Posted By Norman Gasbarro on December 23, 2011
Church of the Brethren Cemetery is located just north of Route 209 in Upper Paxton Township. In traveling west from Rife, the Free Grace Church appears on the left and within a short distance, on the other side of the road, there is a sign for Keefer’s Road. Turn right at Keefer’s Road and the cemetery is on the hill on the right side of Keefer’s Road. The original church at this site is no longer there and the cemetery shows mixed signs of care, with some graves receiving what appears to be perpetual care while others appear to be in various states of ruin. The pile of stones in the forefront of this cemetery attests to the varying stages of neglect suffered at this site.
Yesterday, the well-kept grave-site of Uriah Koppenheffer was presented. Today, four additional Civil War era personages are discussed.
JEREMIAH HAWK (1833-1912)
Jeremiah Hawk was the son of Daniel Hawk and Nancy [Bender] Hawk. In 1850, he was living in the household of Michael Sauer in Wiconisco and working as a laborer. When the Civil War came, Jeremiah enlisted early joining the 10th Pennsylvania Infantry in April 1861 where he served until 31 July 1861 at discharge. Civilian life apparently did not suit him, because a short time later in September 1861, he was mustered into the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company G, as a Private, and then consolidated with the 95th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company G, on 18 October 1864, where he served for the remainder of the war. After his honorable discharge on 15 July 1865, he is difficult to locate in the census records, but it is believed that he stayed in the Upper Paxton Township area of Dauphin County. A marriage record has not been located for him. Also, a Pension Index card has not been located although the Civil War Research Project has several pages of records that could be from his pension file; the length of his service certainly qualified him for a pension. The veterans’ record card at the Pennsylvania Archives indicates that he was nearly six feet tall, had blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion. Because he has been located in a census record for Wiconisco, his name appears on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument and because he spent the last years of his life in the Upper Paxton Township area, his name also appears on the Millersburg Civil War Monument. In addition to these monuments, Jeremiah’s name also appears on the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry tablet on the Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg.
JACOB M. WITHERS (1842-1887)
The tattered flag that is displayed at the grave of Jacob M. Withers is a clear indication that there is irregular care at this grave site, even by veterans groups of the area who should be regularly recognizing all who served honorably in America’s wars. The Pension Index Card notes that his service was in the 5th United States Artillery of the Regular Army and not a Pennsylvania regiment. Jacob was born in 1843 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but in 1860, he and his wife Catherine, who was from Upper Paxton Township, were living in the Lykens Valley. Jacob’s name does not appear on the Millersburg Civil War Monument, perhaps because he died in 1875, before the Kilpatrick Post of the G.A.R. was active in Millersburg. Nevertheless, his burial in Upper Paxton Township qualifies him for inclusion in the veterans’ list of the Civil War Research Project. More information is sought on Jacob M. Withers.
GEORGE W. HINKLE ((1843-?)
George W. Hinkle was born in 1843 in Pennsylvania and his grave is clearly marked with the G.A.R. star and flag holder. However, it is not clear which regiment he served in nor is much other information known about him. More research needs to be done to determine his contribution to the Civil War and his connection to the geographic area of this Civil War Research Project.
SAMUEL W.”SAM” REINHART (1838-1907)
Samuel Reinhart was born in 1838, the son of Jacob Reinhart (1808-18979), a laborer, and Ann Elizabeth [O’Brien] Reinhart (1808-1869). The family lived in Derry Township, Dauphin County, just before the Civil War. In April 1861, Samuel answered the call and joined one of the first regiments formed, the 3rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company B, as a Private. After discharge in July 1863, he returned to Dauphin County briefly until his re-enlistment in the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, as a Private on 8 March 1862, where he served a full term and then, while at Mitchell’s Station, Virginia, 29 February 1864, he re-enlisted in the same regiment for another term. This final enlistment proved unlucky for Samuel because he was captured at the Weldon Railroad on 10 August 1864 and held prisoner by the rebels through the winter and into March 1865 when he was finally paroled and allowed to return to his regiment. After his discharge from the service, he married Mary Hinkle and settled in Upper Paxton Township where he worked as a farmer and raised a family. Their known children with approximate years of birth, were: Anna M. Reinhart (1868); Mary E. Reinhart (1870); Harriet E. Reinhart (1872); Isadore V. Reinhart (1874); Samuel G. Reinhart (1878); and Catharine “Katie” Reinhart (1881). Samuel Reinhart collected a pension until his death, whereupon his widow continued to collect the pension until her death until 1916. Samuel Reinhart is recognized on the Millersburg Civil War Monument.