Horace Edwin Hayden.

Genealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) online

. (page 36 of 130)
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Among all the states of the Union, Pennsylvania oc-
cupies a pre-eminent place, and proud am I today to
address those of her brave children, whose heroism,
and gallantry have added renown to her history.

With that history is closely allied the glorious-
achievements of her citizen soldiery in whose ranks
were enrolled the gallant One Hundred and Forty-
Third Regiment of Infantry, composed of the stalwart
sons of Luzerne, whose battle tlag at the close of the
terrible struggle visibly showed that it had been borne
in the front rank of battle, where in storm of shot
and shell it was tattered and torn, but never went
down, for it had been committed to the care of men
who never flinched nor failed to do their duty, when
high above the roar and din of battle rang the order,.
•Rally on the colors.'

"Men of Luzerne ; amid the smoke and carnage of
battle, that command you have often heard and cour-
ageously obeyed over the bodies of dead and dying
comrades, and saved your flag from falling into the hands
of a foe whose bravery won the admiration of the world,
although fighting in a cause that was unholy from
the beginning to the end ; a cause that was unworthy
of the gallant lives sacrificed, suffering endured, valor-
displayed, and herculean efforts made in its behalf, for-
its triumph would have destroyed the union, and over-
thrown the "fairest fabric of human government that.,
ever rose to animate the hope of civilized man.'

"Let us briefly review the past, and the glorious
record of our own Luzerne Regiment, a small number -
of whose battle scarred veterans now only survive, to
make a pilgrimage to the spot where, in the long ago,,
they mustered in the pride of youth and vigor of man-
hood, more than one thousand strong, who came here
in the days of the Civil war — when disunion's dark
clouds rolled overhead, and the terrible thunder of bat-
tle, heralding death, woe, and mourning to happy north-
ern homes, was borne to our ears on evei-y passing
breeze.

"Fearlessly, you then confronted a future that was
appalling, for horoscopic vision foretold that the terrible
fratricidal conflict when raging had just begun. Not-
withstanding all this, you willingly left your homes, fire-
sides and loved ones to join in the bloody strife — a.



172



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



strife which was to decide the fate of millions of
human beings, a strife in which was involved the per«
petuity of the union, and the future destiny of the
American republic. Your unselfish devotion to country
in the most perilous and gloomy hour of national exis-
tence, finds a parallel in every heroic age of the past.
For sublime e.xamples of heroism we need not go to
other lands. Our own is prolific of heroes, for Amer-
ica is the cradle of brave men and women.

"Between here and the shimmering waters of the
Susquehanna, your Revolutionary forefathers bravely
faced British invaders and their savage and blood
thirsty allies, and before the sunset of one eventful
■day their dead, mangled and mutilated bodies lay
strewn over yonder plain, and the smoke arising from
devastated harvest fields, and the burning homes of
Wyoming's heroic defenders, veiled the skies in gloom.
Within our view a granite shaft marks the sacred spot
where lie their crumbling bones. It records their im-
mortal names. The story of their noble heroism and their
glorious epitaph. 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori,'
which was remembered by their descendants, when they
struck their tents and marched to join their valiant com-
rades, whose camp fires lighted up the hills of Vir-
ginia, upon which were encamped McClellan's trained
battalions, the veterans of the Peninsula, the heroes of
South Mountain and of Antietam, who gave you a
-soldier's welcome to the Army of the Potomac, in all
of whose future campaigns you marched, fought, and
.helped to win an imperishable victory.

"For a number of months after you reached the
front, you vigilantly guarded the national capitol. and
"then in the spring-time ensuing, with Hooker's strong
columns you crossed the Rappahannock in battle array,
and participated in the disastrous engagement of Chan-
cellorsville, where Jackson's valiant men rolled back
Howard's broken battalions upon Sickels, Meade, and
Reynolds, whose bayonets stopped the routed and fly-
ing men of the Eleventh Corps, and saved Hooker and
his army from being driven into the Rappahannock.

"The battle of Chancellorsville, although a victory
for the Confederate arms, was a great calamity to the
■cause of the South, for Stonewall Jackson, one of her
most intrepid soldiers, a captain of captains, who could
pray as well as fight, fell on that bloody field.

