My Country Needs Me: The Story of Corporal Johnston Hastings Skelly Jr., 87th Pennsylvania Infantry; A Son of Gettysburg and Confidant of Jennie Wade
By Enrica D'Alessandro
Paperback, illustrations, map ; 128 pages
The first book about Jennie Wade's beau, Jack Skelly. At the age of 20, Jack Skelly, a Gettysburg civilian, said to his mother, "My country needs me, Mother. May I go?" He left his home to volunteer in the Union army from April of 1861 until June 1863. He initially served in the 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry before joining the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry—the unit he was serving with when he was mortally wounded on June 15, 1863, at the Battle of Second Winchester (also known as Carter’s Grove and Stephenson’s Depot). Skelly died July 12, 1863, in a Confederate hospital while a prisoner of war. His confidant, Jennie Wade, was the only civilian fatality during the Battle of Gettysburg, dying nine days earlier.
The story of Jack Skelly and the Skelly family includes 17 letters written between Jack and his mother Elizabeth during the Civil War years. The book also discusses the relationship between Jack and Jennie Wade, and contains five previously unpublished letters from Jennie to Jack--a total of six. Also included are letters of Jack’s brother, Charles, who also served in the 87th Pennsylvania and his father Johnston Skelly Sr., who served in the 101st Pennsylvania Infantry. The book contains a total of 36 letters, revealing social situations and life in war-time Gettysburg, and what it was like for the Gettysburg citizens turned soldiers in the field.
Inventory Number: BOO 027