Two of my ancestors, Solomon and Jeremiah App who were brothers, happened to experience the American Civil War together as soldiers in the same fighting unit from Snyder County, Pennsylvania – Company G, 147th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Our family arrived in America from Germany in 1752 aboard the sailing vessel, St. Andrew, departing Amsterdam, Holland and landing at the Port of Philadelphia. William Penn had a heart for religiously persecuted Germans and welcomed them to what is now Pennsylvania. The App family eventually homesteaded in Snyder County and took up farming. Most of the families in the area were from Germany and spoke German as a first language, so it is no surprise that the neighbors and friends who enlisted into Company G were known as “the only all-German speaking company in the war.” Their term of service lasted from September, 1862 through June, 1865.
The following entries were kept in the diary of fellow infantryman, Sergeant Michael S. Schroyer, which he began 150 years ago upon enlistment. Sergeant Schroyer has an interesting way of writing, allowing you to follow along with the boys of the company and experience the Civil War through a soldier’s eyes. Although the blog entries start about the time the soldiers were mustered in (1862), the posts will not be made “real time” or you would be following this blog thread for two years and 9 months! Expect a new post about every three days, along with some photos from time-to-time, and we should complete the blog journey about the end of June, 2013.
After the war ended, the “boys” kept very close to one-another and started an interesting tradition that I will explain at the end. This particular tradition still is being carried on today, although in a different form, and you can participate each year if you wish!