On day one of the Battle of Gettysburg, as the tide turned against the desperately outnumbered Union fighters,
Northern officers on the Federals right flank threw in reinforcements to help cover the 11th Corps retreat to Cemetery Hill south
of town. This modest marker rests upon the site where, several days later, a Gettysburg civilian found a then anonymous Union
soldier, a casualty of that fighting on Wednesday, July 1, 1863. Unable to determine his identity, the only clue was a
he had clutched in his now cold hands, apparently the last thing upon
which he gazed before succumbing to his fatal wounds.
The publication of this picture, which was of three small children, created an uproar in the north as a touched populace attempted
to identify this unknown family man. Eventually a Mrs. Phylinda Humiston recognized the little ones
as her own
darling children, Frank, Frederick, and Alice. It was in this manner that she came to know that her husband, Sergeant Amos Humiston of
the 154th New York, had lost his life on the bloody fields of Gettysburg. He would later be laid to rest aside thousands of his
comrades in the Gettysburg National Cemetery, ironically located on the hill that, had he reached it, would have given him shelter
that day. In response to this heart-wrenching story about "the children of the battlefield", donations from sympathetic
Unionists throughout the country helped to found a Soldier's Orphan's Home in Gettysburg shortly after wars end in 1866.