Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the second oldest rural cemetery in the nation. It was established in 1836 on 74 acres of land overlooking the Schuylkill River. Its lovely neoclassical gatehouse was designed in a Roman Doric style by architect John Notman (1810-1865). Laurel Hill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998.
Brig. Gen. Hugh Mercer (1726-1777) was a Scottish-American physician who settled in Fredericksburg, Virginia and was a personal friend of George Washington. He fought in the French and Indian War and in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, where he was killed at the Battle of Princeton.
Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade (1815-1872), nicknamed the “Old Snapping Turtle,” is most famous for commanding the Union Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Gettysburg. He commanded the V Corps during the Battle of Fredericksburg and replaced Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker as commander of the army. His star faded after Gettysburg, however, as General Ulysses S. Grant personally directed operations in the Eastern Theater. He made Philadelphia his home and died of pneumonia brought on by his old war wounds.
This memorial to William Warner, Jr. (1818-1889), sculpted by Alexander Milne Calder, in Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, depicts his soul ascending from his coffin. William Warner, Jr. was the son of William and Anna Catharine Warner, who founded a Pennsylvania coal business called Warner and Company. The impressive Warner Family plot contains several statues and sculptures.
This sculpture has been misidentified on several websites and books as belonging to William’s father.
Dozens assembled on Cemetery Ridge on Wednesday to commemorate the 156th Anniversary of “Pickett’s Charge” and the Civil War veteran events that followed.
The 4th of July, Independence Day, has special significance for all Americans, but it has duel significance for Civil War buffs. July 4, 1863 was the day after the Battle of Gettysburg and the day Vicksburg, Mississippi surrendered after a 47-day siege. Many consider this the turning point of the Civil War in the Union’s favor. The angle in a stone wall where Confederates briefly penetrated Union lines in an attack on Cemetery Ridge south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 3rd is considered the “high water mark” of the Confederacy.
The National Park Service held a series of events for the Battle of Gettysburg’s 156th anniversary this year, July 1-3. I was able to attend on July 3rd, which focused on the Confederate’s culminating attack known as “Pickett’s Charge”. Park guides gave presentations on various stages of the attack, from planning, to the cannonade, to its repulse, and a sizable crowd of approximately 50 to 60 people turned out. Not bad for a Wednesday afternoon.
Sally’s Diner, at 25 Peninsula Drive in Erie, Pennsylvania, at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park, is part of Sara’s Restaurant and campground. It is a 1957 Mountain View, #522. Like many diners, it served under several names and in several locations. It was originally Serro’s Diner in Norwin, Pennsylvania, then Morgan’s Eastland Diner in Butler, Pennsylvania. Finally, Sean Candela purchased it in 2003, moved it to Erie, and named it after his mother. It’s currently used as a souvenir shop and extra seating for the nearby restaurant.