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Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

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 […]

Was Simon Gratz a Civil War Veteran?

Simon Gratz (1837-1925), for whom Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia was named, was a son of Edward Gratz (1806-1850) and a grandson of Simon Gratz (1773-1839), the founder of Gratz, Pennsylvania.  Simon was born in Philadelphia and educated at the University of Pennsylvania; his lifetime career was as a member of the Pennsylvania Bar, […]

Women and the Civil War (Part 10)

Women and the Civil War” is an exhibit of photographs and stories of women who had family connections with soldiers of that war.  It was first displayed at the Gratz Fair in September 2013, where it received “first place” in a non-profit division.  Afterward, it was displayed in 2014 at the Williamtown-Williams Township Historical Society; […]

Where is Peter Crabb Buried?

Peter Crabb, one of the earliest settlers of Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, was an African American who was born in Pennsylvania about 1787.  He was the father of two known Civil War soldiers, John Peter Crabb and Edward Crabb, both previously profiled here.  At the present time, there are two working theories on where Peter […]