Sunday, February 22, 2015

The 48th/150th: The Regiment's New Commander, Colonel George Washington Gowen

150 years ago. . .the soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania continued to wait out the winter while in their trenches and bombproofs outside of Petersburg, spending their time and passing the monotonous days of winter as best they could while inside Fort Hell and doing their best to simply stay alive as the air continued to be filled with the whizzing Minie balls and deep boom of artillery fire. 

A Pre-war Image of George W. Gowen 
By this time, the soldiers had had ample time to become even more acquainted with their new commanding officer, Colonel George Washington Gowen. A capable and hard-fighting officer, Gowen had entered the regiment back in September 1861 as the First Lieutenant of Company C, serving directly underneath his friend and fellow engineer Henry Pleasants who was initially the commanding officer of C Company. Company C was recruited largely from Pottsville and its immediate environs, including Heckschersville and Cass Township, the scene of rising and increasingly violent labor demonstrations that the mine owners would deem anti-war activity and which the newspapers would blame on the Molly Maguires. As Pleasants advanced in rank as the war years ticked by, so, too, did Gowen, and by the time the 48th arrived opposite Petersburg in June 1864, Pleasants was Lieutenant Colonel, in command of a brigade, while Gowen held the rank of Captain, in command of Company C. Like Pleasants, Gowen was a gifted civil mining engineer and he would be among the first to hear of Pleasants's plan to dig under Elliot's Salient in June 1864. According to one account, Pleasants, after overhearing one of Gowen's men remark that they could blow the Confederate fort out of existence if only they could tunnel under it, discussed the idea first with Gowen, who agreed that it could be done. When Pleasants's term of service expired in mid-December 1864, Gowen assumed command of the 48th. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel on December 20, 1864, while promotion to full colonel came on March 1, 1865. 


Gowen was young--just twenty-four years of age--when he took command of the 48th. Born in 1840 in Philadelphia, Gowen was a first-generation American although he was born into an exceptionally rich and well-to-do family. His father, James Gowen, was a native County Tyrone, Ireland, who, in 1811 at age 21, immigrated to the United States, making his home in Philadelphia. There, he prospered as a shipping merchant, grocer, wine merchant, and, finally, cattle breeder. He was also a member of the city council. In 1827, thirty-seven-year-old James Gowen married Mary Miller, who was just nineteen years of age at the time of her wedding and herself from a prosperous, well-to-do Germantown family. Over the next twenty-two years, Mary would give birth of nine children, the first--Alfred Gowen--being born in 1828, and the last--Emily Gowen--born in 1850. George Washington Gowen came along in 1840. And as Mary raised her family, James Gowen was making quite a large fortune. Indeed, according to the 1860 Census, James Gowen's estate was valued at $100,000. 

By then, George Washington Gowen had left home to make it on his own. He had received a good education and had attended private school in Mt. Airy and by 1860 he, along with his older brother Benjamin Franklin Gowen--a controversial figure who would later serve as lead prosecutor of the Molly Maguires--had left the Philadelphia area and settled in Pottsville, the seat of Schuylkill County. There Benjamin would thrive as an attorney and George as a civil engineer. In the summer of 1861, Gowen decided to volunteer his services and in September, he was mustered into service as 1st Lieutenant, Company C, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Gowen in Uniform
[From Gould: The Story of the Forty-Eighth] 
He took well to the life of a soldier, though he frequently pined for a commission in the Regular Army or for an assignment as a staff officer. While the regiment was encamped at Hatteras in late 1861, Gowen so impressed General Thomas Williams that he named the young officer Provost Marshal of the island. Then, in early 1862, Gowen was detached from the 48th and given a commission in Battery C, 1st U.S. Artillery and, with this battery, he fought admirably in the battles of Newbern and Fort Macon. He returned to the 48th in the summer of 1862 as the Acting Regimental Adjutant and in this position "won the esteem of the entire Regiment, both officers and men, by his gentlemanly deportment," or so said Schuylkill County newspaperman Francis Wallace in 1865.  In September 1862, Gowen returned to his old Company C and became its Captain. Company C was rather notorious in the 48th as a company of troublemakers, a hard lot to manage but Gowen seems to have done well. According to Wallace, Gowen "entered upon its duties with a seeming fore-knowledge of their nature.--Keeping his Company under an excellent state of discipline--always rigorously just and yet kindly foreboding, he could not but win the love of his men." Perhaps. . .but as is clear from an early October 1862 letter Gowen wrote to a friend, he wanted out of the regiment: "I am getting along pretty well," said Gowen, "Yet I often feel that I could be situated more pleasantly and have regretted a thousand times that I did not get a position in the Regular Army a year ago. You cannot imagine the difference between the two branches of the service--the four months I spent with Co, "C" 1st Artillery were by far the pleasantest of the campaign--there are two or three very fine fellows in my Regiment [the 48th] but when that is said, all is said. A position on a Staff is my ambition, as it is of most young officers." The next year, when the regiment traveled west to Kentucky, Gowen was temporarily relieved from command of Company C in order to help construct Burnside's massive supply base at Camp Nelson. As a highly regarded engineer, Gowen also helped lay out a new military railroad that being run to Nicholasville. In this work, Gowen succeeded admirably and his wish would come true when he was appointed Assistant Chief Engineer on the staff of Major General Ambrose Burnside. Another prestigious staff assignment followed when, in the fall of 1863, he was made an Assistant Engineer on the staff of General Robert Potter, a position he held throughout the Knoxville Campaign. 

