The Battle of Gettysburg was the deadliest conflict of the Civil War with more than 20,000 casualties. However, only one was a non-combatant. Jennie Wade was just 20 years old when she was struck by a stray bullet inside this house on July 3, 1863.
Wade lived in downtown Gettysburg, but went to her sister’s house on July 1 to help with a newborn baby. Although 150 bullets struck the house, there were no injuries. On the morning of the 3rd, Wade had awoken early to make bread for the family and a few Union soldiers. That’s when a bullet traveled through the kitchen and parlor door, before striking Wade. She died instantly.
Wade was hastily buried in the backyard in a spare coffin. Six months later, she was reburied at Evergreen Cemetery in Gettysburg. Several years after her death, Wade’s family was awarded a Civil War pension by the United States Senate.
Today, the Jennie Wade House is open for tours. Costumed interpreters point out the hole in the door where the bullet entered, along with other artifacts from the era.