In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, one of the most decisive of the Civil War, friends and relatives of Abraham Newbauer, a Jewish soldier who fought for the North on that blood-soaked Pennsylvania soil, gathered at his grave recently to honor his memory and his commitment to the Union cause.
The ceremony, held at Adath Jeshurun Cemetery on Bridge Street, took place on Sept. 15, the day after Yom Kippur this year. It was organized by Robert J. Campbell, a New Jersey-based military historian who also happens to be the fiance of Marilyn Gross, the great-granddaughter of Newbauer.
Campbell, 79, a veteran of the Navy who is not Jewish, contacted the Exponent earlier this year to tell of how Newbauer, who was born in the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1840 and immigrated to Philadelphia in 1860, fought at Bull Run, Fredericksburg and eventually Gettysburg, where he was injured. He was evacuated to his hometown and spent six months in the hospital.
After his discharge from the Union army on July 4, 1865, Newbauer returned to Philadelphia and soon after married Sophia Goodman at Rodeph Shalom synagogue on North Broad Street. The couple went on to raise four children in the city.
When the article appeared in the Exponent this summer, a number of descendants contacted Campbell from all over the country by email and phone, he said, and 24 of them wound up at their relative’s graveside last month.
A Civil War veteran’s bronze memorial was placed in front of the grave by Eliot Gross, Newbauer’s great-great-grandson.