Skip to main content.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Excerpt from Powell’s History of the Fifth Corps

The Fifth Corps started on its march on the afternoon of the 5th of July, [and] moved by way of Emmittsburg…From the time the Fifth Corps left Gettysburg, rumors had been flying about, all tending to raise the hopes of the army to the highest pitch. The men knew that the Confederate losses had been tremendous, and since the battle prisoners had been constantly taken by the cavalry; that the heavy rains had made the river fords impassable, and that the harassed troops were short both of food and ammunition.

Movement of the 18th Massachusetts

Marched six miles and bivouacked. Marched nearly to Emmettsburg.

Private Thomas H. Mann, Co. I, 18th Massachusetts

The ghost of McClellan has won the battle of Gettysburg! I am all right.

Shrine to Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the Daughters of Charity

Caption to the Reynolds marker:

Reynolds and Kate Hewitt

On the last day of June 1863, Emmitsburg became a Union army supply base. Union Gen. John F. Reynolds, commanding the left wing of the Army of the Potomac (I, III, and XI Corps), arrived as I Corps came into Emmitsburg to obtain needed supplies, camp, and muster to receive pay before marching five miles north across the Mason-Dixon line to Marsh Creek. On July 1, Reynolds traveled the Emmitsburg Road toward Gettysburg. Early on that first day of battle, a sharp-shooter killed him.

This place has another connection to Reynolds after he was killed. Three years earlier, he met and fell in love with Catherine Mary (Kate) Hewitt. They had sailed together from San Francisco to New York and had exchanged rings. She received his West Point ring, and he a gold ring inscribed “Dear Kate.” They planned to announce their engagement at a family party on July 8. Instead, Reynolds’ family members learned about his fiancée when she arrived to view his body and they discovered on him both a locket and the inscribed ring. Kate had promised Reynolds that if he was killed she would enter religious life. On March 17, 1864 she joined the Daughters of Charity. She completed her initial training here at St. Joseph’s Central House and went on mission to Albany, N.Y. She was reported to be in poor health in subsequent years, withdrew from the community in 1868 before pronouncing her vows, and disappeared from the historical records.

Note:there is more to Kate Hewitt's story. After leaving her religious order she resided in Albany, where she taught school for a number of years before later returning to her hometown of Stillwater, NY, where she died on May 5, 1902, most likely of tuberculosis. Her headstone bears the Hebrew benediction "Mizpah," which translates to "May God watch over you until we are together again."


No comments yet

Add Comment