150 Years Ago Today

2 04 2015

1506594_10202031686936001_8118502619450450512_nOn this day 150 years ago, my great-grandfather Pvt. John B. Smeltzer stepped off with his comrades of Co. C, 205th PA Volunteer Infantry, in their assault on Battery 30, part of the defenses of Petersburg near Ft. Mahone. John, of Hopewell Township, Bedford County, had enlisted on August 24th, 1864 at the age of 18 years 8 months, and served until mustered out with his regiment at Alexandria, VA, on June 2nd, 1865. He was wounded in the leg during the assault. After the war he was employed as a coal miner and steelworker, married Hannah Virginia Gates, and fathered 8 children including my grandfather, Harry Gates Smeltzer. He lived variously in Bedford County, McKeesport in Allegheny County, PA, and for 6 months at the Soldiers’ Home in Dayton, OH, before returning to Hopewell where he died on Sept. 22, 1923, at the age of 77. He is buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery in Yellow Creek, Bedford County, PA, next to his granddaughter Pauline.

Update: Friend and Sesquicentennial tourist extraordinaire Craig Swain took this photo of the site of Battery 30 today:

Site of Battery 30, Petersburg, VA, 04/02/2015.

Site of Battery 30, Petersburg, VA, 04/02/2015.

Apparently, (and according to Craig who also took these snaps) great-grandpa had to charge past the dumpster by the Pizza Hut,


and through the playground,


to take that flower bed.




7 responses

2 04 2015
michael snyder

Interesting. My great grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Snyder was a corporal in Co. G, 188th PA, Army of the James. Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2015 13:46:04 +0000 To: aht68pa@hotmail.com


3 04 2015
Stephen Keating

The Modern Battlefield has many obsticals


4 04 2015
Will Hickox

Several of my ancestors helped capture Battery No. 28 nearby. I wrote about it in a Disunion post that should appear on Monday.


4 04 2015
Harry Smeltzer

Looking forward to it, Will.


6 05 2015
Preview – Alexander, “Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg” | Bull Runnings

[…] my great-grandfather, John B. Smeltzer, a private in the 205th PA Infantry, was wounded there (see here.) So when I received Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg, March 25 – April 2, 1865, […]


13 10 2016
Petersburg: Fort Mahone, 10/2/2016 | Bull Runnings

[…] now built over with dwellings and businesses (for some Craig Swain photos of the ground, see here). It was during the 9th Corps assault on this work that my great-grandfather was wounded on April […]


4 04 2017
Pat Gonsman

Thanks for the post & pics. Too bad the forts are all gone now. I didn’t know my uncles had drive their Co. past the Pizza Hut dumpster.

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: