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Civil War Blog

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Philip Harman – Died in Field Hospital in Alabama, 1863

Posted By on October 27, 2014

HarmanPhilip-PAVetCardFile-001

Philip Harman, who enrolled in the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Berrysburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, on 16 September 1861, and was mustered into service at Harrisburg, 7 October 1861, as a Private in Company B, was a 21 year old farmer whose residence was Dauphin County.  His physical description included a height of 6 feet 1 inch, dark hair, fair complexion and hazel eyes.  At an unknown date, he was promoted to Teamster.  On the 17 September 1863, he died of pneumonia at the General Field Hospital in Stevenson, Alabama.  The primary information on his military record came from the Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card (above) from the Pennsylvania Archives.  The date and cause of his death came from a register of deaths of volunteers (shown below), a record available at Ancestry.com.

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Click on document to enlarge

Nothing is mentioned about the service of Philip Harman in the book Yankee Cavalrymen, by John W. Rowell.  However, there is a map of the territory traveled by the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry in that book, pages 16-17.  Stevenson is located in the northeast corner of Alabama and is now considered to be part of the combined statistical area of Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.  The railroads serving this area during the Civil War were the M & C, or Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and the Nashville Chattanooga Railroad.  The station serving both railroads was built shortly before the Civil War but was demolished either during the war or at its end.  Today, the Stevenson Railroad Depot Museum displays items related to the railroads and the Civil War events that took place in the area.  At Stevenson, the Union Army established a hospital and refugee camp.  It was there at the field hospital that Philip Harman died.  For more information on historic Stevenson, Alabama, see the Wikipedia article.

Philip Harman‘s name was first located as a Civil War veteran from the Lykens Valley area in A Comprehensive History of the Town of Gratz Pennsylvania, page 789.  While this reference correctly states that he died in Alabama in 1863, the file folder on him at the Gratz Historical Society incorrectly contains the pension application papers of a Philip Harman from Lancaster County, who did not die in the war.  That book clearly identifies Philip Harman as someone “known from this [Gratz] area.”  He is not included anywhere else in the book – even under variations in spelling of the surname, e.g., Harmon or Herman.  Note:  The other Philip Harman, which the Gratz Historical Society has confused with the one who died at Stevenson, served in the 73rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company E, and was from Lancaster County, with no known connection to Dauphin County.

At this time, no Pension Index Card has been located for the Philip Harman who died at Stevenson in 1863.  The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that no one applied for benefits based on his service – no widow, no minor children, and no parent.

While there are many persons with the surname Harman who were living in the Lykens Valley area during the Civil War, a connection has not yet been made between this Philip Harman and any others of that name.

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On the Lykens G.A.R. Monument is the name Philip Harman (above), with “two stars” indicating that he was killed during the Civil War.  It is believed that this is the same person who the records state died of pneumonia at Stevenson, Alabama.  Why he would be named as “killed” when there was a separate designation of “three stars” died of disease, is not known.

Attempts to locate the burial place of Philip Harman have thus far been unsuccessful.

Hopefully, readers with knowledge of this family and specifically of this Philip Harman who died in 1863, should comment on this post or send the information by e-mail.

 


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