Harriet Reifsnyder Sharpless went to the front in 1861 as a Volunteer Nurse with the Army of the Potomac and visited among the sick and wounded in the Field Hospitals and moving among the soldiers. Her whole aim seemed to be to alleviate suffering among the enlisted soldiers. Having a brother1 in the same Co. with the writer, she was frequently in their Camp while at Camp Pierpont in Virginia, and while campaigning in the various “On to Richmond.” She was to be seen at frequent intervals until sometime early in the fall of 1862. She was called home by the illness of her mother. Miss Sharpless again returned to the front and in order to become superintendent of the Hospital Boat Connecticut she was mustered into the service of the United Northern States.
The writer has had numerous inquires from people in all ranks from Maine to California as to whether she still lived and wanting to be kindly remembered for kindness shown and tender nursing given during the time that tried men’s souls. She was born and lived practically all her life in Columbia County and died at the House of her Brother Lloyd T. Sharpless in Bloomsburg. And the writer who knew her intimately for over 40 years never knew her to speak the first disparaging word about anyone and old and young alike. All spoke of her in the highest regard terms of Praise. Her sunshiny disposition and her genial character gained for her the Pet name of “Aunt Happy” especially among her nieces and nephews. She was so devoted to the cause she loved so well and the soldiers so devoted to her that she had been elected honorary membership in the society of survivors of the 6th Regt. Penna. Res. Vol. Association and of the Col. Co. Veteran Association and of Ent Post 250 G.A.R. Dept. of Pennsylvania G.A.R. She was buried with full military honors by Ent Post 250 and a firing squad from Brockway Camp S. of V. 270. The bugle sounded taps and all that was mortal of our warm friend and advocate was hidden from sight.2
Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.