Civil War Blog

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Daniel B. Oberholzer – Artist of Elizabethville & Carpenter of Millersburg

Posted By on March 15, 2017

The name Daniel Oberholtzer appears on the plaque on the Millersburg Soldier Monument, Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  In researching him, several surprising facts were uncovered.

According to information found on Ancestry.com and elsewhere, Daniel Oberholtzer (or Daniel Oberholzer is he is sometimes found in the records), was born on 2 June 1838 in Pennsylvania, the son of Abraham Oberholzer (1797-1885) and  Elizabeth [Benner] Oberholzer (1800-1877).  In 1850, the family was living in Upper Paxton Township, where Abraham was working as a farmer.

In 1860, Daniel B. Oberholtzer, age 22, was living in a hotel operated by Matilda Wingerter, age 47, in Elizabethville, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, where Daniel gave his occupation as artist.

When the Civil War started, Daniel registered for the draft and then was drafted into service in the 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company G, as a Private.  He began his service on 2 November 1862 and completed it on 6 August 1863.  No record has been seen that he received any war-related injuries during the war and, in fact, when he reported his service to the 1890 census, he did not attribute any disabilities to his service.

The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card, shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives, provides the Bates reference of 4-1186, which in addition to the muster dates, gives a regimental history.

Daniel B. Oberholtzer applied for an invalid pension in 1890, according to the Pension Index Card, shown above from Ancestry.com.  He received the pension and collected it until his death, which according to other sources, occurred on 28 December 1905.  On 12 February 1906, his widow, Catharine Oberholtzer applied, and according to the Pension Index Card, she received benefits, which she collected.  But, did she collect those benefits until her death?

An examination of the Pension Index Card from Fold3 shows a reference to another pension file for the widow – that of Jeremiah Garis, who served in the 148th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, and the application number on that pension is much lower, indicating the date was much earlier!  Who was Jeremial Garis?

The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card, shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives, for Jeremiah Garos (found also in the records as Jeremiah Garis), notes that on 9 March 1865, he was mustered into service in Company D, as a Private, in the 148th Pennsylvania Infantry.  At the time he was 20 years old, lived in Centre County, Pennsylvania, and was working as a laborer.   Physically, he stood 5 foot 8 inches tall, had dark hair, a light complexion, and dark eyes.  No discharge information is given on the card, but in the “remarks,” it is mentioned that he was a “supposed prisoner since 22 June 1864.”

The Pension Index Card from Ancestry.com (shown above) for Catharine Garis, widow of Jeremiah Garis, shows that she applied for benefits on 3 May 1866, and was awarded benefits, which she apparently collected.  Thus the status of Jeremiah had to be changed from “supposed prisoner” to “deceased” at some point between 22 June 1864 and the date she made application.

The Pension Index Card from Fold3 (shown above) for Catharine Garis, widow of Jeremiah Garis, shows that she applied for benefits twice – first on the original date of 3 May 1866, which matches the date on the Ancestry.com card, and second on 13 October 1926, as per law “J-3-26.”  Also on this card is the death date and place for Jeremiah – 12 May 1864, at Battle of the Wilderness.

The maiden name of Catharine Oberholzer was Stifler – as found in a death certificate of one of the children she had with Daniel B. Oberholzer.  In 1860,  Catharine was living in Potter Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania, with her parents, Peter Stiffler and his wife Hannah Stiffler.  Centre County was the same location that Jeremiah Garis gave as his residence when he enrolled in the 148th Pennsylvania Infantry.

It appears from these records that Catharine Stifler was first married to Jeremiah Garis in Centre County, possibly during the war, and was left a widow by his death in the war.  She then applied for a widow’s pension, which she apparently collected for a time – until she met and married Daniel B. Oberholtzer.  But, when did that occur?

According to information in the 1900 census for Upper Paxton Township, Dauphin County, Daniel B. Oberholtzer had been married to Catharine since 1869.  At the time in 1900, Daniel gave his occupation as fruit farmer.  This would be the last census in which Daniel would appear.  He would die on 28 December 1905.

