General Lee’s Headquarters, Gettysburg, PA
North Eastern Paranormal Investigations (N.E.P.I.) hosted Phenomenology 102 for it’s second year in Gettysburg, PA. First night of the event, I had the chance to investigate General Lee’s headquarters in the town of Gettysburg. I was part of a larger group of about 28 people (including celebrities and event staff) given access to the three modern hotel suites that comprised General Lee’s headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg in July1863. The battle took place over three days, July first, second and third. Confederate General Robert E. Lee lead the South victory on day one but the Union prevailed on the second and third days of one of the bloodiest battles in US history. Official estimates placed the dead at around 51,000. Even today Gettysburg only boasts about 7,500 residents year round. That was a lot of carnage for a small town to absorb.
Two TAPS veterans and several North Eastern Paranormal Investigations (N.E.P.I.) members were present to guide our smaller groups around, an hour in each suite. TAPS investigator Amy Bruni, and California Team Lead Britt Griffith were present. Author/Illustrator Scotty Roberts also moved between investigating teams, lending advice, discussing methods and helping any way he could.
I didn’t get a chance to interact with Amy, but I found Britt to be helpful and personable with suggestions about how to use our equipment more effectively. Scotty was the first person to ever tell me that our cell phones could contaminate the results of our equipment. Since everyone had traveled from somewhere else to attend most people had cell phones on them. I was glad he suggested we turn them off or even leave them in our cars if possible as some popular models such as Blackberries and iPhones transmit even when turned off.
Our rather large group started with a general walk through of all three-hotel suites that housed General Lee and his staff during the battle. My only hit during walkthrough was to see General Lee sitting in a rocking chair next to a built in bookshelf reading military dispatches spread out over his lap. I think it was a residual haunt, he seemed completely unaware of our modern group traipsing through the living room.
My first group investigation hour was spent upstairs from the living room area I had first seen General Lee in. It was a second floor bedroom with a sloping roof. I saw a Confederate scout moaning and crying in pain from a bayonet wound in his right thigh. It was wretchedly hot up there in July of 1863. This wounded scout gave off waves of fear as he waited for the surgeons to come upstairs and amputate his leg. From what I could feel going on in his body I suspect he already had a raging fever as infection set in. I think he died in that room.
My group got some interactive responses from him via a members Geophone. The Geophone featured a range of red LED lights. We established the blink of one light was yes, two blinks of a single LED was no. We confirmed that the wounded officer was a Confederate scout, but not the infamous scout that failed to bring key intelligence back to General Lee before hostilities resumed July 2, 1863. That failure meant Lee headed into the battle blind. The wounded scout we were communicating with told me that the General had been happy with HIS work. He didn’t want to be associated with the scout who had failed and had a few choice words for the unfortunate fellow.
Light Body workers I was investigating with offered the suffering scout a chance to cross over into the light. Surprisingly he took them up on it. His welcoming committee included his wife Sara and their two young sons who looked to be early grade school age to me. It was wonderful to watch. I was surprised he took them up on their offer simply because most ghosts who have hung around as long as he had usually don’t want to leave and it is critical to respect their free will in the matter regardless of how miserable they may be.
In the same room I had a brief impression of a young girl who slept in the bedroom before the soldiers came. I was surprised she seemed to have her own bedroom. She wore her hair in braids for sleeping and wore a simple, full-length cotton nightgown. Like many young girls she spent a lot of time dreaming about what her life would be like as she grew up.
