10 Volume 29, Issue 2 Preservation & Progress There is no denying Gettysburg’s powerful sense of place. Nearly every visitor is moved by some aspect of the Gettysburg story. Whether it’s the soldiers and generals during the three-day battle, the civilians and the aftermath, or the land itself, Gettysburg has a unique way of making interpersonal connections with its guests. While participating in the Gettysburg National Military Park’s Artist in Residence program as a resident poet from February 15 through March 12, Julie Swarstad Johnson found her connection to a civilian family familiar to many of our Friends—the Joseph Sherfy family. She lived in the Klingel house and frequently used the other “beautifully kept” farmhouses on the battlefield to navigate her daily walks. She often found herself drawn to the Peach Orchard and, inevitably, the Joseph Sherfy family. The experiences of the Sherfy family, owners of the Peach Orchard in 1863, provided inspiration for the m ajority of her Gettysburg poetry series. Her personal involvement as a member of Mennonite and Quaker congregations aligned her with the Brethren values of the Sherfys. Their commitment to pacifism while surrounded by the horrors of battle fascinated her. In her poem, “Joseph Beside the Road, July 2” she illustrates a fascinating parallel between baptism and serving water to the tired soldiers: “The tin mug dips into the water once, twice, three times, dirt from the road turning the tub silty as Plum Run after rain. Dost thou believe , the words come awake in his mind, three questions asked at the creek when he was baptized, then three times a hand pressed him forward into the cold water. He puts a hand under the pail and pours a stream into the tub, while outside the fence, the road heaves like Marsh Creek after days of rain, the soldiers churning up soil as they jog past, a mass of warm wool and sweat A R T I S T I N R E S I D E N C E : Julie Swarstad Johnson by Elle Lamboy