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The Kauffman Brothers of Minersville

Posted By on October 15, 2014

Two brothers, Jonas Harrison Kauffman (1840-1930) and Luther Samuel Kauffman (1846-1938), both associated with Minersville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, saw service in the Civil War and following the war had successful professional careers, the older brother as a physician and the younger brother as an attorney.  Jonas H. Kauffman has also been named in two sources as a Jewish American war veteran.


In 1860, the family is found in the census for Minersville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, with the father Samuel Kauffman, age 49, a laborer, and the mother Maria Kauffman, age 47.  Jonas Kauffman, the oldest son, is recorded as 21 years old, and his younger brother, Luther S. Kauffman as 13 years old.  Both parents are buried in the Minersville Union Cemetery, Schuylkill County, and pictures of their grave markers are posted on their Findagrave MemorialsSamuel and Maria.  The father’s occupation is difficult to decipher, and could be “surgeon’s…” or “surveyor’s…”  From the Findagrave Memorial, the mother’s maiden name is given as Heisler and this is verified as correct by other sources.

The death certificates of the two brothers confirm their parentage including the maiden name of the mother.

KauffmanJonasH-PADeathCert-001According to the death certificate, Jonas Harrison Kauffman died on 2 October 1930 at Minersville of arterial sclerosis.  At the time of his death he was age 90 years, 5 months, and one day, a widower, and by occupation a doctor, who was retired for 5 years.  The mother’s given name was not known by the informant, Lucas L. Deitz, whose relationship to the deceased was not stated.  The remains were delivered to the Mt. Peace Cemetery in Minersville for interment.




KauffmanLutherS-PADeathcertificate-001Less than 8 years after the death of his brother, Luther Samuel Kauffman died on 2 April 1938 at Upper Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania of cerebral apoplexy, age 91 years, 4 months, and 28 days, and a widower.  No occupation was given.  The parents’ names were given by the informant Edith Kauffman, presumably the eldest child of Luther, who never married.  The remains were delivered to Arlington Cemetery in Upper Darby for interment.




Luther Samuel Kauffman‘s Civil War record was brief and as such, he did not qualify for a pension.  His first service came during the Emergency of 1862 when he joined the militia known as the 17th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Private, serving from 17 September 1862 through the end of the emergency when he was discharged on 28 September 1862.  His second service came during the Emergency of 1863 when he joined the militia known as the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company K, as a Private, serving from 4 July 1863 through 2 August 1863.  Confirmation of this service is found in the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Card File available from the Pennsylvania Archives.

Luther’s post-war experience included marriage to a woman named Mary about 1870 and the raising of a family of at least 5 children.  At the time of the 1870 census he was working as a bank teller in Minersville.  In the 1880 census he is found in Denver, Colorado, working as a mining broker.  In 1890, he was living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he reported his Civil War service but indicated no disabilities were incurred from it.  From 1900 onward, he resided with his family in the Philadelphia area (Philadelphia itself as well as Upper Darby) where he worked as a lawyer.

KauffmanLutherS-PAVetBurialCard-001 According to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Card File of the Pennsylvania Archives (available from Ancestry.com), he is recognized at his grave site for his Civil War service.






The Civil War record of Jonas H. Kauffman is more difficult to determine with any degree of preciseness because his service was supposedly on a contract basis and during the war he was a medical student who completed his formal education in 1862.  While he is found in the records of four regiments, it is unlikely that he served a full term in all of them.

KauffmanJonasH-PAVetCardFile-002At the beginning of the war, Jonas enrolled on 22 April 1861 at Pottsville as a Private in Company H, 6th Pennsylvania Infantry, and served a term of 3 months in that company and regiment.  At the time of his enrollment, he was a 21 year old medical student.  Other records of that company state that he enrolled as a 1st Lieutenant and was quickly promoted to the rank of Assistant Surgeon of the regiment, but those records could be confused with his other service.





KauffmanJonasH-PAVetCardFile-001The second service found in the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Card File from the Pennsylvania Archives is in the 128th Pennsylvania Infantry, Headquarters Staff (F & S), as an Assistant Surgeon.  At age 23, he was “mustered in” to that service on 20 March 1863 and “mustered out” on 19 May 1863, initially joining the regiment in the field at Stafford, Virginia.





KauffmanJonasH-PAVetCardFile-004The third regiment with which he was associated was the 151st Pennsylvania Infantry, Headquarters, also as an Assistant Surgeon.  At age 24, he joined the regiment in the field at Falmouth, Virginia, about one month prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, worked through that battle and its aftermath and was discharged on 27 July 1863.  The great number of casualties suffered by this regiment required a a great deal of medical attention.





