Journal of the Pennsylvania Reserves
The following annotated Journal of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps is, for the most part, the end result of research performed by noted Pennsylvania Civil War historian, Dr. Richard A. Sauers: A Bibliography of Soldier Letters Printed/Published in Pennsylvania Newspapers, 1861-1865. The bibliography was compiled during the 1980’s, an outgrowth of Dr. Sauer’s research for his published two-volume work: Advance the Colors: Pennsylvania Civil War Battle Flags.
To date, the bibliography is unpublished; for the Reserve Corps researcher, it is nothing short of a secret map to abundant hidden treasure, yielding more than six hundred pieces of correspondence written by members of this illustrious division. The handwritten notebook is a guide to Dr. Sauers’ painstaking survey of roughly 130 newspapers published during the war years; most of which can be found at the Pennsylvania State Library at Harrisburg. More than one-half of the PRVC letters located through the bibliography have been transcribed and posted on this website. With the exception of correspondence from members of the Wayne County companies (Co. B, 3rd Reserves; Co. C, 6th Reserves), found in the Honesdale Democrat at the Wayne County Historical Society, all of the soldier letters posted on the site by this editor, have been obtained via Dr. Sauers’ work.
The Bibliography of Soldier Letters is slated to be published in the not too distant future, incorporated into a colossal project Dr. Sauers has been working on for many years: A Bibliography of Pennsylvania During the Civil War. This massive undertaking will undoubtedly be heralded as the bible of Pennsylvania Civil War Researchers, featuring about 12,600 entries that “includes county works, biographies, the entire slavery issue, economics, the home front, benevolent societies, postwar organizations like the GAR, units, militia, USCT, etc,” and will guide researchers to “perhaps 1500-2000 manuscript collections, many of them unused.” According to Dr. Sauers, the tome has grown into a hefty 900 page project; for reasons of practicality and affordability to researchers, it will likely be published as a CD. A publication date has not yet been set, but the project is nearing completion, the good doctor needing only to “finish compiling lists of where surviving GAR post records are located…”
One can hardly wait.
The journal project on this website is, therefore, a tribute to Dr. Sauers’ work. It is hoped to be found a worthy salute to his devotion and expertise.
A handful of others have contributed to this project, lending direct or indirect assistance at a level that demands acknowledgement. For lack of a better means, gratitude for their help is listed in the chronological order in which it was given.
Many thanks to Steve L. Zerbe, former Librarian/Research Archivist at the Civil War & Underground Railroad Museum of Philadelphia. Mr. Zerbe started the ball rolling by providing page copies of the Sauers Bibliography pertaining to the Reserve Corps, and opened the door to a wealth of information.
A special note of thanks to Sally Talega, Museum Director of the Wayne County Historical Society in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, for generously providing access to their microfilm reader/printer during off hours.
Thanks is owed to the unnamed employees of the Pennsylvania State Library’s Inter-Library Loan Department at Harrisburg, and the good folks of the Wayne County Public Library at Honesdale. For several months they kept a steady stream of microfilm flowing without a single lapse or error. My heart is filled with admiration by the smooth and able work on both ends of the supply line.
Thanks to Steve Hall of Rome, Pennsylvania, civil war preservationist, researcher, and fellow website member, for providing the bulk of information about Bradford County’s volunteers of the Reserve Corps. Steve’s contributions are heavily relied upon in the opening chapter, and will be found interspersed throughout the journal.
I would like to tip my hat to Joyce M. Tice, Webmaster of Tri-County’s Genealogy & History. Her website provided nearly all of the background information needed to understand the situation in Pennsylvania’s Thirteenth District at the start of the war. Joyce’s website is undoubtedly the best independent genealogy and history site found anywhere. Her devotion to the history of Tioga, Bradford and Chemung County, New York can be seen at http://www.rootsweb.com/~srgp/jmtindex.htm
Lastly, but not at all the least, I would like to thank August Marchetti, Webmaster of this site, for making this forum available, encouraging the project, and for assisting in umpteen ways. You’re the best, Sarge!
March 22, 2007,
New York City.