General Robert Potter & Staff
Gowen is standing sixth from left
[Library of Congress] 


It seems that Gowen was still holding a staff officer's assignment during the Overland Campaign of 1864, as an Aide-de-Camp to General John Parke. Wallace was effusive in his praise of Gowen's conduct during this bloody season of fighting in Virginia: "Shrinking from no danger, but ever ready, Capt. Gowen, in this campaign, won the highest praise. Ever on the alert--the first on the ground at an alarm--his untiring activity rendered him one of General Parke's most trusty agents and reliable assistants." For his conspicuous bravery at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Totopotomoy Creek, Cold Harbor and Petersburg, Gowen was brevetted first a major then a lieutenant colonel. Finally, in December 1864, when Henry Pleasants was discharged from service and sent home, George Gowen returned once more to the 48th, this time to take command of the regiment. His thoughts upon returning to the regiment are not known, but the men welcomed him back by presenting him with the gift of "most noble horse," and a full set of equipment. As commanding officer of the 48th, Gowen settled into his new assignment and readied himself and his men for the upcoming thaw and the commencement, once more, of hostilities. 





[My thanks to Annette Jackson, a volunteer at the Petersburg National Battlefield, for much of the biographical information on Gowen. Additional information was gathered from Francis Wallace's Memorial to the Patriotism of Schuylkill County, and from Joseph Gould's and Oliver Bosbyshell's regimental histories. The October 2, 1862, letter referenced above is held at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA]  

Friday, January 9, 2015

The 48th/150th: A New Year, Another Winter. . .And Still Inside Fort Hell

150 years ago, the soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania welcomed the New Year--1865--with but little fanfare or ceremony, though perhaps with a bit more optimism that this war would soon be over and that this just might be their last winter in uniform. To them, New Year's Day was just another day--another cold day--in the trenches outside of Petersburg. For the past few weeks they had made Fort Sedgwick their home, an earthen fortification better known as Fort Hell. It was there where they would spend that Holiday season. For those few men who had served with the regiment since its organization during that long-ago summer of 1861, it would be their fourth winter in the army; their fourth Christmas away from home. During the winter of '61-'62, the regiment was encamped on the sandy beaches of Hatteras Island, North Carolina. Next winter--'62-'63--found them one mile east of the banks of the Rapphannock River and opposite the torn and shattered town of Fredericksburg, in the midst of despair following the debacle there and the ignominious Mud march that followed. The winter of '63-'64, however, proved even worse, for it was it spent in the mountains of east Tennessee, in very cold temperatures and with snowfall, sleet and ice ever present. The men would call that winter their "Valley Forge Winter."









Inside Fort Hell
(Library of Congress)





Now, as 1864 turned to 1865, the soldiers of the 48th found themselves only a few hundred yards removed from their butternut and gray-clad adversaries. The siege at Petersburg had commenced more than six months earlier. How many of them were thinking that they should not have been there? That this war should have been long over by then? That they should have been enjoying the Holidays back at home? No doubt these thoughts crossed the minds of so many of the 48th's soldiers when thinking back to what they had accomplished the previous summer, in tunneling under the Confederate lines. What an opportunity. . .squandered. So, there they still were. With the success of Sherman further south and Sheridan in the Valley--and with the reelection of Lincoln in November--however, there may have been more optimism that winter, optimism that this war would soon wrap up. But when? How much longer would they have to endure this life--life in the trenches, a life on edge?  With the constant sniper fire and ever-present artillery rounds blasting overhead or burrowing deep into the trenches, any moment could be their last. . .


