Underground Railroad Site
I stand at dusk on the old historic road
bed where the ford cross Rock Creek and the road twists and turned around
the old McAllister Mill foundation. You can truly feel the solemn history
of the past. The whispers of the secret meetings held in the old mill to
plot the way to freedom. The baying of the hounds following the slaves
along the creek. The light from the lantern of the slave hunters,
flickering through the trees. The young McAllister boy, standing
in the shadow of the mill, waiting, and then hiding those poor fugitives
under the mill wheel for a short rest before they continued their
journey north . The cries and moans of the wounded, both blue and
gray, who laid on the floor of that old mill, and those who died and were
carried to the hill beyond, to finally rest in peace. The foot steps
of the soldiers of the 2nd Mass. who crossed the old foot bridge to scout
the Benner Hill area. The metal rods and steps to the bridge still
there today. The roar of the cannon on the hill above, as they fired
into Culp's Hill to repulse Johnson's boys.The old wagon, creeping past
the mill with the body young George Sandoe lying in its bed. He was the
first one to be killed. The boys, jumping into the mill pond to cool
off after their harsh march up the Baltimore Pike. The captured rebel wounded
being sorted by the provost marshal to determine who was able to continue
on down the Baltimore Pike to prison, and who went to the mills to be cared
for. A soldier, who had died next to a tree, so emulsified that old man
Benner and Tawny could not move him to a grave, but could only cover him
with dirt where he was. I then walk in the moon light, up over
the hill, past the monuments, back to the house, hoping that those yet
to come will be able to experience that moment.
Dean Shultz, March 2006
McAllister's Grist Mill - Circa 1890 - 1900
View down road beside mill, showing gable and
southwest walls of stone building and outbuilding in background. Woods
across Rock Creek in background.
McAllister's Grist Mill Ruins
Taken from a
Gettysburg Tour Book from the early 20th century.
"The Effect of the
Confederate Invasion of Pennsylvania on Gettysburg's African American
Community" by Peter C. Vermilyea.
"To Seek Freedom."
The Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania
Railroad Freedom Center
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will open on the banks
of the Ohio
River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, in the summer of 2004.