| American History Stories, Volume IV|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Stories of the great conflict from the time Lincoln became president and the southern states seceded, through the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, until the close of the war. Includes poems, songs, and illustrations commemorating the events. Ages 8-12 |
JOHN BURNS: JENNY WADE
 Most of the people of Gettysburg left their homes on the
approach of the Confederates, but among the citizens was
one old man named John Burns, a veteran of the war of
1812, who had no notion of running away. When he
heard that the enemy was marching on the town, he took
down his old State musket and began running bullets.
"What are going to do with those bullets?" asked his
wife, who had anxiously watched his movements.
"Oh," replied he, "I thought some of the boys might
want the old gun, and I'm getting it ready for them."
When the Union troops passed through the streets, he
seized his gun and started out.
"Where are you going?" called the old lady after him.
"Going to see what's going on," he answered.
Going to a Wisconsin regiment, he asked the men if he
might join them. They gave him three rousing cheers and
told him to fall in. A rifle was given him in place of his old
gun, and the old man fought bravely in the first day's fight,
and received three wounds. When the Union troops fell
back, he was left with the other wounded on the battle
field, where he was found by the Confederates. Being in
citizen's dress, he knew they would shoot him if they found
out that he had been fighting against them, so when they
 said to him, "Old man, what are you doing here?" he replied:
"I am lying here wounded, as you see."
"But what business had you here, and who wounded you, our troops or yours?"
"I don't know who wounded me; I only know that I am
wounded and in a bad fix."
"Well, what were you doing here? What business had
you here on the field in battle time?"
He told them he was going home across the fields, and
got caught in the scrape before he knew it. They asked
him where he lived, and carried him home and left him
there; they suspected him, for they asked him many more
questions; but old Burns stuck to his story, and they
finally left him.
There was a heroine as well as a hero among the people
of Gettysburg. Before the battle, Jenny Wade was
baking bread for the Union soldiers. She was in a house
within range of the guns. When the Confederates drove
the Union troops through the town, and forced them to
take refuge on Cemetery Hill, they ordered her to leave.
But she refused and kept at her work even while the
battle was going on. While busy with her baking a Minie
ball killed her almost instantly. She was laid in a coffin
which had been prepared for a Confederate officer, slain
about the same time, and now lies on Cemetery Hill, where
the battle raged hottest that day.
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