|148th PVI Company C||
Members of the 148th visited Harrisburg March 19, 2016 to tour the Civil War Flag Museum, along with the 148th National and Regimental Flags, Flagstaffs, and Camp Curtin. There are Civil War historical markers ,and a statue of Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin at the site.
Just confirming the date of the Civil War Weekend on August 20th – 21st at Greenwood Furnace State Park!
Everything will be ready for you. Please just bring a smile and be ready to enjoy a fun, low key weekend doing our favorite hobby. Take Care and God Bless!!
Photo credit: Duane Harer, 148th PVI.Org
Contributed by Don "Red" Husler
Five years ago, friends and members of the 148th PVI, Sgt. Tom Good Cpl. Mark Bohn and Private Don Husler formed a motorcycle group called “Civil War Riders.” Our purpose at that time was to visit as many of the battlefields, towns and river and creek fords that the men of the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, part of the Army of the Potomac, walked through during their three year enlistment.
We originally formed the riders in the fall 2010. Our first three spring or fall rides were just the three original members. Then for the fourth ride four other members of the 148th joined us for an unusual late June ride: Tom’s wife Doreen, rides her own H-D, John Streno, Ed Glantz, and Captain Dave Felice joined in as we visited the Gettysburg Visitors Center and Cyclarama, Monocacy, Ball’s Bluff, Harper’s Ferry, Antietam. This was the shortest of all our rides.
The ride this year was to have been done last fall, before the end of the war events, to provide a little more clarity to those reenactments we were going to attend in the spring. That didn’t work out. Mark was injured on the job, and the ride was postponed until spring, when John had a heart attack. Again the trip was postponed until September, when John was released by the doctor. When that didn’t happen, we decided we had waited long enough. So the last weekend in October we mounted up at 3:00 AM Friday to meet at a preassigned location. At 4:00 AM we left in the cold darkness of the season for Petersburg, Virginia. This time again it was just the three ol’e timers, the original core group tough enough to weather the 36 degree temperature...
We traveled for about 2 ½ hours, before stopping for fuel and a bit of breakfast. Then it was back on the road again for another 3 hours. We would agree if you start to think, “you guys are crazy,” but we were sure having fun in our insanity. Riding staggered, and at a steady speed, we made very good time. At times we stopped for a side trip to check out sites we had not yet seen. Trevilian Station was the first stop, with barely a marker to indicate where it had once stood. Not much imagination was needed, as the tracks were still close by. This event occurred June 11, 1864. I will not tell you much about the battles, but instead encourage you to use your curiosity to research this yourself. Otherwise this narrative would become a book…
We finally arrived at Petersburg mid-afternoon, and stopped at the visitor’s center. The last time we were at Petersburg, my legs were worn out, and I didn’t get to see the “Dictator.” This time I did; still in place where it had fired over 200 rounds into Petersburg’s defenses. This massive mortar fired a 215 pound “round-ball-of-hell” into the city, where it did little personal injury to the citizens. We rode by Fort Steadman, stopping again at the “Crater.” This is where the 48th PVI Pennsylvania coal miners dug a 511 foot tunnel to place four-tons of black power beneath the Confederates and blow their fort open. It was not enough, unfortunately. The Federals charged through its opening to find the fort only partially exposed. The end result on July 30th 1864 was a disaster that resulted in the loss of 5,000 men. Burnside was relieved of duty, which I believe encouraged the troops.
Ream’s Station was the next stop. The Federal army had destroyed nearly sixty miles of track from Weldon Station to this site. The significance of Ream’s Station is that our unit’s very own Colonel James Adams Beaver had just returned from convalescing his third wound, only to be wound again, just prior to returning to his regiment. It was here that a fellow Juniata County resident and Chief Bugler Ferdinand Rohm won the Medal of Honor for bravery by saving Beaver’s life, evacuating him from the field.
Darkness finally overcame us, completing the first day. A room, hot meal, and rest would restore us for the next day’s adventure.
The first stop on Saturday was Poplar Grove National Cemetery, located only a few miles outside Petersburg. We were excited to find graves of four 148th soldiers: J.M Strickel, site #4961, J. Shoffstall, site #1112, Leander Myers, site #288, and Henry Coonfare, site #3119. After paying respects, we shared our hope with the others that hopefully someday others will also visit their graves.
At this point we prepared to revisit the final week of the Civil War: April 1st 1865, Five Forks, April 2nd 1865, Amelia Court House, and April 3rd 1865, Sutherland Station.
Footnote: At Sutherland Station we rolled upon a ceremony by the “Sons of Confederate Veterans.” They replaced their second national colors, and then sang Dixie. They treated us with respect, as we did them. We explained where we were from, what we were doing, and then bid them fare thee well…
Though not always in order, we also would visit earlier battles, like Hatcher’s Run, February 5-7 1865, and White Oak engagement, March 31st 1865.
