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Civil War Blog

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Honorable Discharges -177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I – Part 3

Posted By on November 20, 2011

Today, the blog post  again continues to feature members of the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, who served the full term of nine months and received honorable discharges on 5 August 1863.  The research results presented here are based on preliminary data gathering on each of the members of the company and searches for Pension Index Cards that reference the pension application files that are available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  Some of the members of this company have been previously discussed on blog posts here and reference to those posts are provided with links.

In addition, much has already been written on Benjamin J. Evitts, the elected captain of this company (click here for previous posts on Benjamin J. Evitts).   Click here for previous posts on the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry.

The 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I,was a drafted militia that served for nine months.  No member of this militia was reported injured as a result of a military act, so, theoretically, nearly all the pension applications should be post-1890, when “age” became the most significant factor for the veteran to receive a pension.  This should be reflected in the date of application on the Pension Index Card.  If the veteran died before 1890, there probably was no application made by the veteran, but it is possible that a widow applied.  In the column for “Certificate Number,” if no number appears, this would indicate that an application was made, but no pension was awarded.  If a number appears in the “Certificate Number” column, it can be assumed that a pension was awarded, although the date of the award cannot be determined from the Pension Index Card.

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JOHN N. DEIBLER (1830-1908)


John N. Deibler was born in Pennsylvania in 1830.  His parents have not yet been identified.  On 7 November 1848 he married Elizabeth Klepfer and proceeded to have a family.  Known children born before the Civil War (dates approximate) were:  George Deibler (1851-1918), Samuel Deibler (1853-1940), Mary Jane Deibler (1855-1928), Susan C. Deibler (1858-?), and Lewis K. Deibler (1860-?).  When he was drafted in 1862 into the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, he left his young family in the care of his wife, and went off to war.  Following his service and discharge, he returned home and then proceeded to re-enlist, this time in the 208th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Corporal.  Between these service stints, another child was born – James Deibler (1863-?).  After the war, at least four more children were born to the couple.  Census returns state that he first lived in Upper Paxton Township and then later moved to Mifflin Township, where he worked as a farm laborer and a carpenter.  Elizabeth died first and John continued to collect a pension from about 1887 to his death in 1908.  Some sources say he died in 1909.  John N. Deibler is buried in Reigle’s Cemetery, Curtin, Mifflin Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

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BARNHART DILLMAN (1826-1873)

Born in Germany about 1826, Barnhart (or Bernard) Dillman came to America before the Civil War and was living in Ashland, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, in 1860, in the household of Adam Slevitts, also a German immigrant, and who like Barnhart was also a laborer.  Not much is known about Barnhart Dillman or his service in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry during the war.  He died in 1873 in Ashland and is buried there in Old St. Mauritius Cemetery.  Well after his death, Louisa Spaedor applied for Barnhart’s pension (which he never applied for during his lifetime), but the Pension Index Card does not contain a “Certificate Number”, indicating that she was never awarded the pension.  The notation on the Pension Index Card is that Barnhart served in both Company I and Company H of the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, but records of the regiment that have been located only indicate service in Company I.

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CHARLES DRUM (1825-1897)

Also found in the records as Charles Drumm.  He was born in Pennsylvania about 1825.  Nothing positive has yet been located to determine who his parents were.  In 1850, he was a laborer living in Mifflin Township, Dauphin County, with his wife Christiana and son HenryDrum, who had been born in 1848.  Additional children were born to the couple before the Civil War began, and when Charles was drafted in 1862, he left Christiana at home with young children.  Other children born before the war were:  Mary Drum (1852-?); Charles Drum (1854-?); Louisa Drum (1856-?); and John Drum (1860-?).  After he returned from the war, the family relocated to Lower Augusta Township, Northumberland County, and Charles took up farming, which he pursued until his death about 1897.  He was able to secure an invalid pension, which after his death, was collected by his wife Christiana.  Charles Drum is buried in the Lutheran and Reformed Church Cemetery, Lower Augusta Township, Northumberland County.

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HENRY C. EVITTS (1820-1904)

Henry C. Evitts was an older brother of Capt. Benjamin J. Evitts of the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I.  In 1840, he married Eleanor “Nelly” Messner and began raising a family while working as a farmer in Washington Township, Dauphin County, and later in Jackson Township, Dauphin County.  By the time the war began, three children were in his household.  Two sons had died in the years preceding the war and one daughter had died as well.  The oldest son, Aaron Evitts, stayed with the family while Henry C. Evitts was at war serving as a Private under his younger brother Benjamin, but upon Henry’s return, Aaron Evitts enlisted in the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry in which he served until the end of the war.  After the war, Henry C. Evitts went back to farming in Lykens Township and Washington Township, Dauphin County.  Late in life, he applied for and received an invalid pension based on his service in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry.  He is buried in Maple Grove  Cemetery, Elizabethville.

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URIAH FRANTZ (1834-?)

Uriah Frantz was born about 1834 in Pennsylvania, the son of German immigrants Daniel Frantz and Salama Frantz.  In 1850, at the age of 16, Uriah was working as a blacksmith along with his father in Lower Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County.  About 1858, Uriah married Sarah Witmer of Lower Mahanoy Township.  By the time he was drafted, the couple had two young girls:  Mary Frantz (1860-?) and Catherine Frantz (1861-?).  During the war, he served only in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, as evidenced by his Pension Index Card.  The couple resumed having children after the war, having at least three more before the last, Clara Frantz, was born in 1876.  In 1870, Uriah was working as a blacksmith in Wiconisco, and at that time involved himself in the activities of the Heilner Post of the G.A.R. in Lykens.  His name is so noted on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument as a member of the post.    Later in life, Uriah Frantz and his wife Sarah went to live with their daughter Mary and her husband Reed Neidig in Union Township, Snyder County.  According to the 1900 census, Uriah was retired and living on his “own income,” which presumably was his Civil War pension.  By 1910, Sarah had passed away and the widower Uriah followed his daughter Mary and son-in-law to Sunbury, Northumberland County.  It is not known at this this time when Uriah Frantz died or where he is buried.

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The continuation of the “Honorable Discharges” of the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, will appear on Friday of Thanksgiving weekend.


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