After the battle of Gettysburg, a soldier was found dead upon the field, holding in his hand this picture of three small children. In the terrors of battle he had comforted himself with this picture. No clue to his name could be found.
The picture was published thousands of times in search of the soldier’s family, and eventually found its way into a local paper called the American Presbyterian. The newspaper had only one subscriber in the town of Portville, NY. That person showed the picture to Philinda Humiston, who immediately recognized the children as her own. The soldier was her husband, Amos Humiston.
Copies of the picture were sold to support the family, and an orphanage was built in their honor, resulting in the founding of the “National Orphan Homestead” at Gettysburg, where the children in the picture found a home, with their mother as the matron.
A biography of Amos Humiston’s life was released in 1999.