Trading Rulers for Rifles: The Schoolteachers Regiment

THE STORY OF THE 151ST PENNSYLVANIA

-Michael S Sheaffer- This article has been shared from the website Civil War Trust and found on the Flipboard.com page of contributor Vivian Narvaez

*Growing up within an hour of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania I have often visited the Gettysburg National Battlefield dozens of times a year for many years. The story of the 151st is a story I have read and heard told by Park Rangers and Battlefield Guides several times over the years. It has always resonated with me personally as many of the soldiers were from the general area where I grew up and my ancestors lived. Gettysburg has many stories to tell and this is a story that should be told and must be told. The story of the 151st is true Valor!



BY MARCIE SCHWARTZ

“I know not, how men could have fought more desperately, exhibited more coolness, or contested the field with more determined courage,” wrote Lt. Col. George McFarland when describing the conduct of the 151st Pennsylvania as they covered the retreat of the battered Iron Brigade and singularly faced a Confederate onslaught on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. These men, although brave indeed, were not battle-hardened West Point graduates. They were schoolteachers.

The 151st Pennsylvania Regiment was organized in September of 1862 and its ten companies congregated at Camp Curtin in Harrisburg that October. The recruits had all signed up for a volunteer service term of nine months.

In Company D alone there were more than 60 schoolteachers and their significant and surprising numeric concentration earned the company and the regiment the sobriquet of the “Teachers Regiment” after the war. Many of these volunteers were teachers from the McAlisterville Academy in Juniata County, along with their principal turned company commander, Lt. Col. George McFarland.

151st Penn Regiment Photo (700x350)

The 151st Pennsylvania prior to the Battle of Gettysburg.  (Reading Eagle Projects)

On November 28, the regiment was ordered to Washington and then proceeded to Arlington Heights. On December 3, the regiment moved with Col. Frederick D’Utassay’s Brigade to Union Mills, Virginia, where it was placed on duty. Now in enemy territory, Col. D’Utassay, and his successor, General Alexander Hays, strictly instructed and drilled the 151st Pennsylvania while always looking out for an attack by John Singleton Mosby’s elusive raiders.

In February, 1863, the regiment was transferred to Belle Plain, where it was brigaded with the 121st, 135th, and 142nd Pennsylvania regiments to form the First Brigade, of the Third Division of the First Corps commanded by General John Fulton Reynolds. The harsh winter conditions and left many soldiers ill, convalesced, or dead.

Before marching to the battlefield at Chancellorsville, the First Corps moved to Franklin’s Crossing, where it encountered its first taste of battle by way of vigorous shelling from the enemy on the opposite shore. On May 2, 1863, the Corps made a forced march to United States Ford, and after crossing the 151st was summoned to the front to occupy the line on the mostly inactive First Corps’ right flank. The regiment guarded the crucial Rapidan River crossing at United States Ford, but saw little action for the rest of the battle.

After the Union defeat, there ensued a bitter confrontation about how to best use the Army of the Potomac to meet the threat of a Confederate invasion of the North. General Joseph Hooker resigned his command and was immediately replaced by Major General George Gordon Meade. Thus, the next destination for the 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers would be a part of the land familiar to all of them: the crossroads town of Gettysburg.

151stPenn  Map of Origin
The 151st Pennsylvania was raised from points across the Keystone State. (map by Garry Adelman, originally published in “The 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers at Gettysburg: Like Ripe Apples in a Storm” by Michael A. Dreese) (Garry Adelman)

 

The march to Gettysburg commenced on the 12th of June, the right wing of the army composed of the First and Eleventh Corps, under General John Reynolds, making a forced march of one hundred and five miles in three days, throwing itself suddenly between Robert E. Lee’s army, (which was moving north through the Shenandoah Valley,) and Washington. At Broad Bun they halted for the enemy to develop his plans. Reynolds then hastened forward to Middleburg, where he again interposed between the enemy and the cities of Baltimore and Washington.

151st Penn Gettysburg Monument
Monument to the 151st Pennsylvania at Gettysburg looking east, with Reynolds Avenue behind the monument.. The steeple of the chapel of the Lutheran Theological Seminary is in the distance to the left. (Stone Sentinels)

As the enemy pushed on into Pennsylvania, the First Brigade, now commanded by Colonel Chapman Biddle, arrived at the quiet, bucolic town of Gettysburg on the morning of July 1, 1863, and took position on the extreme left flank of the First Corps. The 467 men of the 151st Pennsylvania held the left of the brigade line. The regiment moved to the top of McPherson’s Ridge and remained there until the afternoon when it was detached as a reserve unit and moved to occupy the grounds next to Lutheran Theological Seminary, directly behind the Iron Brigade and the rest of Colonel Biddle’s First Brigade as they fiercely fought against the North Carolinians of General J. Johnston Pettigrew’s Brigade.

Around 2:30pm, a gap opened between the Northern brigades, endangering the entire Union position, and the 151st was ordered to advance. Closing the broken line, the 151st had not even gotten into position before men began to fall. The Iron Brigade, having borne the brunt of the battle for hours, withdrew, exposing the right flank of the 151st. The regiments on the left were likewise overpowered and, one by one, they were forced back until the 151st Pennsylvania stood alone to resist the enemy’s front and flank fire. The smoke was blinding and the crack of the rifles was deafening as the opposing lines traded volleys at a mere 20 yards apart. Finally, when more than half of the regiment had fallen, the order was given to withdraw, rallying at a rail entrenchment by the Seminary. Fresh Confederate regiments, South Carolinians under Col. Abner Perrin, launched an assault. The 14th South Carolina hit the 151st position fiercely in an attempt to finish off the flank of the First Corps. While aggressively attacking the numerically superior force, Lt. Col. McFarland received severe wounds in both legs. With their commander severely wounded and the line beginning to fracture, the 151st retreated towards town.

Only 92 survivors regrouped on Cemetery Ridge that night. By morning of July 2, the total had risen to 113 men. Out of the 467 men brought to the field, 337 men were killed, wounded, or captured, the second highest loss of any Union regiment at Gettysburg—72% casualties. Lt. Col. McFarland survived, but his left leg was amputated below the knee.

Despite these heavy losses, the remaining troops rallied and participated in the repulse of Pickett’s Charge on July 3 alongside the 80th New York on the Union left flank, maintaining “sharp fire” against the enemy.  After the Confederate retreat, the 151st rejoined the brigade near General Meade’s headquarters. They briefly participated in the pursuit of Lee before their nine month term of engagement expired and the remaining soldiers were mustered out of service on July 27th, 1863.But was this terrible sacrifice in vain? The tenacity of the 151st ensured the safe withdrawal of the First Corps on July 1 and still rallied despite heavy losses to participate in Pickett’s Charge July 3. Due to the tenacity of 151st Pennsylvania, the 26th North Carolina, the regiment that directly faced the 151st as they covered the retreat of the First Corps, suffered the greatest total loss of any regiment in the Battle of Gettysburg. The 11th North Carolina, the regiment that flanked the 151st before they retreated to the Seminary, takes the place of the second greatest total loss of any regiment.

Veterans
Veterans of the 151st gathered at Gettysburg to dedicate a monument to their unit in September 12, 1889. (image courtesy of Michael Waricher)

 

The men of the “Schoolteacher’s Regiment” stood fast in the face of danger and death, critically ensuring the safety of the Union Army during the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. General Abner Doubleday, the successor of General Reynolds as commander of the First Corps, lauded the heroic actions of the “Schoolteacher’s Regiment”:

“At Gettysburg, they won, under the brave McFarland, an imperishable fame. They defended the left front of the First Corps against vastly superior numbers; covered its retreat against the overwhelming masses of the enemy at the Seminary, west of the town, and enabled me, by their determined resistance, to withdraw the Corps in comparative safety. This was on the first day. In the crowning charge of the third day of the battle, the shattered remnants of the 151st Pennsylvania […] flung themselves upon the front of the rebel column […] I believe they saved the First Corps, and were among the chief instruments to save the Army of the Potomac, and the country from unimaginable disaster.”



 

Gettysburg Battlefield Links:

Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg Foundation

The National Civil War Museum – Although not in Gettyburg it is in nearby Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and has much on the Gettysburg Battle.

