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Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Who Was Samuel Shoop? (Part 1 of 3)

Posted By on July 10, 2011

The initial information obtained by the Civil War REsearch Project on a Civil War veteran named Samuel Shoop pertained to an individual who served in the 200th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company F, as a Corporal.  He was wounded at Fort Stedman, Petersbug, Virginia, 25 March 1865, and as result of the wound had his right leg amputated at Harewood General Hospital, Washington, D.C.  Thereafter he was discharged on a Surgeon’s Certificate of Disability.  This Samuel Shoop was from Jefferson Township, Dauphin County, and after his discharge, he returned home and worked as a shoemaker.  Fortunately for researchers, the doctor who performed the amputation had a picture taken – now a very famous picture – of the one-legged Shoop.  The intention was to use the picture as a teaching tool for other surgeons who were forced to perform wartime amputations.  That picture, shown at the head of this post, is in the pension application file of this Samuel Shoop.  Records from this Samuel Shoop’s pension file and other primary source information available confirm that Samuel Shoop was born 22 November 1842 to George Shoop and Rachel [Sweigert] Shoop.  The father George was a farmer in Jefferson Township and the young Samuel assisted on the farm as a farm hand.  In 1862, Samuel Shoop married Sarah Bowman.  To this marriage were born three children:  Bella Clara, Harry, and Emma, the latter child born in 1872.  Unfortunately, Samuel Shoop died in 1872, leaving a Sarah a widow with three young children.  The pension which Samuel Shoop had been collecting, would go his widow and children – but she had to apply.

For whatever reason, Sarah [Bowman] Shoop‘s application was delayed until 1873.  From the Pension Index Card it is noted that she did not receive a widow’s pension (there is an “Application Number” but no “Certificate Number”).  Sarah re-married to Henry William Wilbert (1826-1879), himself a veteran of the Civil War.   Wilbert died in 1882.  Again she was a widow and quickly she remarried, this time to Jacob G. Enders, also a veteran of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry.   More children were born to Sarah via Jacob G. Enders.

Because Sarah’s third husband was a descendant of the Enders family, Sarah, her Enders husband and her other two husbands ended up in the book Captain Enders Legion. In researching the book, the authors somehow identified that Samuel Shoop who was married to Sarah Bowman had service in both the 130th Pennsylvania Infantry and the 200th Pennsylvania Infantry.

In both the picture above and the Pension Index Card, it is noted that Samuel Shoop had service in the 200th Pennsylvania Infantry.  There is no mention of service in the 130th Pennsyvlania Infantry.  However, a Samuel Shoop did serve in the 130th Pennsylvania Infantry.  So, was this the same Samuel Shoop?

Some time later, the name of Abel Fetrow (1842-1902) was obtained from a list of Civil War soldiers in the Halifax Bicentennial Book. Did Abel Fetrow belong in the Civil War Research ProjectHalifax is located in Upper Dauphin County, certainly within the are of the project.  In researching Abel Fetrow it was quickly discovered that he served in both the 130th Pennsylvania Infantry and the 20th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  His early years had been spent in York County, Pennsylvania, not Dauphin County.  After the Civil War, Abel Fetrow moved to Iowa where he worked as a farmer.  He was married to Mary J. Pennybaker and with her had four children.  He died in Iowa and is buried in Ida Grove Cemetery, Ida Grove, Iowa.  In the same cemetery are two other Civil War veterans – both named Samuel Shoop – and totally different persons that the one who served in the 200th Pennsylvania Infantry.  The family story is that after Abel Fetrow died, his widow Mary [Pennybaker] Fetrow, moved back to her family home in Dauphin County.  But where in Dauphin County?  Efforts to locate here there have been unsuccessful.  Perhaps it was in the Halifax area?

In attempting to locate a reason why Abel Fetrow was included in the Halifax Bicentennial Book, it became obvious that there were many persons named Samuel Shoop who served in the Civil War.  When this type of thing occurs, and unfortunately, it occurs too often, a process must be used to separate the records of each person who has the same or a similar name.  It also became very important to try to identify which Samuel Shoop served in the 130th Pennsylvania Infantry.   If it was the Samuel Shoop who lost his leg in the war, then surely there should be some record of this.  If it wasn’t the same Samuel Shoop, then who was it and has another Samuel Shoop been identified from the Lykens Valley area to be included in the Civil War Research Project?  There was clearly a connection between the two Samuel Shoops who moved to Iowa with Abel Fetrow – but was there a connection with the Samuel Shoop who lost his leg?  The best way to go about separating the records is to see if there are pension records for each individual named Samuel Shoop.  In the post tomorrow, we will start with the available Pension Index Cards which reference the records in the National Archives.  In the final post on Tuesday, those persons named Samuel Shoop for whom there are no pension records will be noted with the information that has been identified for them.  It is hoped that through this process, the answer to the question “Who Was Samuel Shoop?” will be obtained.

Pension Index Cards from from Ancestry.com.


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