We preserve a way of life that has long since vanished. We preserve the dress, the social mores, the marching orders, and the method in which battles were fought. We preserve the places where those battles occurred and the memory of those people that made the sacrifices that forged a new nation and a new liberty. (Image at right depicts 9th PA Reserves teaching drill at Meadowcroft Museum of Rural Life, 6 September 2003.)
Keeping that memory alive is important because many of the issues of those turbulent 1860s have not been settled to this day. Therefore, it is important because history continually reminds us that those who forget the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat its failures
On 7 October 2006 Grave markers were dedicated for seven Civil War veterans buried at St. Clair Cemetery, Scott Road, Mt. Lebanon: Mathew Black, Thomas R. Boss, Joseph Couch, Henry House, Daniel McCartney, George B. Milholland and William Quigg. Thanks to Boy Scout Troop #323, Whitehall: Eagle Scout Robert Ryan, Committee Chair Randy Hillard, Scout Master Russ Smith, Rim Ryan, The Rev. Dr. Robert E. Walkup, John Tkach and others responsible for this good deed. A grave dedication was held with participation by the St. Clair Cemetery Corporation, The Historical Society of Mount Lebanon, Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian Church, The Dormont Historical Society, State Senator John Pippy, 9th Pennsylvania Reserves, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, American Legion Post #156, Ryan Stephenson and Hess Floral.
The 9th was privileged when the National Park Service allowed us to conduct a living history event on the park grounds at Spangler's Spring, Gettysburg, PA, 29 April-1 May 2005. Several drilling demonstrations were held for the public. In addition there was a medical tent, explanation of various fire arms, an exhibition of period woodcuts by our chaplain, and information about civilian life.
The event was scheduled along with our annual 9th PA Reserves monument clean-up--rescheduled because of inclement weather.
Click on the image to enlarge it.
The 9th Pennsylvania Reserves and several other reenacting units participated in a teachers conference on "The Civil War: Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh and You" on 27 September and in Civil War Days 1-3 October 2004, both at Soldiers & Sailors National Military Museum & Memorial. Members of the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves included organizer Joanne Shelby, an honor guard for induction of a veteran into their Hall of Valor, session leaders, and civilians and soldiers in camp and battlefield. 9th leaders included Rea Andrew Redd, Waynesburg College ("The Childrens' Civil War"), David Ward ("Civil War Prisoner of War Camps"), Joanne Shelby ("Fifth Wheel on a Cart: An Overview of the U.S. Sanitary Commission)", and David Haberman ("Pittsburghers on the Front Lines"). This certificate was awarded at the closing ceremony (click to enlarge).
The 9th and the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center have shared the costs of restoration of two items from the Captain Thomas Espy Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 153 at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie, PA: (1) a 1905 photograph (photographer was Mellon) of the veterans in front of the library (click on image above for closer view) and (2) a 1907 lithograph of a sketch of Camp Humphreys made by Private Chas. F. McKenna, Co. E, 155th Regt., Pa. Vols., in 1863. In the winter of 1862 and 1863, the 155th, 133d, 123d and 131st Regiments, Pa. Vols., occupied the site known as Camp Humphreys, near Falmouth, Va. The print was presented to the Post on April 8, 1907 by Judge Chas. F. McKenna. This item, shown above before restoration, had at some time fallen in its frame seriously damaging the print. The rolled up print recently was found in the bottom of one of the exhibition cabinets in the Espy Post and matched with its numbered but empty frame found elsewhere in the room. Both items were so badly in need of conservation that they could not be displayed in their present conditions. Thanks to the fine collaboration of the board of trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library, the 9th Pennsylvania Reserve, the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, and paper conservator Wendy Bennett, both items were displayed, along with others from the Post, in an exhibition (April 2003 to January 2004) at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.
In May 2002 the Ninth presented a $1000 donation to Pennsylvania State Representative Harry Readshaw, payable to the "Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monument Project". Funds from this project will be used for the repair and endowment for perpetual maintenance of Pennsylvania's monuments at Gettysburg. There are 147 monuments located at Gettysburg which relate to Pennsylvanian's service at Gettysburg. Currently undergoing restoration is the Pennsylvania Monument.
According to Gettysburg Monument Project 1997 by State Representative Harry A. Readshaw, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, this monument is the largest in the Gettysburg National Military Park. The total cost of the Pennsylvania Memorial was $189,650. Act 2 of 1909 set up a commission of nine Union Army veterans of Pennsylvania, known as the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Commission. They were to select a suitable site on the battlefield to erect a memorial to all Pennsylvanians who fought in the battle. $149,650 was spent to erect and dedicate the monument in 1910. The memorial lists the names of every Pennsylvanian who fought at Gettysburg and indicates those who died as a result of the battle. In 1913, an additional $40,000 was appropriated to add additional statuary on the sides of the monument and to correct the bronze plaques.
At Antietam the Ninth PA contracted with the National Park service to replace a missing marker in the Miller Cornfield which describes the Ninth's action on the morning of September 17, 1862 in the cornfield. The War Department tablet to be replaced at a cost of $2900, paid for by the Ninth PA, is Tablet No. 31, located on the east side of the Hagerstown Pike.
The tablet reads "USA/First Army Corps / Anderson's Brigade, Meades Division / Lieut. Col. Robert Anderson, 9th Penn. Reserve, Commanding. / Organization 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Pennsylvania Reserves (September 17, 1862)--Anderson's Brigade advanced from the North Woods about 6:30 a.m. in support of Doubleday's Division engaged on either side of the road south of this point, midway between the North Woods and D.R. Miller's, the 10th Regiment crossed the road and moving west about 700 yards became engaged with the enemy's skirmishers and the artillery of Stewart's cavalry command. The three remaining regiments formed line with the right resting on the road at this point. A charge of the enemy to the north edge of the Cornfield was repulsed and the brigade advanced to the Cornfield. The 9th Regiment going through the Cornfield to its south edge, the center and left about midway into the corn, when it was checked by the advance of a confederate line and fell back, after which Anderson withdrew to the North Woods, where he was rejoined by the 10th regiment and served as a rallying point for Sedgwick's division, Second Corps. The brigade moved to the rear of the high ground north of Joseph Poffenberger's."
The new marker was installed at the time of the 140th reenactment of the Battle of Antietam in September 2002.
The 9th Pennsylvania Reserves replaced the tombstone at Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA, honoring "Brigadier General C. F. Jackson killed at the Battle of Fredricksburg December 13, 1862, aged 49 years. He fell in a struggle for liberty with his knightly manhood prepared for knightly deeds." (See "Across My Desk by Brian Butko, Editor," Western Pennsylvania History 86(3): 5. Fall 2003.)
Conservator Fonda G. Thomsen, Director, Textile Preservation Associates, Inc., Sharpsburg, MD, working on flag in the Captain Thomas Espy Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 153.
Each year the 9th cleans around our memorial at Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, PA.
Bob Fark exhibits representative Civil War shoulder arms at the Soldiers Fair, Pittsburgh, 22 June 2002. [Click on the image to see another one.]