After the Battle of Gettysburg, a dead Union soldier was found near the center of town. He bore no identification, but in his hands he held a photograph of three children. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll follow the efforts of one Philadelphia physician to track down the lost man’s family using only the image of his children.
We’ll also sample a 9-year-old’s comedy of manners and puzzle over a letter that copies itself.
According to multiple sources, the 3rd Earl of Darnley, an eccentric bachelor, suffered from the delusion that he was a teapot.
Sources for our feature on Amos Humiston:
Mark H. Dunkelman, Gettysburg’s Unknown Soldier, 1999.
Mark H. Dunkelman, “Key to a Mystery,” American History 32:2 (May/June 1997), 16-20.
Errol Morris, “Whose Father Was He?” (parts 1-5), New York Times, March 29-April 5, 2009.
Ronald S. Coddington, “At Gettysburg, Life Imitates Art,” Military Images 34:3 (Summer 2016), 54-55.
“Visit Recalls Wartime Story,” Gettysburg, Pa., Star and Sentinel, Oct. 28, 1914.
The full text of Daisy Ashford’s The Young Visiters, including J.M. Barrie’s preface, is on Project Gutenberg.
This week’s lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener TJ.
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Many thanks to Doug Ross for the music in this episode.
If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening!