** Please check out my tribute page to two of my Civil War relatives who never made it home **

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013

  Like most of America in the 1860s, Gettysburg prided itself on its variety of churches and other religious institutions, and the most famous of these was the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Though the seminary now consists of various buildings, some of which were built after the 1863 battle, the “crown jewel” of the complex is Schmucker Hall named for Samuel S. Schmucker. This is the building many refer to when speaking of the “seminary” as a whole.

The artful brick building, so well-known as a place of prayerful contemplation, soon served new and unpleasant purposes; during the battle it was used both as an observation point (due to the cupola that offered a stunning view of the surrounding fields) and as a field hospital. It may have been the largest such hospital in town.

Schmucker Hall draws visitors not merely because of its history but also because of its architecture, and those with a Protestant background might find it amusing to say “hello” to the bronze statue of Martin Luther that sits patiently by the wayside. Battlefield enthusiasts will be excited to note that the “Seminary Ridge Museum” will be opening in Schmucker Hall in July 2013.



Co. H, 147th Pennsylvania Infantry

Born May 13, 1839 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 24

Sgt. Howerter likely never guessed that his future would involve the military; as a younger man he studied religion and likely strove for the ministry. His pre-war residence (per the 1860 census) was at Longswamp, Berks Co., Pennsylvania. Sgt. Howerter was mortally wounded at Culp’s Hill and was later buried at Saint Paul’s Union Cemetery, Mertztown, Pennsylvania (another source says Saint John’s Union Church in Mertztown). A photograph of Sgt. Howerter can be found here.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

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