2013-01-16 / Correspondents' Notes

Fulton Co. Historical Society Membership Meeting January 18

Fulton County Historical Society will hold its winter general membership meeting at 7 p.m., January 18, in Fulton County Courthouse courtroom. The program for the evening will be a presentation by David J. Klinepeter portraying the 15th Pennsylvania governor, Andrew Gregg Curtin. This meeting is open to the public.

David Klinepeter, born in 1926, has always had a strong interest in the Civil War, joining the Sons of Union Veterans in 1943, and 70 years later is still a member. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Then in 1949, he attended the Last National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic at Indianapolis, Ind. He also married that same year and helped raise four sons. Although he has lived his whole life in the Harrisburg area, one of those sons, Mike Klinepeter, made his way to Fulton County. Over the years David has helped organize and participate as a re-enactor in countless Civil War events. In 1990 he was approached by Jim Schmik (founder of the Camp Curtin Historical Society), to portray Pennsylvania Gov. Curtin, at the Nov. 11, 1990, celebration of the 125th anniversary of the closing of Camp Curtin.

Here are some biographical extracts on Governor Curtin from Wikipedia: “Andrew Gregg Curtin (April 22, 1817 – October 7, 1894) was a U.S. lawyer and politician. He served as the governor of Pennsylvania during the Civil War. Curtin was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. He attended Dickinson School of Law and was employed as a lawyer. His first public office was as secretary of the commonwealth. He switched political allegiance from the Whigs to the new Republican political party in 1860, with his successful run for governor. He served in that office from 1861 until 1867. “During the Civil War, Curtin organized the Pennsylvania reserves into combat units, and oversaw the construction of the first Union military camp for training militia. It opened in an agricultural school nearby Harrisburg as Camp Curtin on April 18, 1861, and more than 300 000 men were drilled there during four years. Curtin was very active during the Gettysburg Campaign, working with Major General Darius N. Couch and Major Granville O. Haller to delay Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and prevent it from crossing the Susquehanna River. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Gov. Curtin was the principal force behind the establishment of the National Cemetery there. Through his agent, David Wills, Curtin procured the attendance of President Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the cemetery. Governor Curtin was sitting with Lincoln on the platform on November 19, 1863, when Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address.”

If inclement weather causes the program cancellation, it will be rescheduled for the same time and place on Friday, January 25.

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