-Michael S Sheaffer

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Digging Deep : Buried Landscapes of Pennsylvania

-By Michael S Sheaffer
I can’t imagine personally any genealogist not having a strong interest in all aspects of history. Being a family researcher I always have had a keen interest in the areas where my ancestors had lived. The history of the towns, and cities are vital to my overall picture of the times and areas they lived. My ancestors have been in Pennsylvania perhaps as far back as William Penn founding and opening up Pennsylvania to the masses, and at least since the French and Indian Wars. With such a strong Pennsylvania history I have researched many areas of Pennsylvania in a Historical and Genealogical way. The one area I never really considered was in Archaeology! Archaelogy is after all the Genealogy of Pennsylvania in itself and tells the history by what we find buried beneath it.
Recently I have become interested in archaeology mostly through the area that I live along the Susquehanna River basin (South Central Pennsylvania) where several known British Forts (Hunter & Halifax)  Native Indian tribes once were and where some Image result for archaeology  Map image of Pennsylvaniaarchaeological digs have occurred in the last few years recovering many items of Colonial America and beyond. During some online research recently I came upon a video produced by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) that really told an archaeological story of Pennsylvania that I never realized. I perhaps learned more about Pennsylvania in this video that I may never have found in a book somewhere. The video is only 20 minutes and really gets to the points they are discussing in a straight forward way that makes understanding the technical side of archaeology much more understandable. images They discuss archaeology in terms of modern day Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and create a whole different look at these cities now compared to just 200-250 years ago and beyond. One interesting thing I learned in this video is that what our rivers look like now weren’t necessarily what they looked liked then! With our modern flood control programs many rivers have taken on a totally different form in depths and size.
I urge you to watch this and I am sure you will enjoy as I did. I have added some links below for further research on this topic:
Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) Video
Youtube.com 

Digging Deep : Buried Landscapes of Pennsylvania

Published on Feb 4, 2016

Watch some of Pennsylvania’s leading archaeologists offer their views on the great depths explored by archaeology in the Keystone State.

As the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) turns 50 years old this year, it is important to recognize and celebrate the role this act, specifically Section 106, has played in American archaeology. Section 106 directs all federally-funded projects to consider the effects they may have on historic properties, including archaeological sites. Half a century of compliance with the NHPA has produced the greatest advances in our understanding of the buried past since the infancy of American archaeology in the early 19th century. This video was produced as part of the Making Archaeology Public initiative, or MAP, initiated by Dr. Lynne Sebastian, with the goal of introducing Americans to these groundbreaking archaeological discoveries. The MAP theme for Pennsylvania is “Digging Deep: Buried Landscapes of Prehistoric and Historic Pennsylvania”. This video tells the story of the great depths explored by compliance archaeologists in the Keystone State, and the amazingly well preserved record of human land use they have found here. This story is a story that could never have been told without the last 50 years of compliance with the NHPA – it’s a legacy all Pennsylvanians can be proud of.



 

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Flea Market Genealogy? The forgotten resource in genealogy research!




 

Image result for flea market signs



Flea Market Genealogy an untapped resource

Flea Markets are an untapped genealogical resource. As genealogists  we have combed boxes in the attics of our relatives looking for genealogical related items hoping find something to add to our family stories. We have made countless trips to the local Historical Societies , Libraries, and archival institutions. How many of us have paid subscriptions to all the many genealogy related sites hoping for more answers?  We as genealogist will look at almost anything to find related family history items, but how many of us will take to the elegant confines of the local flea market?  Image result for flea market genealogy imagesFlea Market Genealogy as I  like to call it is always a great time for me. Even if you do not find anything that relates to your family there are always so many genealogy (un)related items to browse through at flea markets. I love going through old photos, post cards, looking at portraits , and seeing old family Bibles. I have seen 100 year old marriage certificates, old letters written from the war fronts of WWI & WWII and much more laying in bins collecting dust at flea markets. Why is it then when we talk to each other on places to go to find more information on our ancestors that we don’t mention flea markets?

Image result for flea market genealogy imagesFlea Market Genealogy

A Flea Market if you really sit down and think about it, is really someones ancestors attic storage! Flea markets are after all the home of the orphaned items of someones ancestor.These flea market vendors have usually bought their stock from auction/estate sales and keep almost everything from these estates. They in turn try to flip these items piece by piece at flea markets for a profit.Many of the items included may be items from a persons marriage(s) , War documents, Deeds, and of course photos!Image result for box of attic documents images This is what we genealogist are looking for! Then why don’t we take flea market research seriously? I believe its because it is like finding a needle in a haystack! If we put our researchers hat on and think like a detective we might want to look for flea markets in the areas where our ancestors were known to live? I live somewhere between 50-60 miles from where most of my ancestors called home base. Looking at a flea market in my town most likely wouldn’t reveal anything to me genealogically. If I look in the towns my ancestors lived in then I have increased my odds dramatically. Even if we can find flea markets in the towns our ancestors were from it can take many trips and hours for the payoff…if any at all! Genealogy is a research based hobby and Flea Market Genealogy can take hours upon hours of painstaking research, something the modern 21st century researcher may not be accustomed to with all the indexed searches available today. Like the Gold Miner or the Treasure Hunters of the past, the reward can be worth all the time and effort placed into it. Give it a try!  who knows you might just find something!!



