Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Henry H. Huntzinger – Militiaman Buried at Hegins?

Posted By 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?



John Peter Crabb – Raising Funds to Help Needy Comrades

Posted By on May 23, 2016

John Peter Crabb, Civil War veteran and native of Gratz, Pennsylvania, moved to Harrisburg after the Civil War, where he became a founder and Commander of Stevens Post No. 520, G.A.R.  He was previously profiled here, but not included in that article was a fair conducted by that post in 1889 for the purpose of raising funds to help needy African American war veterans, and widows and orphans of war veterans.  This occurred one year before the rules for obtaining a pension were relaxed to make it easier to obtain benefits for all veterans.  As a show of solidarity, the commanders of the all-white Harrisburg G.A.R. posts attended and gave well-received speeches to open the fair.

An article from the Harrisburg Telegraph, 15 January 1889, told the story:




The Colored G.A.R. Post Invite All to Attend

David B. Stevens Post, No. 520, G.A.R., fair opened last night at Headquarters, Eby’s Building, Fifth and Market Streets [Harrisburg].  The hall was appropriately decorated, the tables for the sale of useful and fancy articles were well stocked and gracefully arranged under the supervision of Mrs. Carrie Covington, of Ladies’ Circle No. 35, G.A.R., with valuable aids from the Circle.

The money raised from the fair is to be given to the charity fund of the Post which is subjected to frequent demands from destitute soldiers, widows, and orphans.  The Post is composed of the colored soldiers of the late war and has many needy comrades who are unable from wounds and disease contracted in the army to make a sufficient livelihood for their wants during the winter.  Many of them deserve pension and are justly entitled to the same, but are unable to furnish the testimony required by the Pension Office to obtain the same.  Hence the demand for a large charity fund is evident.

The opening exercises were conducted by Post Commander J. W. Simpson, who introduced Thomas McCamant, Esq., Auditor General, Major Brown, of the Internal office; W. Hayes Grier, Esq., Superintendent of State Printing; Comrade Meese, P. C. of Post 58; Comrade Reese, Commander of Post 116, of Harrisburg, who made, each of them, able and interesting addresses.  Comrade Edwards and others were present and contributed their efforts to make the fair a success.

After the addresses were delivered, J. P. Crabb, Post Commander of Post 520, declared the fair opened, and the sale of goods and chances opened in good earnest.  From the attendance on opening night and the interest manifested, the fair destined to be a success.  Portamouth Band, under the control of Professor Allmand, gave excellent music during the evening.  The fair will continue open during the week with every promise of success.  A new programme of exercises will be introduced every evening.


News article is from Newspapers.com.

John D. Hughes – Confederate Soldier from Pottsville

Posted By on May 20, 2016

Previously here, the Confederate sympathies of Francis Wade Hughes were discussed.  Hughes was a lawyer in Pottsville at the time of the Civil War.  Several of his brothers, although they were born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, relocated to North Carolina.  At the beginning of the war, one of the nephews of Francis Wade Hughes, John D. Hughes, who had been born in North Carolina, was working as a lawyer in his uncle’s law office.

John D. Hughes, the son of Isaac Wayne Hughes (brother of Francis) was born on 30 March 1830 and died on 9 September 1889.  He married Jane Graham Daves of Craven County, North Carolina on 24 January 1854.


In the 1860 Census of Pottsville, John Hughes is enumerated as an Attorney at Law, born in North Carolina, with a real estate property worth of $56,900 and a personal property worth of $5000, a sizable amount for 1860.  His wife and son John were living in the same household as well as several other persons including a nurse, two servants, and a younger brother Nicholas Colin Hughes, who was a Student at Law.

The Findagrave Memorial for John D. Hughes indicates he is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina, as a Confederate veteran of the 7th North Carolina Infantry, in which he served as a Major and Quartermaster.

In checking the Confederate military records on Fold3, 25 pages of information were found. For those interested in researching John D. Hughes further, the records can easily be downloaded via a paid subscription to that service – or free, by visiting a library having a subscription.

