Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

July 2015 Posts

Posted By on August 28, 2015

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

Obituary of Philip C. Swab

Pillow Historical Society Open House Features Civil War Program

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 12)

More Despondent Vets Commit Suicide

Henry Curtin – The Man with 35 Artificial Legs

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 13)

Some Civil War Connections to Pillow (Part 1 of 3)

The Death of Col. Thomas H. Rickert

Civil War Veteran Burials at Oak Hill Cemetery, Millersburg (Part 5)

Some Civil War Connections to Pillow (Part 2 of 3)

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 14) – Pvt. Jacob F. Yeager, Medal of Honor

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 15)

Some Civil War Connections to Pillow (Part 3 of 3)

Obituary of Dr. Jacob W. Shope of Halifax & Harrisburg


June 2015 Posts

Posted By on August 26, 2015

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

Monuments at Gettysburg – 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 6)

Obituaries of Civil War Era Women, 1909

Mary Kilraine of Williamstown – Civil War Laundress

Monuments at Gettysburg – 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company B

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 7)

May 2015 Posts

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 8)

Obituaries of Civil War Era Women, 1912

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 9)

Obituaries of Civil War Era Women, 1913

Obituaries of Civil War Era Women, 1914

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 10) – Capt. Frederick M. Yeager

The Yeager Family in the Civil War (Part 11)



Some Wedding Anniversaries of Veterans in 1919

Posted By on August 24, 2015

Two Civil War veterans with connections to the Lykens Valley celebrated long-term marriage anniversaries at the end of 1918 and the end of 1919.  Both anniversaries were reported in the newspapers of 1919.

Cloyd C. Bender was born in Perry County, Pennsylvania, but lived most of his life in Halifax where he first worked as a boatman and later was a conductor for the Pennsylvania Railroad.  He died in 1922 and is buried in Halifax United Methodist Church Cemetery.  His wife, the former Lydia Mary Fahnestock, was also from Perry County.  She died in 1930 after collecting a widow’s pension for about 8 years.


Bender’s Pension Index Card (shown above) from Fold3, shows his service in the 78th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, and in the 133rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I.

From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 4 January 1919:


Halifax, Pennsylvania, 4 January, 1919 — On 25 December 1863, Cloyd C. Bender and Miss Mary Fahnestock, of near Newport, Perry County, were married on Christmas Day.  On 25 December 1918, at their home in South Second Street, Halifax, they celebrated their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary in a quiet way.  They have been residents of this place for more than thirty years, having moved here from Hagerstown, Maryland.  Mr. Bender is 76 years old and is a veteran of the Civil War and a retired Pennsylvania Railroad employee.  Mrs. Bender is 76 years old and in good health.  They have six children living as follows:  Byron Bender, of Hagerstown, Maryland; Sanford Bender, of Millersburg; Professor C. Ray Bender of Sacramento, California; and Mrs. E. F. Koppenheffer, Mrs. Suptapatt and Clarion A. Bender of town.


Samuel Doan is an example of a veteran who had not been previously included in the Civil War Research Project, but now should be included.  He served in the 36th Pennsylvania Infantry (7th Pennsylvania Reserve), Company D, as a Private and was later promoted to Corporal.  Although he was born in Perry County, Pennsylvania, and spent the later years of his life in Harrisburg, he married Elizabeth Jane “Lizzie” Steever of the Steever family of Millersburg and Upper Paxton Township.  At least five Steever veterans have so far been identified from the Lykens Valley area, including three who are named on the Millersburg Soldier Monument.


The Pension Index Card, shown above (from Fold3), indicates that after Samuel Doan died, his wife applied for a widow’s pension, which she received and collected until her death.

Samuel Doan died on 26 January 1921 and is buried in East Harrisburg Cemetery.

From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 30 December 1919:


The golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Doan, 1561 Vernon Street, who have resided in the city for many years, will be celebrated tomorrow evening at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Charles Warner, 68 North Sixteenth Street, with an informal gathering.

Miss Lizzie Steever, of Millersburg, and Samuel Doan, were married 31 December 1869, in Washington, D.C., with the Rev. Samuel Shannon, a Methodist minister officating.  Mr. Doan was an engineer for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at the time.  Later they lived in Lewistown and then came to Harrisburg for a permanent residence.  Of their eight children, seven survive and are all married.  There is but one grandson, Odin E. Carpenter, who served as a volunteer abroad and was both wounded and gassed.  Mr. Doan is a veteran of the Civil War and a member of Post 58, G.A.R.  Both he and Mrs. Doan are in good health.  They have been subscribers to the Telegraph since they located here.


News stories are from the on-line resources of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America.