Give the Gift of History



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COAL MINER RECORDS

 
Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com



-By Michael S Sheaffer

If you have Ancestors from Pennsylvania then you are likely to come across a coal miner or two.  The Pennsylvania State Archives has a great amount of coal mining records available in their  archives that could potentially help you along in your genealogy research. I have shared the Coal Miner Records resource page for anyone interested in finding out more on the coal miner in their family tree.



The Pennsylvania State Archives hold numerous collections which pertain to persons either employed in or in some way associated with the anthracite (hard coal) and bituminous (soft coal) mining industries of the Commonwealth. The anthracite fields stretch for nearly 500 square miles across portions of northeastern Pennsylvania, while the bituminous fields underlie most of the western counties, as well as portions of the northern tier of the state.

NON-MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES

Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of documentation concerning rank and file miners and mine workers in the collections of the State Archives. The following five groups would be a good starting point for researchers wishing to locate non-management personnel who may have worked in Pennsylvania’s coal industries.

MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES

For all other job titles associated with the mines, including administrative personnel, mine foremen, assistant mine foremen, mine inspectors, fire bosses and electricians, see the remaining record and manuscript groups listed below.

Anthracite Coal

Manuscript Groups

  • Manuscript Group 311, Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company Records, 1792-1978
    • Inactive Employment Record Cards, 1913-1965, Series 18. (2 boxes). The cards are arranged alphabetically by surname.
  • Manuscript Group 369, Anthracite Museum Complex Collections, 1896-1964
    • Collections containing genealogical material are chiefly located at the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton. Please call 570-963-4845 to make an appointment to view the materials held there. Eckley Miner’s Village also holds a few documents and publications, however there are not an appreciable number of relevant genealogical items housed at the site.
  • Manuscript Group 463, Susquehanna Coal Company Records, 1901-1915
    • Payroll Ledgers, 1901-1915. (67 volumes)
      • These payroll ledgers document workers who labored at the Cameron, Hickory Ridge, Hickory Swamp, Luke Fidler and Pennsylvania Collieries of the Susquehanna Coal Company. They are organized by colliery and then chronologically by month within each volume. Unfortunately there are no name indexes and the names for each month are not arranged alphabetically, so the researcher may have to search in a number of ledgers to find a name they are looking for.

Record Groups

  • Record Group 43, Department of Environmental Resources
    • Registers of Mine Accidents, Anthracite, Bituminous and Non-Coal, 1973-1989, {series #43.53}[series is continued from RG-45]. (1 box)
      • The accident books are grouped chronologically by date of accident.
    • Anthracite and Bituminous Fatal Mining Accident Reports, 1936-1974, {series #43.74}. (14 microfilm rolls) Microfilm Rolls #6483-6496
      • These reports are arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically by surname of the deceased miner.
  • Record Group 45, Department of Mines and Mineral Industries
    • Correspondence of Anthracite Division Mine Inspectors, 1903-1951, {series #45.10}. (4 cartons)
      • Arranged numerically by mining district, then chronologically by year.
    • Registers of Mine Accidents for the Anthracite Districts, 1899-1972, {series #45.14}[series continues in RG-66]. (19 volumes) Microfilm Rolls #3586-3592, 6028
      • The accident registers are arranged by mining district, then chronologically by the date of the accident. The anthracite registers have been compiled in a database by researcher Jerry Sherard and are available for viewing online. For those not familiar with the layout of the various mining districts over time, follow the preceding link website and choose either “Bituminous County Search” or “Anthracite County Search,” and follow the instructions.
  • Record Group 66, Department of Environmental Protection
    • Anthracite Mine Certification Records for Foremen and Assistant Foremen, 1886-1968, {series #66.1}. (36 volumes)
      • Organized numerically by certificate numbers, which were assigned chronologically, this series consists of three types of certification recordings: Certificate Books, Certificate Receipt Books, and Registers.
    • Anthracite Region Mine Accident Report Registers, 1961-1965, 1968-1975, {series #66.2}.[series is continued from RG-45] (2 volumes)
      • Arranged chronologically by date of accident.

