A resident of the growing county seat of Adams County Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Thorn had already watched her
husband march off to war a year prior. During July of 1863, the same war that kept her husband away would now come to find her at
her home. For some eight years, Elizabeth and her husband Peter shared the caretaker role for the town's cemetery. Now six months
pregnant, Elizabeth tried her best to endure the commandeering of her town by the Confederates and of her home, food, and other
household goods by the Union Army.
After battle's end, Gettysburg citizens witnessed the physical and human wreckage left by the great conflict. Elizabeth, having
averaged 5 burials a month prior to the battle found the demands on her dramatically increased. As she stated, "Well, you may
know how I felt, my husband in the army, my father an aged man. Yet for all the foul air, we started in. I struck off the graves
and while my father finished one, I had another one started." Exhausted, Elizabeth called for help. However, of the three
friends who came to her aid, all left within days due to illness. She added then, "By that time we had forty graves done. And
then father and I had to dig on harder again." A few months later, Elizabeth Thorn gave birth to precious little "Rose
Meade Thorn", named after the Army of the Potomac's commanding general.