Removing CSA Bodies from Blocher Farm Like Pulling Teeth

North of the Adams County Alms House stood the John Blocher farm, built in 1823 and comprising two different homes and a barn. What is now known as Barlow’s Knoll was then Blocher’s Knoll, and the farm was the site of heavy fighting between General Francis Barlow‘s Union men and General George Doles‘s Georgia Brigade.

David Blocher, his wife Marie Grace, and their six children retreated to the meat cellar to wait out the battle. According to a Blocher descendant, twelve-year-old Kate went upstairs for something, got involved helping wounded men, and did not return to the cellar the rest of that evening.

The Blochers were pacifists and members of the German Baptist Church (colloquially known as “Dunkers”). When the battle was over, David canvassed the field, picking up discarded ammunition and bayonets. He turned many of these pieces into kitchen utensils. He also made a name for himself by flying the nation’s flag each day on a pole erected by Connecticut veterans who later presented him a certificate of appreciation.

The Blochers also became known for one of the more macabre stories of the battle’s aftermath. Lt. Colonel David Winn of the 4th Georgia was killed early on July 1. He and Private Josiah Law, also 4th Georgia, were buried next to each other behind the Blocher barn and near their house. The graves were marked and kept up, seemingly a positive service. Shortly after the war, Samuel Weaver approached the Blochers about removing the bodies and sending them south. David insisted that the Blochers be paid $10 upfront; the Winn family declined to pay, and Colonel Winn remained on the Blocher property until 1871. Samuel’s son Dr. Rufus Weaver eventually prevailed upon the Blochers to allow the removal of the bodies. However, when the Winns examined the Colonel’s remains, they were stunned to find that his gold teeth and the gold plate that held them were missing from his skull. Inquiries were sent north, and ultimately, they were found to be in the possession of Oliver Blocher, David’s son. Oliver demanded a payment of $10 for the gold’s return, but ultimately settled for $5. The incident became infamous in the South and was discussed bitterly in various Southern papers.

Always with an eye for a good deal, Oliver ultimately became a merchant as his profession. Specifically, he ran a coal and lumber store on Carlisle Street that he opened in cooperation with his in-laws, the Wiermans.

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