Bituminous Coal

Record Groups

  • Record Group 7, Records of the General Assembly
    • Department of Mines Expense Account Book, 1909-1912, {series #7.40} . (1 volume)
      • The account book is arranged chronologically by date of entry.
  • Record Group 43, Department of Environmental Resources
    • Registers of Mine Accidents, Anthracite, Bituminous and Non-Coal, 1973-1989, {series #43.53}[series is continued from RG-45]. (1 box)
      • The accident books are grouped chronologically by date of accident.
      • Anthracite and Bituminous Fatal Mining Accident Reports, 1936-1974, Accession #2386. (14 microfilm rolls). Microfilm Rolls #6483-6496
        • The reports are organized chronologically by year and then alphabetically by surname of the deceased miner.
  • Record Group 45, Department of Mines and Mineral Industries
    • Bituminous Mine Certification Records for Assistant Foremen, 1911-1923, {series #45.3}. (6 volumes) Microfilm Rolls #6426-6430
      • Each volume is individually indexed by the surname of the foreman, with the records arranged in numerical order by certificate number.
    • Bituminous Mine Certification Records for Assistant First and Second Grade Foremen, 1923-1963, {series #45.4}. (5 volumes) Microfilm Roll #6452
      • The volumes are individually indexed by the surname of the foreman, with the records organized in numerical order by certificate number.
    • Bituminous Mine Certification Records for Fire Boss Examiners, 1912-1963, {series #45.5}. (12 volumes) Microfilm Rolls #6444-6451, 6453
      • Each volume is individually indexed by the surname of the examiner, with the records arranged in numerical order by certificate number. The last volume also contains Bituminous Mine Certification Records for Electricians {series #45.6}, for the years 1962-1963.
    • Bituminous Mine Certification Records for Electricians, 1939-1963, {series #45.6}. (2 volumes)Microfilm Roll #6453
      • The volumes are individually indexed by the surname of the electrician, with the records grouped in numerical order by certificate number. The last volume also contains Bituminous Mine Certification Records for Fire Boss Examiners (Series #45.6), for the years 1962 and 1963.
    • Bituminous Mine Certification Records for First Grade Foremen, 1903-1963, {series #45.7}. (10 volumes) Microfilm Rolls #6431-6437
      • Each volume is individually indexed by the surname of the foreman, with the records arranged in numerical order by certificate number. The last volume also contains Bituminous Mine Certification Records for Second Grade Forman {series #45.8}, for the years 1962-1963.
    • Bituminous Mine Certification Records for Second Grade Foremen, 1903-1963, {series #45.8}. (9 volumes) Microfilm Rolls #6438-6443, 6452
      • The volumes are individually indexed by the surname of the foreman, with the records organized in numerical order by certificate number. The last volume also contains Bituminous Mine Certification Records for First Grade Foreman {series #45.7}, for the years 1962-1963.
    • Correspondence of Bituminous Division Mine Inspectors, 1903-1930, 1936, 1949. {series #45.11}. (7 cartons)
      • Arranged numerically by mining district, then chronologically by year.
    • Registers of Mine Accidents for the Bituminous Districts, 1899-1972, {series #45.15}. (20 volumes) Microfilm Roll #3593-3602
      • Similar to the anthracite registers of Series #45.14, these volumes are grouped by mining district, then chronologically by the date of the accident. The bituminous registers for the years 1899-1932 have been compiled in a database by researcher Jerry Sherard and are available for viewing online. For those not familiar with the layout of the various mining districts over time, follow the preceeding link website and choose either “Bituminous County Search” or “Anthracite County Search,” and follow the instructions.
  • Record Group 66, Department of Environmental Protection
    • Examinations Relating to Bituminous Mine Officials – Harrisburg, 1991, {series #66.6}. (11 cartons, 7 boxes)
      • Access to this series is restricted due to the presence of social security numbers on numerous materials.
      • These records are arranged by examination number, and include test copies, tally sheets, examination applications, test answer sheets, and microfilm of examinations for Mine Electricians, Mine Examiners, Assistant Mine Foremen and Mine Foremen. In addition there are certificates of character and affidavits of experience for some miners taking the tests in 1990 and 1991. The overwhelming majority of the records pertain to bituminous exams, however there are a few files, mostly applications, that document tests and test-takers from the anthracite region during 1993 and 1994. Included on the applications are the names and addresses of the miner and three persons who can attest to the applicant’s character, as well as a history of each miner’s work experience. The files are arranged differently depending on the year, with most broken down by job title, then organized either alphabetically by surname or numerically by work (test) number.
    • Index Stubs and Cards to Miners Certificates, 1937-1965, {series #66.7}. (126 boxes)
      • The four rolls containing materials from 1966-1987 are restricted due to the presence of social security numbers.
      • This group of certificate stubs and cards is grouped into four separate batches:
        • Miners’ Certificate Cards and Stubs, which date from 1937 and 1938
        • Machine Runner and Cutting, Loading, and Drilling Machine Operators Certificate Stubs, dating from 1938 through the late 1950s, possibly the early 1960s
        • Miners’ Certificate Stubs which date from the late 1930s
        • Miners’ Certificate Stubs dating from 1939 through roughly 1965.

