Civil War Blog

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Update on Benjamin Hartzog, alias Walter Davis, of Donaldson

Posted By on February 10, 2016


A brief description of the service Benjamin Hartzog was given here on this blog on 24 April 2012 when he was added to the Civil War Research Project.

Benjamin Hartzog (1843-xxxx), a resident of Donaldson, Schuylkill County, was a laborer who enlisted in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Private.  After the war he became a member of the Regular Army.  Later in life he resided in a veterans’ home and used the alias “Walter Davis.”

Donaldson is within the Project’s geographical area of study.

Based on current research, additional information about him can now be added to his file.

At the top of this post, Hartzog’s Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card (from the Pennsylvania Archives) is shown.  That card gives a physical description including age 18, a height of 5 foot-7.5 inches, a florid complexion, light hair and gray eyes.  Also, at the time of his enrollment in the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Private, he was employed as a laborer and his residence was Donadlson.  Nearly all the men who served in this company of the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry had a connection to the Lykens Valley area.

Benjamin Hartzog was mustered into service on 9 September 1861 at Harrisburg.  On 1 January 1864, he re-enlisted at Blaine’s Crossroads, Tennessee. And, on 30 July 1865, he was mustered out of the service with his company.


Benjamin Hartzog died on 6 January 1922 in Bland, Missouri, as shown on the Pension Index Card (above, from Fold3).  The card also names the three regiments and companies in which he served, the first, matching the service record from the Pennsylvania Archives (shown above), followed by the 1st United States Infantry, Company D, and the 3rd United States Cavalry, Company K.

On 25 October 1892, from Missouri, Benjamin Hartzog applied for a Civil War pension, which he received and collected until his death.  No widow survived him.  From current research, no wife has been located.


Click on document to enlarge. Hartzog appears about halfway down the sheet.

Benjamin Hartzog appears on an 1866 army enlistment sheet (shown above from Ancestry.com).  On 24 October 1866, he joined the 1st United States Infantry, Company D, as a Private.  He was discharged at the expiration of his service on 24 October 1869, at Fort Brady, Michigan.

HartzogBenjamin-Census1870-001In 1870, Benjamin Hartzog appears on the census sheet of the 3rd United States Cavalry regiment stationed in the Arizona Territory near what is now Tuscon.  The document at the left is from Ancestry.com.  Click on thumbnail to enlarge.  Hartzog’s name is at the top of the sheet.



Two ledger pages from Soldier Home records have been located on Ancestry.com and are shown below.  One is from the home in Leavenworth, Kansas, and the other is from the home in Vermillion, Illinois.  Both documents give his alias as Walter Davis.


Click on document to enlarge

The home history for Benjamin Hartzog is shown on the right side of the ledger.





The home history for Benjamin Hartzog is shown on the right side of the ledger.


Click on thumbnail to enlarge.







On 11 January 1917, the Leavenworth Times, of Leavenworth, Kansas, which ran a regular Soldiers’ Home news column, reported that Walter Davis, alias Benjamin Hartzog, was discharged from the home at his own request during the month of December [1916].

At this point in the research the following information is not known:

  1. Where is he buried?
  2. Why did he have an alias?
  3. Was he married and did he have descendants?
  4. Other than his Civil War service, which can be documented through his military and the regimental records, where did his post-war service occur?
  5. Other than his 1861 residency in Donaldson, Schuylkill County, what other connections (family, geographic, etc.) did he have to the area?
  6. Are there any known surviving photographs of him?

Help is requested to complete the story of this Donaldson resident.  Contributors can attach information to this post as a “comment” or can e-mail the information.


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