Nathaniel Boob was mustered out from the 148 Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A today after having served in the Union Army for nearly three years. While he is surely jublient to return home to Hartley Township, Pennsylvania, his heart must be heavy with the memories of nearly three years as a Union soldier.
Nathaniel and his older brothers, William and Levi, enlisted in Rebersburg, Pennsylvania on August 22, 1862 outside the town's hotel. All three survived fighting in the Wheatfield during the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. On May 10, 1864, however, Nathaniel was wounded at Po River, Virginia, suffering a gunshot wound above his eye. His older brother William was captured and died of wounds on June 16 as a POW in Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia.
It is not known if Nathaniel knew of his brother's wounds or his death but three months later Nathaniel and his brother Levi would face their own brutal tribulations. On August 25 1864 during the battle of Ream's Station, Virginia, Levi Boob evaded capture but was wounded and had his arm amputated. Nathaniel, however, was one of many Union troops captured that day. As a POW he languished in some of the most deadly Confederate camps - Libby Prison, Belle Isle, and Salisbury. It is not known if he learned the fate of his brother William while Nathaniel passed his days in Libby Prison. Nathaniel surely pondered his own fate as thousands of fellow prisoners died in Salisbury and the other prisons.
Nathaniel did survive the Confederate prison camps and certainly celebrated being mustered out today, June 1, 1865. For Nathaniel it marks the end of fighting but not the monumental tragedy. He will return home to his mother and father with devastating memories and the loss of his brother. His older brother, Levi, also awaits him, having been discharged for disablity on Christmas Eve 1864. Within three years, however, Levi will be dead. Three brothers, one survivor but innumerable tragedies shared with his grieving mother and a nation.
Nathaniel will go on to wed three wives, father 11 children, and celebrate 91years of life.
Although over 100 years have passed, his great-granddaughter, one he hasn't met but would surely enjoy, hopes he will send a picture of him and his brothers before a nation's trauma changed their world.