        The bulk of the stubs and cards date from 1937 through 1955, and all provide excellent genealogical data on rank-and-file miners and other mine workers who labored in the bituminous fields of western Pennsylvania.

      • Specific information found in each batch of material includes the following:
        • Miner’s Certificate Cards and Stubs, 1937, 1938 (81 boxes): name of miner, age of miner (not found on all cards), address of miner, certification number, application number, date of issue, employer, and mine number. Index cards constitute the bulk of this series, however, for some reason the run of index cards becomes a run of certificate stubs after Box 68, beginning with the stub for John Sagan. These stubs are stylistically different from the ones described below, but convey the same type of information.
        • Machine Runner and Cutting, Loading, and Drilling Machine Operators Certificate Stubs, 1930s-1960s (12 boxes): stub number, name of miner, address of miner, place of birth, date of birth, mine where employed at the time of exam, company name, mine experience (some stubs provide a specific number of years of machine experience), place of examination, date of examination, date of certificate issuance, and bituminous inspection district number.
        • Miner’s Certificate Stubs, late 1930s (6 boxes): stub number, name of miner, address of miner, place of birth, date of birth, mine where employed at the time of exam, company name, mine experience, place of examination, date of examination, and date of certificate issuance.
        • Miner’s Certificate Stubs, 1939-1965 (25 boxes): stub number, name of miner, address of miner, place of birth, date of birth, mine where employed at the time of exam, company name, mine experience (in years), place of examination, date of examination, date of certificate issuance, and bituminous inspection district number.
      • Also present are twenty-six microfilm rolls. All refer to the bituminous coal region of western Pennsylvania, with the first sixteen rolls apparently duplicating the Miners’ Certificate Cards (1937, 1938) and the last ten roles (listed below) containing original data. The cards and stubs on these rolls are NOT in precise alphabetical order; it is recommended to check throughout the run of a specific surname letter if an individual cannot be found in the normal alphabetical sequence.
        • four rolls of Mine Foreman certification stubs and certificates, dating from roughly 1939-1966 (bulk 1940s), organized numerically by mining district then alphabetically by surname
        • four rolls of Mine Foreman certification stubs and certificates, dating from roughly 1966-1987 (bulk 1970s), organized numerically by mining district then alphabetically by surname
        • two rolls of Shot Firer Certifications, 1938-1983, arranged alphabetically by surname

MINING-RELATED WEBSITES AND OTHER RESOURCES



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Celebrating Native American Cartography: The Catawba Deerskin Map

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online


With the end of November and Native American Heritage Month, today we are taking a closer look at a unique map among the cartographic collections of the Geography and Map Division. Documenting just part of the expansive and diverse Native American experience is the “Map of the several nations of Indians to the Northwest of South Carolina,”which is more commonly known today as the “Catawba Deerskin Map.”

Catawba_Deerski_Map

This map is notable for being among the few surviving maps from the colonial period in North America that were originally authored by Native Americans, as opposed to early European colonizers. Native Americans have a long history in producing cartographic depictions of their environments, and the geographic knowledge of Native Americans proved to be invaluable in educating newly arriving Europeans. However, it is believed that many Europeans would discard the original Indian maps once they had acquired the geographic information pertinent to their needs and translated the information into their own maps. As a result, very few indigenous maps, particularly from the present-day southeastern U.S., have survived.

The Catawba Deerskin Map was a map drawn on deerskin and presented to Francis Nicholson, the colonial governor of South Carolina, around 1721. The original map, believed to have been authored by Indians of the Catawba Nation, has been lost. However, Nicholson had two copies of the map made and returned to London, thereby ensuring this rare preservation of indigenous cartography from the colonial period.

