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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Basil Biggs

 
 
Basil Biggs Wayside Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, May 28, 2010
1. Basil Biggs Wayside Marker
Next to the fence around Lincoln Cemetery
Inscription. In the days after the Confederate Army retreated from the North in July 1863, civilians labored to bury the thousands of soldiers lying dead in towns and hillsides across south-central Pennsylvania. It was an enormous task, and most of the bodies ended up in shallow mass graves. Soon enough, though, the challenge of proper burial dovetailed with the Union's desire to honor the fallen of this long-awaited victory.

A Gettysburg attorney, David Wills, purchased 17 acres of the battlefield for a Union cemetery. To disinter the more than 3,500 fallen Union soldiers buried elsewhere, the government contracted with local farmer F.W. Biesecker who employed Samuel Weaver as superintendent of burials. They hired a number of African American laborers including Basil Biggs, reportedly an agent on the Underground Railroad who lived near Gettysburg, to remove bodies from both makeshift and established cemeteries around the region -- including a small number in Hanover -- and transport them to Gettysburg.
 
Erected 2009 by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
 
Location. 39° 49.567′ N, 77° 14.133′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Long Lane just north of Lincoln Lane, on the right when
Basil Biggs Wayside Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, May 28, 2010
2. Basil Biggs Wayside Marker
A closer-in view of the left side
traveling north. Click for map. The wayside marker is on the east side of Long Lane, a few steps south of the State Historical marker for Lincoln Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln Cemetery (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Lincoln Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); Where do we bury our dead? Lincoln Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); Monumental Stories (within shouting distance of this marker); Goodwill Cemetery (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Agricultural Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Franklin Street “Colored” School 1884-1932 (approx. 0.2 miles away); “ the battle itself proved a relief.” (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil
 
Basil Biggs Wayside Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, May 28, 2010
3. Basil Biggs Wayside Marker
A closer-in view of the right side
Photo of Basil Biggs and his Wife image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, May 28, 2010
4. Photo of Basil Biggs and his Wife
On the left side of the wayside marker
Photo of laborers with Samuel Weaver image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, May 28, 2010
5. Photo of laborers with Samuel Weaver
On the right side of the wayside marker
Lincoln Cemetery on Long Lane image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, May 28, 2010
6. Lincoln Cemetery on Long Lane
The Basil Biggs wayside marker is near right edge of photograph
Historical Markers at Lincoln Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, May 28, 2010
7. Historical Markers at Lincoln Cemetery
Long Lane can be seen at the left. The wayside exhibit marker for Basil Biggs is closest to the camera. The wayside exhibit marker for Lincoln Cemetery is at left center. The State Historical Marker for Lincoln Cemetery is also in view, next to the fence.
Basil Biggs and his Wife image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, May 28, 2010
8. Basil Biggs and his Wife
Basil Biggs, Gettysburg Freedman and his wife, Mary Jackson Biggs, moved from Maryland to Gettysburg in the 1850s. Courtesy of the Adams County Historical Society
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 2,356 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.   8. submitted on , by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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