Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
“ . . . I Am Going To Die”
Saint Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church
Erected in 1853, this church served as a field hospital during and after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. While the church was substantially altered in 1925, much of the original Civl War era structure remains intact. Within its walls some 200 wounded Union and Confederate soldiers were treated by army surgeons and other volunteer personnel including nuns from the Sisters of Charity of nearby Emmitsburg.
Gettysburg resident Salome “Sallie” Myers, who resided a few doors west of here, recalled seeing the suffering in the building. “I went into the Roman Catholic Church. The men were scattered all over it, some lying on the pews and some on the bare floor. The suffering and the groans of the wounded and dying were terrible to see and hear. I knelt by the first one inside the door and said ‘What can I do for you.’ He looked up at me with mournful eyes and said ‘Nothing. I am going to die.’ He was Sergeant Alexander Stewart of the One Hundred and Forty Ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers.” Stewart soon died of his wounds.
Erected by Main Street Gettysburg, Inc.
Topics. This Churches & Religion • War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1853.
Location. 39° 49.717′ N, 77° 13.913′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on W High Street west of Washington Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sisters of Charity of Emmitsburg (a few steps from this marker); John L. Burns (within shouting distance of this marker); The Memorial Church of the Prince of Peace (within shouting distance of this marker); "uncertainty and dread" (within shouting distance of this marker); Gettysburg Address Memorial and Abraham Lincoln Statue (within shouting distance of this marker); Presidents Attended Service Here (within shouting distance of this marker); Field Hospitals - Cavalry Corps (within shouting distance of this marker); Temples of Mercy (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker. The lower left of the marker contains a picture of “St. Francis Xavier Church circa 1888. Photograph by Henry Stewart and courtesy of the Adams County Historical Society.” Next to this are two portraits, also courtesy of the Adams County Historical Society. They are of Elizabeth Salome “Sallie” Myers, 1863, and of Alexander McFarland Stewart, circa 1860.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 8, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 752 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 8, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.