Posted By Norman Gasbarro on May 24, 2016
Henry Harrison Huntzinger is buried at Frieden’s Union Cemetery, Hegins, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, with his wife Amanda [Erdman] Huntzinger. Is this is the same Henry H. Huntzinger who served in the 6th Pennsylvania Infantry (Emergency of 1862), Headquarters, as 2nd Lieutenant and Adjutant of this militia regiment? At the time the photograph of his grave was taken, there was no evidence of his Civil War service at his graveside.
The record card from the Pennsylvania Archives (shown above) notes that on 14 September 1862, Henry H. Huntzinger enrolled in the said militia regiment at Pottsville as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company B. He was 28 years old, almost 5 foot 9 inches tall, and had a light complexion, grey eyes and dark hair. At the time, he was living in Pottsville and working as a clerk. Within two days of his enrollment, he was promoted to Adjutant at regimental headquarters.
The emergency to which this militia regiment responded was the threat to Pennsylvania as a result of the Battle of Antietam, in Maryland, just across the Southern border of the state. The service was brief, and when the emergency ended, Huntzinger was discharged along with the other members of the militia.
Whether Henry H. Huntzinger served in any other Civil War regiments is an open question at this time. One of the ways to locate other Civil War service is to consult the pension records, but often, applicants failed to include militia service in their applications, because it was so short in time, and at least three months service was required in order to receive a pension.
A Pension Index Card has been located for a Henry Huntzinger who served in the Jones Independent Company of the Pennsylvania Infantry (shown above from Ancestry.com). However, no matching index card has been found in the Pennsylvania Archives. An 1890 Census page has been located which identifies a Henry Huntzinger as serving in an Independent Company, presumably the same one noted on the Pension Index Card.
On Line 16 on that page (click on document above to enlarge), that Henry Huntzinger gave his service as Company D of an Independent Company, as a Corporal, with the dates 15 September 1862 through 9 July 1863, for a total service of 9 months and 24 days. The residence in 1890 of this Henry Huntzinger was given as South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County. Because the dates of service overlap the service in the emergency militia it would be easy to dismiss the 1890 Census record and the Pension Index Card as representing different persons. However, the geographical proximity to Hegins, where Henry Harrison Huntzinger lived in 1880 and 1900 and was working as a plasterer, as well as the possibility that Huntzinger moved from the emergency service into the independent company seamlessly, make it more likely that it is the same person. And, no other 1890 Veterans’ Census has been located for any person named Henry Huntzinger in the Schuylkill County area near Hegins.
What makes it unlikely that it is the same person is that Henry H. Huntzinger died on 12 October 1919, per his grave marker and death certificate, and his widow survived him and did not die until 1940. The Pension Index Card (shown above) from Ancestry.com does not indicate that a widow applied for a pension based on that service.
Finally, there is a confusing birth year for Henry H. Huntzinger who served in the militia regiment. The card from the Pennsylvania Archives gives his age as 28 at the time of service (born about 1834), but the grave marker gives his birth year as 1842. Did he lie about his age in order to get a better rank in the militia? Or, is the Henry H. Huntzinger who is buried at Hegins not the same person who served in the militia?
If any reader of this blog can provide any information to clear up this mystery, it would be greatly appreciated. If the Henry H. Harrison who is buried at Hegins was a Civil War veteran, albeit only for about 15 days and only with the militia, he deserves to be recognized as such. And, if there is another Henry Huntzinger, who was he, where was is he buried, and did he serve in both a militia regiment and an independent company?