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Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Scull Found in 1912 – An African American Who Died at Camp Curtin?

| December 6, 2014

A brief story found in the 5 June 1912 edition of the Harrisburg Patriot told of the finding of a scull along the Susquehanna River bank at Maclay Streets.  No follow-up story was located where the identity, or race, of the individual was determined. The article harks back to a period when phrenology was believed […]

The Death of Isaac Umholtz at Five Forks, Virginia

| November 26, 2014

Isaac Umholtz of Gratz and Lykens Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, was only 17 years old when he enrolled in the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Private on 9 August 1862, although he claimed his age was 21.  His older brother Emanuel Umholtz stayed at home on the family farm helping the father, Samuel […]

Emanuel H. Umholtz – The Bell Tolls for Him

| November 13, 2014

On 16 September 1904, Emanuel H. Umholtz died in Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  His funeral was held a few days later at Simeon Church and he was buried in the church yard, now called Gratz Union Cemetery.  About two weeks earlier a new 649 pound bell, purchased from Buckeye Bell Foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio, had […]

George Spangler – 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry

| November 10, 2014

George Spangler, who late in life was a school janitor in Lykens Borough, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, died on 25 January 1921.  He was a Civil War veteran who served in the 2nd Company G of the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry. The obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot on 28 January 1921: CIVIL WAR VETERAN DIES AS […]

Rev. James A. Stokes – African American with the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry?

| September 17, 2014

In searching post-Civil War newspapers for information about reunions, encampments and obituaries of veterans of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, a surprising story was found in the Harrisburg Patriot of 1 February 1905: In Pastor’s Honor. Aa [sic] testimonial will be tendered to Rev. James A. Stokes by his daughter, Mrs. Clara Smith, on Friday evening, […]