Basil Biggs moved from Baltimore, MD to Gettysburg in 1858. A teamster, Biggs moved north to seek a better education for his children. The Biggs family rented a farm west of Gettysburg and as the Confederate army moved into Pennsylvania, Basil sent his family east to safety. He stayed as long as he could to tend to his livestock and left just as Jubal Early’s troops passed through town on June 26. When the family returned home following the battle, they found their farm had been used as a Confederate field hospital and their crops and personal effects destroyed. To make ends meet, Basil took a job as the foreman of the team that moved the bodies of United States soldiers to the new National Cemetery. Between July 1863 and March 1864, Biggs and his team re-interred close to 3500 soldiers at $1.59 per body. Biggs later trained as a veterinarian and when he died in 1906, his obituary stated that he was “highly respected” in the Gettysburg community.


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Author: Sir Godfrey Gregg

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