York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Headline: ‘Beards on Parade at Gettysburg (Battle) Field’

The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg brought back vets from both sides to Adams County in 1938. Many York/Adams residents remember the event 70 years later. This Associated Press photo from an unidentified newspaper shows, from left, Cyrus Stamets, 95, a Union veteran from Richmond Ohio, John W. Turnbough, 94, a Confederate vet from Eldorado, Okla. and Confederate Gen. M.D. Vance. Background posts: Late-19th century Gettysburg photos ready for public, Red Lion doctor treated both Revolutionary War soldier and people alive today and Signs point to York, ‘Prize of the Confederacy,’ and other York/Adams Civil War wonders.

Sometimes, it seems that everyone in York/Adams visited Gettysburg to observe the 75th anniversary of the battle.
Memories of those grizzled Civil War vets who visited the battlefield in 1938 have firmly settled into the minds of many York/Adams residents living today. You hear about them often… .

Dolly Menges garnered about 10 autographs of Civil War veterans, including that of M.D. Vance, 93, a Confederate general from Little Rock, Ark., in 1938.
Dolly Menges of East Berlin is one of those young teens who met vets in both blue and gray.
She remembers the bearded men walking around the field where they fought. She recalls President Franklin Roosevelt presiding over the lighting of the Peace Light memorial, a Union vet on one side and a Confederate on the other.
She collected about 10 autographs from the former fighting men.
“They were so glad that we asked for their autographs,” Dolly said this week during a meeting at Paradise Lutheran Church.
She brought a newspaper clipping showing three of participants in this pivotal Civil War battle.
Her memory of the event and those men remains clear.
It’s amazing that people alive today have met fighting men from the Civil War.
In the scope of world history, we are a young nation indeed.