Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Gratz During the Civil War – Cemeteries (Part 1)

Posted By on February 7, 2012

Proceed north on Centre Street (downhill) – called “Chestnut Street” on the map shown below –  to the Gratz Union Cemetery which is located on the west side of the street and surrounds Simeon United Lutheran Church.  In the days of the Civil War, three separate burial areas were designated – one for the Evangelical Church, one for the German Reformed Church, and one for the Lutheran Church.  The church located here was a “Union” church and housed the Lutheran and German Reformed congregations.  The Samuel’s Evangelical Church was located on Market Street and was the subject of a previous post in this “Walking Tour Series.”  This is the 33rd post in the series and will consist of four parts.  Each part will note the Civil War burials in the current sections of the Gratz Union Cemetery, without reference to their religious affiliation.  In some cases, the religious distinctions were blurred and congregants were not necessarily buried in the appropriate section of their church membership.

The earliest known picture of the cemetery is from 1883 and is shown below:

Around the time of World War II, the veterans of the area drew cemetery maps to show the location of each of the Civil War graves in the cemetery.  The maps were used to designate where flags were to be placed on Memorial day and Veterans’ Day.

Click on image to enlarge.

A key was provided to identify who was buried in each numbered grave:

Not all the graves noted by the veterans were from the Civil War period and not all the Civil War graves in the cemetery are noted on the map.  The omissions may be due to the family not wishing military association for their loved one or the veteran himself may have hidden the fact that he was a veteran.  There were various reasons why this was done including a religious opposition to war or because the person was a deserter.

For the purpose of this cemetery guide, only the graves that were noted by the veterans’ organization will be included at this time.  Additional names can be added later when military service can be confirmed.

Starting at the southernmost section of the cemetery, and working back from the road, the current section and row number is given followed by the name of the veteran and some basic information.  For some of the veterans, a prior post will give more information, but for many, information is still being sought including pictures, copies of the military and pension records, and genealogies.


1. John W. Fowler (1835-1892) – Row 2


2. Joseph Gise (1834-1908) – Row 9


3. Josiah Riegle (1829-1886) – Row 1


4. John Peter Kissinger (1844-1863) – Row 1


5. Emanuel Smith (1836-1880) – Row 10


6. John B. Guise  (J. B. Gise)  (1840-1915) – Row 11


7. Henry Kauterman (1829-1887) – Row 11


8. Simon B. Blyler (1822-1897) – Row 13


9. John Loudenslager (John Joseph Laudenslager) (1823-1895) – Row 14


10. Jacob Shiro (1843-1920) – Row 19


11. Error in Marking – No Grave


12. Error in Marking – No Grave



This post will continue tomorrow (Part 2) and conclude on Friday (Part 3) and Saturday (Part 4) of this week.




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