“Who Was Their Father?”

An unknown Civil War soldier, killed at Gettysburg, was finally identified from this photo, which he had in his hands at the time of his death on the battlefield. Dr. Matt Farina, a member of the Civil War Roundtable, will talk about the photograph during the Sept. 4 meeting of the Clarksville Historical Society.

After the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863, an unidentified, dead Union soldier was found with an ambrotype photograph in his hands, with the images of three young children.  This image was the last image he saw before he died of his wounds.

There were no regimental or corps markings on his uniform.  He had no wallet or other identifying papers in his possession.

After General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia had retreated on the evening of July 4, the Union Army of the Potomac had followed on July 5.  The unidentified soldier’s comrades had left, and there was no one to identify the man or bury his body.

Members of burial details were reluctant to bury the ambrotype with his body, hoping that somehow someone would claim the image.

Dr. Matt Farina, who has studied the Civil War, will talk about the story of Gettysburg’s famous unknown soldier, based on author Mark Dunkelman’s research of the 154th New York Volunteer Regiment and the Brickyard Fight on July 1, 1863.

Farina’s talk on Wednesday, Sept. 4, is the Clarksville Historical Society first of three fall programs. It will take place at the Clarksville Community Church on the Delaware Turnpike in Clarksville, starting at 7 p.m.

The programs are open to the public and refreshments will be served following the talk.  For more information, call 768-2870.

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