Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Old Soldiers Ousted from Pottsville Armory

Posted By on November 28, 2010

Imagine how many times this must have happened throughout the country?  “State officials… oust… Gowen Post G.A.R. from its headquarters in State Armory.  The Civil War veterans, who have extensive relics and records have no place to go….  The room occupied by the veterans is needed by the two military units just organized and there is no alternative but to order the old soldiers to vacate.”

By 1922, Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Posts gradually lost both their political and patriotic clout as the veterans died and situations such as the above were bound to occur.   In the greater Lykens Valley area this must have happened as well – I am reminded that Pottsville is just to the east of Tremont, the eastern corner of the triangle of this Civil War Project.  What happened to the extensive collection of relics that surely must have been part of these chapters?  What happened to the records?  Were they taken over by other veterans groups?  Were they kept in veterans private homes and unknowingly discarded by their children or others who had no idea of their historical worth?

The following is a list of G.A.R. Posts in and around our geographic area of study.  If anyone knows what has happened to the “relics and records” of these posts, a response would be appreciated:

#17 – Minersville – Cpt. George J. Lawrence Post,  #23 – Pottsville – Gowen Post.  #26 – Schuylkill Haven – Jere Holmes Post.  #29 – Cressona – Dentzer Post.  #43 – Ashland – Joe Hooker Post.  #37 – St. Clair – John Ennis Post.  #58 – Harrisburg – J. F. Hartranft Post.  #78 – Middletown – Gen. Simon Cameron Post.  #78 – Middletown – William Starr Post.  #92 – Mount Carmel – Burnside Post.  #110 – Mahoney City – Severn Post.  #116 – Harrisburg – Col. Seneca G. Simmons Post.  #121 – Girardville – Maj. Jennings Post.  #129 – Milton – Henry Wilson Post.  #136 – Tremont – Lt. W. D. Williams Post.  #140 – Shamokin – Lincoln Post.  #144 – Port Carbon – Allison Brothers Post.  #146 – Shenandoah – Watkins Waters Post.  #174 – Tower City – William Thompson Post.  #185 – Georgetown – Col. James Cameron Post.  #189 – Tamaqua – Gen Doubleday Post.  #203 – Pine Grove – Wolf Post.  #212 – Millersburg – Kilpatrick Post.  #217 – Easton – Lafayette Post.  #225 – Watsonville – Bryson Post.  #232 – Lykens – Heilner Post.  #280 – Williamstown – Chester Post.  #335 – Sunbury – Lt. William A. Bruner Post.  #350 – Northumberland – Cpt. James Taggart Post.  #351 – Steelton – Sgt. Samuel W. Lascomb Post.  #376 – Gratz – Kissinger Post.  #393 – Fisherville – B. F. Miller Post.  #443 – Hummelstown – Cpt. J. Henderson Post.  #443 – Reedsville – Kishacoquillas Post.  #485 – Frackville – John S. Meredith Post.  #520 – Harrisburg – David R. Stephens Post.  #523 – Halifax – Gen. H. W. Slocum Post.

Does anyone know if the Pottsville veterans were actually ousted?  If so, did they find a place to go?

Future posts will discuss the Civil War Monument in Millersburg, the G.A.R. Building in Lykens, and the Civil War Monument in Lykens.


4 Responses to “Old Soldiers Ousted from Pottsville Armory”

  1. Betty Wolfe says:

    RE: Post #485 – Frackville, PA.

    My husbands’ great-great-grandfather was Jacob Pauly – a local hero of the civil war.

    The article in a Lorraine Stanton column dated 4 Jun 1976 is all about Jacob Pauly and his family. In it she states that there was a book written about the war that included info on Jacob Pauly. The book was first presented to Post 485. The Post then presented it to the Frackville schools and kept in the office of W.R. Trautman and is now in the collection of the Frackville Public Library.

    I just called the library this morning and they couldn’t find it. The library has changed locations since the book was presented so we don’t know if it was lost, destroyed, or just incorrectly shelved. We plan on taking a trip up to the library one of these days and look for ourselves.

  2. Rory Morgan says:

    A belated response to your question from November 2010 regarding various GAR post records. I can help with one – Lafayette Post 217 in Easton lost all of its records and memorabilia in a fire on March 5, 1912. A small cannon is all that remained and is in the Sigal Museum of the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society. A large cannon was acquired by the Post around 1896 and is in Easton Cemetery, marking the GAR section.

  3. Joseph R. Foster says:

    I am a member of Antietam Camp #, SUV, Frederick, MD. Former resident of Orwin, PA. I’m doing research on GAR Post 174, Tower City, PA. and would like to know where the GAR Hall was located in TC.

    I also will do some research regarding the place and reason of death for William Thompson, died Frederick, MD 12-18-62.

  4. Thanks very much for posting this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer. I am very interested in the history of GAR Gowen Post #23 of Pottsville and the whereabouts of any its records that might be remaining. I will let you know if I find any further information. Thanks very much for the work you are doing to preserve Pennsylvania Civil War history.

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