N. Pitcher Post Office to host Pictorial Postmark

NORTH PITCHER Ė The North Pitcher Post Office will host a Civil War Commemorative Pictorial Postmark from 9 a.m. to noon and 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday. North Pitcher will be the twelfth post office to sponsor the postmarks as part of the Chenango County Civil War Commemoration Project.

The Pitcher Post Office held a postmark on March 13 and there is still time to get envelopes and post cards stamped by either taking or mailing in your requests. Remember, if you mail in your request, you must include a stamped, self-addressed return envelope to get your postmarks back.

I would suggest if you would like to take a nice ride out to the Pitcher Post Office, you will a meet a very nice lady, Janet Emerson, Postmaster, and get a chance to check out their history board. The large board hangs on the wall and is covered with old photographs brought in by patrons and the historian showing some of the old history of the town. Several people came in the day of the postmark and a few shared their stories of the photos.

The most interesting person came in and wanted to share his ancestorís role in the Civil War. Mr. George Keefer, 90 years young, brought in a large envelope filled with the history of Major Peter Schlick. Even though Peter did not serve from this area, George was proud of his ancestor and sat down and shared some of his history with those who were in attendance. Peter first served in the 148th NY Volunteers as a private in 1862 and, in less than a month, was promoted to first sergeant. In 1864, he was commissioned first lieutenant of the 38th US Colored Troops and later promoted to Captain of Co. D of the same regiment by General Butler. Captain Peter Schlick was appointed Major of the 22nd US Colored Troops for his gallantry in the engagement at New Market Heights in October 1864.

The first units of Abraham Lincolnís army to march into the ruins of what had been the capital of the Confederate slave states were US Colored Troops Regiments. The 22nd and other US Colored Troops regiments of the Richmond occupational force were on hand as President Lincoln and his son, Tad, visited the conquered city. Ten days after President Lincolnís assassination, the 22nd USCT was one of the army units dispatched to scour the Maryland countryside for his assailants.

We all enjoyed our visit with George and all the other patrons who stopped by that day to be a part of the postmark. The whole scene reminded me of the old country store where people sat around an old pot belly stove and chatted about anyone and everything. The only thing missing was the barrel and the checkerboard.

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