Gettysburg The Culp Family Essay

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The land we call home is no stranger to war. Unfortunately, it was all too common for families to become divided. It is even documented that President Lincoln’s wife had relatives battling one another. During the Battle of Gettysburg the Culp family from Pennsylvania and the Crittenden family from Kentucky experienced this division first hand. To them loyalty meant more than a line drawn on a map.
Five generations of the Culp family lived in the small town of Gettysburg. Henry Culp was owner of the farm known as Culp’s Hill. There are many variations of the extended family member’s involvement, but the most commonly referenced events are of the brothers Wesley and William Culp. Wesley was a harness maker whose work ultimately brought him to reside in Virginia. In doing so he joined the Confederate Army as a part of General Stonewall Jackson’s 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment. His brother William stayed closer to home and enlisted in the Union Army as a member of the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry. They each fought on opposing sides during the Second Battle of Winchester (June 13-15 1863). Friends were among opposing sides as well and while neither brother was injured during battle Wesley’s friend Jack Skelly, also from
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Armistead was twice widowed and spent a great deal of time with Hancock and his wife. As the war intensified, the Hancock’s hosted a send off party for the officers that decided to fight for the cause. The parting was said to be emotional to Gen Armistead since Hancock and his family were so supportive following the death of his wives and children. The last thing Armistead said was “Hancock, goodbye; you can never know what this has cost me, and I hope God will strike me dead if I am ever induced to leave my native soil, should worse come to worse.”

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