Civil War Blog

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Three Draftees from Troy in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on June 3, 2012

Late in 1864, three draftees from Troy, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, were assigned to Company A of the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry to replace men who had been discharged, who had been taken prisoner, or who had become casualties.  Very little is known about the men other than what is presented below.  Most of the men in Company A who had started with the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry in September 1861 were from the Lykens Valley area.  Not so for the newcomers.


SAMUEL SAINBARRY (about 1829-?)

Samuel Sainbarry (also found in the records as Sainsbarry, Sainbary, Sainberry, Sainbarru, and other variations) was born about 1829, a date that is assumed from his stated age of 35 when he was mustered into the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Private, on 3 October 1864.  After he was drafted, he first reported to Troy, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and then joined the regiment in the field.  No physical description of him was given on the Veterans’ Index Card at the Pennsylvania Archives.  He survived the war and was mustered out with his company on 30 July 1865.  The only other record of him that has been located to date is the 1890 Veterans’ Census where he was found in the Danville, Montour County, Pennsylvania, enumeration.  At the time of the census, he reported no disability that he believed resulted from his Civil War service.


ASA SPEARY (1833-1905)

Asa Speary, who is sometimes referred to as “Acey,” was born on 7 June 1833 in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, the son of Miles Speary (178-1860) and Hannah [Bennett] Speary (1795-?).  Miles Speary (or Sperry) was a farmer and was living with his family on a farm in Davidson Township, Sullivan County, in 185o.  Miles was a veteran of the War of 1812.

The 1860 census for Davidson Township, as well as other sources, indicate that Asa had married a few years prior to Mary Jane Feister and had begun raising a family and several children were born prior to or about the same time as his entry into the military (dates approximate):  Harriet Speary (1856-1942); Charles Speary (1859-1948); George Monroe Speary (1861-?); and Mary Etta Speary (1864-1953).

In 1863, when Asa Speary registered for the Civil War draft, he was living in Davidson Township.  He noted that he was married, was a farmer, and had no prior or current military service.  No physical description of Asa was given on the Veterans’ Index Card at the Pennsylvania Archives other than his age, which was 31.  After he was drafted, he reported for service at Troy, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 8 December 1864, and was assigned as a replacement soldier in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, whereupon he was sent to join the regiment in the field.  For some reason during his service he was sent to Douglass Hospital, Washington, D.C., the place from which he was eventually mustered out, 30 July 1865.  A careful examination of his actual military records might contain the reason for the hospital confinement or the pension application file could also contain detailed reasons.  Since these documents have not yet been seen by the Civil War Research Project, it is not yet possible to conclude whether he was wounded or contracted a disease.  It should be noted, however, that the application for pension did not occur until 1878, so Asa must have been sufficiently well enough to return to civilian life following his discharge.

After the war, Asa Speary returned to farming in Davidson Township and continued raising a family.  Children born after the war were:  Ida E. Speary (1867-?); Cora J. Speary, (1869-?); Benjamin Speary (1871-1964); Ernest J. Speary (1874-1954); and Margaret “Maggie” Speary (1877-?).  Successive post-war censuses note that he continued in farming for his livelihood.  Asa died in Sullivan County on 16 February 1905 as was buried in Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, Sullivan County.  Mary Jane, his wife, collected a widow’s pension until her death in 1924.  She is buried with him in Nordmont.

Additional information on Asa Speary and his family can be found at the Speary-Sperry Family Web SiteClick here.


EZRA ZELUFF (about 1843-?)

Ezra Zeluff is also found in the records as Eznua Zeluff and Ezrua Zeluff.  His age at the time he was drafted was 21, which would assume a birth year of about 1843.  Not much is known about his early years except that he possibly had a brother named Daniel.  In the 1863 Civil War draft, he is found in the records of LaPorte, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, as single, working as a farmer, and with no prior or then-current military experience.  However, there is a disparity in this latter record with the birth year calculated from the Veterans’ Index Card at the Pennsylvania Archives. Further clarification is sought on this age discrepancy.  Ezra reported to Troy, Bradford County, after he was drafted on 8 December 1864, and was assigned as a Private and replacement soldier in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, and was sent to join the regiment in the field.  At some point during his Civil War service, Ezra was sent to the hospital – whether for sickness or wounds it is not known at this writing. Perhaps the information can be found in his military records or pension records.  However, no pension index card has been located for him, possibly indicating that he incurred no war-related disability.

In 1870, Ezra Zeluff is found in the census for LaPorte, Sullivan County, where is single and working as a farm laborer.  In 1880, he was working as a farmer and living in the household of Daniel Zeluff in Antelope, Harlan County, Nebraska.  The two men were alone in the household, and Daniel, whose age would have indicated a birth year of about 1840, is possibly the older brother referred to at the opening of this brief biographical sketch.  No further records have been found for Ezra Zeluff.


More information is sought on Samuel Sainbarry, Asa Speary, and Ezra Zeluff and readers are urged to contribute.  Pictures and/or stories about these men from Troy who served in Company A with men from the Lykens Valley area of Pennsylvania are especially welcome.

This is a continuation of the series of posts on men who served in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry.


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