Jennie Wade House

Mary Virginia Wade, better known as Jennie Wade, was the only civilian killed during the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania July 3, 1863 while baking bread for Union soldiers in the Jennie Wade House. She was struck by a single bullet that traveled through two wooden doors killing her instantly. Jennie Wade was 20 years old. The house looks very much the same as it did 150+ years ago. The house was actually the residence of Jennie's sister, Georgia McClellan.

Welcome To Jennie Wade House

Jennie was born Mary Virginia Wade on May 21, 1843 in a little town named Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Jennie Wade's birthplace was in a house located on Baltimore Street. Her nickname "Ginnie" most likely came from her middle name Virginia.

The Jennie Wade house was actually the home of Jennie's sister, Georgia 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. 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-pounder "Parrot" artillery shell which hit and entered the 2nd floor wall that separated the two dwellings. Fortunately, the Civil War projectile did not explode, and remained lodged in the house for many years after the war until it was removed. Evidence of this direct hit can still be seen today while taking the tour of the Jenny Wade house.

  Jennie Wade House
Jennie Wade House Photos

Did you know?

Nicknames: "Jennie", "Gin", or "Ginnie", Jenny Wade.
Jennie Wade was the only Gettysburg civilian to be killed during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Jennie Wade was only 20 years old at the time of her death.
Jennie's childhood sweetheart, Corporal "Jack" Skelly, was mortally wounded at the battle of Carters Woods.
The name "Jennie" most likely came from a misprint in the newspaper.
After Jennie Wade's death, she was buried in her sister's yard for about 6 months, then transferred to a cemetery adjoined to the German Reformed Church, until her third and final resting place in November 1865, in the Evergreen Cemetery.

Other civilians had died later as a result of the Battle of Gettysburg. For many months after the Gettysburg Battle, civilians would find un-exploded artillery shells or loaded muskets in the surrounding fields. Gettysburg children would play with them while others would try to dismantle them. This sometimes led to the explosion of a shell or the discharging of a gun, either killing or maiming them badly as documented in the local newspapers such as the Adams Sentinel.