From the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 1915.
ISREAL P. LONG OBSERVES HIS ANNIVERSARY. WAR VETERAN AND FIRST MAIL CARRIER SEVENTY-ONE YEARS OLD. WOUNDED IN BATTLE.
Israel P. Long, of 70 South Main street, a veteran of the Civil War who was commended for bravery and who underwent the severe hardship of a long imprisonment in Libby, is seventy-one years of age today. The Evening News extends to Corporal Long cordial congratulations. He also enjoys the distinction of being the first mail carrier appointed in this city and has been in active service since January 1883. The following sketch is taken from a book entitled: “Presidents, Soldiers, Statesmen.” published by H. H. Hadesty, New York.
“Our subject was 17 years of age when he began his military career March 2, 1862, joining Company F, 7th P.R.V.C…2 brigade, McCall’s Division, Fifth A. C. at Catlett’s Station, Va. He entered the ranks as a private and in due time was promoted to Corporal. June 27, 1862 he was captured by Johnson’s forces at Gaines’ Mill, Va., and was held in Libby Prison and Belle Isle for six weeks after which he was exchanged. August 30, 1862 he was wounded by a fragment of a shell in the left hip at 2nd Bull Run, in consequence of which he was treated in quarters by the regimental surgeon for two weeks. He was again wounded by gunshot at Fredericksburg, Va., in the left thigh and was obliged to enter the Patent Office Hospital, Washington D.C., where he remained about three months receiving treatment for his wound; he was detailed at Alexandria, Va., to distribute conscripts and drafted men from Alexandria to the front four months, to which duty he was assigned in September 1863. March 21, 1864, he was honorably discharged at Washington, D.C., and re-enlisted on the same day in his old command as a veteran and was given a thirty day furlough; he had previously been furloughed March 4, 1863 at Washington D.C. for sixty days.”
LIST OF BATTLES
He also fought at the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill, 2nd Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Wilderness; at the latter conflict he was captured May 5, 1864 by the 5th Georgia Regiment, was placed in Danville, Va., six days. Andersonville four months, when he was transferred to Charlestown, S. C. and placed under the fire of the Union guns; he was then transferred to Florence, S.C., where he made a successful attempt to escape the guard, but after fourteen days and nights wandering in the swamps and fed by [Union Sympathizers], he was recaptured.
In March 1865, he was sent to Wilmington, N.C., from thence to Salisbury and then back to Wilmington where they were turned over to General Terry, having endured the hardships of prison life ten months; he was honorably discharged September 7, 1865 at Harrisburg.
BROTHER A SOLDIER
His brother Wilson belonged to Company F, 7th P.R.V.C., and was captured at Wilderness. His wife’s brother Joseph Bogert serve in the U.S. Signal Corps. His great grandfathers, Elias Long and John Park served in the War of 1812. Conrade Long was born in Huntington township, near Huntington Mills, Luzerne County, March 22, 1844, a son of Joseph B. and Margaret (Parks) Long, deceased. He married at New Columbus, Pa., September 29, 1867, Mary C. Bogert and they have three children, Laura, Florence and Willard. His wife was born at New Columbia, Pa., a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Stein) Bogert, both of whom are dead. She is a member of Conygham W. R. C. and holds office of J.V.C. Comrades Long belong to Conyngham Post of which he is past commander having been elected in September 2, 1896. He also belongs to Encampment No. 135 U.V.L. and Lackawanna County Association, Exprisoners of War.
He entered the police department under Michael Carney, later burgess, before Wilkes-Barre became a city. He was also on the police force under the first Mayor, I. M. Kirkendall. Corporal Long worked as a carpenter and served three terms as a constable.1
Look Back: Wilkes-Barre Civil War veteran imprisoned at Andersonville
November 17, 2019
By Ed Lewis
A picture published in the Times Leader Evening News on June 11, 1924, shows a Civil War veteran holding the American flag at the start of a parade honoring the Grand Army of the Republic.
Nearly 300 veterans of American wars up to that time in 1924 took part in the parade marching more than one mile through Wilkes-Barre’s center city streets. Most of the veterans who marched served during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.
The man behind the flag was Israel P. Long, a Civil War veteran.
Several months after the parade, Long died at the age of 80. He was buried in Hollenback Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre on Dec. 29, 1924.
Despite Long’s grave marker mistakenly having 1925 as year of death, there is no markings indicating he is a veteran and served in the Civil War.
Long lived a notable life having been a prisoner at several Confederate prison camps, including the famed Andersonville prison during the Civil War. After he was discharged, he was among the first group of men to become policemen when Wilkes-Barre was incorporated as a city in 1871, made an unsuccessful bid at becoming the city’s police chief in 1877 and later lived the rest of his life as a mail carrier for 35 years.
Born in Huntington Township on March 22, 1844, Long worked on his family farm during his preteen and teenage years.
“Shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, although a mere youngster in his teens, he took his place among the defenders of the Union, and served for more than three years, enlisting on March 2, 1862, in the 7th Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, Second Brigade,” according to Long’s obituary published in the Evening News on Dec. 27, 1924.
Enlisted as a private, Long was promoted to corporal on June 27, 1862, and was involved in several major battles during the Civil War, including Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Wilderness.
“Long saw plenty of hard service taking part in seven of the hardest battles of the rebellion. He was taken prisoner by the Confederates at the battle of Gaines Mills and a second time at the battle of the Wilderness,” says a story published in the Wilkes-Barre Record on April 2, 1917, when Long celebrated his 73rd birthday.
Long spent several months at Libby Prison and Belle Isle, when he was released in a prisoner exchange. After his capture at Wilderness, he was imprisoned at the famed Andersonville prison on May 22, 1864, and remained there for several months.
“He had some thrilling experiences as a prisoner of war, having made his escape from one prison and spent fourteen days in dense swamps, where he was pursued by bloodhounds and finally recaptured,” Long’s birthday announcement reads.
After his recapture, Long was sent to a prison in Florence, S.C. where he spent time until his release sometime in June 1865 and shortly thereafter, he was honorably discharged from the Union army on Sept. 7, 1865.
When Long returned home, he moved to Wilkes-Barre with his new bride, the former Mary C. Bogert, residing at 70 S. Main St., and was among the first policemen hired when Wilkes-Barre was incorporated as a city.
Soon after the city elected its second mayor in 1878, Long expressed his interest in becoming the city’s police chief.
“To the City Council and Citizens of the City of WilkesBarre, I ask for the appointment of Chief of Police on the Police Force of the City of WilkesBarre. I have served over eight years on the Police Force and if appointed I will try to serve the council and the citizens to the best of my ability,” according to a note Long wrote that was published in the Record of the Times newspaper on March 8, 1877.
When Long was passed over, he resigned as city policeman May 1, 1877, and became a superintendent of delivery for the city post office.
“As letter carrier, Israel P. Long was going over his route in the northern part of the city, a bolt of lightening struck a telegraph pole very near him and shivered it,” the Evening News reported July 28, 1892.
When Long retired from the postal service, it was estimated he walked a distance of 108,900 miles on his route that included the East End and North End of Wilkes-Barre.
Long was heavily involved in the Grand Army of the Republic and took part in many Union army reunions, with his last carrying the American flag for the June 11, 1924 parade.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.
- The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Evening News: March 22, 1915, Page 5
- Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre), November 17, 2019