Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

George H. Romberger – He Paid for a Substitute

Posted By on August 12, 2016


George H. Romberger is buried at the St. John’s Lutheran Church Cemetery, Berrysburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  He has a Findagrave Memorial which does not identify him as a Civil War veteran and there is no G.A.R.-Star-Flag Holder at his grave site.  He was born 19 October 1937 and died 8 Apr 1907.

In his research entitled Civil War Veterans: Rumbergers/Rumbargers/Rombergers/Rambergers in the Civil War (unpublished), Dr. John A. Romberger identified “George Romberger” as No. 3 in a list of 40 veterans.  He indicated that “George Romberger” served in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, but also noted that “he progressed no further than the induction process at Camp Curtin before he was discharged” and that “he saw no action with this unit.

In a previous blog post here on 15 October 2011, it was stated that the record shows that George H. Romberger paid for a substitute and that the substitute served in the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card, shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives, gives no other information other than the Bates reference of “4-1267.”  This was a drafted regiment and therefore George Romberger was a draftee.  However, in checking both Bates and the Registers of Pennsylvania Volunteers, also available at the Pennsylvania Archives, it is stated that George Romberger was discharged on 18 November 1862, just 16 days after he arrived in camp, because he paid for a substitute who ended up serving in the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  The name of the substitute was not given in these records of George Romberger.


The Military Index Card, shown above from Fold3, is an indication that the military records of George H. Romberger are available at the National Archives.  However, because he did not really serve with this regiment outside of his time in camp, there will be minimal information in the file.

No Pension Index Card has been located for George H. Romberger.  Men who paid for substitutes were excused from service, but were ineligible for pensions.

Opinions differ on whether men who paid for substitutes should be recognized as contributing to the war effort.  The Civil War practice of allowing paid substitutes to take the place of those who were drafted was legal.  However, there were those who were strongly opposed to the practice, and draft riots took place which focused on the unfairness of it and such riots took place as close to the Lykens Valley as Pottsville.  During the Civil War several regiments of Pennsylvania troops had to be sent to Schuylkill County to quell the riots.  After the war, membership in the G.A.R. was not open to those who legally paid for substitutes, and it is extremely rare for the graves of those men to be decorated as “veterans” and it was also rare to find any one bragging that they were patriotic because they could afford the practice.

A brief notice of the death of George H. Romberger appeared in the Harrisburg TelegraphCurtin Notes” of 12 April 1907, wherein nothing was mentioned that he paid for a substitute.


Curtin, 11 April 1907 —  George H. Romberger of this place who was confined to his house most of the winter, died on Monday and will be burried [sic] on Thursday forenoon at the St. John’s Church….

Genealogical information on George H. Romberger, which was compiled by Bob Averill and Dr. John A. Romberger, can be found on RootsWeb.  Corrections should be sent to Bob Averill through the link on that page.

Additional information about George H. Romberger can be added with comments to this post and photographs can be sent via e-mail.



Daniel D. Romberger – Emergency Militiaman from Orwin

Posted By on August 10, 2016


Daniel D. Rumberger was originally located in the 1890 Veterans’ Census for Porter Township, Schuylkill County (shown below).  Initially, there was some difficulty in identifying his birth and death dates and his connection to the Romberger family.  However, using some of the information from Bob Averill’s Romberger research, he was positively identified as Daniel D. Romberger, born 10 April 1832 in Schuylkill County, and died 6 January 1920, in Philadelphia.  He and his wife Celisa [Weber] Romberger, are buried at the Hillside Cemetery, Roslyn, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  The portrait of him, shown above, is cropped from a family photo that was publicly posted on Ancestry.com.


The Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Card, shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives, gives only basic information about Daniel Rumberger‘s service in the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry [Emergency of 1863], Company E, but refers the researcher to Bates, Volume 5, page 1265.

Dr. John A. Romberger identified Daniel Romberger as a Civil War soldier and his research produced the following information:

Daniel Rumberger served as a Private in Company E of the 39th Regiment of the Militia of 1863.  He was mustered into service some time between 1 July 1863 and 7 July 1863 and was was mustered out on 2 August 1863 due to the passing of the emergency.  He served under Col. James Nagle and Lt. Col. James H. Campbell.  The records of this regiment indicate that it was encamped at Reading during the emergency, and that the troops were discharged without having been involved in any action against the enemy.


According to the information on the Pension Index Card from Fold3, shown above, Daniel D. Rumberger applied for a pension on 10 January 1889, but he was not awarded benefits.  This was most likely due to the fact that at least 3 months of service was required.  At this time, it is not known why Daniel applied, but that information might be found in the application file which should be available in the National Archives, Washington, D.C.   If any family members or other researchers have obtained copies of that file, it would be appreciated if copies could be sent to the Project, or the information attached as a comment to this post or sent by e-mail.


Click on document to enlarge

The page shown above is from the Veterans’ Census of 1890 for Orwin, Porter TownshipDaniel D. Rumberger is found on Line 17 in the top portion of the census which gives his regimental service and dates and on Line 17 in the bottom portion, which gives his post office address as Orwin and leaves blank the space where any disabilities from military service were to be recorded.

Genealogical information on Daniel D. Rumbarger, which was compiled by Bob Averill and Dr. John A. Romberger, can be found on RootsWeb.  Corrections should be sent to Bob Averill through the link on that page.

In a series of posts summarized in index form on 31 December 2012, the names of the Civil War veterans from Tower City, Porter Township and Rush Township were presented.  However, the name of Daniel D. Rumberger does not appear in any of those posts because he is not named on the memorial in Tower City.  He should be named there because not only was he born in Porter Township, he lived there most of his life there.

Additional information about Daniel D. Rumbarger can be added with comments to this post and photographs can be sent via e-mail.

Source:  Civil War Veterans: Rumbergers/Rumbargers/Rombergers/Rambergers in the Civil War (unpublished), by Dr. John A. Romberger identified “F. Rumbarger” as No. 13 in a list of 40 veterans.


Widow of Philip W. Keiter Dies in Harrisburg, 1914

Posted By on August 8, 2016


Philip W. Keiter was born on 22 June 1833 in Halifax Township, Dauphin County, and died on 6 June 1883.  During the Civil War, he served in the 36th Pennsylvania Infantry Militia, Company C, as a Sergeant, a company that was formed from what was pre-war known as the “Home Guards” or the Gratztown Militia.


Proof that he was living in Gratz in 1860 is his application to join the Gratz I.O.O.F. (Odd Fellows).  At the time, he was a cabinetmaker, and was 26 years.  When Philip W. Keiter registered for the draft in 1863, he was living in Lykens Township, was married, and was still working as a cabinet maker.


The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card, shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives, is proof that he served in the 36th Pennsylvania Infantry Militia.  His dates of service were from 4 July 1863 to 11 August 1863.  Previously, a detailed description of service in this regiment and company was presented on this blog in a post entitled, Edward Crabb – Victim of Bigotry in Gratz.  That post indicated that this militia regiment had two African American brothers were were natives of Gratz.

Following the Civil War, Philip W. Keiter is found as a farmer in Mifflin Township in 1870 and as a carpenter in Williamstown in 1880.  When he died, he was buried at Seybert’s Cemetery in Williamstown.  His grave marker is pictured at the top of this post.  At the time the marker was photographed two years ago, there was nothing at graveside to indicate that he was Civil War veteran.

Prior to the Civil War, Philip W. Keiter married Florence A. “Flora” Sausser.  After his death, she remained in Williamstown for a while where she is listed as a widow in the 1890 Veterans’ Census, but then she moved to Harrisburg, where she died in 1914.  Her obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot on 10 December 1914:



The funeral of Mrs. Florence Keiter, 81 years old, mother-in-law of George W. McIlhenny, Treasurer of the Harrisburg School Board, will be held Friday afternoon at the home of Mr. McIlhenny, 25 North Thirteenth Street, at 4:15 o’clock.  Burial will be held at Williamstown, Saturday afternoon at 1 o’clock, where the body will be taken Saturday.

Mrs. Keiter was the widow of the late P. W. Keiter, of Williamstown.  She is survived by the following children:  Dr. I. A. Keiter, Wiconisco; Dr. C. F. Keiter, Philadelphia; Charles O. Keiter, Liverpool, this state; Mrs. Ellie Tomson, Williamstown; Mrs. George W. McIlhenny, Annie R. Keiter and Jennie M. Keiter of this city.  The following sisters also survive:  Mrs. James Messersmith, of Harrisburg; Mrs. Emma Messner, Williamstown; Mrs. H. Roush, Middleburg; also seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The news clipping is from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  The I.O.O.F. application is from the Project files.

July 2016 Posts

Posted By on August 5, 2016

A listing of the July 2016 posts on The Civil War Blog with direct links:

Edward Crabb – Victim of Bigotry in Gratz

Adam Jury – Born Millersburg, Died Salisbury Prison

June 2016 Posts

“It would have been better if Mr. Ryan had not seized the pistol….”

Isaac Koppenhaver – Hotel Proprietor of Millersburg

Jacob Keener Jr. – Lykens Resident, Moved to Kansas

Joseph Jeneskey – Another Lykens Soldier Not Regognized on G.A.R. Monument

Who Was John Z. Kebler who Lived in Tower City in 1890?

John Henry Jury – 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry – Some Additional Information

Anton Haake – 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry – Not Recognized on Lykens Monument

Philip Koch, Buried at Erdman – Was He A Civil War Veteran?

Franklin B. Rumbarger – 105th Pennsylvania Infantry & 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters

Millersburg Area African Americans During Civil War Times


Samuel Keiter – 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on August 3, 2016


Samuel Keiter was born 8 November 1819, and married Susannah Shutt, who was born 4 October 1922.

