Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Death and Funeral of Peter Low

Posted By on January 15, 2012

Peter Low (also spelled Lowe) died on 20 December 1906 in Lykens, Pennsylvania.  His obituary was contributed by Sally Reiner of the newly formed Lykens-Wiconisco Historical Society:


LYKENS — After an illness of paralysis dating back nearly a year, since which time he was quite helpless, Peter Lowe of North street, an old resident of this place and a veteran of the Civil War, died Thursday of last week, aged 7 years, 1 month and 9 days.  Deceased was born at Cornwall, Lebanon county, and married Rebecca Hawk of Elizabethville, in the early ’60s.  The marriage was without issue.

He enlisted in Capt. A. Gruber‘s Co. (K) 93rd Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Infantry Colunteers on 17 September 1861 and discharged on the 27th day of June 1865 at the defences at Washington, D.C.  Re-enlisted in same Company under Capt. David C. Keller and was discharged 31 December 1865, at Brady [sic] Station, Virginia.  During part of his enlistment he served as a corporal of his company.

During his residence here he was employed at Short Mountain Colliery as a miner and in the prime of manhood was a giant in strength.

The funeral was held at 2 p.m. Sunday.  The services were conducted in the Reformed church by the pastor, Rev. L. M. Fetterolf, and interment was made in Citizens’ cemetery.

Heilner Post, No. 232, G.A.R. of this place which deceased was a member, and M. M. Hoffman Camp, Sons of Veterans, attended the funeral, and paid the last tribute of respect to a departed comrade.

At the time of Peter’s enlistment in the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, he was residing in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, and was working as a laborer.  The Veterans’ File Card confirms that his height was nearly six feet (much taller than the average) – and supports the statement in the obituary that he was “a giant” among the miners.

Click on document to enlarge.

There is some confusion in the reporting of Peter’s military service to the 1890 Veterans’ Census.  It appears from the above record that he served in two regiments concurrently – the 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry and the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry.  Likewise, whoever gave the information for his obituary indicated that he re-enlisted in the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry on 27 June 1865, the date he was discharged, and that his final discharge was on 31 December 1865 at Brady [sic] Station, Virginia.  The Veterans’ Card File notes that he re-enlisted in the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry on 1 January 1864 at Brandy Station, Virginia.

Another point of contention in the military record is that the Pennsylvania Volunteer Register for the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry reports Peter Low as a deserter.

The four documents shown above are (click on any document to enlarge):  (1) the first line of the Pennsylvania Register of Volunteers for the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry showing the enlistment and muster dates.  (2) the second line of the Pennsylvania Register of Volunteers for the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry reporting the desertion and return.  (3) the enlargement of the portion of the second line dealing with the return from desertion – “returned under presidential pardon 19 March 1865.”  (4) the line from Bates as reported in State Maczuga’s Pennsylvania Civil War database.

For his length of service, reported in both the records of the Pennsylvania Archives and self-reported to the 1890 census enumerators, he should have been entitled to a pension.  But no Pension Index Card has yet been located.  Perhaps one of the conditions of his pardon was that he could not apply for a pension – or the fact that he deserted in the first place made him ineligible.  In any event, the discharge was apparently “honorable” as it was reported that he was mustered out with his company.

Peter Lowe was accepted as member of the G.A.R.  And, as a member of the Heilner Post No. 232 of Lykens, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, he was entitled to have his name listed on the Lykens G.A.R. monument.  Peter’s last name is spelled “Lowe” on the monument, but in the cemetery, the name on his grave marker is spelled “Low.”

Peter’s wife, Rebecca [Hawk] Lowe (1841-1931) survived him by about 25 years.  She too is buried in a Lykens cemetery.

More information is sought on Peter Low, including the names of his parents.  Contributions from readers are welcome!

A complete copy of the obituary is available from the Civil War Research Project or the Lykens-Wiconisco Historical Society.


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