Posted By Norman Gasbarro on February 13, 2013
(Part 4 of 6). St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Cemetery is located in Tower City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, at the corner of East Grand Avenue (U.S. Route 209) and North 4th Street. At the front of the cemetery, along East Grand Avenue, is the Tower City, Porter Township and Rush Township Veterans Memorial, which was previously featured here in a series of posts with each of the name plates of the Civil War veterans from the area. This is the last of the four major cemeteries in the Tower City area that will be examined for Civil War burials. No doubt there are other cemeteries and family cemeteries in the area where Civil War veterans were buried – some still undiscovered – but for now, the presentation of the St. Paul’s Cemetery will complete the photographic tour and brief description of each of the Tower City area veterans’ war service that began months ago and included the area memorial, Greenwood Cemetery in Tower City (5 parts), St. Peter’s U.C.C. Cemetery in Reinerton (3 parts), and the Grace United Evangelical Cemetery in Muir (2 parts).
Research continues on each of the Tower City area veterans and as a result of the analysis of the tombstone inscriptions at St. Paul’s Cemetery, some new information about them has been added to the Civil War Research Project. But, much remains to be discovered. Especially needed are pictures of the veterans and their families, stories, and any other information that would help in an understanding of this generation of Americans who fought to preserve the Union more than 150 years ago. As always, the Project relies on local researchers and family members who are willing to come forward and share information about these men and their families. By sharing the information, we increase our knowledge.
Some of the now-known information about the veterans buried at St. Paul’s Cemetery is presented with the grave marker pictures. Links are provided to where the veteran previously was mentioned in blog post articles, and some of the past-known information is repeated. In addition, new Project file numbers are added – each identified veteran now has a unique file number which references both the digital files and the paper files available at the Gratz Historical Society Research Library. When corresponding with the Society by e-mail regarding information available on a specific veteran, it is helpful to use the file number (if known), especially in the many cases where there is more than one veteran with the same name.
Three more veterans’ graves are presented today.
CHRISTIAN SEIBERT (c. 1817-1882)
CHRISTIAN SEIBERT (c. 1817-1882), an immigrant from Germany, served in the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company B, as a Private, from 23 September 1861 until his transfer to the Veteran Reserve Corps on 29 October 1863. He had enrolled in the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry at Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, and was mustered in at Pottsville. Christian was married three times. His wives names were: Amanda Magdalena Alspach, Catherine Roemer, and Maria Anna Harman. When he died, he was buried at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Cemetery, Tower City.
With the discovery of the grave marker of Christian Seibert in the St. Paul’s Cemetery, his exact date of death can now be established as 6 Mar 1882. However, the date of birth on the stone, 12 February 1820, is in question because another record for this veteran points to a birth year of 1817.
The Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Card (from the Pennsylvania Archives, and shown above) states that Christian claimed to be 44 years old at the time of his enrollment in 1861, indicating a birth year of 1817. Thus, he was an “old man” by the age of most of the volunteers, and presenting himself older than he actually was, doesn’t make sense.
In research done by Connie [Fox] Seibert, and presented on Findagrave in 2011, Christian Seibert is said to have arrived in Baltimore aboard the Copernicus in 1844 at the age of 24. She concluded, based on a newspaper report from Bremen, Germany, that the Copernicus had rescued the captain and crew of the Peace when it sank on 13 May 1844 in an ice field en-route to St. Lawrence from Bremen, and that Christian was one of those rescued.
Also in research done by examining the pension files of Christian Seibert by Connie [Fox] Seibert, affidavits were seen that stated that Christian always walked with a limp and needed a cane and this could have been a result of wounds received, perhaps at Antietam. Following that campaign, he spent time in the U.S. General Hospital in Washington, D.C., before being transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps. More information is needed to confirm the nature of his confinement in the Washington hospital. Was he wounded or did he contract a disease?
A check of a Civil War diary kept by Henry Keiser, also of the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry, and from Lykens Borough, did not produce the name Christian Seibert, although dozens of names of members of this regiment are included in the diary, especially when they were sick, wounded or killed.
Following the war, Christian Seibert purchased a farm in the area near Tremont and he appears in the 1880 census for Porter Township, age 60, as a farmer, and living with his third wife Amanda, age 38, and their young sons, John H. Seibert, age 6, and George E. Seibert, age 4 months.
