Civil War Blog

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Sergeants of the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I

Posted By on February 26, 2012

Today, the blog post features the five sergeants 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.



Information previously presented in the post Old Methodist Cemetery, Berrysburg.

Jonathan Tobias served first in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, as a 1st Sergeant, from muster in on 2 November 1862 to muster out with company on 5 August 1863; second with the 192nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H, as a 1st Lieutenant from 2 March 1865 to muster out with his company on 24 August 1865.  He worked as a wagon maker, a wheelwright and as a farmer and lived in Berrysburg, Lykens Township, and Mifflin Township.  Jonathan married Catherine Umholtz.


EDWARD MENCEL (about 1838- ?)

EDWARD MENCEL was a German immigrant, who at the time of his 1863 draft registration was single and was living in Butler Township, Schuylkill County, and working as a laborer.  Not much is known about him and more information is sought.


HENRY BORDNER (1836-1892)

The Henry Bordner who served in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, as a Sergeant, is buried in the Marion National Cemetery, Marion, Indiana.  Priot to his death, he lived in a Veterans’ Home in Indiana.  Since there are several person with the same name who were about the same age and were from the the same approximate location, more information is sought to be able to separate the records of each.  The Pension Index Card shows that the Henry Bordner who served in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, was married to Emma [assumed to be Emma M. Woods].



As with others with common names, it is difficult to locate the military records of this person.  No Pension Index Card has yet been located for service of a Henry Witman in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry.  Anyone with information on this Henry Witman is urged to contribute it.


MARTIN P.. SHAFFNER (1837-1918)

Martin P. Shaffner (also known as Schaffner) served in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry as a draftee, and was named as a Sergeant.  He is believed to be the same Martin P. Shaffner who is named on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument.  His wife’s name was Anna Marie, but no surname for her has yet been confirmed.  He is buried in St. Peter (Hoffman’s) Cemetery, in Lykens Township.


The Pension Index Cards show here are from Ancestry.com as is the register page from the Veterans’ Home in Indiana.  The Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Cards are from the Pennsylvania Archives.





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