In 1890, Daniel B. Oberholtzer was living in Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, where he reported his Civil War service.

In 1880, Daniel and Catharine were living in Potter Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania, with three children.  Daniel was working as a carpenter.

In 1870, Daniel and Catharine were living in Potter Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania.  There were no children in the household.  Daniel was working as a carpenter.

Daniel B. Oberholtzer died on 28 December 1905.  He is buried at St. David’s Reformed Church Cemetery, Killinger, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  His Findagrave Memorial has some additional information about his life.

Catharine [Stiffler] Garis Oberholtzer died on 2 May 1929.  She is buried at St. David’s Reformed Church Cemetery, Killinger, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  Her Findagrave Memorial has some additional information about her life.

The following news briefs were located in the Harrisburg newspapers:

Harrisburg Telegraph, 16 July 1892:

Daniel Oberholtzer, of Upper Paxton Township, has been granted a pension.


Harrisburg Telegraph, 22 Apr 1899:

George Bucher, son-in-law of Daniel Oberholtzer, of Upper Paxton Township, died at the county almshouse on Wednesday.


Harrisburg Telegraph, 4 Jan 1906:

The funeral of D. B. Oberholtzer on Saturday was largely attended by relatives and friends from a distance.


Harrisburg Telegraph, “Killinger News,” 16 Aug 1905:

D. B. Oberholtzer, who has been confined to the house for a long time, is able to be out.


Harrisburg Telegraph, “Killinger News,” 1 Jan 1906:

Daniel B. Oberholtzer, who was confined to the house for sometime with dropsy, died on Thursday morning and was buried on Saturday afternoon from his late residence.


Harrisburg Telegraph, 18 Nov 1926:

83rd Birthday

Millersburg, 18 November 1926 — Mrs. Catherine Oberholtzer, living near Millersburg, observed her eighty-third birthday today.

The surprising information coming from this research is that Daniel B. Oberholzer for a time before the Civil War was living in Elizabethville and working as an artist and that his wife had been previously married, her first husband having died in the war.

Additional information is sought about this veteran.  Please add comments to this post.





William B. Mayberry – Emergency Man from Tremont

Posted By on March 13, 2017

William B. Mayberry answered the militia call of the emergency of 1862 by enrolling in the 17th Pennsylvania Infantry (Emergency of 1861) at Tremont, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, where he was mustered into service as a Corporal.  He gave his age at the time as 32 (born about 1830).  He was discharged from service on 26 September 1862, at the end of the emergency.  No other record of service has been found for him.  The card above is from the Pennsylvania Archives.

In 1890, his widow, Sarah [Williams] Mayberry was living in Tremont and reported his war service to the census.  However, because the service was part of a militia and was less than three months, she was not eligible for a pension.

The family is found in the 1870 Census for Tremont, where William’s occupation is given as coal operator.  His wife Sarah Mayberry, is 35 years old and is “keeping house.”  The children of the couple are also listed:  Eddie E. Mayberry, age 10, attending school; Mary E. Mayberry, age 7, attending school; Annie Mayberry, age 6, at home; Harry Mayberry, age 3, at home; and Edith Mayberry, age 1, at home.

Harry’s death certificate confirms that his mother’s maiden name was Williams.

An 1871 estate record in Schuylkill County shows that William B. Mayberry died in 1871.  At the time of this writing, a cause of death has not been found.  It would not be unreasonable to assume that the death may been connected in some way with coal mining operations in Schuylkill County.

Additional information is sought about William B. Mayberry, his Civil War service, his family and his early death at about the age of 41.  Readers are encouraged to add comments to this post.


Elias Geist Morgan – 48th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on March 10, 2017

Elias Geist Morgan was born on 10 May 1842 in Upper Mahantongo Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.  He was the son of Samuel Morgan (1812-1897) and Abolina [Geist] Morgan (1816-1890).

