Florentine H. Staub, Co. D, 3rd Pennsylvania Reserves

Florentine H. Straub was born January 15, 18311 in Northampton County, Pennsylvania.  At the age of twenty-one, he married Susan Niehart on September 5, 1852. Together they resided in Berks County, Pa, and between 1853 and 1860, and would have three sons, Francis, Albert, and Florentine Jr.2

Florentine H. Staub
Captain Florentine H. Straub, of the “Mechanics’ Infantry” of Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania. This company was assigned Company D in the 3rd Pennsylvania Reserves.

Straub enrolled in the “Mechanics’ Rifle Company” on April 22, 1861, and was elected Second Lieutenant.3  The Mechanic’s Rifles were ordered to Camp Washington, in Easton, Pennsylvania where they were mustered into service of the State of Pennsylvania on June 7.  Records described him as  being a machinist by trade, standing 5’ 7” tall with dark hair and dark eyes. Three regiments were organized at Camp Washington; Straub’s company was absorbed into the 3rd Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserves, and was assigned Company “D.”     On November 19, 1861, he was elected to the seat of First Lieutenant.4

On August 1, 1862, Straub succeeded William Briner as Captain of Co. D when Briner was elected Major of the 3rd Regiment.5  As a soldier Straub was described as a “…brave and gallant officer, who appeared not to know what fear was.”6 Straub’s tenure as Captain of Co. D would prove to be short, as he was killed in action at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.  In a letter written to the Reading Times the day after the battle Straub’s death was described by Major Briner, “I deeply regret to say that Captain Straub, of my Company D, was killed while gallantly leading his men in the thickest of the fight. He fell by my side. I raised him up, and with the assistance of some of the men, we bought him off the field. He never spoke after he was shot. The ball entered his back on the right side and came out on his left breast. We were exposed to a crossfire from the rebels as we were changing our position in front of their line. I had him carried about three miles to the rear, to the small village of Keitsville, where he was buried for the present.”7

Straub’s body would be returned to Reading to be interred in Aulenbach Cemetery on Monday, September 25, 1862.

On April 3, 1863 Colonel Horatio Sickel wrote the following letter to Straub’s widow Susan:

Head Quarters Penna Reserves
Uptons Hill Va April 5th 1863

Mrs Florentine H Straub
Reading Penna


I have the pleasure to forward you the commission of your deceased husband Captain Florentine Straub of Company D in my old regiment the 3rd PRVC and deeply as I regret that he was not permitted to enjoy in life the honor he won on the field of battle it is no small satisfaction, and I sincerely trust may prove some consolation to you, to know that he fell fighting gallantly in the defense of the institutions of his country-the cause of humanity.

Captain Straub was identified with nearly every fear struggle in which the Penna Reserves I’ve been engaged during the present unhappy rebellion. He gallantly led his company at South Mountain when the Reserves under Meade successfully charged the rebels and drove them from their strong position – Again at Antietam this gallant soldier in the thickest of the fight offered up his life on the altar of his country.

Whilst we all mourn in the loss of an efficient officer a brave soldier and true man – Whilst we are not unmindful of the deep affliction it has cast upon you and the gloom that now rests at the family fireside – He cannot but rejoice that he so nobly earned his title – his name will be known to fame – carved by his own hands, his was a soldier’s death amid the shock of battle on the 17th day of September 1862. I beg you to accept this testimony to the worth of your gallant Husband.

I am very Respectfully, Your Obedt. Servt.
H. G. Sickel Col Comdg Divn8

Chief Regimental Historian of the 9th Reserves at PRVCHS | + posts

Long time Civil War Enthusiast since early childhood. As a former resident of nearby Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I became interested in the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves and since then, have become engaged in researching the regiment and the men who served in it. I currently reside in Northern Virginia and work in Washington D.C.

  1. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1929-1990; Series Number: Series 1.
  2. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.
  3. “More Volunteers”, Reading Gazette and Democrat, 27 April 1861, pg. 3.
  4. Pennsylvania State Archives; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Civil War Veterans` Card File, 1861-1866; Series Number: 19.12.
  5. Bates, S.P., “History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65”, Vol. I, F. Singerly, State Printer, Harrisburg, 1869.
  6. Woodward, E.M., “History of the Third Pennsylvania Reserve” McCrealish and Quigley, 1883, page 189.
  7. Briner, W. “Army Correspondence.” Reading Times, 22 Sept., 1862, p2; “Military Funerals.” Reading Times, 29 Sept., 1862, p2.
  8. Sickel, HG to Susan Straub, April 5, 1863. Record Group 393, Part 2, Entry 4436, National Archives & Record Administration, Washington DC.