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PA Civil War Soldiers' Diaries

Miner's Journal, Schuylkill County

About the middle of June, 1863, General Lee commenced his movement in force into Pennsylvania. His advance attacked and defeated General Milroy at Winchester, VA, and then crossed the Potomac and entered Pennsylvania, occupying Chambersburg and threatening Harrisburg. The rebel force of all arms, in this invasion, was ninety thousand.

As soon as it became known by telegraph from the Governor that our state was in danger of invasion, a mass meeting of the citizens of Schuylkill County was called, and the necessary arrangements made to organize forces as rapidly as possible to meet the emergency. When the second telegram was received that the rebels were actually in the State, it was resolved to close up all places of business, and let the whole population devote itself to the organization of companies to march at once. A few hours afterwards the roll of the Washington Artillerists, Captain David A. Smith, was filled up to 113 members, and they took their departure on Wednesday, June 17th, at noon, in company with a body of 73 men raised in Donaldson and neighborhood through the exertions of Theodore Garretson, coal merchant, and the Union League of that vicinity, which was commanded by Captain Adam Etien.

On Thursday morning, 18th, the Pott Infantry, Captain Frank Pott, 105 strong, left for Harrisburg.

In the afternoon of the same day, a Company composed of about 65 of the men employed at Haywood & Co.'s Rolling Mill, and seven or eight from Burnish & Co.'s Mill, left, commanded by Captain James Teasdale, with Robert Brown as First, and John Bickley as Second Lieutenant.

On Thursday morning a Company under Captain Leib, who was wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg, left for Harrisburg. There were upwards of 70. Captain Leib was compelled to carry his wounded arm in a sling, it not yet having healed, but he knew that his State was in danger and that was sufficient.

Captain Charles Dougherty, late of the Ninety-sixth Regiment, organized a Company of 80 men at Cressona, and left for Harrisburg on Thursday.

Captain William A. Field, of Schuylkill Haven, also left on Thursday with about 60 men.

Captain W. Allebach left Tamaqua on Thursday for Harrisburg with a full Company of about 90 men.

Squads of men also left the County. Within twenty-four hours seven hundred volunteers left the County for the defense of the State.

As an instance of the spirit that prevailed, a young Irishman, who had joined one of the companies from Ashland, was seized by his father at the Planes and dragged from the cars, when he was also seized by his mother. He rescued himself and that seized him again, when he struck his father a blow and attempted to go off again; but while struggling, the cars departed.

The Miners' Journal was almost compelled to suspend publication. Of thirteen persons employed in the establishment, ten volunteered, and the others remained to keep the establishment from closing entirely.

Roster Source: Memorial of the Patriotism of Schuylkill County in the American Slaveholder's Rebellion, by Benjamin Bannan, Pottsville, PA, 1865, Pg. 371-2.Contributed by George Rapp Civil War Databases

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