August 7, 2011

Capt. Hambright goes to Washington

War Department Headquarters
By Wakely, G. D. -- Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On August 7, 1861, Capt. Henry A. Hambright left Lancaster to visit Washington and get authorization to raise a three-year regiment. The main issue to resolve was whether Hambright, who already had a relationship with the U.S. Army*, would take a command with the regular army, or raise a regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers.  Naturally, Lancasterians hoped for the latter outcome in which they could send off their volunteers under a trusted and well-respected military hero.

Attempting to support him was his father, Major (based on his position in the Pennsylvania militia of the 1840s and 1850s) Frederick Hambright, who arrived by train from Pittsburgh.  The elder Hambright had moved before the war from Lancaster to Pittsburgh, where his son-in-law had begun a brewery.  [See pg. 264 of Alexander Harris' A Biographical History of Lancaster County for a bio.]  Unfortunately, he was a day late and Henry Hambright had already left for Washington.

From the August 8, 1861, edition of the Daily Evening Express: (Alternate link)

*In the coming weeks, look for more biographical information about Henry Hambright.  I need to sort through a little more information to state precisely what Hambright's pre-war position was with the U.S. Army.

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