The following information gives insight into the lives of the men of the 15th pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and life at Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania's Camp Hastings.
Erie Daily Times, Erie PA, Newspaper Reports, Co. A, 15th Regt. 1898
May 7, 1898 - Corporal RICHARD HANNA, who left this city with Company A, 15th Regiment National Guards of Pennsylvania, is at this writing a patient in the Lebanon hospital. Dick and a number of members of this company, after dinner some days ago, started for Lebanon, which is a few miles from camp. They reached Lebanon and went into a cafe and restaurant to get dinner. They had just entered the door when several soldiers were fighting with a bartender. The Erie boys were watching the fight, when suddenly the bartender, who was getting decidedly the worst of the fight, started for the back of the bar for a weapon. He picked up a bottle from the sideboard and threw it with all force at the soldiers with whom he had been fighting. The bottle missed the scrapers and hit Mr. Hanna in the eye. He fell to the floor unconscious and was picked up in a dead faint. Blood was flowing from the cut, and a fast call was sent in to the hospital for an ambulance and the unfortunate soldier was removed to the hospital with all haste. When he arrived he was taken into the operating room and an eye doctor was quickly summoned, but could do nothing to save the eye sight of the young man, as the bottle had cut the eyeball in two. Mr. Hanna was resting much easier last night and he will recover.
The Times (Mount Gretna):
May 12, 1898 (letter written May 8) - The following letter has been received by The Times from Mt. Gretna: At last we are at Mt. Gretna. Large crowds turned out at every station to greet us. At Sterling Run we were presented with a dagger, on which the words, "Give this to Spain," were inscribed. When we reached Mt. Gretna it was raining to beat seven of a kind. We are quartered in the barracks without food, water or blankets. But we expect to get something to eat by next Tuesday. The Erie companies, of which we are the reserves, are stationed about a mile above us. Undoubtedly we will not see any of them for some time. It is said here by some that we will be examined in a day or two and then be mustered into service. 10:00 a.m. - CAPTAIN HUNTER has just come from the quarters of the Erie boys and tells me that they are nearly flooded out. The rain is something terrible. He also said that we would be supplied with blankets tonight. The large building, formerly used for exposition purposes, is fitted up with bunks. It is here that the reserves will remain. 10:45 a.m. - In an interview which I just had with an officer from Philadelphia I learned that cars are being placed on a side track just below the camp. He says that he is certain the guard will be moved further south in a day or so. SARGEANT LUDWIG just arrived at barracks and says that company C's mess tent has been blown down. DAVID B. TUHOLSKI
June 10, 1898 - Following is an interesting letter from one of the Erie boys who is in camp with the gallant Fifteenth regiment at Mt. Gretna: Friend NELSON, I have been here a long time and after having promised to write to you before leaving Erie, I feel a little ashamed for not doing so sooner. Well we are all well and getting along finely and hope you are the same. We have a ball game every day and boxing contests in the evenings, so you see we have considerable excitement to break the monotony of camp life. Nearly all the boys have acquired a title of some kind or another. ARDELL MEYERS is called Gen. Wyler and they call me Col., so you see I have made quite a jump from a private to a Col. We have one sick man in our company, maybe you know him, he was on the fire department in Erie, GUS SIEGRIST, is his name, did you know him? HARRY MAYO, one of our Serg't returned from Erie this morning, bringing quite a bit of good news and good cheer with him. How are all the rest of the boys in Erie and also the girls. Well, old boy, I guess this is about all I can write now, so will close hoping to hear from you soon. H. [Hugh] B. EDDY, Co. A, 15th Reg't., Pa Vol.
Erie Daily Times, Erie PA, May 7, 1898
The Times (Mount Gretna) May 12, 1898