KauffmanJonasH-PAVetCardFile-003The final regiment in which he actively served was the 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry, also at Headquarters, and also as an Assistant Surgeon.  This regiment was his longest continuous service which was from 31 May 1864 through 12 July 1865.





KauffmanJonasH-Gettysburg-151stPA-001For his service at Gettysburg, Jonas H. Kauffman is recognized on the Pennsylvania Memorial tablet for the 151st Pennsylvania Infantry.





KauffmanJonasH-PensionINdex-002One of the four Pension Index Cards from Fold3 is shown here at left [Note: the Fold3 version of the cards are filed by regiment and therefore there are four cards because he served in four regiments).  This card gives the four regiments which are confirmed above from the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Card File, but states that for the 6th Pennsylvania Infantry, he was a “Contracted Surgeon.”  Jonas applied for a pension on 24 June 1879 and collected benefits through his lifetime.  His death date is given as 2 October 1930 and his place of death is given as Minersville.



Some researchers suggest that Jonas H. Kauffman actually served as a surgeon for the duration of the war and that the time between the field experiences with the regiments (named above) was spent in Philadelphia attending medical school at the University of Pennsylvania (where he graduated about 1862) and working at the hospitals in Philadelphia.  In a prior blog post, a map was presented showing the location of all the Civil War hospitals in Philadelphia.  See:  Military Map of Philadelphia, 1861-1865.  At this time, this is only speculation, but it would make sense that since Philadelphia was the site of his medical education, he could have contributed his expertise in that location.

From 1870 through 1920, Jonas H. Kaufman can be found in the censuses for Minersville where he practiced medicine.  The 1930 census names him as a retired doctor.  Some time prior to 1871, Jonas married a woman named Mary and with her had at least 3 children.

One contributor to a genealogy forum indicated that after the war, Jonas H. Kauffman was a member of the Captain George J. Lawrence Post G.A.R. No. 17 of Minersville.  Another contributor stated that in 1898, he tried to join Theodore Roosevelt in Cuba.

KauffmanJonasH-JewishSoldiers-001As for his possible Jewish heritage, the two places where he has been cited are:  The Jews of Philadelphia, page 488, by Henry Samuel Morais, Philadelphia, 1894 (click on title for web page); and U.S. Civil War Jewish American Civil War Veterans, 1861-1865, a database constructed by Lynn Berkowitz from Samuel Wolf‘s The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier, and Citizen, published in Philadelphia in 1895.  The screen capture (at left) is from Ancestry.com and a full copy of the Wolf book is available as a free download from the Internet Archive.  The reliability of this latter source has been discussed on this blog in a post entitled Jewish-American U.S. Civil War Veterans.  No other sources have been located which indicate in any way that he had a Jewish background or that he practiced Judaism.  The Shappell Manuscript Foundation is researching Jewish American Civil War veterans and doing an update of the Wolf list; this was explained in the prior blog post entitled New Information on George Samuels.  Anyone with information on the possible Jewish heritage of Jonas H. Kauffman is urged to contact Adrienne Usher, at Shappell.

One additional piece of information seems to discount the idea that Dr. Jonas H. Kauffman was of Jewish origin.  It was provided by Jane Butler of Minisink Valley Genealogy and is from Volume II of Schuylkill County Pennsylvania:  Genealogy  – Family History – Biography, pages 867-868:

The Kauffmans have been in America since 1860, in which year two brothers, Jonas Kauffman and Christian Kauffman, natives of Wurtemberg, Germany, emigrated to this country.  They settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, among its early residents; some of their descendants located in the Lykens Valley, in what is not Schuylkill County, in the days when the Indians were still in possession…. Samuel Kauffman… was born in the Lykens Valley, Schuylkill County, and lived and died in what is now known as Hubley Township, this county.  He was a Whig in politics, in religion a devout Lutheran.  A family of eight children, six sons and two daughters, was born to him and his wife, whose maiden name was Klueger or Klinger….  Emanuel Kauffman, who was engaged as a merchant for some time and subsequently went West, served in the Civil War, and received promotion to the rank of captain before his death, which was caused by typhoid fever….

