01 November 2005 by Published in: Union Cavalry 1 comment

I grew up in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The county seat of Berks County is the City of Reading. When Bvt. Maj. Gen. David McMurtrie Gregg resigned his commission in February 1865, he settled in his wife’s home town of Reading. Her family, the Heister family, was one of the leading families of Berks County, and they were wealthy, prominent citizens. Thus, it made sense that Gregg, who grew up in Huntington, Pennsylvania, would settle in Reading.

Berks County, in turn, readily and enthusiastically embraced David Gregg, treating him as a favorite son. The old soldier became a regular on the rubber chicken circuit, and he wrote extensively about his service in the United States Army. He became a leading leading citizen of the community, and was very active in the community. General Gregg died in 1916, and was buried in Charles Evans Cemetery. In 1922, the citizens of Reading raised money to erect a handsome equestrian monument to the general just a few hundred yards from his final resting place. I used to have a photo of the monument on this web site, back in its original configuration. I will see about having that photo restored somewhere on this web site.

David Gregg played a major role in developing my interest in Civil War cavalry. My family doctor’s office was right across the street from that handsome equestrian monument, and I saw it every week when I went in for my allergy shot. It always impressed me. It’s also caddycorner from the Berks County Historical Society, a place that naturally drew me in. It turns out that there is a large collection of General Gregg’s documents in the collection at the Historical Society, and I have spent some time reviewing them.

Not far from my parents’ house is a subdivision where all of the streets are named after prominent Pennsylvania generals, and sure enough, there is a Gregg Street. One of the local VFW posts is the David M. Gregg Post. Even though I was born 45 years after the general’s death, he still loomed large over the community of Reading, and as a boy, I was driven to find out just who this guy was whose name was plastered everywhere. In the process, I began learning about Civil War cavalry operations.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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  1. Sun 05th Feb 2006 at 10:42 pm

    I am the very proud great-great grandson (and namesake) of the late David McMurtrie Gregg and my mother was the late Elizabeth Gregg Patterson. I have a hotlink to information about Gen. D M Gregg on my website. I have a few photographs of a place once visisted by the General, in Tucson, AZ, The Mission of The White Dove. My wife and I have been there countless times and I literally fhave felt his spirit each time we were there. Comments from him about this place appear in his writings. He happened upon this old Mission on his way from Texas to California as a young Lt.
    I appreciated your “rantings”.

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