Monday, December 18, 2006

Soldiers of the 48th: Captain Benjamin B. Schuck, Company I

Captain Benjamin B. Schuck
(United States Army Military History Institute, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, RG98S-CWP 196.63)

Benjamin B. Schuck was born and raised in Milton, Pennsylvania, but moved to Middleport in Schuylkill County a number of years before the outbreak of civil war in 1861. On August 15, twenty-seven-year-old Schuck, a tinsmith by trade, enlisted into Company I, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry as the company's first sergeant. He proved to be a very able officer, and advanced steadily through the ranks, being promoted to 1st lieutenant in October 1862, and to captain of Company I on August 28, 1863. Surviving the battles of Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania, Schuck was wounded on June 25, 1864, outside of Petersburg, Virginia, most likely by a Confederate sharpshooter. Two days later, Schuck succumbed to his wound. The body of slain officer was sent to Pottsville and buried in the Odd Fellow's Cemetery. In writing of the death of Captain Schuck, Francis D. Koch, who assumed command of Company I, said: "In losing the Captain, we are deprived of a good officer, and above all a brave soldier. He was never wanting in time of battle, but always at the head of his men, leading them against the enemy in every encounter. . . .During his stay with the company and regiment, he won the esteem and admiration of all who knew him, for none knew him but to honor and praise him for his manly actions and the noble service he had rendered in the defense of his country's cause. Peace to his ashes."
{Note: Koch's letter appeared in the August 2, 1864, issue of the Miner's Journal, and was reprinted in Joseph Gould's regimental history of the 48th}.

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