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Abstract

John Charles Wills left the fullest account of what happened at and around the Globe Inn in the borough of Gettysburg during the Battle. In July of 1910, the Gettysburg Compiler interviewed Wills and printed a short story of his observations and experience during the Gettysburg Campaign entitled, "Battle Days at Globe Inn." In September of 1915, Wills once again shared his memories of the Battle of Gettysburg, this time in greater length. Fifty two years had passed since the battle occurred and Wills was approximately 77 years old. The 1910 and 191 5 reminiscences are remarkably similar indicating perhaps a good memory or years of re-telling the same stories. Wills does not offer an introduction to his account nor comment on any limitation of his memory. He drifted outside of the timeline of his story on occasion; some of his stories can be refuted, while others cannot be substantiated with any evidence. Wills refers to certain homes and businesses in his account using them as landmarks. It would be easy to assume that his references are to the Gettysburg of 1863; however, several of these places mentioned did not yet exist in 1863 but were contemporary landmarks in the Gettysburg of the early twentieth-century. [excerpt]

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