Built in 1851 by John McCall, the Railroad House was one of many hotels in Brookville. It offered a comfortable room along with a place to stable one's horse for the night. The Railroad House was purchased by John McCracken during the Civil War period and the name was changed to the Union Hotel, which operated until 1920 and later served as offices and then as an apartment building, which it currently is today.
But the Railroad House was more than a hotel. Brookville's hotels were used as rendezvous points to see our boys off when the Great Rebellion began in 1861. Company C of the Second United States Sharpshooters was one of many companies of various regiments recruited from Jefferson County.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Hiram Berdan of New York, an engineer and noted marksman, proposed an organization of the best marksmen in the North. They were to be armed with the most reliable rifles in production and to be employed as sharpshooters and skirmishers.
In order to become a sharpshooter, a rigorous test was to be completed and passed.
"None but expert marksmen were received, each individual being require to make ten
--History of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania
Kate M. Scott
At their "Camp of Instruction" on the north side of Washington, the sharpshooters' training was practical and rough, teaching them never to expose themselves recklessly, to take all possible cover, and to waste no ammunition for the sake of shooting.
Berdan's men wore uniforms of forest green so they had the advantage of blending in with their surroundings. They were equipped with breechloading rifles rather than the standard muzzleloaders enabling the sharpshooters to load and fire quickly. They fought more individually than did men in standard regiments, spreading out and using whatever cover they could find, rather than fighting in a line of battle.
The men of the 2nd U.S.S.S. were involved in over thirty engagements including some of the largest battles of the Civil War:
Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Gettysburg Battles of the Wilderness
Spotsylvania Spotsylvania Courthouse Cold Harbor Petersburg
The 2nd U.S.S.S. was discontinued on February
The following Jefferson County men were members of Berdan's Sharpshooters.
Privates G. W. Boals J.B. Bronson E. H. Chilson R.M. Chilson
John Callon John Carey Geo. W. Dunkle J. S. Geer
S. J. Howard W. E. Jacox L. C. Jacox M.E. Kroh
Samuel Lattimore James Law Samuel Lewis Thomas Long
W. D. Lytle William McCullough I. G. Miller J. Prindle
Jno. W. Pearsall L. W. Scott B. W. Scott W. C. Thompson
James Watts S. F. Williams
[Photo captions, clockwise from top center, read]
Captain Ira J. Northup, Co. C 2nd U.S.S.S.
The Union Hotel, formerly known as the Railroad House, as it appeared at the turn of the [20th] century. This hotel was a popular meeting spot for travelers and townspeople alike. Notice the brick streets, the balcony, and the wood plank platform at the front of the building. Also, notice the pole which has been set for telegraph lines, but the lack of wires indicates that it is not yet in use.
2nd U.S.S.S. at Falmouth, Virginia
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Patriots & Patriotism • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1851.
Location. 41° 9.664′ N, 79° 5.015′ W. Marker is in Brookville, Pennsylvania, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (U.S. 322) and White Street, on the left when traveling east on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 South White Street, Brookville PA 15825, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. McCracken Building (a few steps from this marker); Brookville Beginnings (a few steps from this marker); McCracken-Fetzer-McKinley Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Carrier-Shields Store (within shouting distance of this marker); English-Shields House (within shouting distance of this marker); Railroad House Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Carrier-Humphrey House (within shouting distance of this marker); Edward B. Henderson House (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brookville.
Regarding Railroad House. Unfortunately, at the time the photos were taken, there was a notice on the hotel door stating that the building was "condemned."
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Borough of Brookville PA: History. (Submitted on July 9, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Killers in Green Coats. (Submitted on July 9, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Berdan's Sharpshooter History. (Submitted on July 9, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 9, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 151 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 9, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.