Martin E Scheibner MOH

b. 13/10/1842 Valdai, Russia. d. 29/11/1908 Camden, New Jersey.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 27/11/1863 Mine Run, Virginia.

Martin E Schneiber MOH

Little is recorded of the early life of Martin Scheibner. He was born October 13, 1842, but where is not clear. In most places, it is stated Scheibner was born in Valday (Valdai), Novgorod Oblast, Russia. However, his death notice in the December 2, 1908, edition of The Morning Post (Camden, NJ) states he was born in Poland, but has no town or providence listed.

In 1863, Scheibner was attending Warsaw University. While a student at the university he joined the revolutionists who wanted an end to Russian occupation and regaining independence for Poland. Scheibner was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to die, but two days before his scheduled execution he received pardon and was exiled from the Kingdom of Russia.

Scheibner arrived in the United States and immediately joined the Union Army on September 22, 1863, as a member of Company G, 90th Pennsylvania Infantry. On November 26, 1864, he was transferred to the newly created Company G, 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

From November 7 to December 2, 1863, the 90th Pennsylvania was involved in the Mine Run Campaign. This would be the second major campaign by the Union Army since the victory at Gettysburg. General Lee and the Confederate Army had fled across the Potomac River in the aftermath of Gettysburg, with General Meade and the Union Army following them, but not actively pursuing them.

In late November, Meade attempted to strike the Confederate Army, which had dug in along the Rapidan River. The Battle of Mine Run began on November 27 and bad weather and poor planning brought the Union Army to a standstill. The armies remained locked into position until December 2, when Meade withdrew the Army of the Potomac northward to regroup and resupply.

It was on November 27 – the first day of the battle – when Scheibner would perform an action which saved the lives of those around him. The 90th Pennsylvania was preparing to charge across Mine Run, up the hillside, and attack the Confederate fortifications. As the regiment laid behind their knapsacks preparing to charge, an unexploded shell fell among the men. Without hesitating, Scheibner grabbed the shell and emptied the coffee from his canteen onto the burning fuse. His quick thinking saved the lives of his comrades.

Scheibner’s action would not be immediately recognized, but it would not be forgotten by those who served with him. On June 23, 1896, Schreiber’s actions would be recognized with the Medal of Honor.

The following spring, Scheibner almost lost his life during the Battle of the Wilderness. Seriously wounded, Scheibner would be rescued and would recover from his wounds, though his injuries would haunt him for the remainder of his life.

After the war, Scheibner settled in Pittsburgh. In 1879, Scheibner took a position as the principal of the Reading Boys’ High School. He remained there until 1899 when he became the supervising principal of the Camden, New Jersey schools. He was only there for a couple weeks before trouble would find him. In June of that year, he had charges against him. The claims came from 1) teachers who stated he did not value them and were very insulting towards them, 2) students who testified he belittled them and treated them like little children, 3) students who claimed he had rubbed their shoulders and ran his fingers through their hair and 4) people who claimed he did not have all the qualifications to be a teacher in New Jersey. A meeting was held by the Committee of Public Instruction, who heard from both the community and from Professor Scheibner. The Committee exonerated Scheibner of all charges.

Scheibner remained in the Camden school district until 1905, when he retired and became a private teacher.

In June 1908, Scheibner was listed as being in Camden’s Cooper Hospital. He was recovering from a surgery due to an internal ailment. Only a couple months later – on November 30, 1908 – Martin Scheibner died at the Camden Hospital. His cause of death was due to a variety of diseases and ailments. Scheibner’s death notice in The Morning Call states all his health problems came from his time of service – he had received seven bullet wounds during the war. Scheibner was 66 years old when he passed – his body was returned to Reading and placed to rest in Charles Evans Cemetery.



Voluntarily extinguished the burning fuse of a shell which had been thrown into the lines of the regiment by the enemy.