Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PROFILES: Elias Britton, Company A, 48th PA

Elias and Israel Britton--whether brothers or cousins, I am not quite certain--volunteered their services to the Union during the summer of 1861, and in mid-September were mustered into service as privates, in Company A, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. Israel hailed from Tamaqua and listed his occupation as farmer; Elias, the older of the two at age 25, was a miller from Auburn. He stood 5'6" in height, with a dark complexion, dark eyes, and dark hair.

The Brittons served throughout the four years of the conflict. Both fell wounded at 2nd Bull Run on August 29, 1862, and in early 1864, both would reenlist, offering to serve another three years, or until the war was decided. It appears Elias fell ill near war's end, and was absent when the regiment mustered out of service on July 17, 1865. The records indicate that Israel deserted on March 15, 1865. Both, however, are listed as "Veterans" in the regimental muster rolls, having served nobly in the ranks of Company A and even shedding some of their blood in combat.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We Interrupt Your Normal Broadcasting. . .

. . .to bring you this special announcement.

If you have not yet already noticed on the right-hand panel, there is a new video out there, shot on site on the battlefields of South Mountain, and produced by my good friend, colleague, and fellow blogger, Mannie Gentile. Narrated by yours truly, the video is a quick three+ minute promo for The Battle of South Mountain, which was published this past February by the History Press.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

PROFILES: Private Charles Abel T. St.Clair, Co. A. Killed On This Date In 1864

A proud Private Charles A.T. St.Clair stands for his photograph before setting off for war.

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Charles St. Clair was just sixteen years of age when the American Civil War broke out that fateful spring of 1861. Too young to enlist that year, St.Clair very proudly tendered his services in February of 1864, when the 48th Pennsylvania was back home, in Schuylkill County, on a six-week furlough. The regiment's seriously depleted ranks were bolstered by the addition of hundreds of new recruits, including the now nineteen-year-old St. Clair, who entered as a private in Company A. A resident of the southern Schuylkill County area, near Port Clinton, St.Clair listed his occupation simply as "Laborer." At 4'11", he was one of the shortest members of the regiment, but his height certainly did not deter him from wielding a musket in combat. Having bid farewell to his friends and family left behind, St. Clair traveled to Annapolis, where they regiment rendezvoused before setting out with the rest of the Ninth Army Corps to link up with General George Meade's Army of the Potomac.

What followed was some of the heaviest, most sustained fighting of the Civil War. During the ten days between May 5 and May 15, 1864, the 48th Pennsylvania lost no less than 33 men killed or mortally wounded, 99 wounded, and 11 captured or missing, in action at the Wilderness and during the bloodletting that was Spotsylvania. On May 12, the regiment suffered its highest number of men lost on any single day of the war, save for August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run.

Among the killed in action was Private St. Clair of Company A. As with his fellow comrades who were also killed that brutal day, the remains of the young man were buried near where he fell.

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48th Pennsylvania Casualties at The Wilderness & Spotsylvania:


Killed/Mortally Wounded (31)

Louis M. Robinhold, Company A, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Isaac Otto, Company A, 5/12, Spotsylvania
John J. Huntzinger, Company A, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Abel C.T. St. Clair, Company A, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Sgt. William Kissinger, Company B, 5/12, Spotsylvania (Died 5/24)
Cpl. David J. Davis, Company B, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Matthew Hume, Company B, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Frederick Knittle, Company B, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Laurentus C. Moyer, Company B, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Daniel Wary, Company B, 5/12, Spotsylvania
John Deitz, Company B, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Daniel Brown, Company C, 5/6, The Wilderness
Michael Mohan, Company C, 5/12, Spotsylvania (Died 5/20)
Jonathan Kauffman, Company D, 5/6, The Wilderness
Lawrence Farrell, Company E, 5/6, The Wilderness
Cpl. John Powell, Company F, 5/12, Spotsylvania (Died 5/26)
Israel Manning, Company F, 5/12, Spotsylvania
David F. Thiel, Company F, 5/6, The Wilderness
John Morrissey, Company F, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Lewis Woods, Company F, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Richard Williams, Company F, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Andrew Wessman, Company F, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Lieutenant Henry C. Jackson, Company G, 5/12, Spotsylvania
James Spencer, Company G, 5/12, Spotsylvania (Died 5/31)
John Armstrong, Company G, 5/12, Spotsylvania (Died 7/1)
William Williams, Company G, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Abraham Benscoter, Company H, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Joseph Chester, Company H, 5/12, Spotsylvania (Died 5/24)
Benjamin McArdel, Company I, 5/6, The Wilderness
Henry J. Ege, Company I, 5/12, Spotsylvania
John W. Henn, Company K, 5/12, Spotsylvania

