On July 4, when Civil War re-enactors mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, visitors will see the Union Blue and Confederate Gray line up and fight in skirmishes much like those that took place on those fields during three bloody days in July 1863.
A Northeast Philadelphia family has direct ties to one of those Union soldiers, Pvt. Abraham Newbauer, who took a mini ball to his left shoulder on the first day of the Gettysburg battle, and survived. His name is listed as A. Neubauer on the on the 75th Infantry Regiment plaque on the Pennsylvania monument that rests on Cemetery Ridge on the Gettysburg battlefield.
Newbauer was born in the state of Austria/Hungary in 1840 and immigrated to the United States in 1860. He settled in Philadelphia, and according to enlistment records, joined the Army of the Potomac on July 31, 1862, and went directly into the 75th Infantry Regiment of the Pennsylvania volunteers, which was forming in Philadelphia about that time.
Many of the soldiers and officers he served with were Germans and Austrians and spoke mostly German. Like Newbauer, many of them were Jews. He was 22 years old, a short 5-foot-6 inches tall and had gray eyes and red hair. His occupation was listed as peddler.
He fought for the Union at Sperryville, Va., and in Pope’s campaign in northern Virginia, including the battle of Bull Run. He also took part in the battles of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg and was part of the famous Mud March for four days in January 1863. The regiment then moved north to Pennsylvania, where it took part in the one of the most important battles of the war, at Gettysburg, on the first three days of July.
About 1 p.m. on July 1, Pvt. Newbauer was hit in the left shoulder by a mini ball and taken to a field hospital. From there, he was transported to Philadelphia, arriving on July 9 at the former Satterlee Hospital on Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia. He remained a patient there until Dec. 31, 1863.
After his release, he was assigned to the first Battalion of the invalid Corps’ U.S. Army to serve out the remainder of his enlistment. He was notified by mail of his discharge from the Army in July 1865.
After his discharge, Newbauer returned to Philadelphia as a clothing salesman. He married Sophia Gutman on Aug. 14, 1865, at the congregation Rodeph Shalom synagogue on North Broad Street in Philadelphia. They lived in Northern Liberties and their family grew to include four children. Sophia Newbauer passed away in 1914, and Abraham died four years later. Both are buried at Adath Jeshurun Cemetery on Bridge Street in Frankford, according to the Jewish Geneaological Society of Philadelphia’s records.
Their youngest son, Max Newbauer, married and had two children. A son, John, fought in the South Pacific during World War II and received distinguished military awards. A daughter, Frances, born in 1909, married Abe Lempert and they had two daughters, Fayne Lipsitz and Marilyn Gross.
Both of them live in Bustleton, and are extremely proud of the service performed by their Uncle John in World War II and their great-grandfather, Abraham, who fought to save the Union in the Civil War. ••