Encore: The Battle of Gettysburg Foretold by a Clairvoyant and a Quakeress

Encore: The Battle of Gettysburg Foretold by a Clairvoyant and a Quakeress Priscilla Coffin Hunt Cadwallader's tombstone.

Encore: The Battle of Gettysburg Foretold by a Clairvoyant and a Quakeress Priscilla Coffin Hunt Cadwallader’s tombstone.

Since it is the 151st anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, let us look at two reported prophecies of that monumental event.

The Battle of Gettysburg Foretold By a Clairvoyant

This circumstance is vouched for by a prominent member of the New York Press Club:

June 30, 1863, a clairvoyant medium in Brooklyn told a reporter for a New York newspaper that the battle of Gettysburg would begin next day; that there would be severe fighting on three days, with no decisive result till the last, when the Union forces would triumph by means which were not then (on the day of the predictions) valued at their true worth; that her brother, in a Pennsylvania regiment, would be killed, and that there would be great slaughter on both sides. [This prophecy was written out at the date of its utterance, but the journal with which the reporter was connected refused to publish it!]

As is well known, the battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1, 2 and 3, 1863. For two days the advantage was with neither side, but on July 3 Meade’s artillery was so placed and worked that Lee’s forces were compelled to retreat. The number of killed was 8,234 and more than 35,000 were seriously wounded. Among the killed was the medium’s brother, a circumstance which the reporter afterward had verified beyond all doubt. By what agency was the medium enabled, to indicate these circumstances a day in advance of the battle?

Cincinnati [OH] Enquirer 20 April 1890: p. 9

Perhaps we should ask ourselves why this prophecy, so well vouched-for, took until 1890 to be published? And did the brother of the medium give her some sort of military intelligence? My Civil War expertise is limited, but from what I have read, there was not much prior warning that a battle of such scale and importance was in the offing.  While it was known that Lee was invading Pennsylvania, sources speak of a “chance” meeting with Union troops at Gettysburg which developed into the three-day battle. Unless the brother was a telegrapher (or had access to one), communication from Pennsylvania to Brooklyn simply did not move that quickly.

Another Gettysburg prophecy-after-the-fact was related in 1890, this time by spiritualist and psychic investigator J.H. Nixon’s Quaker grandmother:


(slightly Abridged From The Progressive Thinker.)

During the past forty years I have made psychic phenomena an especial study, in so far as my limited opportunities would permit; and inasmuch as you may know but little about me, I would introduce myself to you and the readers of your paper by relating some memoirs concerning Priscilla Hunt, as she at one time was somewhat publicly known. Her maiden name was Priscilla Coffin. She was married to Jabez Hunt. They settled on a farm in Washington County, Indiana, near to the village of Canton, about the same year, 1810. They were members of the Society of Friends. She was my grandmother on my mother’s side. Grandfather Jabez Hunt died when my mother —their first and only child—was an infant. This left grandmother with her child alone on the farm.

[I’ll skip the accounts of narrow escapes from ravening panthers with the help of psychic impressions.]

At the time of the great separation of Orthodox and Hixite Friends, grandmother went with the Hixites, and finally got to be an accepted minister among them. Although her ministerial life was full of psychic phenomena, very little of it was ever published, except what is called her Gettysburg Prophecy; and that I have not seen for twenty or more years.

About the year 1832, as grandmother was on a ministerial visit to Philadelphia Friends, she also had a call to visit the Gettysburg Friends; and on one occasion after having preached concerning slavery, she sat down. In a few moments she again arose, saying:—

“I hear in the distance, and approaching, the sound of war’s dread alarms. I see the Southern men, like tigers, leaping in the arena. I see the horses and the horsemen rushing to battle. I hear sword clashing against sword. I see blood running like water, in which are rolled many thousands of human garments. The sons of many of you, who now hear me, will be in that awful carnage! Many of them will be slain: birds of the air will devour their flesh, and their bones be left bleaching in summer’s sun and wintry winds! I may live to see these dreadful times, or, I may not; but many of you will hear from yonder hills [pointing to hills about Gettysburg] the sounds of the awful conflict, bursting the bondmen’s fetters; yea, the very ground whereon we are to-day will tremble as by an earthquake. I do not know when these things will be, but whoever lives fifty years longer will see this government all changed— and that, too, by the sword, in regard to African slavery. When that awful day shall come, then woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of this land.”

J. H. Nixon

Light Vol. 10, 1890

A note about the Hicksites: While the Orthodox Quakers were turning away from the notion of women as the spiritual matriarchs of the community, with an equal share in worship and power, the Hicksites felt that the Orthodox Quakers had abandoned simplicity and the search for inner light to the materialistic values of the marketplace. The Hicksites, who tended to be from the ranks of the rural, reaffirmed the important place of women in the family and the community, which included preaching and speaking at Meetings. Priscilla Hunt (or Priscilla Hunt Cadwallader, as she was later known), as a farmer engaged in raising a daughter, and as an apparent clairvoyant, may have found the Hicksite doctrines aligned more closely with her life and talents.

Her Gettysburg Prophecy was said to have been made “about” 1832. She was both respected and beloved in the Quaker community and her sermons and impressive accounts of her psychic talents seem to have been widely circulated. Nixon speaks of this prophecy being published, but I have not yet found any trace of it. Once again, why did it take until 1890 for this prophecy to be made public?

If you have a psychic impression as to why this might be so, send it with Universal Love and Sympathy to chriswoodyard8 AT gmail.com

Chris Woodyard is the author of The Victorian Book of the Dead, The Ghost Wore Black, The Headless Horror, The Face in the Window, and the 7-volume Haunted Ohio series. She is also the chronicler of the adventures of that amiable murderess Mrs Daffodil in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales. The books are available in paperback and for Kindle. Indexes and fact sheets for all of these books may be found by searching hauntedohiobooks.com. Join her on FB at Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard or The Victorian Book of the Dead.


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