Teacher from Gettysburg High School. She has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide since 1975 and serves on the board of the Evergreen Cemetery Association. She is our host for our series on Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg’s civilian cemetery.

To contact Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny, please click here to reveal her email address.

See the previous parts to the Evergreen Cemetery tour here

In today’s post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny discusses the arrest of Gettysburg resident Henry J. Stahle, and the history of the cannon Penelope.

This map shows the location of where our Evergreen Cemetery videos were produced. Videos #1-#31 were shown in our previous Evergreen Cemetery posts. Video #42 was taken at 126 Baltimore Street at the former sight of the office for the Gettysburg Compiler. Video #42 was taken in Evergreen Cemetery at the grave of Henry J. Stahle. This map was created facing north at approximately 3:00 PM on Saturday, July 2, 2011.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is the host for our series on Evergreen Cemetery. She is kneeling by the remains of “Penelope,” an artillery piece that represented the Democrats during the middle of the nineteenth century. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Friday, June 17, 2011.

In Video #42 (Videos #1-#41 were shown in our previous Evergreen Cemetery posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is standing along Baltimore Street. She introduces us to Henry J. Stahle, and how the artillery piece “Penelope” ended up embedded into the sidewalk in front of the office of the Gettysburg Compiler. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Friday, June 17, 2011.

The office for the Gettysburg Compiler was located at what is now 126 Baltimore Street. This view was taken facing southeast circa the late 1800s.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is standing by Penelope, in front of the building that currently occupies the site of the Gettysburg Compiler building. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Friday, June 17, 2011.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is standing in Evergreen Cemetery, by the monument marking the location of the Henry J. Stahle family plot. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:30 PM on Friday, June 17, 2011.

In Video #43 Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is standing in Evergreen Cemetery in the plot for the Henry J. Stahle family. She tells the story of how Henry J. Stahle was arrested for letting the Confederates know that he had a wounded United States officer (Lieutenant Colonel William Dudley of the 19th Indiana) in his house. This view was taken facing east to south at approximately 4:30 PM on Friday, June 17, 2011.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is standing in Evergreen Cemetery by the grave marker of Henry J. Stahle. Here is a short article about his release in a Chambersburg, Pennsylvania newspaper: “Mr. Stahle, Editor of the Gettysburg Compiler has been discharged from Fort McHenry. He took the oath of allegiance to the government, and gave his parole of honor to appear at any time to answer charges, should any be preferred against him sufficiently grave to demand the cognisance of a court. For his own sake, as well as for the sake of his kindred who shall survive him, we hope that his record is clear, and that he has been wronged. The man who could play the part of a spy for an enemy at his own home, is the foe of order, of humanity, or every virtue, and is unfit to live. Of such a crime we should not judge a man guilty in haste or prejudice; but when dispassionate proof fixes guilt, it would be an act of inhumanity to every loyal house-hold, and the veriest fraud upon Justice; to permit him to live. Mr. Stahle has suffered some for his country, and may boast his martyrdom like scores of fools before him; but he should not be unmindful that an hundred thousand patriotic hearts have sealed their devotion to a common country with their life blood, that he might enjoy for himself and for posterity the Free Institutions of our fathers. If he will not imitate them by rallying to the Old Flag in the field, let him at least disarm suspicion by giving heart and hope to the Nation’s cause.” (Franklin Repository July 29, 1863, page 4, column 4) This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Friday, June 17, 2011.

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