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Samuel Fetterhoff of Berrysburg – 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Posted By on November 24, 2015


Further information in sought on Samuel Fetterholf, born about 1838, who enrolled at Berrysburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania in the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry on 17 September 1861, was mustered into service on 7 October 1861 at Camp Cameron, Harrisburg, and served as a Private in Company B, until he was transferred to Company K by order of Colonel Jordan, date unknown.  Then, he served until his discharge which occurred on 24 December 1864.  The card above from the Pennsylvania Archives indicates that Samuel claimed to be 23 years old at the time of his enlistment, was 6 foot, 1 inches tall, had a dark complexion, hazel eyes, and dark hair.  He also said his occupation was sawyer and that he resided in Schuylkill County.

Since he enrolled at Berrysburg, the censuses from the area of Berrysburg were searched:

In the 1860 Census of Mifflin Township, there is a Sam Fetterhoff, age 24, working as a servant and living in the household of Daniel Deibler, a 60-year old farmer.

In the 1870 Census of Mifflin Township, there is a Samuel Fetterhoff, age 34, head of household and working as a farmer, with wife Mary Ann Fetterhoff, age 37, and daughter Becky Fetterhoff, age 2.  There are also three others in the household – all with the surname Keebach and all girls under the age of 16.  It is possible that these three Keebach girls are children of Mary Ann from a previous marriage.  Note names:  Sarah Keebach, age 14; Jane Keebach, age 10; and Mary Keebach, age 7.


The next reference found was a Pension Index Card (Ancestry.com) for a Samuel Fetterrolf which is proof that he was still alive on 8 April 1892, when he applied for an invalid pension from Washington, D.C.  He was awarded the pension.  The Fold3 version of the Pension Index Card was also located (not shown here), but there is no death date recorded on that card.  The fact that he applied for and was awarded a pension means that much more personal information about him can be found in the original files which are available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  Those original files were not consulted in researching him for this blog post due to the expense in obtaining them.  Perhaps a reader of this post has already obtained this information and is willing to share it here?  There also was no widow’s pension application, indicating that if Samuel was married, his wife died before he did.

Several other pieces of information should be noted.  First, the spelling of surname is not constant in the records that have been seen.  It has been found as Fetterholf, Fetterhoff, Fetterrolf, and other variations.  Second, there are several other persons with the same name who can be located in the records – all of which are definitely different people.  One, a Civil War veteran, is buried at Line Mountain, Northumberland County, and who served in a different regiment.  And, finally, it is not 100% certain that the Samuel Fetterolf who was located in the 1860 and 1870 censuses is the one who served in the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

The Fetterhoff name was very common in the Lykens Valley area of Pennsylvania – so it is very possible that Samuel was connected to this Fetterhoff family, but at this time it is not known how.  And the child who appears in the 1870 census of Mifflin Township, if his, needs to be traced to determine how long she lived, if she married, and if she had any children.  Likewise, if the Keebach children living in that same 1870 household were Samuel’s step-children, tracing them (and their mother) may give some clue as to what happened to Samuel.

Very little is also known about Samuel’s military service other than beginning and closing dates and the basic information he gave at enrollment.  One question that needs to be asked is why he was transferred to Company K “by order of Colonel Jordan.”  Was there some friction in Company B?  Or was the transfer something that was normally done in order to balance the size of the companies?

Finally, when and where did Samuel die?  Is there an obituary?

Any reader who wishes to contribute to this research can do so by adding a comment to this post or by sending the information in an e-mail.



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