The Preserve Talbot History coalition has been conducting research into our County’s Civil War history and that of the Talbot Boys monument. Additionally, we fully support the construction of a “Unity” Monument that would include commemoration of all Talbot veterans of that conflict.
To further understand both Talbot’s and our monument’s history, we must take you back to the events that unfolded in what is described as the greatest and most defining battle our Nation ever fought and the events thereafter.
The battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the “War that Forged our Nation.” Our Talbot ancestors are a unique part of that history and their story is told Nationwide.
In that fateful battle Talbot countians, some in blue and some in gray, faced one another on Culp’s Hill. These men had been neighbors, and some were family members split between the sides. The flag bearer for the Maryland Union regiment was Robert Ross and the flag bearer for the Maryland Confederate regiment was P.M. Moore – cousins from Trappe. When the shooting was over stories have been told of how the Maryland men in blue gingerly cared for the wounded Marylanders in gray.
Fifty years later there was a great reunion upon that same battlefield – a reunion for all who had fought on either side. Over fifty thousand veterans came to remember and reunite on the field upon which they once were enemies. Talbot veterans were among them. The theme of that reunion was of reconciliation, peace and national brotherhood. These veterans clad in blue and gray, ate, sang, prayed and embraced – together. Each side played the other’s battle songs and they jointly combined to create an association to construct monuments of remembrance at Gettysburg.
Many dignitaries gave heartfelt speeches, themed in reconciliation, peace and moving forward to build a better Nation. Pennsylvania’s Governor stated, “We are here not to commemorate a victory, but rather to emphasize the spirit of National brotherhood and National unity, which in the years since the close of that war has enabled this republic to move forward and upward…” When Governor Tener finished his speech the Confederates Veterans stood and honored the governor by giving him the “rebel yell”.
Within days of returning from the Gettysburg reunion our Talbot veterans organized to create the monument we now know as the Talbot Boys. The theme they chose was of a youthful color guard presenting his flag in surrender but looking upward and onward towards the future.
The men responsible for this monument continued building our County’s future. Records show that Talbot’s confederate and Union veterans joined to speak to our youth about the value of serving their Country through military service. General Joseph B Seth, the leader of the Talbot Boys committee, hosted the tenth annual “Conference of Charities” in Easton. Mr. Thomas Bartlett of Easton, the conference’s chairman stated, “It is the counties place to take the lead and do much of the work of bettering the social conditions of people” Mr. Bartlett promoted programs for the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, for child welfare and recreation and the expanded role of women in government.
These Are Our Ancestors – This is Talbot history.
To read the source documents for this article please go here.