Barbara Frietschie (1766-1862)

Barbara Hauer Frietschie was the inspiration for John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, "Barbara Frietschie." Legend has it that Frietschie, an elderly woman living in Frederick, Maryland, hung the Union flag from her window as Confederate troops filed by. When Stonewall Jackson passed he ordered his soldiers to shoot down the flag, but Mrs. Frietschie supposedly told them "'Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,/But spare your country's flag,' she said." Jackson ordered his men to hold their fire: "'Who touches a hair of yon gray head/Dies like a dog! march on!' he said." Despite the dubious veracity of the incident, the tale became so widespread that Winston Churchill, pausing at a replica of Frietschie's home in 1942, recited the poem from memory. The poem is printed on the front and back of this carte de visite, from the Brady and Co. studio in Washington, D.C., circa 1865.

Date:
1865 circa 5 years
Original Format:
Carte de Visite
Item#:
MES23450
Photographer:
Mathew Brady
Height:
1178px
Width:
732px
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