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Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

February 2015 Posts

Posted By on March 5, 2015

A listing of the February 2015 posts on The Civil War Blog with direct links:

Dan Haller – Former Slave Dies at Harrisburg Almshouse

Rev. George Shorter – 127th United States Colored Troops

January 2015 Posts

Cassius Mars – Founder of Stevens Post in Harrisburg

More on Eli Gray – Barber of Harrisburg – and York!

Portrait Found of Rev. James A. Stokes

Monuments at Gettysburg – 98th Pennsylvania Infantry

Monuments at Gettysburg – 99th Pennsylvania Infantry

Elias Martin and Levi B. Ditty of Reed Township

Rev. John Quincy Adams – Harrisburg Preacher & Civil Rights Leader Was Once a Slave

Dr. Michael Price – Upper End Doctor, Teacher & Justice Fought for South

Obituary of Major John W. Simpson

William T. Harley – Driver for Gov. Curtin, War Veteran & Barber

Monuments at Gettysburg – 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry

Obituary of Frank N. Douden of Millersburg

Philatelic Commemorations of the Lincoln Assassination

James P. Wilson – 2nd United States Colored Troops

Monuments at Gettysburg – 105th Pennsylvania Infantry

Monuments at Gettysburg – 106th Pennsylvania Infantry

Events of February 1865

 

Monuments at Gettysburg – 109th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on March 4, 2015

109thPA-Inquirer-1889-09-11-001a

The 109th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at Gettysburg is located southeast of the town of Gettysburg on Culp’s Hill on Slocum Avenue.  It was dedicated in 1889 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The drawing of the monument pictured above is from a Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889.

A picture of the monument can be seen on Stephen Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 109th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of the second monument, its GPS Coordinates, additional photographs, and some of the history of the 109th Pennsylvania Infantry, can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889 told of the tree in the area of the battlefield where the fighting of the 109th Pennsylvania Infantry took place, and gave the names of the speakers for the day of monument dedications:

The 109th Famous Tree.

A famous tree stands on the battlefield of Gettysburg, behind which the 109th Regiment did some of its most effective fighting.  The ground in front of Company A was more sloping than on other parts of the line so that in order to get a good shot the men were obliged to run out in advance of their position to this large tree and await opportunities, which were constantly offered, to shoot rebels.  The tree was in constant use, each man taking his turn behind it and shortly became a mark for the rebels and was completely stripped of its bark by the constant battering of bullets.

The programme of the 109th on Culp’s Hill, Gettysburg, will be:  Prayer, by Comrade I. Newton Ritner; remarks, by Comrade George W. Clark; “History of Memorial Committee,” Thomas E. Lewis; oration, Major M. Veale.

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GimberFrederickL-PensionIndex-001

Frederick Louis Gimber of Philadelphia commanded the 109th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg.  He was from Philadelphia and had prior experience as Sergeant of Company F, 19th Pennsylvania Infantry from 27 April 1861 through 29 August 1861.  He joined the 109th Pennsylvania Infantry at Philadelphia on 6 May 1862 as the Captain of Company E.  But one record gives the information that on 1 October 1862, he was transferred to headquarters with the rank of Major and on 4 May 1863, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment.  Gimber was supposedly not mustered at the latter two ranks and therefore, at the Battle of Gettysburg, he is officially listed at the rank of Captain.

Frederick L. Gimber applied for a pension on 24 October 1877, at which time he gave his Civil War rank as Captain (see above Pension Index Card from Fold3).  This card also indicates that he was transferred on 31 March 1865, which another record indicates was to the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry.

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Gimber died on 14 October 1910 as noted in the death notice (above) from the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He is buried in Fernwood Cemetery, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.  The Findagrave Memorial for him does not indicate that he was a Civil War soldier nor does there appear to be a G.A.R. marker at his grave.

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Around the base of the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg are a series of plaques which, by regiment and company, note the names of every soldier who was present at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The plaque for the 109th Pennsylvania Infantry is pictured below.  By clicking on the plaque it should enlarge so the names can be more clearly read.  If a name does not appear, it could be that the soldier did serve in the 109th Pennsylvania Infantry, but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg.  There could also be errors on the plaque.

109PA-Gettysburg-001a

Two Lost Men with a Lykens Township Connection

Posted By on March 3, 2015

On 23 February 1888, there appeared a letter to the editor of the National Tribune requesting information on two men who went off to war from New York City in 1862 and were never heard from again.  Included in the letter is a reference to Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and a farmer named H. B. Schreiner.

JacquesWilliam-NatlTribune-1888-02-23-001

WHERE ARE THEY?

Information Wanted in Regard to the Whereabouts of Two Comrades

EDITOR NATIONAL TRIBUNE:  Some time in the year 1862 a man named William Jacques, a stonecutter, then living at No. 10 Gansevoort Street, New York City, volunteered, leaving behind his wife Catherine and their children — Catherine, about six, and William, about four years.  A few months after his departure the mother died, and the children were taken charge of by an uncle, named John Jacques, or Jaques.  (The name seems to have been spelled either way.)  He and Peter Halpin, now of 150 West Fifteenth Street, New York City, placed them on Randall’s island, in the Orphans’ Home.

They were afterward bound out to a farmer in Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, named H. B. Schreiner [article refers to him as H. B. Schreimer].  Since the day their father and an older brother, who enlisted earlier in the war, left, they have never heard a word of what became of either.  I have carefully studied up rosters of all the New York regiments down to the 150th and only find the following who may in any way seem possible to be our William Jacques, viz, on page 831, Volume 3, is “Private William Jaques, Company G, 104th New York [104th New York Infantry]; 44 years old; enlisted 23 Jan 1862, by J. H. Stute, for three years, from Genesco.”  This, while it conforms in age, does not agree in place of enlistment; although he may have enlisted as the regiment passed through New York City, and been credited to Genesco.  “William Jacques, 28 years old, private, Company C, 59th New York [59th New York Infantry]; enlisted from New York City, 29 August 1861, and was mustered in by Lieutenant Colonel William Linn Tidball.”  The Colonel, however, has no recollection of the man.  One thing, however, is in the way.  If his age – 28 years – is stated correctly, he is not our William, as he was certainly 10 years older.

