Civil War Blog

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Who is John Dougherty, Buried Near Elizabethville?

Posted By on October 16, 2015

John Dougherty (1844-1862) was located in Matter’s Cemetery, Washington Township, near Elizabethville, Dauphin County with a G.A.R. marker at his grave.  It is possible that this is the same John Dougherty who was killed at Fair Oaks, Virginia, 31 May 1862, while serving with the 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company E, as a Corporal.  However, the date of death on the stone appears to be 10 days earlier than the date of death in the military records – a possible error in either case. More information is needed to confirm the identity and service of this individual.


The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card (shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives) gives additional information about the John Dougherty who died at Fair Oaks.  He enrolled at Philadelphia on 3 August 1861 and was mustered into service at the same place on 14 August 1861.  He claimed to be 20 years old at the time.

Inconsistencies with the grave stone include the claimed age at enrollment and the place of enrollment.


The Pension Index Card for the John Dougherty who served in the 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry (shown above from Fold3) shows that John’s mother applied for a pension based on her son’s service on 7 March 1891. She was awarded the pension, which she received until her death.  Information in the actual application file should help to conclude whether the soldier buried at Matter’s Cemetery is the same as the one who died in the service of the 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry.  However, the pension application file has not yet been examined.  The name of this John Dougherty’s mother should appear on the Pension Index Card available from Ancestry.com, but that card has not yet been located.

If any reader of this blog can provide any additional information about the John Dougherty who is buried at Matter’s Cemetery, please add a comment to this post or submit the information via e-mail.



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