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Plans underway to honor area Civil War veterans

January 24, 2011

Jim Burke, president of the Mt. Zion Historical Society, is pictured addressing the Jay Township Supervisors at their recent meeting. Burke requested a letter of support for a memorial the historical society plans to construct to honor members of the Elk County Rifles, Company G, for their service during the American Civil War. Photo by Becky Polaski

2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, and in an effort to acknowledge the occasion, the Mt. Zion Historical Society plans to construct a monument at the Mt. Zion Historical Park to honor the members of the Elk County Rifles, Company G, of the Civil War Bucktail Regiment.
A letter sent out from the Mt. Zion Historical Society explained the significance of the group, stating that "150 years ago Thomas Kane came to the village of Benezette to meet with Thomas B. Winslow to recruit a hardy group of woodsmen to fight for their country. Within 24 hours, Thomas B. Winslow, with the help of his uncle Cobe Winslow and John Wolfe, [was] able to enlist 109 citizens to answer their country's call and thus was formed the Elk County Rifles, Company G, of the Bucktail Regiment, 13th, 42nd Pennsylvania Volunteers."
The Company was active throughout much of the Civil War, taking part in a number of battles that included Antietam, Bethesda Church, Gettysburg and Bull Run.
The Historical Society's letter also included a copy of Thomas Kane's original recruiting broadside for the Bucktails, in which he announced "by authority of governor Curtin, a Company will be formed this week of citizens of McKean and Elk Counties, who are prepared to take up arms immediately to support the Constitution of the United States and defend the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I am authorized to accept at once for service any man who will bring in with him to my head quarters a Rifle which he knows how to use."
Jim Burke, president of the Mt. Zion Historical Society, briefly informed the public about the society's plans for the memorial at the most recent meeting of the Jay Township Supervisors. Calling the undertaking a "very ambitious project," Burke noted at the time that the group already had about half of the necessary funding in place.
"The project is going to cost in the neighborhood of $26,000 to $30,000," Burke said.
Following the meeting, Burke indicated that the funding drive for the project got underway with pledges for donations in the amount of $5,000 from both the Mt. Zion Historical Society and Valley Legion Post #978.

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