On 9 March 1865, Elias Morgan enrolled in the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, at Philadelphia and was mustered into service the same day as a Private.  At the time he was 23 years old, stood nearly 5 foot 5 inches tall, resided in Schuylkill County, and was working as a laborer.  On physical description, he had brown hair, blue eyes and a light complexion.  Also, he was listed as a “recruit.”  On 17 July 1865, he was discharged with his company.  The above card is from the Pennsylvania Archives.  Other records indicate that he was discharged at Alexandria, Virginia.

In 1870 and 1880 Elias was a farmer in Eldred Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

On 3 November 1881, Elias Morgan applied for a pension (as shown on the Ancestry.com card, above).  He collected that pension until he died on 12 December 1887.

Elias’ widow, Lydia [Wetzel] Morgan, did not apply for benefits until 8 August 1890.  An explanation of the delay can be found in the pension file of Israel Klinger, to whom Lydia was also married.  He served in Company F of the 173rd Pennsylvania Infantry.  Also, the minor children of Elias Morgan were also entitled to benefits, and an older son, Elias F. Morgan applied for those benefits at the guardian of the children. The card shown above is from Fold3.

According to information in the Findagrave Memorial, Elias Morgan is buried in Hepler’s Church of God Cemetery, Pitman, Schuylkll County, Pennsylvania.

Additional information is sought about Elias Geist Morgan and can be provided by adding comments to this post or submitting via e-mail.


The portrait of Elias Geist Morgan is from a public tree on Ancestry.com.



Wartime Sketches by Edwin Forbes

Posted By on March 8, 2017

The following illustrations were taken from Under the Maltese Cross – Antietam to Appomattox:  The Loyal Uprising in Western Pennsylvania, 1861-1865, compiled by Charles F. McKenna, and published in Pittsburgh in 1910.  Click on the title for a free download of this book, which is a history of the 155th Pennsylvania Infantry.

All of the sketches in this post are by Edwin Forbes. A biographical sketch appears at the end of this post.


Chancellorsville House


Crossing Rappahannock – On Way to Chancellorsville


“Reveille and Tattoo.”


Fifth Corps  at Spottsylvania

From the Penn State University Library:

Edwin Forbes (1839-1895) was an American landscape painter and etcher best known for his sketches of military life during the American Civil War (1861-1865). As a staff artist for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Forbes traveled with various contingents of the Union Army and was particularly interested in common soldiers’ daily lives as well as more traditional subjects like generals and battles. Following the war Forbes published two volumes of his military etchings: Life Studies of the Great Army: A Historical Art Work in Copper Plate Etching Containing Forty Plates (1876), whose plates comprise this collection; and Thirty Years After: An Artist’s Story of the Great War Told and Illustrated with Nearly 300 Relief-etchings after Sketches in the Field and 20 Half-tone Equestrian Portraits from Original Oil Paintings (1891). Both volumes were well-received, especially Life Studies, for which Forbes received a gold medal at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia (1876). General William T. Sherman also purchased a set of the Life Studies plates for his office in the War Department. In 1919 the Library of Congress acquired a large collection of Forbes’ wartime work, including drawings, plates and the original impressions from Life Studies. Forbes also illustrated three children’s history books and participated in numerous etching clubs and exhibits prior to his decease in 1895.

February 2017 Posts

Posted By on March 6, 2017

A listing of the February 2017 posts on The Civil War Blog with direct links:

Edward B. Martz – 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Henry A. Martz – Lifelong Railroad Man, Served in 127th Pennsylvania Infantry

January 2017 Posts

Harry M. Kieffer’s Recollections – Deciding to Go to War

Harry M. Kieffer’s Recollections – Camp Curtin

Harry M. Kieffer’s Recollections – Johnny Comes Marching Home

Who Was Patrick Mullin of the 46th Pennsylvania Infantry?

General Strike!

William Henry Miller – Enders Descendant from Halifax Killed by Indians in Dakota Territory

Elias Minnich – Killed in Action Near Marietta, Georgia

Henry Keiser – Wedding Photo Discovered!

Was William Miller a Civil War Veteran?

Who Was Henry Clay Mellon Who Enlisted at Tremont?