MS - 061: Charles A. Rubright Collection
Processed by: Stephen Light '05
Charles Andrew Rubright (May 14th, 1842-1915) was born in Mielhousen, Germany, the son of Bernard and Marie Rubright. At a very early age, Rubright's family immigrated to America, settling in the town of Jarrettsville, Maryland. Following Bernard's death in 1850, Marie Rubright married a man by the name of Daniel Dorman and the family moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania in December of 1856.
In Williamsport Rubright began to learn the trade of bricklaying. On August 15th, 1861, at the age of 19, Rubright enlisted as a private into what would become Company F of the 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Rubright served throughout the war, rising to the rank of corporal and taking charge of the regiment's pioneers. He saw action in many of the important battles and campaigns of the Eastern theater, including: the Seven Days battles, Antietam, Fredericksburg, the Chancellorsville campaign, Gettysburg, Grant's Overland campaign, and Petersburg.
At the battle of Jerusalem Plank Road (part of the siege of Petersburg) on June 22nd, 1864, Rubright was captured. Eventually winding up at the notorious Andersonville Prison camp, he would remain there until the camp was liberated on April 28th, 1865. At the time of his liberation, Corporal Rubright weighed a meager 84.5 pounds.
Following the war, Rubright became a successful bricklayer and architect, opening his own Brick Works and designing many public buildings in Williamsport, including two railway depots. He married Amelia Trouseau and they had three children: Carrie Mabel, William Charles, and Ruthaford Dorman. Rubright died in 1915 in Corning, New York.
106th Pennsylvania Volunteers
Scope and Content Notes:
The journals make up the bulk of the collection, and contain almost daily entries from October of 1861 through December of 1863. They provide a first hand look at life in the army, and in some cases provide vivid battle descriptions. Among the best of these descriptions is Rubright's account of the battle of Gettysburg. His journal contains an excellent description of the fighting on the second and third days. One of the newspaper clippings contains a specific account of Rubright's personal involvement in the battle. This account describes how the pioneers of the regiment were taken captive while working in front of the main line, but were able to reverse the roles on their captors when the rest of the regiment charged and drove the Confederates back. While several accounts of this event exist, they all seem to come long after the war (around the 1890s), and the fact that Rubright himself doesn't mention the event calls into question whether or not it actually occurred.
All of the journals have been transcribed, attempting not to change any spelling or grammatical errors. In some cases errors which may have confused the reader have been corrected in footnotes at the bottom of a page. Rubright's first journal entry, from October 22, 1861 - March 14th 1862, contains two separate copies. It would appear that he copied his original entry and sent the copy home for posterity's sake. In this case only one of the copies was transcribed, as noted.
This collection would be useful for those looking for an interesting and vivid account of a soldier's life, including camp life in general as well as battle experiences. Not all the battle descriptions are as vivid as they could be, but there are few that are well detailed. Rubright's letter home from Andersonville would also be of interest for those studying prisoners and prison camps.