Finally, near Farmville, Virginia we walked across High Bridge. This 2,400 foot-long bridge was also 60 - 125 feet high. Although General Lee had ordered the bridge burned on April 6th 1865, it was not, thus permitting the Federal Army to pursue the Confederates. Had the bridge been burnt, the war may have drug on a bit longer.
Another evening of dinner and rest, before continuing the journey Sunday morning. This day we would visit several battlefields: April 5th 1865 , Battle of Jetersville, April 6th 1865, Sailor’s Creek/ Hillsman Farm, April 7th 1865 Cumberland Church, and countless other placards along the way.
As we approached the community of Appomattox Court House, and the final battles of the four-year civil war, we encountered some sites of a lighter nature. About four miles before Appomattox we saw a placard giving credit to a black man named Joel Walker Sweeney. It read: “1810-1860, he was the musician who redesigned the African banjo instrument into the modern five-stringed banjo known today. He toured the minstrel circuit performing with his brothers, Sam and Dick, from 1831-1860. During the war brother Sam Sweeney served as Major General J.E.B. Stuart’s personal banjo-picker, until he died during the winter of 1863-64.”
Finally at Appomattox, and its visitor’s center, we again made an exciting discovery. Of the thousands present at the surrender, two were from the 148th: Sgt. Henry Clay Campbell, Company “D,” and Corp. James K.P. Ward, from Company “C”. We stayed at the surrender site until about 2:00 PM, when we began our route home.
We rode 460 west, until reaching 43 north, then onto 220 west, on the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This was one of the most fun parts of the ride, as 220 snakes its way north through the mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and finally Pennsylvania. For nearly 200 miles we road this switch-back road up and down, around hairpin turns, observing some of the most beautiful fall colors ever seen. I do not know if it was the altitude, but they were brilliant. Near Barber, Virginia we first passed, then turned back to see the 200 foot drop of the Falling Springs Falls where it crashed onto the rocks below. Mark observed a placard on the other side of the road, where we discovered another unexpected surprise. The placard read, “Near this spot stood the rude hut in which ‘Mad Ann Bailey’ spent the last years of her life as a scout and Indian Fighter. She rendered valuable service to the settlers of this section. D.A.R.”
In conclusion, the rest of the way home we only stopped for fuel and to rest our butts from the hours of time in the saddle. When we finally got near our starting point we wished each other farewell and road the last few miles home in the darkness. I personal rode 1092.8 miles during this adventure and arrived home safe and sound around 10:55PM. Parked and unloaded my lady and Thanked Gert and my God for giving us such a wonderful and safe ride. The “War of the Great Rebellion” “The War between the States” “The War of Northern Aggression” is over. The 150th Anniversary of all these historic events have come to an end.
A life time dream of being a part of the lives of the men who actually fought the war has been an experience of a life time and the highlight to treasure in my memories. I am profoundly happy that I got to share it with two men I’ve grown to love as my brothers. We have worked, fought, eaten and slept together on many battle fields that most can only imagine. In the twenty years that I’ve been a Living Historian, Reenactor, Educator, and lifelong learner of the time that nearly tore our country asunder; I’ve fulfilled that desire to honor the nearly 780,000 men who fought and died for a cause they mostly believed in. Who can blame them for their bravery, their fortitude, and the sacrifice of everything they had; and gave their last full measure of devotion…
Contributed by Duane Harer
There are times when we need to follow our dreams without questioning them!
I would like to share with you, a dream I had, where I was walking through a graveyard. I didn’t know what graveyard I was in, or even know why I was there. I walked up to a tombstone that had gotten my attention and discovered that it was a grave of a civil war soldier from the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. When I woke Sunday morning this is all that I could remember about the dream.
It was the end of June and I had not been to church for some time, so I decided that I would go that morning. I always enjoy attending church and always feel better after attending.
Below is a picture of St. Mark’s church
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church is a beautiful, quaint country church located in Snydertown, Pennsylvania. This is the church where I was baptized and learned my Love of God. The Pastor of our church is Pastor Ruth Jensen who studied at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA. She is truly a messenger of God and well loved by all who know her. She also has an interest in civil war history
Knowing this, I decided that I would wear my civil war re-enacting uniform to church that morning, as I knew that she would like to see it again. I arrived at church a little late that morning and could hear the church organ already playing. I quietly went upstairs and got a seat in one of the pews. The large picture of Jesus at the front of the church was greeting me with the most genuinely kindest eyes, that I have ever seen.
