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Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

John Smith in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on June 13, 2012

There are four men named John Smith who served in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry during the Civil War.  Two of them have a known connection to the Lykens Valley area.   Having such a common name as “John Smith” makes separating them difficult and finding information about them even more difficult.  The information presented in this post is very limited and consist primarily of facts about them that were obtained from the Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Cards at the Pennsylvania Archives.  To date, no Pension Index Cards have matched up with a John Smith who served in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry – but someone who is willing to go through the cards for each of the hundreds of persons named John Smith who applied for Civil War pension may come up with a positive result.  Pension Index Cards reference pension application files that are available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  The cards are available on several internet sites including ancestry.com.

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JOHN SMITH – Company A

John Smith, born about 1837, was mustered into the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a substitute at the rank of Private on 15 March 1865, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then joined the regiment in the field.  He was mustered out of service with his company on 30 July 1865.  No personal information other than his age is given on the Veterans’ Index Card.  It is possible that this John Smith had some connection to the Lykens Valley area in that he served in the company that originally had a majority from the Lykens Valley area -  but more than likely, because he was a late entry and a substitute, was probably from another area of Pennsylvania.

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JOHN SMITH – Company C

John Smith, born about 1842, joined the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, on 16 January 1865, at Pottsville, Schuylkill County, and was assigned to Company C as a Private. He was nearly 5′ 8″ tall, had dark hair, a light complexion, and gray eyes.  He was a laborer.  His residence was given as Eldred, which is probably the township in Schuylkill County which is located near Upper Mahantongo Township rather than the borough in McKean County, Pennsylvania.  This John Smith was also mustered out of service with his company on 30 July 1865.  In his book, A History of Company C, 50th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry (Charleston:  The History Press, 2006), J. Stuart Richards repeats the same information about this John Smith that is found on the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Card with nothing new added.

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JOHN SMITH – Company D

John Smith, born about 1838, enrolled in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, 20 February 1864, at Montrose, a borough in Susquehanna County, near Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.  He reported to be mustered in on 7 March 1864, at Scranton, and was assigned to the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Private, and then joined the regiment in the field.  John was 5′ 6 1/2″ tall, had black hair, a fair complexion, and black eyes.  He indicated that his occupation was moulder and that he resided in Bridgewater, probably the borough in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.    On 1 July 1865, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal.  On 30 July 1865 he was mustered out of service with his company.

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JOHN SMITH – Company F

John Smith, born about 1832, was the oldest of the four men named John Smith who served in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry.  He was drafted and then reported to Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, for muster and was assigned to the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company F, as a Private, on 3 September 1864.  Then he was sent to join the regiment in the field.  He served until he was discharged by General Order #22 on 1 June 1865.  Other than his age, no personal information is given on the Veterans’ Index Card.

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While information is being sought on each of the four men named John Smith who served in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, the Civil War Research Project is mainly interested in the one who served in Company A and the one who served in Company.  Anyone with further information about any of these men is urged to contribute it either by e-mail or by adding a comment to this post.

This post is a continuation of the study of the men who served in Company A and Company C of the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry.


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