"Chancellorsville was preceded by the slaughter of
Fredericksburg, during which rivulets of Northern
blood ran down the slopes of Mary's Heights, and
demonstrated in human gore, the solemn fact, that the
Army of the Potomac, ever since the day "Little Mac"
rode along its lines for the last time, and heard the
farewell cry 'Come back to us, McClellan,' had been
w-ithout a leader. If in that sad and mournful hour,
the Army of the Potomac, created by the genius of
McClellan. a Pennsylvanian, could have had a voice in
the selection of a commander, there would have been
no Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, to dim the
lustre of its glorious achievements.

"Hooker's inglorious campaign along the banks of
the Rappahannock revived the cause of disunion. Its
greatest chieftain, the commander of the Army of
Northern Virginia, became inspired with the hope of
ultimate success, and believed the supreme hour had
come, to strike the decisive blow, one that would de-
molish the Union created by his illustrious forefathers,
and rear upon its ruins an oligarchy, fotmded upon
human slavery. So he summoned to his victorious
standard the veterans of many fields, the flower of
.Southern troops, who were eager to invade the North,



for they believed their arms invincible, and that they
Lould plant their battle flags upon the banks of the
Susquehanna, Schuylkill and Delaware.

"While Lee was marshalling the armed men of the
South on the Plains of Culpepper, the Army of the
Potomac, defeated, but not dismayed, rested upon its
arms, and as soon as the rebel legions started on their
Northern march, it pursued the invaders. While the
tired columns of the Union Army were hurrying on,
under the blazing sun of day and twinkling stars of
night, to overtake the foe. General George G. Meade,
a gallant son of Pennsylvania, was placed in command
of the Army of the Potomac, and upon the soil of his
native state, won imperishable renown, and the grati-
tude of a grateful people.

"You men of Luzerne, who unflinchingly faced the
iron storm and leaden hail of Gettysburg, fought under
the famous watchword, 'We have come to stay' in
Roy Stone's Brigade, Doubleday's Division of the First
Army Corps, commanded by that heroic son of Penn-
sylvania, General John F. Reynolds, who at the head
of his brave Pennsylvanians was the first to arrive
upon the soil of his native state, and the first to fall
in its defense. Reynolds was a brave soldier, and his
heroic death made his name immortal. His old com-
rades in arms in whose midst he fell in battle, have
not forgotten him in death, for upon the field of Gettys-
burg, they have reared to his memory a bronze statue
which will in all future time perpetuate the heroism
of an illustrious soldier of a great Commonwealth,
whose noble son he truly is. After Reynolds was struck
down, Doubleday took command, and all the afternoon
of the first day's battle you fought overwhelming num-
bers. Charge after charge was savagely made on your
lines, during which young Crippen, your gallant color
bearer, was slain. His heroic death will never be for-
gotten for his surviving comrades will soon erect upon
the spot where he fell, a monument which will point
out to future generations where one of the bravest of
Luzerne's sons gave up his life for his country — the
noblest death man can die.*

"Your corps after being engaged for hours in the
open field and losing more than one-half its number,
stubbornly fighting, fell back with with its face to the
foe, and when the sun set in blood at the close of that
eventful day, the remnant of Reynold's brave corps
stood in line of battle on Cemetery Hill, ready to repel
the enemy should it attempt under shade of night to
carry with bayonet, the only position held by the Union
Troops.

"The desperate fighting of the First Corps, which
opened the battle of Gettysburg, checked Lee's advanc-
ing columns and enabled the remainder of the Army
of the Potomac, which was miles aw'ay, to come up and
go into position on Cemetery Heights which were saved
by Reynolds and the brave men of his corps, to whom
this nation owes an everlasting debt of gratitude.
During the fearful combat of the succeeding day,
you remained in position on Cemetery Hill, which the
fi'crce Louisiana Tigers in the evening twilight at-
tempted to carrj' by storm, and were blown from its
top and out of history by the cannon of brave Pcnn-



* On tb.e battle monument erected upon Gettys-
burg field, there is carved in bas-relief. "Color-bearer
Sergeant Benjamin H. Crippen. of Providence, Luzerne
County, Pennsylvania, who fell at Gettysburg, July i,
1861." (See "Pennsylvania at Gettvsburg," vol. ii,
p. 683).



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



173;



s}-lvania artillerymen commanded by a gallant son of
old Lnzerne, Colonel Robert Bruce Kicketts.