A Man Stands Outside A Bombproof Inside Fort Hell
(Library of Congress)








New Year's Day 1865 was quiet--eerily quiet; not a shot fired was all. Next day, however, the two sides renewed their murderous hostilities.  "On January 2," wrote regimental historian Joseph Gould, "we had a perfect shower of shells." When this fire commenced, the men of the 48th were being visited by those of the 96th Pennsylvania, another regiment recruited principally from Schuylkill County. Hopeful of renewing acquaintances or just spending time amongst old friends and neighbors, the Schuylkill County men instead found themselves having to race through the trenches, ducking for cover as the Confederate rounds exploded overhead. Sadly, not all made it through unscathed or even alive.


A number of the men from both regiments were wounded, while Corporal William Livingston of Company C, was killed. At the time, Livingston, along with Lt. James Clark, were in a bombproof when a sixty-four pound mortar shell passed directly through and detonated. Somehow Clark survived, though he was injured; Livingston--a laborer from Port Clinton, with blue eyes and brown hair, who had enlisted in the summer of 1861--was killed instantly, giving him the dubious distinction of being the first soldier of the 48th Pennsylvania to lose his life at the outset of that final year of the war. . . .

Monday, December 1, 2014

The 48th/150th: In Fort Hell

150 years ago, the dirt-covered and weary soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania were settling into a new 'camp,' as it were, taking up position in the fortification known as Fort Sedgwick but more often called--and more widely known--Fort Hell. Across the way--across the so-'no man's land' between the Union and Confederate trenches that the men had dubbed 'Purgatory,' and on the other side of the Jerusalem Plank Road--was Fort Mahone, or Fort Damnation, which was being held by equally ragged and weary Confederate soldiers who watched for any movement and kept things hot for the U.S. soldiers occupying Fort Hell. The 48th relieved Second Corps soldiers in the fort on November 29 and the Rebs wasted little time in welcoming them to their new quarters. Regimental historian Joseph Gould wrote that the ever-watchful Confederates "let loose to welcome our coming, to give us a house-warming. . . .They commenced early and quit late." Fort Hell itself, wrote Gould, "was a large and strongly-built structure, with bombproofs erected for the protection of the troops." These bombproofs were excavations in the ground, each seven to nine feet in depth, covered with heavy logs and tree boughs. Fort Hell did not leave a particularly strong impression on the men of the 48th, but as with everywhere else it seemed, they would grow accustomed to it. They had no other choice, really, for there, they would spend the winter of 1864-65. . .the last winter of the war.
 
Fort Hell, Petersburg
civilwarincolor
(http://civilwartalk.com/threads/fort-hell.93746/)
 
 
The distance between Fort Hell and Fort Mahone--which some called Fort Heaven--was only a few hundred yards; the picket lines on both sides were even closer--eighty yards, perhaps--and in some places soldiers in blue and gray struck a deal not to fire at each other during the day, but instead to resume it at nightfall. Gould recalled that between the opposing pickets, conversation and lively trading was kept up regularly.
 
 
Union Pickets in front of Fort Sedgwick
(Battles & Leaders)
 
 
Picket fire was one thing; shelling was another. Confederate batteries kept up a steady and sometimes deadly fire, with bombs fired by cannons and mortars plainly visible on clear days and clearly audible, especially the heavy "wobbling" sound the mortar rounds made as they traveled toward the Union camps. It did not take the men of the 48th long to discover that the bombproofs, although strongly constructed and useful as night, to sleep in, did little to stop a well-directed mortar round. Large ten-inch shells, said Gould, would cut right through the log-and-thatched roofs of the bombproofs "as a knife would penetrate butter." Watching and listening for these artillery rounds became something of a past-time for the 48th that winter. They grew accustomed to it, although there were several instances of the rounds hitting their mark.
 

Fort Sedgwick--better known as Fort Hell--was one of the most dangerous places in the lines around Petersburg. . .
. . . it was also one of the most photographed forts.
 
