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Company K, 1st Pennsylvania Reserves was the only company made up entirely of Gettysburg Residents here at the battle. Sgt. Michael M. Miller was a member in its ranks and participated in the fighting in the area of Little Round Top and the Wheatfield. While he escaped the battle of Gettysburg unscathed, he was not as fortunate during the battle of Spotsylvania Court House. On May 10th, 1864, Sgt. Miller was hit in the waist belt buckle by a bullet. This wound did not break the skin, but it was serious enough to cause him excruciating pain. From the hospital bed, he would write his wife,

"We charged the rebel rifle pits time and again on the last Tuesday morning. We were charging their breastworks when a ball struck me on the plate on my waste belt. It bruised me a good deal, but I thank God that it struck there for had it not hit the belt plate I would this day be under the ground."


Captain Theodore Howell
The captain's complete uniform is on display at the museum.

Sgt. Miller survived the war, but the wound received remained a constant source of pain and inflammation leading to his death in 1877. The rifle accompanying the belt plate is a war souvenir brought back to Gettysburg by Sgt. Miller at the end of the war.

Captain Theodore Howell was the commanding officer of Company D, 153rd Pennsylvania, Volunteer Infantry, a nine-month regiment recruited from Northeastern Pennsylvania, and part of General Oliver Howard's Eleventh Corps. During the afternoon of July 1st, 1863, Capt. Howell was shot in the left arm just above the elbow while leading his men in to battle. While making his way to the rear in order to seek medical attention, Howell was again shot. This time the bullet passed through both hips causing him to fall down leaving him unable to walk. Howell was soon passed over by his own line and taken prisoner by the Confederates. He would remain a prisoner in Gettysburg until July 4, when the Confederate army left the town and released most of their wounded prisoners. Capt. Howell would survive the war and lived until 1918 when he died at the age of 94.

Learn one of the most poignant stories from the battle...

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