"On the last day of Gettysburg, the Luzerne Regi-
ment stood at the base of Cemetery Ridge in tne
decimated ranks of the Second Brigade, commanded
by your own brave Colonel Edmund L. Dana, the
gallant hero of two wars. During the terrific ariillery
hre which preceded the charge oi Pickett's men, you
stood firm, for you were encouraged by the sublime
heroism of a courageous son of the old Keystone State,
General Winfield Scott Hancock, who rode up and
down the battle line while the air was being cut to
pieces by the iron missies of death. Hancock is dead.
He sleeps upon the soil of his native State, and genera-
tion after generation to come will point to his tomb and
proudly exclaim, "There rests the Hero of Gettysburg."

"After the thunder of battle died away, an ominous
stillness pervaded the field. The silence of that ter-
rible hour foretold the coming storm, which was soon
to rage in awful fury, for less than a mile away direct-
ly in front of the Union line, solid columns ot men in
gray were forming in battle array. Soon that magni-
ficent body of troops, with banners unfurled, amid a
sea of bayonets which looked like waves of steel, came
marching on. All the Union guns from Cemetery Hill
to Little Round Top belched torth a death salute, and
sent the iron thunder-bolts of war crashing into the
ranks of those fearless and courageous men of the
South. Undismayed, they closed up the wide lanes
made in their lines, and came steadily on. At last they
arrived within reach of the musketry fire of the Union
line. The men of Luzerne were there, and fired volley
after volley into Wilcox's Alabamians.* Nothing could
withstand that flame of fire. The charge was repulsed,
and back over the bodies of dead and dying comrades,
the escaping survivors of Pickett's Division fled, to tell
the story of its annihilation upon Pennsylvania soil.
Thus it was, and history will ever silently pronounce
how the gallant men of old Luzerne saluted with crash-
ing volleys the rebel invaders on their arrival and again
upon their inglorious departure from the soil of Penn-
sylvania.

"The army of Northern Virginia was not de-
stroyed at Gettysburg, although many thousands of its
number never recrossed the Potomac with Lee's de-
cimated battalions, who after nearly two years of des-
perate fighting, were compelled to lay down their arms,
during which time the Luzerne Regiment was conspicu-
ous for its gallantry, in all the terrific battles fought,
by the blood crimson columns of Grant, from the Rapi-
dan to the James, along whose historic banks many of
your brave comrades sleep in unknown graves. No one
but God knows where they now repose, and He will
guard their patriot slumber until Irime shall be no
more.

"The battle of Appomattox closed the glorious cam-



* At this point of the speaker's remarks. Capt. P.
DeLacy, the president of the Association, interrupted
him with the remark that what had just been said was
true, but was denied by Col. John B. Bachelder, the
historian of the Gettysburg Battle Field Association.
The 143d Regiment did fire volleys upon Pickett's divi-
sion, and Captain DeLacy asked all those present who
fired on that occasion to hold up their right hands, and
more than a dozen hands went up, showing directly that
Pickett's men received the fire of the men of old
Luzerne as the orator had stated.



paigns of the Army of the Potomac, whose invincible
arms crashed and conquered the Army of Northern
Virginia, commanded by one oj. the greatest generals
of ancient or modern times. If the commander of that
mighty Confederate host had remained irue to the flag
he helped carry over the victorious battlefields of Mex-
ico and wave in triumph in the halls of the Montezu-
mas, had drawn his sword on the side of the Union,
his tomb would be at .Arlington, which is now the vast
sepulchre of acres of patriot dead, thousands of whom
were slain upon the battlefields of America's great
Civil war.

"The shadow of .Arlington's mournful shade, now
rests upon a new made grave, in which is entombed
the mortal remains of one whose valiant deeds in the
war for the preservation of the union, made his name
renowned forever — not only in his country's proud his-
tory — but in the glorious annals of time. Upon Arling-
ton's sacred soil the illustrious soldier sleeps in the
inidst of his dead troopers, awaiting the call of the
Archangel's bugle, which will awaken the Grand Army
of the Union from the slumber of death, and then
again foremost with that invincible host will appear,
the 'Hero of Winchester,' General Philip H. Sheridan.