During the sermon I usually have a chance to sit and reflect about what is being said and what is in my mind. I began to think about the dream again and remembered that there is graveyard across the road from our church. The only times that I had been in that graveyard was to visit the grave of William Rhine, a friend from my childhood, who was like a big brother to me. He died when he was nineteen years old.
By the end of church, I had made up my plans to explore that graveyard. I talked with Pastor Ruth on the way out of church and told her about the dream and where I was headed. She smiled and wished me luck.
Upon entering the graveyard, I noticed the open area where our original church once stood. I stopped for a moment at Bill’s grave to remember him and our friendship from so long ago. I walked to the top of the graveyard to pick a good starting point. Somehow, and I am not sure how, I stepped in front of this beautiful tombstone. On the tombstone it was inscribed:
Below is a picture of Henry Markle's tombstone
HENRY W. MARKLE
died at 1st Division 2nd Corps Hospital
near Brooke Va. June 7, 1863 from wounds
received at Chancellorsville May 3rd 1863
Aged 22 yr. 11 mo. 2 days
He belonged to Co. C 148th Reg. P.V.
No parents near him when he fell
No sisters vowed to cheer
He fell for country’s greatest pride
Her noble volunteer
This cruel war has struck the blow
That robbed us of our son
But now to war he’ll go no more
For victory he has won
It was with tearful eyes, when I finished reading the inscription, but I was happy to have found this soldier’s final resting place 152 years after he bravely gave his life for his country.
Company C of the 148th P.V.I. sustained 77% casualties at the Battle of Chancellorsville while taking on four confederate regiments.
On Tuesday, I told my mother this whole story and she informed me that if he was a Markle, then he probably was a relative. We went to her computer and looked at the family history that she had compiled of the Markles. When she found Henry, she turned to me and smiled saying, “ You have just found your Great-Great-Great Uncle! ” His brother Joseph H. Markle was our direct ancestor.
Below is a picture of Joseph H. Markle
On page 586, of the regimental history of the 148 Pennsylvania Volunteers you can find the names of Henry W. Markle and my Great-Great Grandfather Zachariah Truckenmiller enlisting in Robert M. Forster’s company at Bellefonte, PA on August 27th 1862. Both were wounded at Chancellorsville. One came home alive and one did not, but neither is forgotten!.
Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, as you never know where they might lead you!
God Bless all of the brave soldiers of then and of now!
It is very hard to convey all the emotions that I experienced at the 150th Appomattox Battle Reenactment but, I will do my best.
From the Second Bull Run 150th Battle Reenactment to the present time, I have done all that I could think of to bury myself in character as a civil war soldier truly experiencing the civil war. I would like to think that I reached a slight understanding of what it was truly like to be there.
On Saturday, at the Appomattox 150th Battle Reenactment event we were once again battling with our Confederate counterparts and I realized that this was the last major battle of the 150th year events. Never again would I face off against these same gentlemen who have given me all they have in their hearts sharing our love of civil war history. It was then, that I realized how much I was going to miss them and all that we experienced from each other over the past four years.
On Sunday, as we marched down the very same road as the original 148th P.V.I. Regiment did, I was very lucky to be carrying our Pennsylvania State Regimental Flag. The only other time I was lucky enough to carry our flag was at my very first event in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, in 2011 but anytime I carry our colors, it is always an honor. Just for a moment as our flag was flapping in the wind above my head and the drums and music enveloped my senses, I felt the goose pimples running down the back of my neck and found myself lost in the history of 150 years ago.
As we lined up on both sides of that same road, everything drew quiet as we heard the marching footsteps of the Confederates approaching. I stood face to face with the men in gray as they awaited the orders they prayed would never come. Looking into their sad faces my whole mood began to change as I thought about how those men must have felt 150 years ago. I thought about the humiliation those men must have felt and the loss of the sacrifices they had made over the last four years. At this point, all I could feel for our brothers in gray was empathy. If I had been there 150 years ago and they had trying to kill my friends and I for the last four years, I am sure I would have felt differently, but at this point in time, all I could feel was empathy.
If those original men in blue felt some sense of empathy for their enemies of 150 years ago, then I would dare to say that empathy was the spark that started the healing process to reunite our country.
Still standing there, I found that I could not even look into those sad faces and I began to ponder something new to me, that I never realized before. That is, we are all in this country and in this re-enactor hobby together and what affects them, affects me also. What hurts them, hurts me also. We share a love of history the compels us to live it as much as we can. When it came time to feed those men the ham and biscuits later, I knew that I would be extra nice to them.
The arms and accoutrements where stacked and the men in gray turned and marched down that same road and back to their lives.
Contributed by Duane Harer
Members of the 148th PVI participated in the dedication of a Civil War memorial honoring those who served from Juniata Couny. This event was held on May 16, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in Mifflintown, PA. This effort involved years of effort including those of 148th member Don "Red" Husler.