Our second hour of investigation I encountered General Lee again. He was trying to sleep on the right side of a huge four- poster bed. A member of our group experienced a major temperature change within one step along the foot of the bed. (Unfortunately we didn’t have a thermometer with us so the change in temp had to be gauged by personal experience.) She called me over. I felt the temperature change and then saw the General in bed with my medium sensitivities. General Lee was wearing a three-quarter-length men’s nightshirt and a drooping conical sleeping cap. The nightshirt would have been standard for the time, but why would anyone wear a sleeping cap in stifling heat? For whatever reason that is how I saw him. He was aware of the presence of someone disturbing his rest, but grumpily wrote us off as meddling maid servants he simply wanted to go away and leave him to sleep. About 20 minutes later the same gal saw the blind of the window next to the General’s bed lift itself briefly as if someone inside the room was peering outside. Of course in 1863 there would have been curtains, not levolor blinds. I was in the adjoining bedroom and at the wrong angle to see the shade lift, but once she said something I checked it out and sure enough saw General Lee standing at the window anxiously peering into the early dawn light. My theory is this was likely another imprint haunting from the night of July 1, 1863 into the early morning hours of July 2, 1863. The General was looking for his missing scout and vital information about the Union positions he didn’t get in time.
The most personally satisfying experience at General Lee’s headquarters was actually with the hotel clerk on duty that night. Jean had asked N.E.P.I. staff if their investigative crew included any psychics. Once one of the N.E.P.I. team members realized I was a medium they suggested I stop by the lobby after the investigation. I did and was able to identify the ghost troubling Jean as that of an orphaned boy who died at Gettysburg. His name was Jimmy. Jean had comforting maternal energy that drew him to her. Jimmy liked to get her attention but since she didn’t realize it was a child she was truly unsettled by his activities. Jimmy was more mischievous than malicious. About a year and a half ago the hotel lobby had done some remodeling and that was when Jimmy started making his presence known. His favorite noises seemed be made with paper. He would shuffle around or makes sounds of crunching up paper near her desk. He also liked play with the straps of her purse. I asked if the purse had buckles on it. She showed us the purse in question and it had four metal loops attaching the straps to the body of the purse. Those loops reminded Jimmy of the buckles on horse harnesses. Like most boys of his era he had experience harnessing and unharnessing horses. Thus it was ironic he died when trampled by a Confederate officers horse. The officer didn’t mean to harm Jimmy, he just didn’t see him and was in a hurry to go join the battle. Although there was an orphanage in Gettysburg at the time of the battle, it was an abusive and vile place. Jimmy was about eight or nine years old and once he heard about how rotten the orphanage was he told me he had decided he wasn’t going to have anything to do with it. Instead he begged his food from Confederate officers coming to Lee’s headquarters with information or for further orders.
Jean had also experienced the presence of some Confederate officers in the hotel lobby. Obviously in 1863, there was no Quality Inn hotel on site. However based on the images I got in the space currently set up as a sunny coffee nook with café tables, I suspect a farmhouse kitchen likely stood in part of the same space. Jean had smelled the officer’s cigars and the horse droppings their boots tracked in. I saw the same officers eating and they were smoking cigars. Just like General Lee I think these were imprint hauntings, residuals the ground itself must have absorbed and recorded. Jimmy was and remains an intelligent ghost who desperately wants Jean’s kind hearted, motherly attention. The officers I saw eating in the café space off the lobby were not aware of us. I saw them eating breakfast with the sun barely rising and meals late into the night. Jean told me there remains a farmhouse behind the modern hotel that was present in July of 1863, but I was not remote viewing, the Confederates I saw were only a few feet away from me, still within the footprint of the modern lobby.
It was deeply satisfying to be able to tell her what was going on, who was behind it and that she was safe. Her immediate reaction was compassion for Jimmy. I was also glad to be able to confirm the smells of horse droppings and cigars as being connected to the Confederate officer’s ghosts eating in the current café space. Jean had heard horses hooves come up to front of the hotel lobby late at night when nobody else was around. I got a glimpse of them. If I am right and there was a farmhouse in roughly the same spot, then the wooden hitching posts and bar I saw the officers tying up to would have made sense. Like a modern day guest, even in 1863 visitors had to have somewhere to park their transportation.
More investigation experiences to come…
Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings at email@example.com
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