The Jennie Wade Story

Table of Contents

A Tragic Love Story

Mary Virginia Wade

Johnston Hastings Skelly

Photo Gallery


The Jennie Wade House

Adams County Historical Society

The Evergreen Cemetery

Photo Gallery

Jennie Wade's Birthplace.

Floor board from kitchen that's stained with Jennie Wade's blood when she was shot.

Certification of Haunting at the Jennie Wade House.

One of the letters sent to Jennie Wade from Jack Skelly.

A replica of Jennie Wade's vidual where her body was placed in the cellar.

One of the original wavy glass window panes in the Jennie Wade House.

The McClain home next to Jennie Wade's sister's house.

Steps leading down to the cellar where Jennie Wade's family helf vidual till the battle was over.


Johnston Hastings "Jack" Skelly

A photo of Jack Skelly in his military uniform.

Jack Skelly told his mother, "My country needs me mother, may I go?"  These are the words engraved in Johnston "Jack" Hastings Skelly's tombstone just 77 yards south of Jennie Wade's grave in the Evergreen Cemetery

When the war began in 1861, Johnston "Jack" Hastings Skelly enlisted in Gettysburg's Company E, 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry.  Not long after joining the military, now Corporal Jack and brother Charles joined Company F, of the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry along with their childhood buddies William T. Ziegler and William Hotzworth.  Around the same time, Jack's other childhood friend, Wesley Culp, had joined opposing forces, enlisting in the Company B, 2nd Virginia Infantry.

During the Battle of Carter's Woods in Winchester, Virginia, Jack, his brother, and two friends were captured by enemy soldiers.  The boys were called upon to surrender, and when they attempted to flee, shots rang out, one of the shots hitting Skelly in the upper arm.  While marching along prisoners on the wayside of the road, Wesley Culp, now a Yankee recognized his childhood friends and learned of Jack's injuries. 

Wesley quickly came to help his friend, getting him medical aide, and having him moved to a nearby hospital in Winchester.  During Jack's time at the Taylor House Hospital, Wesley came to visit him, and was given a message from Jack, "In case he got to Gettysburg..."  Unfortunately, the message would never make it to whomever it was intended for. 

On July 2, 1863, Wesley returned to Gettysburg to visit his sister and deliver a certain message, but the very next morning, young Wesley Culp was killed on his cousin's farm on Culp's Hill.  The message that Wesley was carrying for Jack has always been believed by both the Wade family and Skellys to be intended for Jennie Wade, his sweetheart, however, others think that the message was to his mother.

Jack died just nine days after Jennie passed away on July 15, 1863.  He was originally buried in Winchester, Virginia in the Lutheran Cemetery.  A little over a year after Jack's death, his body was moved by his brother Daniel, to the Evergreen Cemetery in Gettysburg, just 77 yards southwest of Jennie Wade's gravesite.