Obituary of William DeHaven of Millersburg

Posted By on August 21, 2015


William H. DeHaven, born 21 June 1846, served in the 208th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company E, as a Private, during the Civil War.  After the war he was one of the founding members of the G.A.R. Kilpatrick Post at Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

He lived in Millersburg most of his life, working as a laborer in a planing mill and a sash factory.

William H. DeHaven died on 28 August 1919 and his obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Telegraph on 29 August 1919:



Millersburg, Pennsylvania, 29 August 1919 –– William H. DeHaven, a veteran of the Civil War and one of the few remaining comrades of Kilpatrick Post, No. 212, G.A.R., of this place, died rather suddenly, after ailing for several months, on Thursday.  He was 73 years old and is survived by an adopted daughter, Miss Maggie DeHaven.  The funeral will take place from his late home in West Moore Street, Monday at 3 p.m., in charge of his pastor, the Rev. Mr. Musselman, of the Lutheran Church.  Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Additional information is sought about this veteran.  Comments can be added to this post or sent via e-mail.


The news clipping is from Chronicling America of the Library of Congress.


William W. Davidson Dies on Visit to Detroit

Posted By on August 19, 2015


William W. Davidson was born in South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, the son of John H. Davidson and Elizabeth [Schwenk] Davidson, on 18 December 1842.  In the 1860 Census he was single, living in Millersburg, and working as a tanner.

In September 1862, William responded to the emergency presented to Pennsylvania by joining the 4th Pennsylvania Infantry (Militia), Company B, as a Corporal.  This approximate ten day service was not reported to the Pension Bureau when he later applied for benefits on 23 June 1898.  The only service he claimed at that time was the 210th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Private, from 16 September 1864 at Harrisburg, to his honorable discharge at Arlington Heights, Virginia, 30 May 1865.

Following his release from the military, he married Susan Elizabeth Zimmerman at Fisherville Lutheran Church, Jackson Township, Dauphin County, on 9 November 1865.  The couple had three children:  Frank E. Davidson, born 21 December 1866; Clara May Davidson, born 6 March 1868; and John H. Davidson, born 5 July 1870.

By 1870, the family was living in Harrisburg, where William was employed at a saw mill, and by 1880, he joined the railroad, where he worked until retirement.  In 1890, he did not report any Civil War-related disabilities.

His death was reported in the Harrisburg Evening News on 24 December 1923:


While on a visit with his wife in Detroit, William W. Davidson, 81 years old, 1211 North Third Street, died yesterday afternoon.  He was a retired Pennsylvania Railroad employee and a Civil War veteran.

Mr. Davidson was born in Schuylkill Haven, but moved to this city when he was a boy. At the time of his retirement by the Pennsylvania Railroad, six years ago, he was yardmaster at the Maclay Street Yards.

He served with the Federal Army during the Civil War, having enlisted in a Pennsylvania volunteer regiment.  He was wounded on several occasions.  Following the war he was active in organizing the Grand Army of the Republic in this State, and for a number of years he was a staff officer of the State Department of the G.A.R.  He was also a member of the Knights of Malta and the Messiah Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife, a sister, Mrs. Emma E. Donnelly, of Lemoyne, and one daughter, Mrs. Charles Stauffer of Dauphin.  The body was sent to this city from Detroit today.

Funeral arrangements were described in the Harrisburg Evening News of 26 December 1923:


Funeral services for William W. Davidson, 81 year old Civil War veteran, of 1211 North Third Street, who died Sunday in Detroit, were held this afternoon at 1 o’clock, from Messiah Lutheran Church.  Burial was in the Fisherville Cemetery, the Rev. Carl Rasmussen officiating, assisted by the Rev. Charles Bauslin.

Davidson was a retired employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and was at Detroit with his wife, visiting relatives over the Christmas holidays.  He had only been in the city eight hours before he died.

The body was brought here Christmas morning.  Davidson is survived by his widow, a sister, Mrs. Emma N. Donnelly, of Lemoyne, and daughter, Mrs. Charles Shaffer, of Dauphin.  Mrs. Davidson was accompanied east by a daughter and a son, Mrs. Grant Cannon and Leigh H. Smith, both of Detroit.


Additional information about William W. Davidson can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.

Four pages from the pension application file are also presented below for those wishing to do further research.  Click on thumbnails to enlarge the documents:

DavidsonWilliam-004“Declaration for Pension” including nature and details of military service.




DavidsonWilliam-005Update of personal information required by Pension Bureau, 1915.




DavidsonWilliam-006Personal information required in 1898 for original application.




DavidsonWilliam-007Certification of birth and baptism of William W. Davidson.