Jennie Wade House (Gettysburg)

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This house is named for Mary Virginia Wade, who is popularly nicknamed "Jennie" of "Ginnie". A statue of Jennie is located on the west side of the house. However, Jennie did not live in this home. This is a double house, her brother-in-law, John Louis McClellan, owned the north (left) side of the structure, and Catharine McClain owned the south (right) side.

Just 20 years old at the time of the Battle, Jennie was kneading dough in the kitchen when a rifle bullet pierced two doors and claimed her life.

Landmark Details

  • Also Known As: McClellan / McClain House
  • Location: 528 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA
  • Built: 1840's
  • Occupants in July 1863: Ginnie Wade, her mother Mary Ann Filby, her older sister Georgia McClellan and her newborn son Louis, her brother Harry, and family friend Isaac Brinkerhoff
  • Current Owner: Jennie Wade House Museum
  • Admission: Adults: $8.00, Children (ages 6-12): $4.00, 5 and under: Free (2014)

History of the Jennie Wade House

Outer door that Fatal Bullet passed through. Photo by Gettysburg Daily, January 21, 2009, used via Creative Commons License

The Jennie Wade house was actually the home of Jennie's sister, Georgia Wade McClellan. The dwelling lived through the Battle of Gettysburg and witnessed the tragic death of Gettysburg civilian Jennie Wade, as she was preparing bread for the Union soldiers.

Along with her sister and mother, Jennie helped the Union Army by baking bread and giving water to the troops that passed by the house.

This brick house was not a good spot to be in during the fighting as it was between both armies and commonly referred to as "No Man's Land". Northern soldiers were setting up defenses South of town, while Confederate forces were occupying the North side of town. As both armies fired on each other, the house was struck repeatedly and riddled with bullets.

The north side received most of the damage as it faced the Confederate position and today is marked with over 150 bullet holes. Also damaging the Jenny Wade house was a Confederate 10 pdr. Parrott Rifle artillery shell which hit and entered the 2nd floor wall that separated the two dwellings. Fortunately, the artillery projectile did not explode, and remained lodged in the house for many years after the war until it was removed.

Jennie Wade was the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg. She was killed in the house's kitchen on the third day of the battle: July 3, 1863.

From the book "The Jennie Wade Story" A true and complete account of the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg by Cindy L. Small
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After her death, Jennie was buried in her sister’s yard for about six months, then disinterred and moved to a nearby cemetery adjoining the German Reformed Church, until her third and final resting place in November 1865, in the Evergreen Cemetery.

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