 
The days passed with but little activity. The men yearning, no doubt, to return home and spend the Holidays there, with their loved ones, instead of in the cold and water-filled trenches outside Petersburg, as temperatures only continued to drop as the weeks went by. They kept up-to-date with all the news and gossip; they had already cheered the news of Lincoln's reelection in November and, that December, would celebrate Sherman's successes in Georgia. But the thought foremost in their minds was when, when would this thing be over, when could they go back home, with peace struck and the nation restored. Far too many would never find out. There would still be fighting ahead, with the onset of spring and the commencement of a new, grand offensive. But that was still many months away. All the men could do was wait. . .and pray that their lives would be spared from those incessant mortars and incoming artillery rounds. Not all were so lucky. December 19 was a day on unusually "hard shelling" and one of the mortar rounds struck squarely into one of Company D's bombproofs, wounding a number of  men including young George Hartz, who succumbed the following day. Nine days later, another ten-inch mortar shell injured ten men belonging the Company K and fatally wounded Corporal John Dentzer. Another man, twenty-eight-year-old Corporal William Livingston of Company C, a laborer from Port Clinton, would be claimed just after the New Year, on January 2, 1865.
 
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
 



Image Courtesy of the Dentzer Family
Corporal John Dentzer was twenty-seven-years old when he enlisted into the ranks of Company K, 48th Pennsylvania, in January 1863. He stood 5'4" in height, with a Dark Complexion, Grey Eyes, and Dark Hair. His occupation was listed as "Seaman" and he and his brothers were first-generation Americans, whose father had immigrated to the United States, making a home in Cressona. In September 1862, John's older brother George was killed in action at Antietam.
 
Today, Brothers George and John Dentzer lie buried side-
by-side at the Cressona Cemetery.
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
Private George Hartz
(Patriotic Order Sons of America)
 
George Hartz was one of the youngest soldiers in the 48th Pennsylvania, having enlisted on April 30, 1862, at the age of sixteen. He was a student who stood 5'6" in height, with a Sandy Complexion, Grey Eyes, and Sandy Hair. Sadly, young, baby-faced George Hartz was mortally wounded in late December 1864 when a mortar round exploded in his bombproof inside Fort Hell. 
 

The Grave of Young George Hartz
Bickel's Cemetery, Ashland, PA.
(findagrave.com)
 

Friday, November 14, 2014

The 48th/150th: "Another Season of Quiet Fell On The Troops:" October-November 1864

There is surprisingly little written or known about the actions of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry during the Fall of 1864 and Winter of 1864-1865, and perhaps this is because the regiment was largely inactive during this period. There were no great campaigns or sanguinary battles; instead, the war-weary and mud-covered soldiers remained hunkered down in the trenches surrounding Petersburg, doing their best to deflect the boredom and monotony, and doing their best to avoid the incoming shells and Confederate sharpshooters' bullets.
 
Harpers' Weekly Depiction of Life in the Petersburg Trenches
 
 
On the final day of September, 1864, the 48th participated in the Battle of Peebles's Farm and, for its efforts, lost 55 casualties. Most of these losses--a total of 43 men--were taken prisoner and were, by now, enduring the hell that was life in a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp at Salisbury Prison. Sixteen would perish during the captivity. Their story was told in the previous post.
 
The men who made it safely through the action at Peebles's Farm returned to their place in the trenches and to the realities of this new kind of trench warfare. Most of October passed quietly, with the men strengthening their fortifications and keeping a leery eye on the Confederate troops just across that no-man's-land between the lines.  At the end of the month, the regiment participated in the demonstration against the Boynton Plank Road but only in a supporting capacity. Following this, "Another season of quiet fell on the troops," said Oliver Bosbyshell.
 
It was during this time that the regiment bid adieu to those officers and men who, earlier that year, chose not to re-up or re-enlist and with the expiration of their original three-year term of service, these men received their honorable discharges and headed home, their soldiering days were over. Those who remained in the service no doubt longed and wished for the day when they, too, would be making that long journey back to their families and friends in Schuylkill County. The big topic of debate was "when" this joyful day would arrive. On November 18, the regiment held a mock election. Ten days earlier, Lincoln had secured re-election, triumphing over Democratic challenger George McClellan. Lincoln would have won again if they counted the 48th's votes; Lincoln scored 200 votes; McClellan received 30. With Lincoln's victory, many on both sides were now fully convinced that it was only a matter of time before the Confederacy foundered and folded and threw down its arms. Deserters in ragged uniforms of gray and butternut continued to flock into Union lines and, as Joseph Gould, wrote, "They were a sad looking lot, their appearance indicated the hollow condition of the rebellion. They all expressed views that proved to the hopelessness of their cause and were glad to quit."
 