Samuel Kauffman, son of Samuel, was one of the foremost men in Schuylkill County in his day.  As a business man he was widely acquainted through his long connection as cashier with the First national Bank of Minersville, and he was also a civil engineer of note, in that capacity laying out most of the town of Minersville.  He also served one term as county commissioner, and represented this district in the lower branch of the State Assembly.  His death occurred at Minersville, when he was seventy-six years old.  Mr. Kauffman married Maria Heisler, a daughter of George Heisler, and they became the parents of five children: Cecelia H. Kauffman, now deceased…; Dr. Jonas H. Kauffman, a prominent resident of Minersville; Luther S. Kauffman, a successful attorney of Philadelphia; George Kauffman, who died in infancy; and Samuel Kauffman, deceased.

Stating that the grandfather of Dr. Jonas H. Kauffman was a “devout Lutheran” does not refute the possibility that there were Jewish origins in this family and that some of the descendants returned to the Jewish faith.

Jane Butler‘s interest in Dr. Jonas H. Kauffman is related to a blog post she wrote on Company B of the 151st Pennsylvania Infantry, An Imperishable Fame, in which she told of the number of Pike County Pennsylvanians who were wounded or killed at Gettysburg.  Most likely, Jonas Kauffman, as Assistant Surgeon of the regiment, would have been involved in the treatment and care of some or many of them.


KauffmanJonasH-USDeceasedPhysicians-001Three reference cards have been found for Jonas H. Kauffman on Family Search from a database of American physicians.  The cards confirm his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania in 1862, his date of death as 2 October 1930, and his cause of death – and add that he had also had fractured his hip, which contributed to his death.





The grave marker for Jonas H. Kauffman is found at the Mount Peace Cemetery, Minersville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Only his first service as a Contract Surgeon is named on the stone.  More information about Jonas and his family can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.









Monuments at Gettysburg – 39th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on October 14, 2014

The 39th Pennsylvania Infantry (10th Pennsylvania Reserves) Monument at Gettysburg is located south of Gettysburg on Confederate Avenue at the foot of Big Round Top.  It was not ready for the Pennsylvania Day ceremonies of 1889 and therefore was dedicated in 1890.  The view of the Monument pictured above is from Steven Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of the monument, its GPS coordinates, several pictures, and some of the history of the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Sitewhich also has some more information about the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry.


A simple statement about the monument to the 39th Pennsylvania Infantryappeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer of 11 September 1889:


The 39th’s Not Completed.

The monument of the 39th will not be completed in time for Pennsylvania day, and this regiment will not have any programme.  The 10th Reserves will simply hold their annual reunion.



Adoniram Judson Warner was an New York native who commanded the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg.  According to information on Wikipedia:

Born in Wales, New York (near Buffalo, New York), Warner moved with his parents to Wisconsin at the age of eleven. He attended school in Beloit, Wisconsin, and New York Central College, McGrawville, New York. He was principal of Lewistown (Pennsylvania) Academy, superintendent of the public schools of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, and principal of Mercer Union School, Pennsylvania from 1856 to 1861. He was commissioned Captain in the Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves 21 July 1861, Lieutenant Colonel 14 May 1862, Colonel 25 April 1863, and Colonel of the Veteran Reserve Corps 15 November 1863. He was brevetted Brigadier General 13 March 1865.

Adoniram J. Warner died in Ohio on 12 August 1910 and is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Marietta, Washington County, Ohio.

Additional information about Warner can be found at the Wikipedia article dedicated to him and at the Findagrave Memorial.  The photograph (above) is from Wikipedia and is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.  The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card for Adoniram J. Warner can be found at the Pennsylvania Archives.


Around the base of the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg are series of plaques which, by regiment and company, note the names of every soldier who was present at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The plaque for the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry is pictured below.  By clicking on the plaque it should enlarge so the names can be more clearly read.  If a name does not appear, it could be that the soldier did serve in the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg.  There also could be errors on the plaque.



The news clipping is from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

John W. Hoffman – Document File

Posted By on October 13, 2014


John W. Hoffman

John W. Hoffman (1843-1926).  Photo (above) from family collection.


The following documents are presented here to show some of the types of information that can be found in the Pension Application Files available at the National Archives (NARA) in Washington, D.C.

To locate the complete files at the National Archives, first consult the Pension Index Card,  The version of the card shown above is from Ancestry.com. The application file numbers for the Invalid and Widow pensions are given on the card.

Click on thumbnails below to enlarge document.  Note: Document can be downloaded and saved by right-clicking and choosing “save picture to file.”

Selected pages from Pension Application File (NARA):

HoffmanJohnW-003   Statement of disability for pension.  Date and place of marriage.   Names of children with birth dates.





HoffmanJohnW-005   Affidavit of John L. Good.





