Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Soldiers of the 48th: Five Quick Profiles. . .

Since I began this blog dedicated to the 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in November 2006, I've written a good number of posts entitled "PROFILES," with each one focusing on the life of a particular soldier. Most of these Profiles pieces, however, have focused on the regiment's commissioned officers, and when I first launched this site I said that I wanted to focus on both the officers AND the enlisted men equally. Looking back through my Archives, it seems that I have paid more attention to those who wore the shoulder bars of colonel, major, captain, or lieutenant. Of course, because there is usually a great deal more information readily available on the officers, it has been easier for me to focus on them when doing a Profiles piece. But today, I randomly selected five soldiers who served in the 48th PA who did not advance into the ranks of the commissioned officers. Each one, however, does have a fascinating story to tell, and each one, of course, was equally as brave as the regiment's highest ranking officers.

* * * * * * * * * * Sergeant Daniel Donne, Company G
Donne enlisted in September 1861 into Company G, 48th PA. He stood 5'9" in height, had blue eyes and light hair. His occupation was listed as "Roller," and his hometown was Mechanicsburg, PA. Donne served throughout the four years of the war, advancing to the rank of sergeant, and was mustered out as a "Veteran" on July 17, 1865.

Corporal Alexander Govan, Company G
Alexander Govan, an engineer from Palo Alto, Pennsylvania, was just 18 years old when he enlisted as a private in Company G, 48th PA Volunteers. After surviving the battles of 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania, Govan, who had been promoted to corporal, was killed in action at the battle of Cold Harbor on June 3, 1864.

Private David Griffiths, Company F
David Griffiths left his job as a coal miner in the summer of 1861 and enlisted as a private in Company F, 48th PA, a company recruited largely from the aptly-named coal mining community of Minersville. He was shot through the chest and severely wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, but was able to return to the regiment. He was mustered out as a "Veteran" in July 1865.

Private Daniel Ohnmacht
When he enlisted as a private in February 1864, Daniel Ohnmacht was just eighteen years of age. He stood just over 5'2" in height, and was employed as a shoemaker who resided in Pottsville. He was mustered out of service in July 1865.

Sergeant Theodore Pletz, Company I
Twenty-four-year-old Theodore Pletz, a tailor from the small town of Middleport, was mustered in as a corporal in Company I, 48th PA in the summer of 1861. He was wounded and listed as Missing In Action at the 2nd Battle of Bull Run in August 1862. Pletz did find his way back to the regiment, and was mustered out as a "Veteran" in the summer of 1865.
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As I continue to update this blog every week or so, I hope to continue telling the story of the 48th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry one soldier, and one post at a time. . .
If anyone has photographs of soldiers who served in the 48th PA and would like to share, and perhaps see them featured in an upcoming "Profiles" piece, please send me a line. . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear John,

I am thrilled to have found your blog. Your featured a story on Alexander Govan of the 48th was astonishing to me. I am the great-granddaughter of his sister, Helen(Ellen on the census records), and an avid genealogist. To see a photo was even more incredible, as I have only 3 photos of Helen's daughter, my grandmother, let alone anyone of Helen's generation. May I ask where you found this photo? I would like to investigate it further. I can not say thank you enough for your work; to find even a piece of my family's history on a site like this is beyond wonderful. I am located in CT, and though your site is dedicated to the 48th PA, if ever there was something you needed in CT, please feel free to email me at Again, my sincerest thanks and grateful appreciation for sharing your knowledge of the 48th.