His Civil War service was chronicled in Captain Enders Legion, pages 109-110:

Samuel enlisted 2 November 1862 at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the 172nd Pennsylvania Regiment [172nd Pennsylvania Infantry], Company A for nine months. On 2 December 1862, the regiment proceeded to Washington and after a halt of two days moved by transports to Newport News, Virginia. It remained for a week, busily engaged in drill, at the end of which, they marched to Yorktown and relieved the 52nd Pennsylvania [52nd Pennsylvania Infantry] at the fort. Here the 172nd was soon settled in quarters where it spent the greater part of its term of service. The troops were kept employed in garrison duty and drill in infantry, light and heavy artillery practice. Early in July 1863, it was ordered where it was attached to the Eleventh Corps. It joined in the escape of the enemy across the Potomac, marched with the Eleventh Corps to Warrenton Junction. Its term of service then expired and the regiment returned to Harrisburg where it was mustered out on 1 August 1863. Samuel served as a Private during his enlistment.

A biographical sketch of him was also found in the Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, page 746:

SAMUEL KEITER was born in Jackson Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 8 November 1819. He is a son of Gerhert Keiter, a Pennsylvanian, of German ancestry, and a farmer and stock raiser of Jackson Township. He married Barbara Lentz. They had ten children: John Keiter, Joseph Keiter, Michael Keiter, Gerhert Keiter, Peter Keiter, Samuel Keiter, Catherine Keiter, Sarah Keiter, Ann Keiter, and Barbara Keiter, all of whom are deceased except Samuel. Mr. and Mrs. Keiter were Lutherans. They died in Jackson Township. Mr. Gerhart Keiter was a Republican.

Samuel Keiter attended the subscription schools, and worked with his father at farming until he was of age. He then learned shoe making, and worked at that trade for eight years. He then bought eighty acres of land on which he now resides, built a louse and barn, and otherwise extensively improved the land, which he continued for some time to cultivate. In 1862, at the age of forty-three, Mr. Keiter was drafted into the army, and assigned to company A, One Hundred and Seventy-second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, under Capt. Solomon Bowerman and Colonel Cleckner. He served nine months and was then discharged, and returned home. He resumed farming; also, for twelve years, in connection with his brother Michael Keiter, was a manufacturer of lumber. In this business they met with fair success. Mr. Keiter was married, in Jackson Jownship, in 1842, to Miss Susanna Shott, born in Lykens Valley. They had twelve children: Susan Keiter, wife of Henry Hoffman; Jonas Keiter, deceased; Catherine Keiter, deceased; Philip Keiter, farmer; Leah Keiter, wife of Solomon Matter; Ellen Keiter, wife of William Shertzer; Sarah Keiter, wife of Isaac Henninger; Elizabeth Keiter, deceased, wife of James Miller; Amanda Keiter, wife of Isaac A. Enders; Isaac Keiter, farmer, South Bend, Indiana; Charles Keiter, and Hiram Keiter. Mr. Keiter is a Republican, but no office seeker. He is a member of the Lutheran church. Mr. and Mrs. Keiter have passed fifty-four years of wedded life, have reared a family of twelve children, have been industrious and frugal, and are now quietly enjoying the fruits of their well spent life. They are surrounded by three generations of descendants, but are not chilled by the frosts of age. They are cheerful and genial, and by old and young are considered pleasant company. They present an attractive example of the happiness resulting from right living. In their own cheerful old age, in the society of their children and grandchildren, in the enjoyment of home and friends, they proclaim that the marriage relation is no failure, but the largest success of which human nature is capable.

According to information found in Captain Enders Legion, Samuel Keiter’s connection with the Enders family was through his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Keiter, who was born in Jackson Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, on 24 August 1857. She married James David Miller on 6 January 1876. He was the son of Catherine Enders and Daniel Miller and was born 11 April 1855 in Halifax Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Mary Elizabeth [Keiter] Miller and James David Miller had three children, Kate Minerva Miller, born 23 September 1877 and died 23 September 1878; Charles T. Miller, born 8 March 1879; and Robert F. Miller, born November 27, 1880 in Dietrich, Pennsylvania. Mary Elizabeth died on June 30, 1883 at age 25 years, 10 months and 6 days and is buried in the Fetterhoff Church Cemetery near Fisherville, Pennsylvania in Section A, Row 1.  As can be seen from the above biographical sketch, another daughter of Samuel Keiter, Amanda Keiter, also married an Enders descendant, Isaac A. Enders.

Samuel Keiter died 2 September 1898 and Susannah [Shutt] Keiter passed away on 18 March 1904. They are buried next to each other in the Fetterhoff Church Cemetery, Halifax Township, in Section A, Row 3.  Samuel Keiter‘s grave marker is pictured above.

Captain Enders Legion was reviewed here on 19 November 2010.  Copies of this book are still available from the Enders Family Association.  The Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County is available as a free download from the Internet Archive.