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Pennsylvania and the Civil War

grand eagle and the wolf-1863 At the Penn State University Library they have placed online a massive American Civil War (1860-1865) collection of documents, photos, recollections, veteran pensions, diaries, list of deserters, biographies of residents of PA involved with the Civil War, maps, info relating to neighboring states, newspapers of the era, soldier database, letters, regimental histories and many more. Approximately 35 different topics are made digital, all relating pre-during and post Civil War and Pennsylvania.

With many of us having ancestors form this old and physically large state, it would be worth investigating any of your relatives, hometowns and events on the web site. Just scan over the selection and click on a choice.

In the section titled: PA Civil War Era Newspaper Collection, there are issues dated from Feb. 23, 1831 to Feb. 14, 1877. Not every county or newspaper for every time period is available so there are gaps in what is online. Use the search box at the top to assist in finding an article of interest. After which a listing with a summary will appear. Also at the top will be the number of newspaper entries located. Placing the surname of ‘Bixler’ produced 424 newspaper listings, some being about individuals with the name Bixler and other relating to a business name. You can use the ‘advance search’ to the left to help narrow down the search. Click on ‘page’ to the far right of an article you want to view and the page, in its original form will show. What a great way to step back in time.

The Gettysburg College of Civil War Era materials has a wide range to select from as you research. There are photos, pamphlets, sheet music, maps, letters, political cartoons, etc. There is a search box at the top or just select a subtopic and see what is available. The topic of ‘artifacts’ is very interesting. Here are photographic images of actual items once owned by soldiers or people in the Gettysburg area. The artifacts of soldier can be from any regiment from any state that fought in and around Gettysburg, even across Pennsylvania. If you had an ancestor named Robert B. Arms, an Union Captain of Company B, 16th Vermont Infantry Regiment, there are several of his personal items shown. Any descriptions of the item known is also given.

Even without any ancestors who were involved in the Civil War in Pennsylvania, you will find the material, especially the era music and political posters fascinating to review.

Photo: A cartoon card chromolithograph depicting “Grand combat between the Eagle and the Wolf “, dated 1863.

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