Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Isaac Garber – 215th Pennsylvania Infantry & Regular Army

Posted By on May 1, 2012

Isaac Garber

LYKENS, 2 March 1933 — Isaac Garber, 83, Civil War veteran of this place and well known in this section, died at his home in South Second Street, Thursday morning at 12:15 following four years’ illness of complications.

Mr. Garber was born in Lancaster and was a resident of Lykens for the past twelve years.  He attended and was a member of Christ Episcopal Church.

Funeral services will be held from his late home tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock with Rev. J. H. Benner, pastor of Christ Episcopal Church, and Rev. E. E. Foulks, former pastor of the local church, now residing in Newport, will officiate.  Burial will be in the Lykens Cemetery.


Although the above picture and accompanying article below were previously featured here on this blog, it is appropriate to repeat it in this current post in that Isaac Garber, one of the longest-living Civil War veterans from the Lykens Valley area, was part of a small group of veterans comrades who lived into the late 1920s and early 1930s.

The Ages of Five Remaining Civil War Veterans of Lykens Totals Over 4 Centuries

The above picture represents five survivors of the Civil War who reside in Lykens.  Their combined ages total 425 years.  Reading from left to right they are:

William Irvin, born 1841; enlisted in Pottsville in the First Defenders in 1861; re–enlisted in Company I, 96th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry [96th Pennsylvania Infantry]

Jacob McCoy, born 1847; enlisted in 1864, in Troop M, 6th United States Cavalry; discharged in 1867 at Austin, Texas.

Isaac Garber, born 1849; enlisted in April, 1865, in Company H, 215th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry [215th Pennsylvania Infantry], discharged in July 1865.

R. F. Martz, born 1843; enlisted 21 September 1861, in Company B, 9th Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry [9th Pennsylvania Cavalry]; discharged 31 December 1863; re-enlisted 1 January 1864, as Veteran Volunteer 9th Cavalry, discharged in July, 1865.

Henry Kaiser, born 1840; enlisted in April, 1861, in Company E, 10th Regiment [10th Pennsylvania Infantry], three months service; discharged in July, 1861; re-enlisted 23 September, 1861, in Company G, 96th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry [96th Pennsylvania Infantry]; discharged 16 March 1864, on account of re-enlistment Veteran Volunteer after 30 days’ home leave; re-joined his regiment and was consolidated with the 95th Philadelphia Volunteers [95th Pennsylvania Infantry]; finally discharged in July, 1865.

Despite the fact that Isaac Garber lived in Lykens Borough for a time and is buried in the Union Cemetery in Lykens Borough, he is not mentioned on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument.  It is unusual that he was not included in that Henry Keiser, who was responsible for determining who would be listed on the monument when it was erected in 1925, is standing next to him in the photo of the five survivors (above).

Isaac Garber‘s military service is noted on his Pension Record Card:

The Civil War service was with the 215th Pennsylvania Infantry.  The post-Civil War service was with the 5th United States Infantry and the 37th United States Infantry.  A card referencing his Civil War service was also located at the Pennsylvania Archives:

His grave marker is shown below:

Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Cards are from the Pennsylvania Archives.  Pension Index Cards are from Ancestry.com.

Some of the information for this post came from Sally Reiner of the Lykens-Wiconisco Historical Society and was from news articles in her collection.  The new historical society in the Lykens Valley area is finalizing plans to move into the old G.A.R. building in Lykens where it will have its headquarters for meetings, house its collections and exhibits, and have a research library.  Anyone interested in participating in the activities of the Lykens-Wiconisco Historical Society can contact Sally via her e-mail.



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