Hopewell Furnace ran 24 hours a day producing pig iron needed for the manufacturing of Union weapons. The constant production brought increased prosperity to workers and their families. At the same time, the cost of manufactured goods rose with war demands, and transportation became difficult as the military monopolized the railroads. On the home front, Hopewell Village residents worried about friends and relatives on the battlefield. Furnace workers Henry Hauck, Fred Mosteller, Daniel Buckley, Henry Nanback, and Daniel Hunsberger all perished during the war. In a small community these losses must have laid heavily on everyone’s hearts.
For some residents the Civil War illustrated the disparities in American Society. African-Americans like Isaac Cole desired to join their neighbors and fight for the Union. They may, in fact, have had a special yearning to take up arms as the abolition of slavery became the focus of the war. Ironically, federal law initially prevented Cole’s enlistment. Finally, in 1863, the Union Army organized the United States Colored Troops and accepted African-American enrollees. In 1864, at the age of 40, Isaac Cole enlisted in Company H, 32 Regiment U.S. Colored Troops. Cole’s final resting place is at Mt. Frisby AME Church not far away from the Furnace.