Another unanswered question concerns the appointed guardian of the minor children of Christian Seibert (see Pension Index Card, shown above, from Ancestry.com), Henry K. Updegrave who is named as a Civil War veteran at his graveside, but his regiment of service has still not been determined. See: Civil War Veteran Burials in Greenwood Cemetery, Tower City – Part 4 of 5 and Tower City – Porter Township Centennial – Civil War Veterans List. Henry K. Updegrave appears to have been an important figure in the G.A.R. at Tower City, but at this writing, his relationship with Amanda Seibert and her minor children, other than acting as guardian, and his regiment and company of Civil War service, has still not been determined. Finally, it should be noted from this Pension Index Card, that no pension was awarded, leaving the open question of who supported the children in their minority and what happened to them.
Christian Seibert was a relatively common name in the Civil War period and post-war period and several persons of this name have been located in the records – some who lived into the 20th century. But it is clear from the research done on the Christian Seibert who lived in the Tower City area and is buried at St. Paul’s Cemetery, that he is the one who served in the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry.
See also: Tower City, Porter and Rush Township Civil War Veterans – Part 10; 96th Pennsylvania Infantry – Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg; Tower City – Porter Township Centennial – Civil War Veterans List. [File: CW#S079].
JOHN W. STROHECKER (c. 1842-1890)
JOHN W. STROHECKER (c. 1842-1890) is one of two persons who enrolled in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, with the same initials, “J.W.” In most cases, both of these veterans are listed only by their initials in the records making it difficult to separate their experiences and information. This one had a first name of John and a wife named Mary. Mary had just become a widow at the time of the 1890 census, John having died on 19 July 1890. Mary gave “consumption” as the cause of death, which she attributed to his war service. At the time of enlistment, John W. Strohecker was a laborer residing in Wiconisco. He is buried in Tower City.
According to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Card available from the Pennsylvania Archives, John W. Strohecker enrolled in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Private, on 25 February 1864, at Harrisburg. At the time of his enrollment, he declared himself for be 22 years old (indicating a possible birth year of 1842), stood 5 foot, 9 inches tall, had a dark complexion, dark hair and blue eyes, resided in Wiconisco, and was employed as a laborer. He was mustered into service at the same place on the next day. According to the history of the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, battles that John W. Strohecker would have participated in included: the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, and Popular Springs Church, all in Virginia. Specific information is not available at this writing on the role of John W. Strohecker in each of those battles. After the final assault on Petersburg, in mid-April 1865, the regiment was ordered to Washington where it remained through June, after which it was sent to Gettysburg on 4 July 1865 for the cornerstone ceremonies for the National Monument being erected there, and thence to Georgetown, where it was mustered out of service on 30 July 1865.
The application for a “government-issue” headstone for John W. Strohecker is shown above (from Ancestry.com) and gives his date of death as 19 February 1890, as well as his rank, regiment and company, the latter of which appears on the stone at the St. Paul’s Cemetery.
Shortly after the death of her husband, Mary Strohecker applied for widow’s benefits, which she received and collected until her death. The Pension Index Card (shown above, from Ancestry.com) does not indicate that John W. Strohecker ever applied for an invalid pension.
At this time, a genealogical connection has not been established between John W. Strohecker [File CW#S338] and Joel W. Strohecker (the other “J. W.” in the same regiment and company). Joel W. Strohecker [File: CW#S337] is buried in Pillow Union Cemetery, Northumberland County.
GEORGE K. STROUD (1839-1920)
GEORGE K. STROUD (1839-1920), also known as George K. Stoud, George K. Stoudt, and “Pappy” Stroud or “Pappy” Stoudt, served in the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C, from 22 October 1861 through 28 October 1864. He was wounded at the Wilderness, Virginia, 5 May 1864. At the time of his entry into the regiment, he was a shoemaker who was living in Lebanon County (see Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Card, Pennsylvania Archives, shown below). He was 28 years old, stood just over 5 foot, 7 inches tall, had black hair, hazel eyes, and a light complexion.
George K. Stroud‘s wife’s name was Caroline. In 1890, while living in Tower City, he reported his service-related disability as a hearing loss.
George died on 12 June 1920 is buried in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Cemetery, Tower City. Pension benefits ended at his death; at the time the time he was a widower (Pension Index Card, shown above, from Ancestry.com). On the last line of text on his stone, the company and regiment is noted.
The portrait of George K. Stroud is from the Tower City Centennial Book.
See also: Tower City, Porter and Rush Township Civil War Veterans – Part 10; 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry – Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg; Tower City, Porter, and Rush Township Veterans Memorial; and Tower City – Porter Township Centennial – Civil War Veterans List. [File: CW#S339].
To access other parts of this series on St. Paul’s Cemetery, click here.