Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Simon Gratz and the Virginius Affair

| January 2, 2016

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, […]

The Kauffman Brothers of Minersville

| October 15, 2014

Two brothers, Jonas Harrison Kauffman (1840-1930) and Luther Samuel Kauffman (1846-1938), both associated with Minersville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, saw service in the Civil War and following the war had successful professional careers, the older brother as a physician and the younger brother as an attorney.  Jonas H. Kauffman has also been named in two sources […]

Hanukkah and the Gratz Family

| December 21, 2011

The blog, Rebecca Gratz and 19th Century America, by Susan Sklaroff, has been previously mentioned on this blog and on this day that begins Hanukkah 2011, readers are directed to three past posts on Susan Sklaroff’s blog which deal with subject of Hanukkah. From her blog header, Susan Sklaroff states: Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869), a Philadelphia […]

Jewish-American U.S. Civil War Veterans

| April 19, 2011

  The number of Jews who served in Civil War military units is in some dispute, but most authorities contend that it was somewhere around 10,000 soldiers and sailors.  Several attempts have been made to identify specific veterans with the first comprehensive study published in 1895.  That 1895 study by Simon Wolf named 7038 veterans […]

The Execution of Deserters and an All-Denominational Funeral

| March 27, 2011

On 29 August 1863, in front of about twenty-five thousand witnesses including the soldiers of the 5th Army Corps, five deserters were executed near Washington, D.C.  It was not unusual for deserters to be executed during the Civil War.  What was unusual about this execution was that one of the soldiers was of the Jewish […]