Wounded (99)

Company A:
*Sgt. Albert C. Huckey, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
*Cpl. Charles Brandenburg, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Knee
*Cpl. Jacob Honsberger, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Head (slight)
*Morgan Leiser, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
*Benjamin F.C. Dreibelbeis, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm (slight)
*Charles Hillegas, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Back
Company B:
*Sgt. Thomas B. Williams, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Concussion by Shell
*Gottleib Shauffler, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Wrist
*David Deitz, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Foot
*John Brown, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Head
*Henry Shoppell
Company C:
*2nd Lieutenant William Clark, 5/6, Wilderness, Left Hand (slight)
*Sgt. Jonas Geiger, 5/6, Wilderness, Leg
*William Neely, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Left Leg
*William J. Haines, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Side
*Murt Brennan, 5/12, Spotsylvania
*James Coakley, 5/12, Spotsylvania
Company D:
*2nd Lieutenant H.E. Stichter, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Back (slight)
*Sgt. Henry Rothenberger, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Shoulder
*Cpl. Edward Lenhart, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
*James Deitrick, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Thigh and Hand (severe)
*Botto Otto, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg, Arm, and Toe
*Perry L. Strausser, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Right Hand
*George S. Beisel, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg
*William F. Moyer, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Shoulder
*John Kohler, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Chin
*Jonas Miller, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
*Joseph Zeigler, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Shoulder
*Patrick Cooligan, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Head (slight)
*Andrew Knittle, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg
*Gustavus H. Miller, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg
*Henry D. Moyer, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Side
Company E:
*Sgt. John McElrath, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Head
*Cpl. Samuel Clemens, 5/6, Wilderness, Hand (slightly)
*Cpl. William J. Morgan
*James McLaughlin, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Right Army
*George W. Schaeffer, 5/12, Spotsylvania
*David Williams, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Foot (slightly)
*W. Simmons. 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
*G.W. James, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg
*W.C. James, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
*James Meighan, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Thumb
*Robert Penman, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
Company F:
*Sgt. Richard Hopkins, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Hand (slight)
*William E. Taylor, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Hand
*Anthony Carroll, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg
*William S. Wright, 5/12, Spotsylvania
*James Brennan, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Abdomen
*Henry Holsey, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg
*William H. Kohler, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Back
*John Eddy, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Head
*Jno. T. Reese, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
*John Crawford, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Head
*A.H. Whitman, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg
Company G:
*Sgt. R.M. Jones, Head (slight)
*Cpl. George Farne, Hand
*Patrick Cunningham
*John Becker, 5/6, Wilderness, Foot
*Adam Hendley, 5/6, Wilderness, Neck (slight)
*M. Berger, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Left Arm
*Clay W. Evans, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Hand
*Patrick Grant, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
*William Maurer, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Shoulder
*John Kautter, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Hand
*Patrick Savage, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
Company H:
*Samuel Fryberger, 5/6, Wilderness
*William Donnelly, 5/10, Ny River, Abdomen
*William Huber, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm
*Benjamin Koller, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm (slight)
*John Klineginna, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Eye
*Daniel Ohmacht, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Arm (slight)
*Albert Davis, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Thigh
*John Stevenson, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Groin
*Michael Melarkee, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Right Shoulder
*Daniel Cooke, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Foot
*John Cruikshank, 5/123, Spotsylvania, Hand
*Michael O’Brien
*Charles Focht
*John Olewine, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Hand
*Joseph Edwards, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Finger
*Thomas Palmer, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg
Company I:
*Sgt. Luke Swain, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Concussion of Shell, Arms & Legs
*Sgt. Jacob Ongstadt, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Head (slight)
*Cpl. D. Klase, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Thigh
*Cpl. Wesley Knittle, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Hip
*Charles Lindenmuth, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Face
*Francis Boner, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Leg
*Charles Washington Horn, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Both Legs and Hand
*M. Dooley, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Both Legs
*W. Tyson, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Concussion, Head
*Charles DeLong, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Hip
Company K:
*Cpl. George Weaver, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Breast
*David R. Dress
*Elias Fenstermaker, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Finger
*Thomas Fogarty, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Finger
*Henry Schulze, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Body
*Franklin Ely, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Foot
*Simon Hoffman, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Foot
*Andrew Webber, 5/12, Spotsylvania, Breast