All inquiries of the Adjutant-General of New York, of the U.S.A., and of the Pension Office, have failed so far to furnish a glimmer of light on the fate of either William Jacques or his son Thomas Jacques.  Now, comrades, all of you who ever knew of any such parties, let me hear from you as soon as possible, so we can clear up this one of the many sad mysteries of the rebellion. –

James M. McGee, Roxborough, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The two children of William Jacques, namely son William Jacques and daughter Katie Jacques, were located in the 1870 census of Lykens Township, Dauphin County:

JacquesWilliam-sonWm-Census1870-001a

Click on document to enlarge.

From the above census, it can be determined that H. B. Schreiner was a 49 year-old farmer in Lykens Township who was born in Pennsylvania.  His wife appears to be Augusta M. Schreiner, age 44, possible maiden name Martin, with her mother Rebecca Martin, age 70, also living in the household. Both Augusta and Rebecca were born in Virginia.  The two Jacques children, both born in New York, are also in the household:  Katie Jacques, age 16, is a domestic servant; and William Jacques, age 12, is a farm laborer.

Help is sought from any readers of this blog who can solve this mystery.  Please comment to this post or send information by e-mail.

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The news clipping is from the on-line newspaper resources of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America.  The cut from the 1870 census is from Ancestry.com.

 

 

Monuments at Gettysburg – 107th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on March 2, 2015

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The 107th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at Gettysburg is located northwest of the town of Gettysburg on Doubleday Avenue.

The drawing of the monument pictured above is from a Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889.

A picture of the monument can be seen on Stephen Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of the monument, its GPS Coordinates, additional photographs, and some of the history of the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry, can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer gave a brief history of the regiment at Gettysburg in its 11 September 1889 article:

Where the 107th Fought.

The 107th regiment, on reaching the field of Gettysburg where Reynolds had fallen, went into position on Cemetery Ridge to the right of the Chambersburg and extending the Mummasburg Road.  When the 107th had reached the foot of the ridge at its open part between the woods on the right and left the brigade was thrown into the line of battle, moved at double-quick up the hill, met the enemy at the summit, where he at once surrendered.  In the second charge, which immediately followed, Lieutenant Colonel MacThompson had a horse shot under him and Major Sheafer was severely wounded.  Outflanked and overborne the command retired rapidly through the town to Cemetery Hill near Bryan’s house, where it lay on its arms all night, momentarily expecting an attack.  At the height of the cannons’ storm on the 3rd it was moved to the left of Cemetery Hill under a perfect shower of shells, where it assisted in staying the enemy’s fierce attack.  Many of this regiment’s men, taken prisoners at Gettysburg, were the victims of terrible barbarity in the rebel prisons.

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Two persons are associated with the command of the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg:  (1) Lieutenant Colonel James McThomson, who was wounded on 1 July 1863; and Captain Emanuel D. Roath, who took over command after McThomson was wounded.

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James McThomson, who is also found in the records as MacThompson and McThompson, joined the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry as Captain of Company B on 20 February 1862.  He was promoted to headquarters at the rank of Major on 19 October 1862, and on 23 February 1863, the rank he held at Gettysburg.  McThomson recovered from his Gettysburg wounds to return to the regiment and and led it through its discharge on 13 July 1865.   On 13 March 1865, he was breveted as Colonel and Brigadier General.

 

Emanuel D. Roath

Roath’s service began with the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry at Harrisburg on 5 March 1862 where he became Captain of Company E.  He served with the regiment through a full 3-year term which ended with his discharge on 5 March 1865.  At that time he was breveted as Major.

Emanuel D. Roath kept a diary of his Civil War experiences in 1864.  The description of the diary states that it includes “details of combat actions and life in confederate prisons.”

According to pension records, the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry was Roath’s only Civil War Service.

In 1887, Roath was part of a committee of survivors of the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry who decided upon a design for the Gettysburg monument to the regiment.

Colonel Roath died on 12 September 1907 and is buried in Marietta Cemetery, Marietta, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  More information about him can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.

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Around the base of the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg are a series of plaques which, by regiment and company, note the names of every soldier who was present at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The plaque for the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry is pictured below.  By clicking on the plaque it should enlarge so the names can be more clearly read.  If a name does not appear, it could be that the soldier did serve in the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry, but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg.  There could also be errors on the plaque.

107PA-Gettysburg-001a

Events of February 1865

Posted By on February 27, 2015

February 3. Legislature of Canada approves message to British Crown for union of British North American Provinces.  The four provinces united were: Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The former Province of Canada was split back into its pre-1841 parts, with Canada East (Lower Canada) renamed Quebec, and Canada West (Upper Canada) renamed Ontario. These were the original four provinces of Canada.

February 15-16. Earliest inter-colonial cricket match held in the West Indies between Barbados and Demerara (now Guyana). This is recognized as the start of West Indian first-class cricket.

February 20. The Canadian Legislature approves a motion in favor of Confederation. The British Parliament approved the measure in July, 1867, officially forming the Dominion of Canada.

February 21. John Deere receives a patent for a steel plough. This model was an improvement of his earlier designs, first released in 1837. These deeread1ploughs increased productivity of U.S. farmland and especially helped the boom in farming in the midwest.