"With the surrender of all the forces arrayed in
arms against the national government, a cruel, wicked,
and causeless civil war came to an inglorious end, and
the old flag again waved in triumph throughout the
length and breadth of the republic, with every star
indelibly stamped upon its blue field, and the consti-
tution of the union was again the supreme law of the
land. There was great rejoicing in the loyal North,,
East and West over the grand victory won by the brave
and patriotic men of America, and when they came
marching home, with drums rolling, victorious banners
unfurled, covered with the scars of battle and enveloped
in glory, a grateful people gave the returning heroes
a mighty welcome, for by the aid of the God of battles
they had vanquished the foes of the Union and forever
extirpated from the land of the free, human slavery,
the foulest blot on freedotn's name.

"When the sun of peace again lighted up the land,
you, the gallant survivors of the One Hundred and
Forty-Third Pennsylvania Volunteers, received your
last marching orders, and soon you were on your tri-
umphal march homeward. The renown you had
achieved upon your country's battlefields preceded you.
Your patriotic and admiring fellow citizens in the capi-
tol of old Luzerne gave you a grand ovation, which
was continued along the banks of the Susquehanna to
the State capitol, where you proudly gave back to the
great Commonwealth that sent you forth, the bullet-
riddled battle flag of your Regiment. That flag, stained
with the blood of gallant comrades, in years to come,
long after you have passed away will in silent eloquence
proclaim the noble heroism of Luzerne's valiant sons,
who fought, fell and were slain arount it, on many
bloody fields.

"Time will soon disband forever the little band of
heroes here assembled. Heaven has indeed guarded
and lengthened out your lives that you might behold
this glorious day, which dawned upon a land, happy,
united, prosperous and free, whose people, until the
sun shall set to rise no more, will ever revere your
sacred memories and eulogize your heroic deeds, for
you saved the Union from dismemberment, and helped
to firmly establish upon an enduring foundation, the
American Republic, the grandest political structure ever -
reared and dedicated to human freedom.



•174



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



HENRY SAAIES. One of the representa-
tive business men of the city of Scranton, Lack-
awanna county, is Mr. Sames, who has turned
through his own efforts the tide of success and
attained to prestige of no uncertain order as a
progressive business man and loyal citizen. He
has been engaged in the grocery and provision
business here for the past twenty-two years,
while for seventeen years he has also conducted
the JMaple dairy, representing one of the leading
enterprises of the sort in this locality. His
grocery business has grown from modest pro-
portions to be one of very considerable scope,
and the same is true of his dairying enterprise,
which he initiated with the handling of ten
quarts of milk daily, while at the present time
the daily output of his dairy reaches the notable
aggregate of nearly one thousand quarts. He
has four wagons on the road and buys his milk
directly from the farmers, giving the greatest
care to maintaining perfect sanitation and purity
in the handling of the product.

Mr. Sames is a native of Germany, born April
.30, 1842, a son of Gottfried and Catherine (Fier-
bach) Sames, the latter of whom died in Ger-
many. They had eight children, and five came
' to this country, as follows : Margaret, Conrad,
Frederick, Kate and Henry. Lizzie lives in Ger-
■ many. The subject of this sketch was reared
and educated in his native land, where he learned
the miller's trade, to which he there continued
to give his attention until 1867, when he came
to the LTnited States and took up his residence
in Scranton. He entered the employ of the Del-
aware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Com-
pany, and was a faithful and efficient worker in
the car shops of the company for the long period
of twenty-nine years. He was careful in the
conserving of his earnings, and thus was finally
enabled to engage in business for himself, estab-
lishing his little grocery in 1882 and his dairy
business five years later. His energy has been
unabating, and the success which he has achieved
stands in evidence of his good management, ster-
ling integrity and straightforward business meth-
ods. In matters political he is found arrayed as
a stanch supporter of the principles of the Re-
publican party, and fraternally he is identified
with both the lodge and encampment of the In-
dependent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a mem-
ber and elder of the Presbyterian Church. In
the vear i86g Mr. Sames was united in matri-
monv to ]\Iiss Frances Lewert, who was born
in Germany, being a daughter of \\'illiam C.
and Frances (Stahlhaver) Lewert. Her broth-



ers and sisters were : Louis, George, Apolonia
(noAV Mrs. John Powell) and Mrs. Frances
Sames. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Sames,
we record that three died in infancy, while those
living are Henry C, Charles, John and Kate, the
sons being associated with their father in busi-
ness. Henry C. was married in 1903 to Miss
JNIamie Compton. He is a member of the Pa-
triotic Order Sons of America, the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, the Scranton Athletic
Club and the Scranton Bugle, Fife and Drum
Corps. Charles was married in 1904 to Miss
Kate Lanseidel. He also is identified with the
Patriotic Order Sons of America and the city
drum corps. John and Kate are still members
of the home circle.