Memorial coordinates are: N 40° 34.219', W 77° 23.801'
Contributed by Ed Glantz
Photo by Doreen Good
Contributed by Ed Glantz
It is useful to practice "stack arms" to safely and securely store arms, while using the placement to remember where to reassemble following rest.
Use the location of four rifle heels shown in the illustration below to remember the order and location that the rifle heels are located. They are numbered here in the order they are added to the stack.
In addition, the 124th New York State Volunteers have created a very professional YouTube video demonstration of stacking arms located at: https://youtu.be/NBah7dVzIOw
Images from this video were used to create the "Stack Arms" PDF file linked below.
The weather was warm and wonderful March 21-22 in Bentonville, N.C., where we enjoyed digging trenches and reenacting historical battles with the "rebs."
On Sunday, the battles were fought in the same cotton fields where slaves had picked cotton 150 years earlier. These realizations give reenacting as a Union Civil War soldier a deep and meaningful feeling of the true implications of that war.
Contributed by Duane Harer
I, Duane Harer, am a reenactor that enjoys relating family history with civil war history.
In September of 2014, we took a vacation that permitted us to walk in the past through the civil war footsteps in my family’s history. Jacob Harer enlisted as a Union Army private in the 107th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (PVI), Company C. Jacob fought in most major engagements from the Second Bull Run until the end of the war. He was captured in the first day’s fighting at The Battle of Gettysburg, by the Army of Northern Virginia, and paroled less than a month later. At the Battle of Cold Harbor he fought beside his cousin, Corporal Daniel Harer, of the 58th PVI, Co. G.
Cold Harbor was the first stop on our vacation. Viewing the battlefield and its topology provided a whole new perspective. The trenches are still there, a reminder where so many charged valiantly against fortified positions, making the ultimate sacrifice.
Figures: ColdHarborEarthworks1 and ColdHarborEarthworks4
Next was Petersburg. There we saw locations with familiar names displayed on the 148th PVI monument at Gettysburg, along with other battles fought near Petersburg. One memorable location is where Fort Stedman stood. This Fort is mentioned several times in the 148th PVI regimental history.
Figure: Fort Stedman
The Petersburg crater was a very interesting sight, and the mine entrance is still open. From the mine entrance you can view to the crater, and gauge the distance dug by the Pennsylvania coal miners before exploding four tons of black powder beneath the confederate line.
Figures: UnionMineEntrance and TheCrater5
Jacob Harer, as well as Daniel, fought in many of the battles around the Petersburg vicinity. Unfortunately Jacob was captured at Weldon Railroad on August 19th, 1864, along with several of his 107th PVI comrades. Finally, we were able to view what little was left of the Weldon Railroad line.
Jacob and his fellow prisoners of war were first taken to Belle Isle Confederate Prison near Richmond, VA, one of the better confederate prisons. Today, Belle Isle is a city park complete with bikes trails where my nephews road their bikes. Except what has been recorded into books, nothing remains of the prison.
From Belle Isle, Jacob and his fellow prisoners of war were taken in October to Salisbury Confederate Prison Camp, North Carolina. That month Salisbury Pen declined from fairly stable utterly deplorable conditions, as prisoner numbers grew 500 to over 10,000. Disease ran rampant, as water, sanitation, and food became scarce. For shelter, most prisoners used a 3-foot muddy, reminiscent of the dreaded Andersonville.
Salisbury National Cemetery is all that remains outside the prison camp location and the prisoners who died there, where the first men buried in this cemetery. There was a cornfield outside the prison and that is where the 3,500 dead prisoners are buried, stacked like firewood and buried in trenches, that makes up part of the cemetery. Some of Jacob’s comrades and some men from the 148th PVI are buried there. The cemetery is very well maintained and a beautiful place to visit. I was happy to see that such a beautiful place could come from such a horrible beginning.
Figures: PAMonumentSalisbury1. BurialTrenchesMonument2, BurialTrenchesLayout
In February, Jacob and 2,800 other prisoners were marched fifty-one miles to Greensboro, N.C., to board trains to Wilmington, N.C. Only 1,800 actually made it to Greensboro. By March, Jacob was returned to the 107th PVI, where he served until the end of the war. Jacob suffered chronic diarrhea for the rest of his life, passing away on February 9, 1912.
It was an honor to have walked in the footstep of Jacob Harer. Witnessing the travails of these brave men provides a new perspective on that which we would lament, making me feel instead rather blessed.
The "Battle for Greenwood Furnace," and 23rd Annual Old Home Days Heritage Festival, will be held August 2--3, 2014.
Don "Red" Husler (dehirishATcenturylink.net) is a veteran reenactor and journalist from Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.