When Schuylkill County soldiers raced to defend the Capitol in April 1861… and unfortunate modern parallels

In April 1861, soldiers from Pennsylvania's Coal Region raced to defend the US Capitol. 160 years later, some of those scenes repeated themselves.

Letters from War – The first letter from inside Hitler’s crumbling “Third Reich,” October 1944

In his first letter from inside Germany, Pfc. Irvin Schwartz describes interactions with residents of newly occupied Nazi territory.

Letters from War – Checking in with the staff of the Press-Herald from Belgium, September 1944

The young soldier from Pine Grove, PA checked in with his former boss at the West Schuylkill Press-Herald in early fall 1944.

Letters from War – Dining with a French family before returning to the front lines, September 1944

A fascinating letter from Pfc. Irvin Schwartz about dining with a French family after liberation of their town.

Four Christmases – Holiday excerpts from Henry Keiser’s Civil War diary

Four diary entries from the Civil War document the evolution of holiday experiences of a soldier from Pennsylvania's Coal Region.

Letters from War – A letter to the Schwartz family at home in Schuylkill County, August 1944

Irvin Schwartz's letter to his family in Schuylkill County was printed in the West Schuylkill Press-Herald in the summer of 1944.

Letters from War – Witnessing a massive bombing raid and fighting near Saint-Lô, 1944

In a letter to the West Schuylkill Press-Herald, Irvin Schwartz describes the chaos and carnage of a bombing raid in France.

Letters from War – Scenes at a joyous party in liberated Normandy, August 1944

As a French town fell to Irvin Schwartz's 26th Infantry Regiment, he documented the amusing scenes he witnessed among celebrating French civilians.

Letters from War – Receiving letters and picking up war souvenirs in France, July 1944

In this short letter from July 1944, Schwartz thanks the editor of the Press-Herald and comments on the souvenirs he picked up in France.