|Born||April 26, 1830|
Owego, New York: 2
|Died||July 1, 1863 (aged 33)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Years of service||1862–1863|
|Unit||Company C, 154th New York Volunteer Infantry|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
|Relations||Spouse: Philinda Humiston|
Children: Franklin, Alice, Frederick
Descendants: David H. Kelley &
Allan Lawrence Cox
Amos Humiston (April 26, 1830 – July 1, 1863) was a Union soldier who died in the Battle of Gettysburg.
Humiston served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Having previously been wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville, he was killed in action on the Gettysburg Battlefield, dying with his children's image that his wife had mailed to him months earlier.: 69 A local girl found the image, and Dr. John Francis Bourns saw it at the girl's father's tavern and subsequently publicized the image: "wounded, he had laid himself down to die. In his hands … was an ambrotype containing the portraits of three small children … two boys and a girl ... nine, seven and five years of age, the boys being respectively the oldest and youngest of the three. The youngest boy is sitting in a high chair, and on each side of him are his brother and sister. The eldest boy's jacket is made from the same material as his sister's dress ... [It is] desired that all papers in the country will draw attention [so] the family … may come into possession of it" (The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 19, 1863).
Humiston's wife in Portville, New York—who hadn't received a letter from her husband since the Battle of Gettysburg—responded to the photograph's description in the American Presbyterian of October 29. She subsequently confirmed the image after Bourns sent her a carte de visite copy of the image. Bourns took the original image to Humiston's widow.
The family subsequently resided at the "National Homestead at Gettysburg" (opened October 1866) for 3 years until the widow remarried, when they relocated to Massachusetts.: 70
After numerous postbellum retellings and a 1993 memorial regarding the story at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, historian Mark H. Dunkelman published Humiston's 1999 biography using Humiston's war letters—including a May 1863 poem of how Humiston missed his family.
Humiston's service at Gettysburg is dramatized in 2011 documentary Gettysburg.
In the 2012 film Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, a Federal unit, presumably the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry, is attacked by Confederate vampires and only one member survives. A photograph falls out of a soldier's hand and falls to the ground near the camera. It is the same one that Sergeant Humiston carried.
The American Presbyterian revealed the identification[clarification needed] of Amos Humiston on November 19 ... [Humiston] rested in his unknown's grave on Judge Samuel Russell's lot. ... the Gettysburg Compiler carried the story of the identification on November 30(The lot of the "Hon. S. R. Russell" was used for Pennsylvania College's 1887 Glatfelter Hall.)
Sergt. Amos Hummiston[sic].
Within a few days the ambrotype came into the possession of Benjamin Schriver, a tavern keeper in the small town of Graeffenburg,[sic] about 13 miles west of Gettysburg. … Four men on their way to Gettysburg were forced to stop at Schriver’s Tavern when their wagon broke down. They heard the tale of the fallen soldier and saw the photograph of the children. One of them, Dr. J. Francis Bourns,
read the account in November 1863 [and suspected they were] their children, Frank, Alice, and Fred, ages eight, six, and four.
After seeing to it during his stay in Gettysburg that the soldier's grave was well marked, Dr. Bourns returned to his Philadelphia home, where he put his [publicity] plan into action.
“The children, two boys and a girl, are, apparently, nine, seven, and five [sic] years of age… The youngest boy is sitting in a high chair, and on each side of him are his brother and sister. The eldest boy’s jacket is made from the same material as his sister’s dress.”(quoted by Morris)
This modest marker rests upon the site where, several days later, a Gettysburg civilian found a then anonymous Union soldier