Veteran's Funeral draws crowd.
One of the largest funerals held in Shamokin honored a Shamokin veteran of the Civil War.
Alexander Caldwell died on December 15, 1886, at the age of 46 years,nine months and 26 days. Caldwell a native of Shamokin, had been a teacher and later was a notary public,pension agent and local agent for the Northern Centeral Railway Company.
A private in the Shamokin Guards, he was among those valiant men who re-enlisted in Company K 46th Regiment,Pennsylvania Volunteers at the outbreak of the Civil War.
In a bloody two hour confrontation, that war imposed a tragic toll on the members of Company K. Nine men were killed and 13 injured in the battle of Cedar Mountain on August 9, 1862, near Culpeper, Va. It stands as a record number of casualties for a single battle for this community.
Among those who died that day were Alexander's brother, 1st Lt. William Caldwell, who commanded the company in that battle. Sgt.Alexander Caldwell and another brother, Thomas were injured in this same engagement.
On November 1, 1862, Alexander was promoted to captain and led the company through the rest of the war. Revitalized after Cedar Mountain, Company K went on to fight at Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg and accompanied Sherman on his infamous march to the sea.
Caldwell mustered out with his command on July 16. 1865. After his return to Shamokin, he raised a company in the National Guard and rose to the rank of Colonel of the Seventh Regiment. He was a charter member of Lincoln Post 140, Grand Army of the Republic, and served as post commander in 1867.
In a report on his funeral, the Shamokin Herald said, "at 1 p.m.,a special train came in on the Reading from Pottsville, bearing five companies of the National Guard.The Third Brigade Band with 30 instruments accompanied the troops. Several other companies would have been here had it not been for the inexcusable conduct of the Reading officials in not announcing their consent to the running of the special train until 7 Saturday evening which made impossible for the military companies to muster their members.
The Saturday American of April 12, 1889,reported the awarding of a contract to B.E.Adams of Shamokin for a monument to be placed on Caldwell's final resting place. The monument was to bear a statue of a soldier in the full regular uniform of the United States Army, The musket will be held at parade rest and the equipment will be complete from the buttons to the cap. The inscription, in addition to his name, rank, organization, and dates of birth and death, would include "He was a soldies".