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Civil War Blog

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William Lesher – “This Man in War Four Years”

Posted By on September 15, 2016

In the 1890 Census for Mable, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, a William Leasure was named for his service in the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H, as a Private, with the added comment, “This man in war four years.”  The dates given for his service were, 18 April 1861 through 16 April 1864.  However, in searching the records of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, no man was found by that exact name and it was also clear that the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry did not organize as April of 1861.  So, who was this William Leasure?

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The closest person found in the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H, was a William Loeser [sounds like Leasure, sort of], who enrolled in the regiment on 29 August 1861 at Pottsville and was mustered into service at the same place on 19 September 1861.  He claimed to be 28 years old, had light hair, a sandy complexion, and dark eyes, and stood 5 foot and 8 3/4 inches tall.  He gave his residence as Orwigsburg, which is located in Schuylkill County, and gave his occupation as teamster.  His discharge date was 30 September 1864.

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Did this William Loeser receive a pension for service in the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry?  In the Fold3 records, the closest name found was William Lesher.  This William Lesher also had service in the 25th Pennsylvania Infantry, Companies B and K, and the 58th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H.

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For the service in the 25th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company B and H, a Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card  (show above from the Pennsylvania Archives) was found for William Lesher, who was 28 years old when he was mustered into service on 18 April 1861 at Harrisburg,  He served the three months and then was discharged on 26 July 1861.

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Finally, a card was found for William Loeser, who served in the 58th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H, as a Private.  He was 30 years old when he enrolled and was mustered into service on 8 December 1864.  His discharge date, as given on the card, was 18 December 1865.

Thus, for the three enrollments, the starting date was 18 April 1861 and the concluding date was 18 December 1865, all of four years and then some!

But was this the same person who appears in the 1890 Census?

William Lesher was found in the Orwigsburg Census for 1860.  His occupation was day laborer.

In 1870, William Loeser was living in Foster Township, Schuylkill County, with his wife Sarah and one year old son Frank.  He was working as an outside laborer.

In 1880, William Leashure, was living in Barry Township, Schuylkill County, with his wife Sarah and two children.  He was working as a laborer.

In 1890, William Leasure was living in Mable and reported his Civil War service in the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry.

In 1900, William Lesher was living in Barry Township, as a widower, and was working as a day laborer.

And, in 1904, William Lesher appears in the death records of St. John’s (Kimmel’s) Church in Deep Creek Valley, Schuylkill County.  The date of death was 28 December 1904 and the birth date, from the record was 7 July 1834.  Another record was found indicating that he was buried in Christ’s United Lutheran Church Cemetery, Ashland.

Clearly, this is the same person.

The statement, “This man in war four years,” is therefore true, but the records show that different variations of the surname have made it appear that there were three different persons in the three different regiments, when actually it is the same person.

 


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