Acquisition No.: 2019-09
Title: Overview; Court Documents - John Burns.
Item History:

John Burns; "The Hero of Gettysburg" lived in that town at the time of the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg.

Mr. Burns was the only civilian during the battle, to join the side of the North in the first day's fighting against the Confederates. Multiple serious wounds assured that Burns would not fight on day two. The cunning way that Burns disposed of his gun, convinced Confederates, who won the field, that he was merely searching for his cattle and got caught between the two sides, was remarkable. Once convinced of his innocence, the Rebs actually carried John Burns on a stretcher, back to his house on the west side of town. It was there that he took months to recuperate, as writers, poets and politicians, touted his heroic deeds.

John Burns lived in Bonneauville before the Gettysburg Battle. At some point after the rewards of his heroics were reaped, he moved back to Bonneauville. Upon his death in the town, he was prepared for burial at the funeral parlor of Civil War Capt. Jacob Miller, on what is now Maple Street. His body was transported by a processsion of sleighs, for burial at Evergreen Cemetery in Gettysburg.

While living in Gettysburg Burns appears to have been a rather cantankerous fellow. At least ten old court documents in the posession of Robert Signor of Gettysburg, address Mr. Burns court appearances. Inspection of the documents makes one wonder at times, which side of the law Burns most favored.

John Lawrence Burns was at one time appointed constable (a small town peace officer,) in Gettysburg, PA.

It is interesting to note that at some time after John Burns burial at Evergreen Cemetery in Gettysburg some person or persons smashed his tombstone to pieces. The grave marker had been charitably replaced later and still stands today.

The following documents present Mr. Burns from both sides of the law. The accused and the accuser.

The following six documents were a part of Mr. Signor's collection of Burns ephemera: 2019-09a through 2019-09f.

Based on my ongoing research of John Burns I question Wikapedia's history of the man. I highly recommend to anyone wishing to learn more about Burns; Timothy H. Smith's book: "John Burns" (ISBN 13:9781577470601).

Other Catalogue Numbers in this file that reference Mr. Burns are: 1986-04, 2000-03,

2001-13, 2002-22, 2007-18, 2013-20 and 2013-25.