The prior blog post on Francis Wade Hughes mentioned the unsubstantiated tale that John D. Hughes commanded a battery at Antietam (September 1862) and later fought at Fredericksburg December 1862) and Gettysburg (July 1863).  As for Antietam, a military record card from the Fold3 file states that John D. Hughes was absent from the regiment from 1 July 1862 through 31 October 1862 because he was in North Carolina procuring “supplies of clothing, etc.”  There are no military records in the Fold3 file to explain where he was in December 1862 or July 1863.

The story of why John D. Hughes left Pottsville during the war and later joined the 7th North Carolina Infantry, is explained in his application for a pardon, made to President Andrew Johnson, on 24 July 1865:


Click on document to enlarge.


Raleigh, North Carolina, 24 July 1865

To His Excellency, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States

The following facts are respectfully submitted.  I am a native of New Bern, North Carolina, am now thirty five years of age and by profession a lawyer at the time of the breaking out of the late war.  I was working in the State of Pennsylvania, engaged in the practice of the law.  I remained there until the 8th day of July 1861 at which time, because of many unpleasant and annoying incidents growing out of the then excited state of public sentiment in the North towards all persons known to be Southerners and also because the parents and other immediate relations of my wife and of myself were residents of North Carolina from where it was apparent we were about to be separate for an indefinite time by the then existing war which promised to be long and bloody.  I determined to remove with my family to our former home in New Bern.  This I did and remained quietly there until the evacuation of the place in March 1862.  I then moved with my family to Raleigh and subsequently on the 1st day of May 1862, having received a commission as Assistant Quartermaster of the 7th North Carolina Regiment, with the rank of Captain, I entered the Confederate Service.  I was subsequently promoted to the rank of Major in the same Department which position I held at the time of the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston, in whose army I was then serving.  If this state of facts would cause me to be included in the exception regarding persons leaving the loyal States, as set forth in the Amnesty Proclamation of 29 May 1865, I respectfully ask that a pardon may be granted… wherefore, as it is it my fixed intention fully to comply with the accompanying oath to which I have sworn.

Very Respectfully,

John Hughes


A copy of the Oath of Allegiance that accompanied the Application for Pardon of John Hughes



Recommendation by North Carolina Provisional Governor William Woods Holden for Pardon for John Hughes, 20 September 1866.

At this time it is not known whether John Hughes actually received the pardon he sought, but it should be noted that the President to which he applied and the Governor who recommended him were both impeached.  Andrew Johnson was successful in his Senate trial.  Unfortunately for William Woods Holden, he was convicted and removed from office.


The census cut is from Ancestry.com and the pardon documents are from Fold3.


The Civil War Equestrian Statues at Philadelphia City Hall

Posted By on May 19, 2016


Today’s post is a photo essay on the two Civil War equestrian statues on the north side of Philadelphia’s City Hall.  Above is the “Museum Without Walls” marker describing the statues and below is the text of the marker:



Henry Jackson Ellicott (1841-1901) – Sculptor



John Rogers (1829-1904) – Sculptor

In the Civil War, Philadelphia-born George McClellan trained the eastern Union army and led it through the Battle of Antietam.  A brilliant organizer faulted for excessive caution, he served briefly as Union general-in-chief.  This bronze was commissioned and donated by the Grand Army of the Republic.

Born in Lancaster, PA, John Fulton Reynolds became one of the most respected Union generals.  He was killed on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.  This bronze, donated by the Reynolds Memorial Association, was one of Philadelphia’s earliest public monuments to a Civil War soldier.


Views of the Gen. George McClellan Statue:









Views of the Gen. John Fulton Reynolds Statue:








Isaac Houtz – Letters to His Sister Leah

Posted By on May 18, 2016


Leah Houtz (1843-1924) was the daughter of John Wendell Houtz and Elizabeth [Wolf] Houtz, of Orwin, Porter Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.  During the Civil War, Leah received letters from her brother, and one of those letters has been preserved and transcribed by the family.  Unfortunately, Isaac is presumed to have died in the war and his exact date of death and place of burial are unknown.


