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J. Howard Wert was a recent college graduate when the armies of the North and South converged near his family's homestead just three miles outside Gettysburg in the summer of 1863. A militia member and anti-slavery supporter, Wert acted as a guide for Union General George Meade, helping position federal troops in the fields and hills around town. Perhaps more importantly, he collected and labeled artifacts from the battle, including a still-hot Confederate shell that almost hit him near Little Round Top. After the war, Wert resumed gathering relics of the three-day battle, many given to him by veterans of both sides, including weapons, clothing, letters, furniture, and even items related to Lincoln's Address. Now this amazing private collection can be appreciated through more than 120 color pictures and informative text about both the items and Wert's life.
Bruce E. Mowday is an award-winning journalist who has written more than 15 books. G. Craig Caba is a charter member and past president of the Harrisburg Civil War Roundtable and Gettysburg Battlefield Park Associates and author.