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Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

The Suicide of Ben Urich – Veteran of the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry

The following story is from the Harrisburg Patriot of 22 June 1903. It describes the suicide of Civil War veteran Benjamin Urich who served in the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Private. ——————————- BEN URICH DIED BY HIS OWN HAND Familiar Character Cut His Throat at Daylight Yesterday TORE WOUND WITH HIS HAND […]

John Orth – German Immigrant in the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry

In 1910, John Orth, an immigrant from Germany, was living in the household of his son, Jacob A. Orth, in Lebanon, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.  At that time, John, a widower, was living on his Civil War pension, which was referred to in the census as “own income.”  The son was a bookkeeper and the household […]

Jacob Keener Jr. – Lykens Resident, Moved to Kansas

Jacob Keener, son of Jacob Keener (1823-1902) and Barbara [Weltmer] Keener (1822-1901) enrolled in the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Private, in Harrisburg, on 7 August 1862.  He gave his age as 19, his occupation as farmer, and his residence as Lykens.  He is one of many Civil War veterans who at one […]

Simon Gratz and the Virginius Affair

This is another story about Simon Gratz (1842-1923), the son of Theodore Gratz (first mayor of Gratz, Pennsylvania), and the grandson of the Simon Gratz who is credited with laying out the town of Gratz and for whom the borough is presently named.  Although Simon Gratz was born in Harrisburg, the family moved to Gratz, […]

Simon Gratz and the Spy Capture Incident South of Harrisburg, July 1863

Three Harrisburg Men Capture Confederate Spy in the River Col. Demming and Simon Gratz Who Caught “Rebel” Will Meet on Fiftieth Anniversary of Event According to Samuel Bates, an incident occurred on the Susquehanna River, south of Harrisburg, on 2 July 1863, while the Battle of Gettysburg was taking place, in which three Union men […]