The following transcription was provided by a family member who stated that she used the same spelling as the original:

Hilden Head of South Carolina

November the 16 A.D. 1861

Miss Leah Houtz

I let you know that I received your letter on the 12 this month and I was very glad to hear from you not I tooket the pleasure to write a few lines to you that I am well at the present time hoping that these few lines may find you same state of good health we was 19 days on the sea we had a storm and our ship got a hole and 5 1/2 feet of water before we fountit out and we had an awful time on the sea and then we commenced to hist water out with 2 barrels and about 30 buckets and that way we had to work for 408 hours just as hard as we could the waves was sometimes as high as a house and we throwet all our tanks and the rations and 2 hundred a 50 guns and some knapsacks overboard for to safe us and we did but they 2 masks down some of the boys was crying and some was praying and some was swearing o I tell you I never saw such a time in my whole life but we got safe trough and we did lant on the 8 this month and on the 7 they hat a battel

James Doe on orders [this is crossed out on the original letter].

We was about 7 miles of where they foughy and we went on top of our boat and then we did see the bushells fly the battel did last 6 hours and 20 minutes and then the repels did run we lost 8 man repels lost 2 three hundret and we captured 60 cannons about 6 hundret heat of turkeys chickens ducks geese and hogs and we as out on a scouting party for 5 days and i tell you we hat a nice time we hat plenty of oranges groundnuts and the nigers baket some cakes for us you must excuse my bat writing because i hat hardly time to write.  We have to work very hard we have to unload the boats and dick entrenchments the name if the fort we tooket is fort royal we are only 30 miles from Charleston show this letter to farther and write me an answer back as soon as you can and we didnt fraw no money yet

So much from your brother

Isaac Houtz

now Leah dont marry till I come home I would like to go to your wetting to help eat Shanghigh Hinkel


Isaac Houtz, was a Civil War soldier, who served in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A and Company K, as a Private, and was, for a time, detached to the 79th New York Infantry, Company F, also as Private.  He was previously mentioned on this blog as a veteran who was honored on the Tower City, Porter and Rush Township Memorial.


Isaac’s date of birth has been established as 3 January 1838 from the baptismal records of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Reinerton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania (shown above from Ancestry.com).  He was baptized there on 22 April 1838.



Isaac Houtz enrolled in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry at Hubley Township, Schuylkill County, on 19 August 1861, and was mustered into service at Harrisburg on 9 September 1861 as a Private in Company A.  He gave his age as 21 (but he was actually 23), his occupation as blacksmith, and his residence as Sacramento, Schuylkill County.  The above cut is from the muster roll of the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, showing that Isaac’s enrollment was actually at Camp Curtin.  While the Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card (shown above) indicates that Isaac was transferred from Company K on 22 September 1864, that date could not be correct.


A New York record (above, from Ancestry.com) indicates that Isaac Houtz was transferred from the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry on 29 February 1864 to the 79th Pennsylvania Infantry as a Private, and then returned to the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry on 30 April 1864.  That record also indicates that he he was absent at a muster because he was “detached as a teamster at Camp headquarters.”

Isaac probably died about 12 June 1864.  His place of burial is unknown.


As the above Pension Index Card (from Ancestry.com) shows, Isaac’s mother applied for pension benefits on 6 December 1883, but was not awarded a pension.  According to family members who have copies of the file papers, that application contains the information that the date of his death and place of burial are unknown.

Isaac’s death may have occurred just prior to the Siege of Petersburg and the family believes that “he is one of the many who ended up in unmarked graves.”


Bombardment of Port Royal, Currier & Ives. From: Library of Congress.

The military events described in the letter Leah Houtz received from her brother, took place from the 21 October 1861 through 7 November 1861, and included the capture of Port Royal, South Carolina.  On the way to the Carolinas by sea, a gale was encountered on 1 November 1861, and one of the vessels was saved from loss by the heroic efforts of the soldiers who, after the crew abandoned ship, cut away the masts and threw everything overboard.

Leah Houtz married John Leitzel Malick, who also served in the Civil War.  From the records available on Ancestry.com, their first child, Daniel Malick, may have been born in 1865, so the wedding could have taken place in 1864.  It is not known if Isaac Houtz received a furlough during the war and returned in time for the wedding and an opportunity to “help eat Shanghai Hinkel.”  [Note:  If any reader knows the meaning of this expression, please add the information in a comment or send in an e-mail].