OUR CIVIL WAR VETERANS OF TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP
As the struggle between the North and South unfolded into the tragedy of war, every resource of our nation was redirected to the cause. Here in Tobyhanna Township, on the Pocono Plateau, war seemed to be a world away. Instead, the struggle for personal and family existence was far more paramount.
In 1860 the U.S. Census documented 518 residents of Tobyhanna Township. As war broke out in the spring of 1861, these residents were developing into a responsible community within Monroe County. Although there was strong antiwar sentiment in the county, those attitudes were more predominant in the larger towns.
Then the call came for volunteers. Pennsylvania responded to the nation’s call with zeal, contributing more than 427,000 of its citizens to the Union cause, more than any other state. Tobyhanna Township contributed its share. This project was initiated to rediscover our community residents who were a part of the war between the states.
Of our approximately 175 eligible military service-age residents, this project has rediscovered 29 of our veterans of the Civil War, who lived in Tobyhanna Township for a significant portion of their lives. Although a few were drafted into service, most volunteered for the preservation of the Union.
Farmers, laborers, lumbermen, a school teacher, a blacksmith, a musician, a wagon maker, a carpenter and a shoemaker all show the diversity of our community, and in turn demonstrates that this tremendous conflict affected everyone. Even more so, they were our sons, our brothers, and our fathers.
Inevitably, our community suffered the casualties of battle. And in those years, more actually died of disease than of battle wounds in the Civil War, as the science of medicine and sanitation practices were less known. Our residents were even more susceptible, being transitioned from a healthy, rural clean air and water environment of few people to the congestion of thousands living shoulder to shoulder in military camps together.
Of our known 29 veterans, seven perished in service. Four were killed in action of battle, and three died of other reasons including disease. They were fathers. They were sons. They were brothers. All were tragically missed by their loved ones and the community. And one became significant for his burial as the first soldier to be interred at the new hallowed ground in Virginia named Arlington National Cemetery.
For the honor of all who have dedicated their service to our country, this project is dedicated to you who have long protected our freedom.
The American flag depicted in the report is the official flag from 1863 to beyond the end of the Civil War.
This includes West Virginia as the 35th state admitted to the Union in 1863, after succeeding from Virginia.