The spring season has sprung before us with beautiful warm winds, the weather seems to be greening the cover of the battlefields with flowers pushing through. May’s meeting will be the “official” call for spring flowers. Finally, we enjoy the walks of the battlefields and look back on April’s meeting with Elizabeth Dinger. Her topic of “The Siege of Petersburg – The Stories Cemeteries Tell” will spark the spring in the ole Civil War crowd. So enjoy the spring and get your flowers and gardens started, but don’t forget the Rebel yell going to announce our May meeting!

So, this month we are endeared with the Roger W. Arthur’s talk on President Lincoln. Roger will cover Lincoln’s “Wit and Wisdom” from the inspiration from “New Birth of Freedom of 1863”, which highlights the history of the bicentennial celebration on Lincoln’s efforts. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the brush cutting at Gettysburg Park on Saturday, April 26th. Also this year, we will be looking at the Civil War Trust’s Antietam Campaign and the four battlefields in Virginia that need 318 acres preserved (

As always, I want to remind every person that our website ( archives all the past newsletters, lists our meeting times, membership application, a collection of other civil war related sites for research, the civil war’s 150th anniversary locations to visit and last but definitely not least is our Preservation Front. Our Preservation Front contains not only our latest updates, but also trusts that have been setup to support the preservation of the civil war battlegrounds. So during this 2013-2014 campaign Year, don’t forget to remember the soldiers that fought and died in the civil war. Please, not only do your part, but also help us to preserve the battlefield lands where our ancestors fought.

The following is from Tim Gruber of Pennsylvania Historical Record Access. This organization has worked diligently to get death certificates placed on-line. As any of you who work on historical or family research know, this will be an invaluable aid. Our CWRT has supported this effort.

The initial batch of Pennsylvania state death certificates is now online through (as of April 18th). Remember only birth and death certificates that are open records will be online (50 years for death certificates and 105 years for birth certificates). The overall schedule is:

1906-24 death certificates – April 2014

1925-44 death certificates – June 2014

1945-63 death certificates – November 2014

1906 birth certificates – March 2015

Pennsylvania residents (and only Pennsylvania residents) have free access to this particular database as they do with other Pennsylvania State Archives records already scanned and made available online by Ancestry. Free access for Pennsylvania residents is accomplished by registering online at no cost through this link (please be sure to read the instructions carefully): Pennsylvania residents that already have a subscription to Ancestry do not need to do anything as long as they continue to have a subscription to Ancestry.

Out of state residents do need a subscription to Ancestry to access these records. However, many libraries and research centers everywhere provide free access to Ancestry. After three years the records will be moved to the Pennsylvania State Archives website and be free to all.

Thank you for your help in getting the PA state law changed that made this possible. Without your help we would still be stuck with the old extremely restricted access to Pennsylvania state birth and death certificates and wishing it were different. For more information please visit Good luck in your searches and keep in mind mistakes in indexing (most especially on Ancestry) and the original certificates are to be expected.

Tim Gruber

Pahr-Access spokesperson


Time is running out!!!  Stop by and see Jim Duffy at the Preservation Table during any meeting to purchase your print raffle tickets.

Burnside's Bridge by Don Troini

First prize – this valuable print, Burnside’s Bridge, signed by artist Don Troiani, The framed value in the secondary market for this print is currently $600.00.  This will be a great addition to your collection.

Second prize –     Official General Ulysses S. Grant Bowie Knife – “The Siege of Vicksburg” by the Franklin Mint  with a Certificate of Authenticity

Third prize - ”Illustrated History of the Civil War” – 3 volume set

Vol. 1 – “Arms and Equipment of the Union”

Vol. 2 – “Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy”

Vol. 3 – “Illustrated Atlas of the Civil War”

Fourth prize -  “Grant and Lee” – William M. S. Rasmussen and Robert S. Tilton – Published by Virginia Historical Society – 9″ X 12″

Fifth prize – Three rare pamphlets on the USS Monitor:

“The Man Who Made the Monitor; John Ericsson, Engineer and Visionary” – American Swedish

Historical Museum, Philadelphia 2003

“Monitor Builders: A Historical Study of the Principal Firms and Individuals Involved in the

Construction of the USS Monitor” – National Park Service and NOAA, 1988

“Ironclad Captains: The Commanding Officers of the USS Monitor” – William S. Still – National

Marine Sanctuary, April 1988


Brush cutting at Gettysburg NMP Saturday April 26

We are car pooling from the Holiday Inn auxiliary parking lot off of Rte 100.
(This is the lot on the right hand side of the road as it approaches the Holiday Inn.
We are asking folks to be there at 6:45 with a departure of 7AM.

Tony Major and Jim Duffy will be there to answer questions and get things organized. Ed Root will be in Gettysburg the night before and will meet everyone at the work site as they arrive.

That departure will give folks time to get to Gettysburg and hit the rest room before our planned 9:30 start time. We hope to be finished by 12:30 or so. People are certainly free to come and go as they see fit.
Below is the Gettysburg National Battlefield website. Select “View Park Map.” Find Stop 1 (in RED). Our work site is the McPherson Barn. You’ll note there is parking and rest rooms right above the site.

The Round Table will provide water.

Gettysburg NMP will provide equipment such as lopping shears and swing blades, but people should bring their own if they have them just to play it safe. People should also bring work gloves and appropriate footwear.

After we finished Dick Jacoby will describe the 6th Wisconsin’s assault on the Railroad Cut and Ed Root will give a program about the 149th PA Infantry and its fight on July 1st.

There is the Appalachian Brew Pub within a few hundred yards of our work site and there is a myriad of places to eat in town. See their website below.

After lunch people are free to tour the battlefield and or town on their own as
they please.

The sites we selected are the fence line of the McPherson barn and the regimental monuments to the 143rd and 149th Pennsylvania Infantry. They are all along the Chambersburg Pike, The work is all light trimming with no tree cutting or heavy dragging of timber as we endured in some of our earlier and maybe more importantly “younger” days. We always had fun and the cause of historic preservation is an honorable one!

See you on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Any questions; See Ed Root at the April meeting, email him at or call 610-417-6673