Robert Campbell, a New Jersey-based military historian, has done a great deal of research into the past over the years. But he had a very personal reason for looking into the military exploits of Abraham Newbauer, who fought at Gettysburg: This was the history of his fiance’s family.
July 1 marks the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, one of the Civil War’s most crucial and bloody confrontations.
Campbell, who’s not Jewish but says he has an abiding interest in Jewish history and religion, is engaged to Marilyn Gross of Northeast Philadelphia, the great-granddaughter of Abraham Newbauer.
Campbell, 79, a veteran of the Navy, said he was inspired to do his research after finding one of Newbauer’s medals. His fiance’s family never looked deeply into this history.
“I felt compelled to review the story of this Jewish veteran and to give him the honor and respect I believe he is due,” said Campbell, vice president of Craig Testing Labs in Mays Landing, N.J. “And especially after I discovered what John Newbauer, his grandson, a sergeant in the army, did during World War II.” John was in the South Pacific and received distinguished military awards.
Campbell found that Abraham Newbauer was born in the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1840 in the town of Tachan, though raised in Langendorfer.
There is also some discrepancy in the spelling of the family name. Sometimes it appears as Newbauer, other times Neubauer.
Newbauer immigrated to America in 1860 and settled in Philadelphia, according to census records Campbell located.
He joined the United States Army of the Potomac, 75th Infantry Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, as a private, in 1862.
At that time, Newbauer was 22 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, had gray eyes and reddish hair.
According to Campbell, Newbauer saw battle at Sperryville, Va., in July 1862; at the Battle of Bull Run, a month later, and then at Fredericksburg, Va., one of the Union’s worst defeats.
Newbauer’s next battle of consequence was Gettysburg. On July 1 (the fighting continued until the 3rd), the private was wounded in the left shoulder by what Campbell called “a mini ball” — a type of bullet used in the standard army rifle issued to soldiers of the North and South — and was transported to a field hospital.
He was then sent on July 9 to Philadelphia’s Satterlee Hospital, on Baltimore Avenue and 43rd Street, set up specifically, Campbell discovered, for the care of the Union wounded.
Newbauer was eventually assigned to the First Battalion of the Army’s Veteran Invalid and Reserve Corp for the remainder of his service, said Campbell.
Soon after his discharge in late July 1865, Newbauer married Sophia Gutman at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, where they remained members. They had four children: Max, Frances, Isaac and Fanny.
Sophia died in 1914, Abraham in 1918, and they were both buried, said Campbell, at the Adath Jeshuran Cemetery in the Frankford section of the city.
Max Newbauer was the father of two children, John and Frances, born in 1906 and 1909 respectively. John’s daughter Frances married Abraham Lempert in 1941 and they had two daughters, Fayne and Marilyn, Campbell’s fiance. Both women now live in the Bustleton section of the Northeast and, according to Campbell, are extremely proud of the service their great-grandfather gave in the Civil War.