Missing in Action (11)
*George Seibert, Company C
*Edward Ebert, Company D
*John D. Weikel, Company D
*William Gottschall, Company E
*George Kramer, Company F
*Harrison Bright, Company H, Deserted, Returned 6/6/64
*Michael Scott, Company H
*Lewis Aurand, Company H, Deserted, Returned 6/6/64
*James Wentzell, Company H
*W.B. Beyerle, Company I
*W.B. Shearer, Company I

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Help Restore The 50th Pennsylvania Monument At Antietam!

The 50th PA Monument at Antietam

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Lizzy Bianchi is a student at Honesdale High School in northeastern Pennsylvania with a great interest in the American Civil War. Last summer, while touring the Antietam Battlefield, Lizzy told her guide, Bill Sagle, that she would love to do something to help preserve the battlefield for her senior project. Bill directed her question to me, and I had just the project for her. Only a few days prior to Lizzy's visit, my colleague Brian Baracz showed me photographs of the unveiling/dedication of the 50th Pennsylvania Monument, featuring a bronze, 7'4" statue of Colonel Benjamin Christ who organized and first led the regiment and who, at Antietam, commanded the First Brigade in Orlando Willcox's Second Division, Ninth Army Corps. The photographs revealed that when first unveiled, there was a hilt (handle) on Colonel Christ's sword. That hilt is no longer there.

But Lizzy is now determined to replace it.

I suggested the idea to her and she hit the ground running. The 50th Pennsylvania was formed in the summer of 1861 with volunteers from several Pennsylvania counties. Two companies--A & C--came from Schuylkill County, as did Colonel Christ, a native of Minersville. Since other volunteers came from Lizzy's home area, she feels more of a special attachment to the regiment. . .and to this endeavor.

I placed Lizzy in touch with artist and Civil War historian Michael Kraus who last year did such excellent, excellent work in sculpting the replacement sword for the 48th Pennsylvania monument, and Mike has agreed to work on this project as well.

We are very fortunate to have someone like Lizzy undertake a project like this, especially in someone so young and so passionate about the study and preservation of history.

Reward her efforts and help her achieve her goal by donating today. Any amount, no matter how large or small, will help. Mike Kraus has estimated a total cost for this project of $3,000. Lizzy has another year to make this project a reality and I encourage all of you to show her how much her efforts are appreciated by donating today.

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To donate, send a check or money order to Lizzy Bianchi and in the subject line, write "50th Pennsylvania Monument." Send to:

Lizzy Bianchi

50th Pennsylvania Monument Restoration

32 Middle Creek Road

Lake Ariel, PA 18436

This Photograph Shows the Missing Hilt from the sheathed sword of Colonel Benjamin Christ. Let's return it!