HoffmanJohnW-006  Enlistment Information.





HoffmanJohnW-008  Personal Information.





For previous posts on John W. Hoffman, click here.

Reunions of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry Held in Lykens

Posted By on October 10, 2014

Following the Civil War, many Pennsylvania regiments tried to hold annual reunions of their members.  One of the most successful of the Pennsylvania regiments in this regard was the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry as the following news article from the Harrisburg Patriot of 11 June 1909 attests:



Flag Presented by Ladies of Duncannon in 1860 Was Carried in Parade

Special Dispatch to The Patriot.

Duncannon, 10 June 1909 — The fortieth annual reunion of the Ninth Pennsylvania volunteer cavalry was held here to-day.  Owing to the inclement weather the reception exercises were held in the Methodist Episcopal Church instead of Market Square.  The address of welcome was made by Israel G. Black, Esq., of Duncannon and was responded to by Captain William M. Potter of Washington, D.C.  There were about 70 members of the company present.  They formed in order in the Square and marched to the church promptly at 1 o’clock, headed by the Newport band.

The business meeting was held in the Knights of Pythias Hall immediately after the reception exercises were over.  Next year they will meet at Penbrook.  Captain William Potter delivered an interesting address in the evening.

In 1861 the ladies of Duncannon, then called Petersburg, made a large flag which they presented to Company A.  After the war was over the flag was presented to the order of Odd Fellows, of this place, who prize it highly.  To-day the flag was again carried by the veterans in their line of march.

Company A, of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, was recruited and mustered out in Duncannon [Perry County, Pennsylvania].  This company was composed of Perry and Lancaster countians.  The Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry was with Sherman on his famous march to the sea, and has the distinction of having been in the last engagement of Sherman’s brigade.

The citizens had their residences decorated with bunting and flags and the town had a holiday appearance in honor of the veterans’ coming.

George Pennell, president of the association, acted with the executive committee, which is composed of J. M. Graybill, Hiram Potter and William Rodamaker, of Duncannon; William Rose, of Harrisburg; Robert Pennell, of Williamstown; B. H. Branyan and J. B. Lohr, of Millerstown, assisted by local committee in making arrangements for the entertainment of the guests.

The above article was located in an on-line newspaper search for post-Civil War activities of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  An interesting fact was discovered.  Several of the reunions were held in Lykens Borough, Dauphin County.  Although it is not known at this time where every annual reunion was held, those found in the search which mentioned Lykens are presented here.


1873 Reunion at Lykens

From the Harrisburg Patriot of 19 June 1872:


The next annual reunion of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry will be held in Lykens on 8 June 1823.


From the Harrisburg Patriot of 28 April 1873:


The surviving members of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry in Lykens had a meeting on Saturday for a reunion in that borough in June.

From the Harrisburg Patriot of 16 June 1873:



The following are the officers of the Society of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry recently elected:  President, Captain James Ewing; Carlisle; Vice Presidents, Comrades O. T. Hoffman, Allentown, John M. Brubaker, Halifax, and William Thomas, Lykens; Secretary, Lieutenant I. D. Landis, Coatesville; Corresponding Secretary, Lieutenant Jacob Coller, Lykens; Treasurer, Captain O. B. McKnight.


1878 Reunion at Lykens

From the Harrisburg Patriot of 6 June 1878:


Reunion of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

The members of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry from Lancaster and vicinity will leave that city on the Niagara express train at 0:35 o’clock this morning for the reunion at Lykens.  They will be met here by members of the organization from this city and vicinity who will take the same train for the above named place, where the reunion will be held.


From the Harrisburg Patriot of 8 Jun 1878:


The Reunion of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Lykens, 7 June 1878 — Editor Patriot:  Yesterday morning the armory of Company E, Seventy Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard, was gaily decorated with flags, inside and on the exterior.  At the entrance a large frame of spruce with the motto “Welcome Ninth,” was noticeable.  Crowds of our people repaired to the depot when the noon train from the east arrived, and many soldiers who visited our borough were handsomely received and kindly treated.


At 3 o’clock p.m. the Lykens band appeared in front of the armory, while Col. Caldwell, of Shamokin, was busy inspecting Company E of the 7th Regiment, National Guard.  After inspection Company E, followed by the 9th Cavalry members, and preceded by the band, marched through the principal streets.  After the parade was ended a grand supper was given in honor of the visiting soldiers.  After supper the visitors strolled through our flourishing borough, inspecting objects of interest.

