Jenny Wade was the single civilian casualty of the Battle of Gettysburg, killed by a stray bullet from a Confederate sniper in a nearby house. The house has since become a shrine and a museum, being kept in a state that duplicates perfectly how a Civil War era house would have been furnished and equipped. It is an unassuming structure, typical of a middle class house of that period. Made of brick, it was originally designed as a duplex.
Although she and her sisters were warned and told to leave, she insisted on staying and continuing to bake bread and bring milk to the hungry Union soldiers nearby. This despite the fact that the house was basically right in the middle of “ground zero”, the very center of the battle. The outside of the house was spattered with numerous bullet holes, the one that did enter the house unfortunately found it’s mark in Jenny.
The Wade family house was also a haven for some of the local orphans, who would oftentimes come to the house to hang out and escape the oppressive martinet who ran the nearby Orphanage. The Wades would provide them with food, kindness, and an environment where you could safely be a child and not be constantly scolded, nagged or worse, subjected to the sting of the rod or switch.
Jenny was kneading dough at the time of her death. The bullet passed through her left shoulder, piercing her heart and then lodging in her corset. She was killed instantly. She can still be seen wandering through the house, and with her comes a very strong smell of baking bread and the rose scented perfume she favored. It is said that she still haunts the house due to her being unable to finish what for her, was some very important business, that being the feeding and support of the Union troops who were fighting nearby.
Visitors to the place of have also noted the presence of ghostly children, perhaps some of the visiting orphans, who will speak out loud, or grab onto your ankles to ride along with you as you walk from room to room. Jennie’s father has also been seen in the cellar, as well as a man who hangs out upstairs, smoking a big cigar, the ashes of which he enjoys flicking onto the unsuspecting heads of the people below.
Jenny is rightfully remembered as a martyr, an honorable woman who risked her life and paid the ultimate price for it so that she could support and succor the soldiers who were risking their lives to preserve the integrity of our country.