Our Country's Fiery Ordeal

A blog about the American Civil War, written and maintained by historian Daniel J. Vermilya, author of The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (History Press, 2014) and James Garfield and the Civil War (History Press, 2015)

Dedicated to my great-great-great grandfather, Private Ellwood Rodebaugh, Company D, 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, killed at the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.

"And may an Overuling Providence continue to cause good to come out of evil, justice to be done to all men where injustice has long prevailed, and finally, peace, quiet, and harmony to come out of this terrible confrontation and our country's fiery ordeal." -- Albert Champlin, 105th Ohio, Diary entry of June 19, 1864 (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Monday, May 27, 2013

In Memorium: Samuel Fitzinger, Company B, 106th Pennsylvania

On July 2, 1863, members of the 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry made an advance beyond Cemetery Ridge into the ranks of Ambrose Wright's brigade of Georgians, which had advanced to the center of the Union lines in the broad Confederate assault on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. On that day, Private Samuel Fitzinger was among the fallen. He was killed in action and buried on the Codori Farm. The following letter was written to his mother on July 27, 1863, by Captain Joseph Lynch of Company B, 106th Pennsylvania.

106th Pennsylvania Monument next to the Codori Farmhouse, where I am living for my 2013 season at Gettysburg National Military Park

July 27, 1863
Mrs. Margaret Fitzinger,
I take advantage of the first opportunity which offers itself to send you the only relic found upon the body of your deceased son, Samuel (the relic was Samuel’s Testament). He died a soldier’s death while bravely fighting on Pennsylvania soil in defense of the glorious institutions which our fathers won for us by their blood. He was a good and faithful soldier and any mother might well be proud of such a son. His body was buried where he fell in a field near a barn which was burnt during the engagement and immediately in front of the position held by the 2nd Corps on Granite Ridge. His grave is marked by a head board with name and Company on it. He fell on the 2nd during an attack by my Co. on the barn which was then filled with Rebels. While sympathizing with you in your bereavement I cannot but reflect that he died as I would wish to fall, with his face to the enemy and his last moments were rendered happy by the knowledge that he had done his full share in the accomplishment of a Glorious Victory.
If I can be of any service to you, do not hesitate to command me.
Very Truly Yours,
Jos C. Lynch,
Captain, Company B
106th Pa Vols
P.S. I send the testament and this letter by Samuel Reynolds one of his comrades who can probably give you any further information you may desire.

Grave of Samuel Fitzinger, Soldier's National Cemetery, Gettysburg National Military Park

This Memorial Day, remember soldiers like Samuel Fitzinger, who laid down their lives at places such as Gettysburg so that this nation might live. 

"The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here..."

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