Yet there were also many boys in blue who sought escape from life in the army; several of those who were caught were paraded in front of the men, who had been drawn up in line, and publicly executed. On October 14, for example, Charles Merlin of the 2nd Maryland Infantry met his end at the hands of a firing squad. The soldiers of the 48th were ordered up to witness this sad spectacle, this tragic pageant. Gould remembered it vividly in his regimental history: "The division was formed in an open square and, at nine o'clock in the morning, the prisoner was brought from his place of confinement, accompanied by the Chaplain. A band led the procession, playing a funeral march. In the rear of the band was a file of guards, then the prisoner, then four men bearing his coffin, and after the coffin, another file of guards. The procession marched all around the inside of the square to the open end, where the grave had been dug. Here the band was dismissed, the coffin placed near the open grave, and the prisoner then listened to the charges, findings and sentence read to him by the provost marshal. He was then left with the Chaplain, who seated him upon his coffin, bandaged his eyes, prayed with him, shook him by the hand and walked to the head of the square. A detail of twelve men with eleven muskets, loaded with ball, and one with blank cartridge, were drawn up within twenty-five paces of the victim. . . .The muskets were loaded by a sergeant and distributed to the men. . . .At the word "fire" from the officer in charge of the squad, the poor fellow fell back upon his coffin, riddled with the bullets of his comrades. The division was then marched by the body, whilst it still lay upon the coffin, and it was a pitiful sight to witness."
 
 
Execution of A Civil War Soldier
from Frank Leslie's The Soldier in our Civil War (1893)



 
 
The Rest of The Army Reviews the Corpse
from Frank Leslie's The Solider in our Civil War (1893)
 
 
 
Pitiful, indeed, and intended to send a message to the rest of the men who may have been contemplating desertion. It did not seem to work, though, for as Gould recorded, three days later, six men of 6th New Hampshire deserted. One month later, in mid-December, the 48th was once again drawn up to witness more executions, this time, though, it was via hanging and not firing squad. Two soldiers from the 179th New York had been apprehended while attempting to desert and, once more, Gould described the macabre pageant: "A gallows had been erected near division headquarters, and the troops were all formed about it. The prisoners were marched past the division on to the gallows; one of the men coolly smoking a cigar. They were led on the trap; the findings and sentence read to them; black caps placed on their heads; and the drop fell. As the trap fell, on which they stood, their names, company and regiment, and the caused for which they were executed, were seen painted in bold letters, so that all could be plainly read. The execution was very artistically performed; and, after the division was marched past the suspended bodies, we were conducted to camp."
 
Such was life in this civil war . . . 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The 48th/150th: Captured At Peebles's Farm, Died In Salisbury Prison

Salisbury Prison, as depicted in this 1886 lithograph
(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)


150 years ago today, the 48th Pennsylvania lost 55 men in the Battle of Peebles's Farm. Four of these men were either killed or mortally wounded; eight others were wounded. The remaining 43 fell into Confederate hands as prisoners-of-war. Two years earlier, at the Battle of Second Manassas, 57 members of the regiment were captured but these men were soon after paroled, exchanged, and permitted to rejoin the ranks of the 48th. By 1864, however, the system of prisoner exchanges had broken down and now, these captured soldiers would be marched under armed guard to the rear, then placed aboard train cars for the long journey to a prisoner-of-war camp.  Most would be taken to Salisbury Prison, in Rowan County, North Carolina, an abandoned textile mill that had been converted into a prison. Designed to hold but 2,500 men, in early October, some 10,000 prisoners were packed and crammed into its sixteen acres, including most of the 48th Pennsylvania soldiers who had been captured at Peebles's Farm.  And it would be there where sixteen of these men would perish, victims, said regimental historian Joseph Gould, of "the inhuman treatment experienced by all Union prisoners in rebel prisons."
 
