The story of a battle, a house and a family

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Randall Brennan, REALTOR in Highlands Ranch history

Delamere, Boonsboro MD

There are three things that, once I get involved, cause me to lose all track of time: architecture, history, and genealogy (which is really just a personalized history). Sometimes, they all come together in a really interesting package. Today is one of those days.

Today, July 3, 2013 is the 150th anniversary of the end of the Battle  of Gettysburg. If you know your history, you know the importance of that battle. I’ve always felt a connection to it for some reason. Maybe because my parents took me to the battleground when I was just a boy, and I heard the whole story of Jennie Wade. Seeing where she lived and died made it all personal for me. (I still have the “antique” souvenirs of that trip, only now they really do qualify as antiques.)

Recall that the battle was one of the bloodiest ever fought on American soil, and it was the battle that turned the tide of the war against the Rebels. In President Lincoln’s mind, General Meade — the commanding Union general — had a sterling opportunity to end the conflict with a decisive victory. Unfortunately, the Union army let the the Rebels escape, even as the Rebels were stopped for a time by a rain-swollen Potomac River. Oh sure, Meade and his army followed them, but only half-heartedly. All the while, Robert E. Lee and what was left of the Confederate army was retreating back into the safety of Virginia.

The war would continue for another two years.

I’ve read an account of Lee’s retreat from the Battle of Gettysburg. The Union soldiers were eventually encamped near Booth’s Mill Bridge, awaiting orders from General Meade. He, meanwhile, was deliberating in “a nearby house.” The house in the picture above is the closest house to Booth’s Mill Bridge. The house belonged to the Booth family. The house still exists — or at least it did when that picture was taken a few years ago. (Notice the security company sign by the gate? I had some fun playing with the image, and making it look old.)

Is this the house General Meade deliberated in? I honestly don’t know, but it makes a great story for me because I have a connection to that house in Maryland: my great-grandfather married his second wife in it. It was her childhood home, and she grew up there. She was a member of the Booth family. The whole story of how my great-grandfather, who was born in County Limerick, became a bona fide Colorado pioneer, and eventually ended up in that house would probably bore you senseless, but it means something to me.  The story of a battle, a house, and a family gave me pause today, and made me think about the importance of all three.

Tomorrow, while we all celebrate our American history, I hope you can find some time think about your own personal history, how you ended up where you are, and where you are trying to go.

Of course, if you need any assistance with any of this, I’m just a click or a call away. Don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help, if you just let me know what you need from me.

With warmest regards,




Randall Brennan, REALTOR

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