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Civil War Blog

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The Great Shohola Train Wreck – The Other Union Guards Who Were Killed

Posted By on June 10, 2014

ShoholaMonument-Elmira-UnionDead-001

After the bodies of the Union guard who died at Shohola were re-interred at Elmira, New York, at the Woodlawn National Cemetery, a monument was erected with a plaque that named the 17 men who are buried there in a common grave.  Previously on this blog, research was presented on two of those men, Adam Wilkinson and Lyman Wetherby, both from Pennsylvania; both served in Pennsylvania regiments prior to being transferred to the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps.  Who were the other 15 men? With only preliminary research begun on them, some clues can now be given to those who wish to do further research – perhaps in their military records or pension files which are increasingly becoming available on-line.

Readers are invited to fill in any missing details or make any corrections to the information presented here.

To see all the posts in this series, click on ShoholaTrainWreck.

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Henry French

FrenchHenry-PensionIndex-002

The Pension Index Card (Ancestry.com) for Henry French indicates prior service in the 27th Iowa Infanty, Company H.   This information leads to other records that name Mary M. [Older] French as his widow.  She later married Stephen Gray.  There were minor children involved who were survivors.  Fold3 has 37 pages of pension files for the widow’s and minor’s application.  The pension application files have numerous references to the death of Henry French at Shohola.

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William H. Connel (or Cornell?)

CornellWilliamH-PensionINdex-002

Note: Incorrect card as discussed below.

CornellWilliamH-PensionIndex-001

Note: Correct card as discussed below.

No veteran named William H. Connel has been located in the records.  The closest name found is William H. Cornell.  Two different Pension Index Cards representing two different persons (and military records) have been located – where surviving fathers applied for pension benefits.  One represents the 45th Illinois Infantry and the other represents the 134th New York Infantry.   Neither card indicates service in the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps. Help is needed to further identify the William H. Connel who died at Shohola.

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Note (added 12 October 2014):  An e-mail has been received from blog reader, Bert Barnett of the National Park Service as follows:

“Found this bit you might be interested in.  On p. 98, History of Schoharie County, Vol. 1, 1713 – 1882, by William E. Roscoe, (Truair, Smith, & Bruce; Syracuse, N.Y. 1882) the following appears – 

“Schoharie’s Honored Dead

“[Some other names, then]…William H. Cornell, private, Company C, 134th Regiment, N.Y.S. Vols,; was born in Lisle, Broome County, March 5, 1840; enlisted 14 August 1862.  Fought in the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburgh, and was killed by a railroad collision 15 July 1864.

“This book is accessible on Google Books [click on title above to download].”

Following through on the above information, the following documents are used to confirm the record of William H. Cornell who died at Shohola:

Pension Index Card from Fold3 (shown above) for the William H. Cornell who served in the 134th New York Infantry.  This card indicates that his father applied for a pension on 13 December 1888 based on the son’s service in the regiment.  The pension was received by the father.  However, the card does not note service in the Veteran Reserve Corps.

CornellWilliamH-NYStateMilAbstracts-001

Click on document to enlarge.

The New York State Military Abstract Record for the William H. Cornell who served in the 134th New York Infantry is shown above and is available from Ancestry.com.  The record confirms that he enlisted at Schoharie and that he was in the hospital prior to his transfer to the Veteran Reserve Corps.  This record also contains personal information about him including his height, hair color, eye color and complexion.  Also, he was born at Worcester, New York, and was a 22 1/2 year old farmer at the time of his enlistment.

With full confidence that this is the Union guard who was killed in the Shohola Train Wreck, further information can now be obtained about him from the pension application file (of the father) available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

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John A. Hart (or John P. Hart?)

No military record or Pension Index Card has yet been located for this individual.

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Isaac Jackson

JacksonIsaac-PensionIndex-003

The above Pension Index Card shown above notes that a Melinda Jackson applied for a widow’s pension for the service of an Isaac Jackson who served in the 31st Ohio Infantry, Company I.  The application was made on 10 June 1865, but no pension was received. Since the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps is not mentioned in the application (as per the card), further research is necessary to determine when and if this Isaac Jackson was transferred to the V.R.C. and if this is the same person who died at Shohola.

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Thomas M. Jeffrey

Although this is possibly the same person who served in the 2nd Ohio Infantry, further information is needed to insure that it is the soldier who died at Shohola.

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Joseph Lingo

LingoJoseph-PensionIndex-001

The Joseph Lingo whose widow, Mary Elizabeth Lingo, applied for a pension in early 1865 is the same person who died at Shohola and there are several references to his death in the eighteen pages of the application that are available on Fold3.  Previous to his service in the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps, Joseph served in Company K of the 63rd Ohio Infantry as a Private.

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John S. Martin

MartinJohnS-Pension-003

John S. Martin served in the 3rd Vermont Infantry, Company C, as a Private before being transferred to the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps.  The above page is one of 34 from his survivor’s pension application file and notes his death at Shohola.  Several other pages of the application also refer to the train wreck.

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Edmund Plass

PlassEdmund-a-Pension-001

The Edmund Plass who died at Shohola is possibly the same person who served in the 24th Michigan Infantry.  The widow of that Edmund Plass later married P. Stein who had served in the 14th Ohio Infantry, Company F.  Because the widow re-married, her original application has been re-filed under the records of P. Stein and those records are not yet available on-line.

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Richard Price

This possibly the same person who served in the 36th Ohio Infantry, but no document has been located showing service in both the Ohio regiment and the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps.

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David Smith

This possibly the same person who served in the 101th Illinois Infantry, but no document has been located showing service in both the Illinois regiment and the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps.

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Daniel Spicer

This possibly the same person who served in the 140th New York Infantry, but no document has been located showing service in both the New York regiment and the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps.

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Hart W. Vanalstine (or Van Alstine)

This possibly the same person who served in the 26th Iowa Infantry, Company F, as a Private, but no document has been located showing service in both the Iowa regiment and the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps.

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Ozro Vannorman (or Van Norman)

This possibly the same person who served in the 33rd Ohio Infantry, Company K, as a Private, but no document has been located showing service in both the Ohio regiment and the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps.

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Gotlieb Volz

This possibly the same person who served in the 178th New York Infantry, but no document has been located showing service in both the New York regiment and the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps.

 

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Philip Wichert

WeichertPhilip-PensionIndex-001

Philip Wichert first served in the 104th Illinois Infantry, Company A, as a Private.  His widow applied for a pension on 13 August 1864.  Unfortunately, the widow’s application and the minor’s application were combined at the later application date and therefore are not yet available on Fold3.  Only four reference pages of the file have been posted.  The Pension Index Card does confirm that this is the same soldier who was killed at Shohola, the service in the 11th Veteran Reserve Corps is noted.

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Comments

One Response to “The Great Shohola Train Wreck – The Other Union Guards Who Were Killed”

  1. Norman Gasbarro Norman Gasbarro says:

    Updated information on William H. Cornell was provided by Bert Barnett of the National Park Service and is now included in this post.

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