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Ninety-sixth Regiment

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96th PA Regiment

The term of service of this Veteran Regiment having expired, it returned home in September to be mustered out of service. The Schuylkill County members reached Pottsville on the 26th, and as their arrival was unexpected, they met an impromptu but spirited reception. Early in the evening Centre street throughout its entire length, was beautifully illuminated, and when the train arrived, rockets, roman candles, etc, added beauty to the scene. The Regiment was escorted from the Depot to the Union Hotel, by cavalry stationed here, by our fire companies, and by one of the largest processions of citizens we ever witnessed here. The veterans marched up amid enthusiastic cheers of welcome and the waving myriads of handkerchiefs in the hands of fair ladies. The scene was most inspiring and beautiful. A citizen of thirty-three years residence here, said to us, "The town has often been in a blaze of enthusiasm, but really, this is the most extensive conflagration with the people's hearts for fuel, that I ever saw here." Pottsville, indeed, representing Schuylkill County, welcomed with her whole soul, our brave boys back from their three years of honorable service in the cause of truth, justice and human rights.

The Regiment came back with one hundred and twenty men. Three years before it left Pottsville a thousand strong. The bullet and disease had done their work, and many who left here in full health and vigor, fill graves in Virginia and on our hills.

When the Regiment reached the Union Hotel, it partook of a collation hastily prepared, but still acceptable to the tired soldiers, when they were welcomed home by the Hon. C. W. Pitman, in a brief but eloquent speech. The soldiers then sought "home, sweet home;" doubly appreciated by him who has seen three years of hard service in the field.

Addresses to the large crowd of citizens that remained, were subsequently delivered by Mr. C. A. Bosbyshell, William Garrett and Professor Dunbar.

During the following week discharged Veterans of the Forty-Eighth Regiment and Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, to the number of about a hundred, reached Schuylkill County, and met an equally spirited welcome home.

Early in November, the One Hundred and Ninety-Fourth Regiment, Col. James Nagle, and Lambert's Independent Cavalry - one hundred days' men - were mustered out of the service, and the members returned home.

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

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