John Burns The Citizen Hero of Gettysburg‘s watch chain from the Civil War. Burns became a 69-year-old civilian combatant with the Union Army at the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. He was wounded 3 times during the battle, but survived to become a national celebrity. When Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg to dedicate the cemetery and deliver the Gettysburg address the first person he wanted to meet was Burns. On July 1st 1863 Burns picked up a musket and fought next to the Iron Brigade on the west end of town. The Confederates eventually overran the position and Burns, severally wounded made his way back towards town. His wounds were treated and photographer Mathew Brady took the now famous photo of Burns recuperating from his wounds.