In the evening at eight o’clock the soldiers assembled again at the hall, at the sound of the bugle, and the Lykens and Williamstown band put in an appearance and discoursed excellent music.  A ball took place later in which many participated.

Yours, E. E. E.


1892 Reunion at Lykens

From the Harrisburg Patriot of 9 June 1892:


A number of our citizens will attend the reunion of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry at Lykens on Thursday.

From the Harrisburg Patriot of 14 June 1892:


Jacob G. Enders attended the reunion of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry at Lykens last Thursday.


1895 Reunion at Lykens

From the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader of 11 May 1895:


The Ninth Pennsylvania cavalry will hold its reunion this year at Lykens, Dauphin County, on 13 June.


Thus far only four Lykens reunions have been found, although all of the annual reunion locations have not been discovered.  The following known cities played host to the reunions, with the years indicated:  Carlisle, 1874; Lancaster, 1876; Mt. Joy, 1877; Mechanicsburg, 1881; Lancaster, 1882; Huntington, 1883; Duncannon, 1884; York, 1886; Altoona, 1888; Allentown, 1891; Williams Grove, 1889; Paxtang Park, 1894; Gettysburg, 1899; Mt. Holly, 1903; Hanover, 1908; Duncannon, 1909; Chambersburg, 1914; Lancaster, 1919.  These cities were identified as reunion points through brief articles that appeared in either the Philadelphia Inquirer or the Harrisburg Patriot.

Lykens was a natural location to hold veteran reunions.  It was the terminus of two railroads: (1) the Reading, Williams Valley Branch ended on the north side of Lykens, and from that station, travel was possible to Philadelphia and to all the points in the Reading system; and (2) the Lykens Valley Railroad, which ended on the south side of Lykens, and from that station, travel was possible to Millersburg, and there with connections on the Pennsylvania Railroad (Northern Central Railroad) both north and south in Pennsylvania – and more importantly, to Harrisburg and the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad which crossed the state from Philadelphia, through Harrisburg, to Pittsburgh and points west.  Lykens was also in one of the Susquehanna River valleys where the greatest number of recruits came from.  It also had decent hotels and in the latter part of the 19th Century its own G.A.R. Hall.

Additional information is sought on the reunions of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, particularly if they were held in Lykens.  Information can be added to the comments section of this post or sent by e-mail.


News clippings are from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.


Monuments at Gettysburg – 40th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on October 9, 2014

The 40th Pennsylvania Infantry (11th Pennsylvania Reserves) Monument at Gettysburg is located south of Gettysburg on Ayres Avenue.  It was dedicated some time after the group of monuments that were unveiled for the 25th Anniversary in 1889 and therefore was not reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Pennsylvania Day.  The picture of the monument (above) is from Steven Recker’s Virtual Gettysbirg Web Site which also has information about the 40th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of this monument, its GPS coordinates, a picture, and some history of the 40th Pennsylvania Infantry can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.


The Philadelphia Inquirer of 11 September 1889 provided only this information about the 40th Pennsylvania Infantry:


A Volley With Buckshot.

The 11th Reserves came into range of the enemy’s musketry in the front of Little Round Top on the 2nd, where it maintained its position without returning the fire until the enemy was within easy range.  Then, with their smooth bore muskets loaded with buckshot, they gave the enemy a terrible volley, following it up with a furious charge which swept him down over the plain to the stone wall.  The loss in this engagement was 3 killed and 39 wounded, among the latter being Lieutenant Colonel Daniel S. Porter.



Samuel M. Jackson (1833-1906)

Samuel McCartney Jackson commanded the 40th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg.  He joined the 40th Pennsylvania Infantry as a Captain and in June 1861 he was promoted to Major, the position he held at the time of the battle.

Samuel M. Jackson was born in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, on 24 September 1833.  His Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card from the Pennsylvania Archives does not give his occupation nor any personal information about him other than his age of 24.  He enrolled in the regiment at Camp Wright and was mustered in with the regiment in Washington, D.C..

Samuel M. Jackson died on 8 May 1906 and his remains are in a mausoleum at the Riverview Cemetery, Apollo, Pennsylvania.

Additional information about him can be found at his Findagrave Memorial and on a plaque located in his home town.


Around the base of the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg are series of plaques which, by regiment and company, note the names of every soldier who was present at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The plaque for the 40th Pennsylvania Infantry is pictured below.  By clicking on the plaque it should enlarge so the names can be more clearly read.  If a name does not appear, it could be that the soldier did serve in the 40th Pennsylvania Infantry but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg.  There also could be errors on the plaque.



The news clippings are from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.