Sunday, November 1, 2009
“YES, BOYS WE DID RALLY ROUND THE FLAG” LIEUT. ISAAC A. DUNSTEN, MIDDLEPORT
The 105th Pennsylvania Monument Gettysburg
“YES, BOYS WE DID RALLY ROUND THE FLAG” LIEUT. ISAAC A. DUNSTEN, MIDDLEPORT.
Lieutenant Isaac A. Dunsten, Middleport, Schuylkill County was seriously wounded while fighting with Company C of the 105th Pennsylvania at Gettysburg on July 2nd, 1863. For 55 days he suffered fearfully in the hospital at Camp Letterman.
In the book “Killed in Action “ By Gregory A. Coco is a story about Lieut. Dunsten. During his stay in the hospital ward he was administered by a Mrs. Holstein who wrote this little article.
“In the officer’s row lay, for some weeks, a young Lieut., from Schuylkill County, Penn., with both thighs shattered, suffering fearfully. A few hours before his death, at his request the Holy Communion was administered to him; after joining in the solemn services, he remained perfectly still, unconsciously “Passing away, “as those present thought, until a glee club from Gettysburg, going through the hospital, singing as they walked, paused at his tent and sung-without knowing anything of what was passing within “Rally round the Flag.” The words and the music seemed to call back the spirit to earth, and forgetting his crushed limbs and intense suffering, sprang up, exclaiming: “Yes boys, we did “Rally round the Flag.” “And you will rally oft again.!” Then sank back exhausted, and soon was at rest.
Lieut. Dunsten was buried the next day at Letterman Hospital. On August 31st, 1863 family members brought Lieut. Dunsten home to Middleport. He was only 23 years old and single at the time of his death.
The remains were brought to Middleport his late residence, from which the funeral took place. His body was brought to Pottsville and interred with military and civil honors, in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Major Oliphant of the Invalid Corps stationed in Pottsville sent a company of soldiers to the railroad depot to receive the body where he was conveyed to the cemetery, the soldiers marching with arms reversed, and the music playing a dirge. After the military and body came the Middleport, Lodge No. 474, I.O. of O.F., and a large concourse of citizens. At the grave the last sad honors were paid by the Corps, in three volleys of musketry.
Lieut. Dunsten was in the service for two years. He entered his company as a private, but through merit and bravery, had at the time of his death reached the position of Lieut. He was in fourteen engagements, in all which he escaped injury, except the last, At the Battle of Gettysburg, in which he received his death wound. He was highly esteemed in Middleport, and in fact by all who knew him for his moral excellence and worth.