Matilda J. “Tillie” Pierce was born in 1848 in Gettysburg. She was 15 years old when the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in July of 1863. She watched the Union army march through town, and at the urging of her family, Tillie and some friends left the town and went to what they thought would be a safe farmhouse. Jacob Weikert’s farmhouse was located at the base of Little Round Top.
During the battle, Tillie provided water and food to the soldiers and assisted the surgeons and nurses caring for the wounded. On July 7, 1863, she went back to her home. She said, “The whole landscape had been changed and I felt as though we were in a strange and blighted land.” She continued to help care for the wounded after the battle. Twenty-five years later, she wrote a book about her experiences during that time. “At Gettysburg, Or What A Girl Saw And Heard Of The Battle” is still in print today and available for purchase at the Inn.
The Tillie Pierce House Inn is named for the famous young lady who lived here during the battle. Located in downtown Gettysburg along the Trolley line, the Inn brings together unrivaled hospitality, abundant history and a decor of casual elegance. Guests enjoy our 24-hour Hospitality Room, our Micro-Gallery featuring artwork by B. Yon, and six beautifully appointed rooms for overnight lodging—as well as a spacious downstairs parlor, sitting room and quaint Victorian garden. Built in 1829, though up to date with WiFi and cable television, The Tillie Pierce House Inn joins the best of both the antebellum past and modern convenience.
Fun Facts about the Pierce Family
Mr. Pierce purchased the Pierce Family home for $650.00 payable one half on the first day of April 1847, the rest of the payments to made annually.
The James Pierce Family retained the home for 64 years.
According to available records and tombstone, Mr. Pierce was born in Maryland, possibly March 5th, 1806. Census records claim he was a native Marylander, and his father possibly in London.
James Pierce married Margaret McCurdy in August of 1835.
Mrs. Pierce’s parents are James McCurdy and Martha Moor and they were married November 24,, 1808. Some of James’ ancestry can be traced back as far as the year 1410 to the Head of the McCurdy clan in Ireland.
On April 22, 1836, Tillie’s eldest brother James Shaw Pierce was born.
About March 3, 1841 her brother William Henry Harrison Pierce was born.
Tillie’s sister, Margaret Ann Pierce was born July 9th, 1845.
Tillie, whose was born, Matilda Jane Pierce, was born on March 11, 1848.
James and Margaret Pierce had three other children besides the four that most people know about and they were Franklin Pierce June 1843-July 13, 1843 at 5 weeks of age, Martha Jane Pierce 1838-March 28, 1845 at the age of 6 years and 4 months, and Marion Castleberry Pierce January1852-November 1852. All of them were interred at the Methodist Cemetery on East Middle Street behind the historic GAR building and were later interred in the family plot in Evergreen Cemetery.
In the Fall of 1853, James Shaw entered Pennsylvania College, attended 4 years but never graduated.
James Shaw Pierce, at the age of 2, was mustered into service on September 3, 1861, Adams Infantry, which was re-designated Company K.
The Fall 1858, William Henry Harrison Pierce entered the College Preparatory classes but only attended for 1 year. William Henry Harrison Pierce joined the militia group the Gettysburg Blues April 2, 1861 at the age of 20.
Mrs. Pierce was a member of the local Ladies Union Relief Association.
William Henry Harrison Pierce was a private in the 2nd Pennsylvania Volunteers assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division. Private Private Pierce Co. E (part of 15th PA Cavalry) was involved in the Western Theatre. The 15th Cavalry was transferred and accompanied General William T. Sherman. Private William H. H. Pierce was mustered out of service June 21st, 1865.
Tillie graduated July 20th 1866 from the Gettysburg Female Institute with is a private home now located on High Street.
Independence Day 1867, William H. H. Pierce, Tillie’s younger brother, married a young lady named Helen Grace Ziegler. Helen Grace Ziegler was born February 22nd, 1844 to Samuel Ziegler & Sarah (Radford) Ziegler of Gettysburg.
One month from William & Helen’s wedding, Margaret (William & Tillie’s sister) died of typhoid on August 8th, 1867.
William & Grace’s daughter, Cornelia Elizabeth Pierce died July 15th 1870 at 3 months, 13 days of colera infantism . (she was born approximately April, 1870.
The July 6th, 1870 census listed Mr. Pierce as 64 years old as a “Grocery Merchant”. He owned $6000 of real estate and $700 of personal property.
The Agricultural census assessors noted that Mr. Pierce owned 29 of “improved” acres valued at $3800 where he had grown 74 bushels of winter wheat, 70 bushels of oats, 350 bushels of Indian corn, 5 bushels of clover, and owned 5 pigs, 2 “milch” cows and 1 horse.
Horace Alleman (Tillie’s husband later) enlisted in September 12, 1862 as a private at the age of 15 years old in what became Company D, 18th Regiment of the Militia of 1862. They were mustered out 2 weeks later between September 25-27, 1862. Nine months later, Horace answered the call to arms again, mustered in as a private in Company I, 30th Regiment of the Emergency Troops of 1863. Horace served another 33 days (June 30-August 1, 1863.