John Burns (2)
Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg, PA., USA.
On the afternoon of July 1, 1863, as the tide of gray soldiers pushed forward towards town, a 69 year old defender confidently strode towards the expanding struggle. A veteran of the War of 1812, John Burns could not simply stand idly by as his home became a hotly contested battle ground. Moving in with the somewhat incredulous men of the Iron Brigade, the near 70 year old Burns fought along side men 50 years his junior. With them he would remain until wounded. Although the Southerners would capture the ground of the McPherson farm that he helped to defend, with assistance from his Union Army comrades, Burns found his way home where he recovered from several wounds received that day. A few months later, John Burns would have the honor of meeting and walking with President Abraham Lincoln when, in November of that year, Lincoln offered his few appropriate remarks to the dedication of the soldiers national cemetery.