 
Corporal Michael Condron, Co. C
Died in Salisbury Prison, 11/30/1864
(John D. Hoptak Collection)
Underfed, undernourished and subjected to the overcrowded and filthy conditions, it would not takeJacob Hammer would be among the first of the 48th to die. Hammer, a native of Germany and a coal miner by profession, had entered the ranks of Company B, 48th PA, in late April 1864. He died less than seven months later, on November 12.  Private Charles Dintinger of Company C also lost his life in November, 1864, while confined in Salisbury. He, too, had just entered the ranks of the 48th several months earlier, though he was much younger than Hammer; just eighteen years of age. Corporal Michael Condron had been serving with the 48th since the regiment was first organized in the late summer of 1861, when at age twenty-two he became a member of Co. C. He stood 5'10" in height, had a Light Complexion, Blue Eyes, and Light Brown Hair; his occupation was listed as Laborer; his place of residence, like most others, Schuylkill County. Corporal Condron's life expired in Salisbury on November 30, 1864. Patrick Crowe was a nineteen-year-old red-headed laborer when he volunteered to serve in Company I, 48th Pennsylvania in March 1864. His confinement in Salisbury lasted six weeks; it ended with his death on November 19. Company F, of the 48th, would lose most of the men who perished within the walls of Salisbury. William Fulton, a thirty-nine-year old coal miner from Pottsville, died on February 12, 1865; Joseph Finley, born in Ireland in 1845, took up arms in defense of his native land and gave his life while serving it in January 1865.  Also lost from the ranks of Company F was eighteen-year-old William H. Kohler--a 5'2" hazel-eyed laborer from Pottsville--Elijah DeFrehn --a thirty-one-year-old, hazel-eyed laborer from Pottsville--and Private Michael Welsh, aged nineteen, who perished on February 2, 1865. Many of those who served in the 48th were of foreign birth, including many who gave their lives fighting in defense of the United States; several have already been mentioned. But also included among this number was nineteen-year-old Philip Heffron, a private in Company H, who had been born in Ireland but who, in April 1864, entered the ranks of the 48th. He died of starvation in Salisbury Prison, on November 25, 1864.  Edward Maginnes of Company E passed away a week before Heffron, on November 17. Maginnes was eighteen years of age when he volunteered in the spring of 1864; just a few months later, this young, 5'5" blue-eyed laborer was dead.  At 5'0" inches in height, Private Samuel Shollenberger was among the shortest soldiers in the regiment; no matter, though, for in February 1864, this eighteen-year-old carpenter volunteered to serve in Company A; he never returned back home, dying on January 16, 1865. 
long for Salisbury to claim its first victims. Thirty-six-year-old

All of these men, listed above, as having died while confined in Salisbury Prison were all, more than likely buried there in any one of the eighteen trenches that had been dug just southeast of the prison walls, each 240-feet in length. The dead were collected and buried rather unceremoniously there, without coffins, stacked one next to the other.

The Location of the Eighteen Trenches Were the Dead from Salisbury Were Buried
Today within the Salisbury National Cemetery
(http://salisburyprison.rowancounty.info/)

But there were four other soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania--at least four other soldiers--who died from the effects of confinement shortly after their release. This included Privates Joshua Reed and Nicholas Gross of Company G. Reed had entered the regiment in February 1862 and since then had been wounded at 2nd Bull Run and at Petersburg in June 1864. Captured at Peebles's Farm and confined at Salisbury, this thirty-year-old laborer from Barry Township died at his home in the spring of 1865. Gross, a thirty-eight-year-old watchmaker from Prussia, succumbed to chronic diarrhea shortly after his release and was buried in the Annapolis National Cemetery. 1st Sergeant Henry Graeff was eighteen years old and a student when he volunteered to serve in Company D, 48th in the summer of 1861. Confined at Salisbury, Graeff died in his Pottsville home on March 29, 1865 and was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery there. And, finally, there was Private Lewis Sterner, who, in May 1864, became a soldier in the ranks of Company A, 48th Pennsylvania. The 5'7 1/2", Light-Complexioned, Grey-Eyed, Brown-Haired laborer was released from confinement at Salisbury and returned to his Tamaqua home. He died there on April 11, 1865. Upon his tombstone it is recorded that young, twenty-two-year-old Sterner died "of the treatment received while in rebel prison."

The Possible Grave of Private Joshua Reed
Company G, 48th in Lavelle, Schuylkill County
(from findagrave.com)

* * * * * * * * * *


      
The Grave of Private Lewis Sterner
Odd Fellows' Cemetery, Tamaqua
(from findagrave.com)