On a beautiful Independence Day in 1906, Schuylkill County residents poured into the tiny borough of Port Carbon for a day full of parades, speeches, music, and fireworks. They came to the small mining and shipping town near Pottsville to commemorate the unveiling of the borough’s Civil War memorial.
We’ve written previously about the monument. It’s a striking piece of the landscape in Port Carbon, towering over the community from Monument Hill. And as we researched the monument, we came across a newspaper article from the Pottsville Republican that highlighted the events on July 4, 1906 when the monument was unveiled to the public.
A massive parade, said to be the largest in Port Carbon’s history, wound its way through the town on the morning of Independence Day, carrying dignitaries and groups to the top of Monument Hill. There, speakers awaited to officially unveil the monument, hidden for the ceremonies beneath drapery.
Several speakers gave addresses, including a representative from the Grand Army of the Republic, the preeminent social organization for Union veterans.
One of the most powerful parts of the program came in the address given by a Pottsville civic leader just after the monument was revealed:
We assemble here, my fellow citizens, on this the anniversary of the natal day of our independence as a nation, the glorious, ever “memorable Fourth of July.”
To perform a patriotic work – to give fitting expression to our appreciation of the heroic deeds of those whose lives and memory we revere and to whose honor and memory we are about to dedicate this beautiful monument.
From this little town of Port Carbon, nestled in among these surrounding hills and mountains of majestic grandeur, there went forth to battle for their country over 500 sturdy patriots, true types of the American volunteer soldier, who bared their breasts to the enemy’s fire in defense of the Union and Liberty. I need to stop here to recount their deeds of valor, their sacrifices, their patriotism. – J.B. Reilly, of Pottsville
So on this Independence Day, we are remembering the brave Civil War soldiers of Port Carbon and the monument that was dedicated in their honor on July 4, 1906.
Featured Image: Soldiers Monument in Port Carbon