CAPTAIN EDGAR CHARLES POST, de-
ceased, who passed the larger part of his entire
life in Scranto.n, was highly regarded as a citizen
and neighbor, and honored for his sterling worth
of personal character. He made a remarkable
record as a soldier of the Union, serving during
the larger part of the great rebellion, and never
absent from post of duty during his entire term
of service.

Mr. Post was born in Solon, New York, June
30, 1840, a son of Charles and Maria (Barker)
Post. The father was born and reared in Con-
necticut. Early in life he was a mechanic, mak-
ing axes by hand, at Saugerties, New York, be-
fore the days of manufacture by machinery, and
later was a merchant. He removed to Smith-
ville, Chenango county. New York, and later
(in 1884) to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he
died at the age of seventy-eight years. He was
a man of ability and enterprise, and took a lead-
ing part in the training of militia in his day. He
was the father of two children, Louisa, wife of
A. N. Harrison, a retired shoe merchant of
Scranton ; and Edgar Charles Post.

Edgar Charles Post passed his youth in his
native town, where he received his education and
engaged in various pursuits to which he devoted
himself with unremitting industry. In the first
year oi the Civil war period he enlisted (Decem-
ber 28, 1861) as a private in Company E, Eighth
Regiment New York A^olunteer Cavalry, and
served with conspicuous gallantry until the close
of the war, rising through the various grades to
the rank of captain. He participated in more
than one hundred engagements, ranging from
pitched battle to^ skirmish, without receiving a
single wound, in all the time not being absent
from a single roll call, or being excused from any
duty in consequence of any ailment, a most un-



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



175



usual experience, and one which has no parallel
within the knowledge of the writer of this narra-
tive, who himself served during the entire war,
and is entirely familiar with the annals of that
lieriod. While Captain Post, as has been stated,
escaped without injury, he has made some hair-
breadth escapes, on one occasion having his horse
killed under him, a shoulder-strap shot from off
his coat, and a ball to pass through his cap. On
the instant he mounted another horse and re-
mained in his place with his company until the
end of the engagement. His service was with
the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac, and
included all the stirring campaigns and desperate
battles in which it was concerned, principally in
A'irginia, under the leadership of McClellan,
Burnside, Hooker, Meade and Grant. The roll
of engagements in which Captain Post partici-
])ated included Fredericksburg, Antietam, Beverly
Road, Aliddleburg, Upperville, the desperate
three days battle at Gettysburg, Williamsport,
Funktown, Falling Water, Jack Sharp, Stevens-
burg, Barrett's Ford, Craig's Meeting House,
Spottsylvania, Yellow Tavern, IMeadow Bridge,
Hanover Court House, White Oak Swamp, Mal-
vern Hill, Nottaway Court House, Roanoke Sta-
tion, Stoney Creek, Ream's Station ; Winchester,
under dashing Phil Sheridan ; Summit Point,
Kearneystown, Port Royal, Town's Brook, Cedar
Creek (in October and again in November, 1863)
and Lazy Spring. He also participated in all the
operations leading to the final movements which
resulted in severing the communications of the
rebel army and compelling the surrender of Lee
at Appomattox Court House, at which memorable
scene Captain Post was also present. With his
command he was honorably discharged from
service, after the disbandment of the rebel armies,
and returned to peaceful avocations.

In 1877 Captain Post located in Scranton, and
became identified with the business interests of
Hyde Park. He conducted successively a gro-
cery store in the coi-operative hall building for a
number of years, and afterwards erected a build-
ing adjoining his residence on Jackson street,
where he carried on business for some years.
Captain Post was universally esteemed for his
manly character and usefulness in the commun-
ity. Without unseemly self-assertion he was
well content to give faithful discharge to the
duties which fall upon the conscientious, self-re-
specting but imambitious citizen. He was an ex-
emplary member of the Presbyterian Church, to
which he afforded a cheerful and liberal support,
as he did to its various benevolences. He was
held in particularly high regard in Grand Army



circles, and was an habitual benefactor of Ezra
Griffin Post, in which he held membership. He
was also a member of the Masonic fraternity.
His politic?! affiliations were with the Republican
party, to which he was unalterably attached from
the day he cast his first presidential vote for the



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 36 of 130)