York CWRT July 15 topic: The J. Howard Wert collection of Gettysburg artifacts!

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Lieutenant J. Howard Wert
Company G, 209th Pennsylvania Volunteers
Image taken at the end of the war; courtesy of G. Craig Caba

G. Craig Caba will be speaking at the July 15th York Civil War Round Table meeting. His program is called “Aspects of the J.Howard Wert Gettysburg Collection.” Free to the public, his presentation will be at 7:00 PM Wednesday evening in the auditorium of the York County Heritage Trust at 250 E. Market Street in York.
The July 15th meeting of the York CWRT will feature period artifacts collected by the Wert family of Adams County for over a span of four generations. This collection of early Americana will be presented by G. Craig Caba, who is the CEO and Chief Curator of the J.Howard Wert Gettysburg Collection.
The Werts were an 18th century colonial Pennsylvania-German family who saved important heirlooms marking their accomplishments in the new nation. They actively participated in the American Revolution, the French and Indian War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The family deeply cherished the American vision of liberty and equality, and the family slogan became “Preserve for posterity.” Thus, a private collection of historical memorabilia was formed by one of Gettysburg’s earliest families. This collection continued to grow well into the 20th century and these documented relics give tangible testimony to America’s unique cultural heritage.


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Craig Caba will be displaying and discussing select items from this private collection which has remained intact and complete since Professor Wert’s death in 1920. Early relics from the Revolutionary War Period, the Anti-Slavery Movement and the Civil War will be discussed. The congressional lap desk and walking stick of Rep. Thaddeus Stevens (R-PA), a cedar Confederate officer’s desk of Mississippi brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Davis, a fugitive slave’s iron punishment ring, a Civil War hospital candle box, and numerous decorative presentation swords will be included along with many more items.
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Craig Caba became a charter member of the Harrisburg Civil War Round Table in 1959. He has studied and examined the Wert Gettysburg Collection for over forty years, being acquainted with the original owners since his childhood. He was for a quarter of a century a history teacher and is now retired. Mr. Caba has given many talks to Civil War Roundtables, colleges, and historical organizations over the past thirty years. He is a noted antiquarian with interest in 18th century Americana. He is a past president of Harrisburg Civil War Round Table. He is an executive board member of the Camp Curtain Historical Society and Civil War Round Table. Caba has authored over two dozen articles in history journals and several books, including Episodes of Gettysburg and the Underground Railroad and Lost Children of the Battlefield.

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