Tillie Pierce was a 15-year-old girl when the battle erupted in her hometown of Gettysburg. Just before the battle began, Tillie was sent by her worried parents to what they thought was the safety of a farm outside of town: the Jacob Weikert farm, 3 or so miles down the Taneytown road, on the east side (or behind) the round tops. This was a relatively good place to be on the first day of battle. But on the second day (and, to a certain extent, the third), it was a terrible place. On the second day, with the battle rolling toward the Union left and centering in the wheat field, the peach orchard, and especially the round tops, the Weikert farm became a vast field hospital. Tillie saw her share of dead and wounded men--her description of the amputation benches and piles of severed limbs is hair-raising--and lived through the peril of sniper bullets and artillery shells. She gave a drink of spring water to a grateful General Meade and talked with General Stephen Weed, desperately wounded on Little Round Top, the night before he died. She tended wounded soldiers, fed hungry and exhausted ones, and in general saw and experienced more violence than any teenager ought to. Although written when she was in her 40s, Tillie's memoir captures the incence and wide-eyed amazement of a teenager. Of the 80-some firsthand accounts of the battle written by inhabitants of Gettysburg, Tillie's ranks as a favorite. Historians have only begun to explore the impact of the Civil War on children, both the boy-soldiers who actually served in combat and the children left at home while dad went off to war or caught up in the total warfare into which the war sunk during its final two years. Tillie's memoir is a valuable resource in this new line of research.
Tillie Pierce Alleman (1848-1914) was a young girl of 15 and a resident of Gettysburg during the battle of Gettysburg. Her maiden name was Tillie Pierce. During the first day's fighting, Tillie's father, James Pierce, ran a butcher shop in the town. During the first day of fighting at Gettysburg, the Pierces moved Tillie out of the town to a farm, thinking she would be safer there. It turned out that Tillie ended up right behind the Union lines on the second and third day. The farm where she stayed became a field hospital, and this young girl witnessed much suffering and death. Later in life, Mrs. Alleman wrote an account of what she saw, and it is considered a very accurate and excellent first hand source.