There were several dozen veterans of the Civil War living in Powelton during the last decades of the nineteenth century. For these men, their families, and all older residents of Philadelphia, the war was the dominant historical event of their lives. Remember that when General Lee’s army was stopped at Gettysburg they were headed toward Harrisburg and Philadelphia which was a major railroad hub for troops and supplies headed south.
One Civil War vet was Joseph Ashbrook who lived at 3614 Baring St from before 1880 to after 1914. The 1904 Who’s Who in Pennsylvania summarized his history to that point as follows:
“Insurance manager of the Provident Life and Trust Company of Philadelphia, Pa.; he was born in Philadelphia. August 4, 1840, and at the age of fifteen entered the office of a firm of stockbrokers. During the Civil War he enlisted in the 118th Pennsylvania Regiment and served throughout the conflict; shortly after entering the service in 1862 he was severely wounded, and soon thereafter received a commission; was brevetted Major for gallant services in the Wilderness campaign, subsequently as Ordnance Officer of the Staff of General Griffin, commanding the First Division, Fifth Army Corps; was detailed to receive the arms and ammunition surrendered by the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House in April, 1865; soon after the close of the war he became superintendent of agencies for the Provident Life and Trust Company, and was appointed manager of its insurance department in 1881.”
Not surprisingly, he was described as: a Republican; a Methodist, and a member of the American Historical Assn., the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, the Grand Army of Republic and the Union League of Philadelphia.
[Note: this blog is superseded by a longer post about Ashbrook and one about his wife, here.]