The map is a stylistic representation of the Indian nations between Charlestown (Charleston, South Carolina) and the colony of Virginia. The map is oriented so that southerly features are on the left side, while northerly features are on the right. European settlements are depicted in squares and straight lines, while Indian nations appear in circles. The “Nasaw” is shown as the most central community of the Catawba Nation, appearing in the center of the map as the largest circle. Furthermore, the translated text written in English in the copied map labels “The English Path to Nasaw.” Peripheral to Nasaw are various other Indian communities.

Path_to_Nasaw

Rather than emphasizing geographic accuracy and scale, the map focuses on the network of relationships between the Indian nations and the English. According to Max Edelson, a professor of history at the University of Virginia and a former Kislak Fellow in American Studies at the Library of Congress, the map “served the purposes of diplomacy rather than cartography as a scientific endeavor” and was meant to communicate trade relationships. In a 2012 interview with the radio program BackStory in which he discusses the map in detail, Edelson compares the Catawba Deerskin map to a modern subway map, in which depicting accurate physical space is less important than communicating the structure of the network.

For example, in this map of the Washington, D.C. metro system, excerpted from a 1986 pamphlet for the National Zoo, it is the clarity of the paths between subway stations that is most important in the map, rather than preserving exact positioning and the geographic spaces of, and between, the stations.

National_Zoo_Metro_Map

Despite the unfortunate loss of so much Native American cartography from this period in history, we should cherish the few maps that have been preserved to the present day and use them to foster a deeper appreciation for indigenous narratives and representat-ions of place. Maps such as the Catawba Deerskin Map help to tell stories about how Native Americans of the time period viewed not only their physical surroundings, but themselves as well.


 
Discounted Newspapers



 

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Pennsylvania had to pay for its own Military Protection!


Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com

-By Michael S Sheaffer

Newspaper clipping of the day

Harrisburg Telegraph, 17 Nov 1894, SatPage 3

Paying Provincial Troops

For those not familiar with Pennsylvania History here is a page shared from Wikipedia that will explain this article and a little history on Pennsylvania!

Kittanning Expedition

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kittanning Expedition
Part of the French and Indian War
Date September 8, 1756[1]
Location near Kittanning, British Province of Pennsylvania
Result 7 of 11 prisoners freed
Belligerents
Province of Pennsylvania Delaware Indians
Commanders and leaders
John Armstrong Captain Jacobs 
Strength
300 provincial soldiers Unknown
Casualties and losses
17 killed
13 wounded
19 missing
(the missing include 4 liberated white prisoners, 2 of whom were recaptured and tortured to death)[2]
7 men and 2 women killed[2]

The Kittanning Expedition, also known as the Armstrong Expedition or the Battle of Kittanning, was a raid during the French and Indian War that led to the destruction of the American Indian village of Kittanning, which had served as a staging point for attacks by Delaware (Lenape) warriors against colonists in the British Province of Pennsylvania. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Armstrong, this raid deep into hostile territory was the only major expedition carried out by Pennsylvania Provincial troops during a brutal backcountry war. Early on September 8, 1756 they launched a surprise attack on the Indian village.

Background[edit]

Although it eventually became a worldwide conflict known as the Seven Years’ War, the French and Indian War began on the Pennsylvania frontier as a struggle for control of the Ohio Country. With the surrender of George Washington at Fort Necessity in 1754 and Braddock’s defeat in 1755, the settlers on the Pennsylvania frontier were without professional military protection, and scrambled to organize a defense.

The French-allied Indians who had defeated General Edward Braddock at the Monongahela were primarily from the Great Lakes region to the north. The local Indians, mostly Delaware and Shawnee who had migrated to the area after white colonists had settled their lands to the east, had waited to see who would win the contest—they could not risk siding with the loser. With Fort Duquesne now secured, the victorious French encouraged the Delaware and Shawnee to “take up the hatchet” against those who had taken their land.

Beginning about October 1755, Delaware and Shawnee war parties, often with French cooperation, began raiding settlements in Pennsylvania. Although European-Americans also waged war with cruelty, they found Indian warfare particularly brutal and frightening. Notable among the Indian raiders were the Delaware war leaders Shingas and Captain Jacobs, both of whom lived at Kittanning. The colonial governments of Pennsylvania and Virginia offered rewards for their scalps.[citation needed] Captain Jacobs was on an expedition led by Louis Coulon de Villiers that descended on Fort Granville (near present-day Lewistown) on the morning of August 2, 1756. The attackers were held off, but the garrison commander was killed, and his second in command surrendered the garrison, including the women and children, the next morning.[3] The commander’s brother, Lieutenant Colonel John Armstrong, immediately organized an expedition against Kittanning in response.[3]

Raid[edit]

Armstrong led 300 Pennsylvania Provincial soldiers from Fort Shirley on August 31. By September 7, the column had reached the vicinity of Kittanning. Signs of a small Indian camp prompted Colonel Armstrong to detach a dozen men under Lieutenant James Hogg to monitor it while the column moved on toward the village.[4] The next morning Armstrong launched a surprise attack on the village. Many of the Kittanning residents fled, but Captain Jacobs put up a defense, holing up with his wife and family inside their home. When he refused to surrender, his house and others were set on fire, touching off gunpowder that had been stored inside. Some buildings exploded, and pieces of Indian bodies flew high into the air and landed in a nearby cornfield.[5] Captain Jacobs was killed and scalped after jumping from his home in an attempt to escape the flames. The battle ended when the entire village was engulfed in flames.[6] Prisoners informed Armstrong that a party of 24 men had left the day before in advance of another planned raid. This news caused Armstrong some concern over the fate of Lieutenant Hogg, so he precipitately ordered a withdrawal. They were met after several miles by a mortally-wounded Hogg, who reported that his force had been attacked by a larger Indian force. Some of his men had immediately fled, and most of the rest had been killed.[6] By September 13, Armstrong and his remaining force had returned to Fort Loudon.[7]

According to Armstrong’s report, he took 11 scalps and freed 11 prisoners, mostly women and children. He estimated that his men killed between 30 and 40 Indians.[6] Many of the white captives were ferried across the Allegheny River in canoes, then taken by foot over trails into Ohio where they assimilated into the tribes. Many were not rescued until Henry Bouquet brought them back from Ohio to Pennsylvania in 1764.

Aftermath[edit]

Historian Fred Anderson notes that equivalent raids by Indians on Pennsylvania villages were usually labeled massacres, and that the Indians considered the raid to be one.[8]The destruction of Kittanning was hailed as a victory in Pennsylvania, and Armstrong was known afterwards as the “Hero of Kittanning”. He and his men collected the “scalp bounty” that had been placed on Captain Jacobs.[9] However, the victory had limitations: the attackers suffered more casualties than they inflicted, and most of the villagers escaped, taking with them almost all of the prisoners that had been held in the village.[10] The expedition also probably aggravated the frontier war; subsequent Indian raids that autumn were fiercer than ever.[9] The Kittanning raid revealed to the village’s inhabitants their vulnerability, and many moved to more secure areas. A peace faction led by Shingas’s brother Tamaqua soon came to the forefront.[11] Tamaqua eventually made peace with Pennsylvania in the Treaty of Easton, which enabled the British under General John Forbes to successfully mount an expedition in 1758 that drove the French from Fort Duquesne.

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Historian Fred Anderson (Anderson, p. 163) apparently erroneously reports this event as occurring on August 8; other sources consistently place it in September.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b O’Meara, p. 174
  4. Jump up^ Fisher, p. 10
  5. Jump up^ Fisher, pp. 11-12
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b c Fischer, p. 12
  7. Jump up^ Fisher, p. 13
  8. Jump up^ Anderson, Crucible of War, p. 163
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Anderson, Crucible of War, p. 164
  10. Jump up^ Hunter, Pennsylvania Frontier, p. 405–410
  11. Jump up^ McConnell, p. 126

References[edit]

  • Anderson, Fred (2000). Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754–1766. New York: Alfred Knopf. ISBN 0-375-40642-5.
  • Fisher, John S (1927). “Colonel John Armstrong’s Expedition against Kittanning”. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Volume 51, No 1): 1–14. JSTOR 20086627.
  • Hunter, William A. Forts on the Pennsylvania Frontier, 1753-1758. Originally published 1960; Wennawoods reprint, 1999.
  • McConnell, Michael N. A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples, 1724-1774. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992.
  • Myers, James P. “Pennsylvania’s Awakening: the Kittanning Raid of 1756.” Pennsylvania History 66 (Summer 1999), 399—420. [1]
  • O’Meara, Walter (1965). Guns at the Forks. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. OCLC 21999143.

External links[edit]




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