Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Pvt. Williams – 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C

Posted By on May 17, 2012

Four men with the surname Williams served in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C, as privates during the Civil War.  Three were boatmen from  Pottsville or Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.  They worked on the Schuylkill Canal.  The fourth was a coal miner, and he was from Minersville, Schuylkill County.  At this time, it is not known whether the men were related to each other.

The post today is a continuation of a study of the men who served in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Because the surname Williams is very common, it is difficult to find information on these veterans.  However, certain facts are known and those facts are presented here in the hope that a reader will be able to contribute additional information.



According to information on his Pension Index Card, Alexander Williams was 22 years old (born about 1839) when he enlisted in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C, at Schuylkill Haven, 14 August 1861.  No other personal information is in this record.  He began serving at muster in Harrisburg on 9 September 1861, but at some point in his service (date and reason unknown), he was discharged on a Surgeon’s Certificate of Disability.

A copy of the Veterans’ Census of 1890 has not yet been located for Alexander.  According to information on the Schuylkill Haven web site, he died in the year 1916 along with several other veterans from the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry.  It was stated in an article that appeared in The Call of Schuylkill County that he died in a Soldiers’ Home – but the location of the home was not given.

Alexander Williams applied for a pension in 1870, but the state from which he applied is not noted on the Pension Index Card.  He was awarded a pension as evidenced by the Certificate Number on the card.

Also noted on the card is the information that Alexander also served in the 1st New Jersey Cavalry.  In searching the military databases in Ancestry.com, his service in the New Jersey cavalry was from 6 October 1863 to 24 July 1865.  The records of the the 1st New Jersey Cavalry indicate that it was involved in heavy fighting in all the major Virginia battles in this time period, through the surrender at Appomattox Court House in April 1865, though nothing specific has yet been determined about Alexander’s service.

It is not known whether Alexander Williams married or had children or where he lived.



Information on Charles F. Williams was located on Findagrave.  He was born in 1846 and died on 1 February 1916.  He is buried in Port Clinton Cemetery, Port Clinton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, along with his wife, Elizabeth [Moyer] Williams and an infant grandchild.

His service in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry was during the last year and a half of the regiment’s service – from 19 February 1864 through discharge on 30 July 1865. His Veterans’ Index Card notes that he was 18 years old at the time of enlistment, that he was 5 foot, two inches tall, he had light hair and a florid complexion.  Charles was a boatman on the Schuylkill Canal and lived in Pottsville at the time of his enlistment.

He reported in the Veterans’ Census of 1890 that during the Civil War he was “wounded – collar bone.”  No other information about this injury has been located.

In 1900, Charles and Elizabeth were living in Port Clinton and he was working as a constable.  In 1910 he was a mail carrier.

In 1890, Charles applied for an invalid pension and the Certificate Number indicates that he eventually received monthly benefits.  There is no widow’s application noted on the card because Elizabeth ]Moyer] Williams died before Charles (see grave marker, above).

At this time, nothing else is known about Charles F. Williams.



Patrick Williams was one of the early enrollments in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C.  He survived his three-year enlistment and on 1 January 1864, he re-enlisted at Blaine’s Crossroads, Tennessee.

Patrick was a 22 year old coal miner from Minersville, Schuylkill County in 1861.  He was 5 foot, 6 inches tall, had dark hair, dark complexion, and blue eyes.  Nothing else is known about his personal life.  According to the information on the Veterans’s Index Card, he died while a prisoner of war.  His date of death is unknown, but had to occur after his re-enlistment of 1 January 1864 and before the end of the war.

No Pension Index Card has been located for him, possibly indicating that there were no survivors who needed support that he would have provided had he lived.  Likewise, no census information has been located for 1860 or before which would give some clues about his family background.



According to information found in veterans’ records, Williams Williams was born about 1843 in New York.  He enlisted for a three year term in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C, at Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill County, on 9 September 1861.  On 1 January 1864, he re-enlisted at Blaine’s Crossroads, Tennessee for another three year term, or for the duration of the war.

William was a boatman on the Schuylkill Canal and was 18 years old at the time he enrolled in the infantry.  He was living in Schuylkill Haven in 1861, but it is not known when he moved there.  He has not yet been located in the 1860 or 1850 censuses.

Much of the information about William Williams military service comes from the records of the Soldiers’ Home in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio.  Apparently, William was never married.  At Spotsylvania Court House, he was captured and marched to Florence and then to Andersonville, where he was confined as a prisoner.  Some of his fellow prisoners from Company C, died there, but William survived.

The Dayton Soldiers’ Home records also note that at the time of his admittance in 1889, he was living in Cambridge, Ohio, and was working as a laborer.  In 1892, he was discharged from the home, “at request.”  The records do not state who made the request.

At this time it is not known where or when William Williams died.


Comments are welcome from readers.  Pension records, not currently available on-line, are sought and a request is made to anyone who has already obtained them from the National Archives to submit copies for the Civil War Research Project.

Additional stories on the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry and the men who served in it can be found by clicking here.


One Response to “Pvt. Williams – 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C”

  1. Deb Adams says:

    “My” William Williamson was mustered in 1/1/1864 into Co “E” 55th Regiment, Infantry and was listed MIA 6/3/1864, but presumed dead and buried by one of the groups sent out to retrieve the dead and wounded (according to his widow’s pension application).

Leave a Reply

Please note: Comment moderation is currently enabled so there will be a delay between when you post your comment and when it shows up. Patience is a virtue; there is no need to re-submit your comment.