Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Umholtz & Strayer – Unknown Photo at Gettysburg

Posted By on November 21, 2011

In the files of the Gratz Historical Society are a number of unidentified or partially identified photos, some of which pertain to the Civil War.  The photo shown above has the following caption:  “At Gettysburg, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Umholtz, Mr. & Mrs. Harry Strayer, & Guide.”  The photo appears to have been taken in front of one of the many statues or monuments on the battlefield.   There is no date on the photo, but it appears to be typical of the type of photo that would have been taken around 1910.  Unfortunately, the Gratz Historical Society only has a photocopy of the original picture.  There is no indication where the original can be located, if it still can be located.

Henry Umholtz and Harry Strayer would not have served in the Civil War, and they are probably visiting the battlefield.  The guide could be any one of the three men and the other two men are Henry and Harry, but which one is which?  The women are also only identified as “Mrs.” and may or not be standing next to their husbands.  One good analysis is that the guide is the one lying on the ground with the straw hat and may be a student as he appears to be younger than the couples who are standing.

The white printing is hard to decipher and could be something placed there by the photographer to identify the negative rather than a description of the picture.

By clicking on the picture, it will enlarge.

Readers are invited to contribute their thoughts.  Perhaps someone can explain why the picture was taken at this particular monument.  It could be possible that Civil War ancestors of Henry, Harry, or their wives fought at this very point on the battlefield.


3 Responses to “Umholtz & Strayer – Unknown Photo at Gettysburg”

  1. anon says:

    Despite being a photocopy, this image shows the 1902 John Burns statue at Gettysburg:


    Of note is that the building to the right is smaller than the still-existing McPherson Farm Barn and is at the correct angle (northeast) to be one of the defunct farm buildings–but not the farmhouse which burned in 1895:


    Identifying the year of the building’s demise will help eliminate the vague “around 1910” claim in the description. Many of your captions seem to have vague years and without supporting info. For example, perhaps ‘photocopy submitted with photo xxx dated “1910”‘ applies?

  2. Joe Umholtz says:

    This is Henry Oscar Umholtz b 1842 d 1882. His father Edmund L Umholtz served in the Civil war and was listed as a drummer in Company I of the Pennsylvania 177th Regiment. Henry O’s wife was Mary Ann Strayer so that would explain the presence of Harry Strayer and wife.

    I do have a photo of Henry and his wife Mary. Comparing the two photos. Henry and Mary would be the couple on the left and Harry and his wife would be the couple on the right. That would make the gentlemen on the ground the guide as suspected. Hope this helps you out.

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