Civil War Blog

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Samuel P. Klinger – Farmer of Northumberland County

Posted By on September 7, 2014

Previously, two men named Samuel Klinger had been identified to be included in the Civil War Research Project.  In researching Samuel P. Klinger of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, who was born on 16 September 1824 and died 4 February 1903, it was discovered that he was also a Civil War veteran – thus bringing the total to three men with the same name from the same area of Pennsylvania!

Samuel Klinger‘s veteran’s status was suggested by his grave marker photograph from Findagrave(shown above) – note the G.A.R. star and flag holder to the left of the grave marker.

The first difficulty that had to be overcome was the discrepancy in the birth year between what was actually known about Samuel and the year of death that is indicated on the grave marker.  It had already been confirmed from Lutheran Church baptismal records (at Gettysburg Theological Seminary) that a Samuel P. Klinger, son of Johannes P. Klinger and Margaret [Schade] Klinger of Northumberland County was born on 16 September 1824 and was baptized on 17 October 1824.  The death date of 4 February for this Samuel Klinger matched the date found in the Klinger Genealogy by Max Klinger, published by Sunbury Press.  A tentative conclusion was made that the birth year on the stone was incorrect (off by one year) but the month and day were a match.

Turning to the U.S. Civil War Draft of 1863, two records were found in Lower Augusta Township, Northumberland County – both for the same Samuel P. Klinger, a farmer, age 38.  One of those records indicated that this Samuel P. Klinger had been drafted.

Turning to the Pension Index Cards on Fold3 for men named Samuel Klinger from Pennsylvania, a lucky find showed that the Samuel Klinger who died on 4 February 1903 had served in the 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H (below):.


From the Fold3 Pension Index Card, it is also learned that a pension application was made on 2 February 1892 and was received.  There was no application from a widow, however, there was an application for a minor, but that pension was not received.


The Pension Index Card from Ancestry.com (above) fills in some missing information.  The applicant for the minor’s pension was Catherine J. Klinger, who according to the genealogy was an unmarried daughter of Samuel P. Klinger and his wife Magdalena Klinger.  Their last child was born in 1870, so the “helpless child” referred to on the card could have been the applicant herself, Catherine J. Klinger – or it could have been a child of Catherine J. Klinger.  Perhaps a reader of this blog knows the answer.

Samuel P. Klinger was mustered into service in the 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H, as a Private at Harrisburg, on 1 November 1862.  All indications are that he served honorably through his discharge with his company on 31 July 1863.

Samuel P. Klinger was the great-grandson of Johannes P. Klinger (1723-1811), an immigrant and one of the earliest settlers of the Lykens Valley area of Pennsylvania.   Johannes P. Klinger was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and is buried in the Zion (Klinger) Cemetery, Erdman, Lykens Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

Samuel P. Klinger had twelve known children with his wife Magdalena [Klinger] Klinger;  the children were born between 1850 and 1870.


The Pennsylvania Veterans’ Burial Card shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives (available on Ancestry.com) confirms his military service (company, regiment, dates of services) and indicates that he is buried in Wolfe’s Cross Roads Cemetery, Rockefeller Township, Northumberland County.

Much more information is sought about this latest addition to the Civil War Research Project.  Perhaps a reader of this blog has already obtained his pension application files and is willing to share what is in them.  Or perhaps there is more information available on his military service.  Any other information such as newspaper articles where he or his family are mentioned, photographs, etc., would help in understanding more about this farmer-soldier.  Add comments to this post or send by e-mail.


August 2014 Posts

Posted By on September 5, 2014

A listing of the August 2014 posts on The Civil War Blog with direct links:

Monuments at Gettysburg – 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry

July 2014 Posts

Lewis Doutrich – 207th Pennsylvania Infantry

Monuments at Gettysburg – 26th Pennsylvania Infantry

Obituary of Thomas W. Hoffman – Medal of Honor Recipient

Benneville Hoyer – Amputee Charged with Selling Liquor Without a License

The 150th Anniversary of Kilpatrick’s Raid at Nash Farm Battlefield

More on Valentine Hipsman

The Civil War Museum at Nash Farm Battlefield, Hampton, Henry County, Georgia

Monuments at Gettysburg – 27th Pennsylvania Infantry

Dr. Helen Delucia Fisk – Wife of Medal of Honor Recipient Thomas W. Hoffman

Some Basic Facts about the Civil War and Williamstown

More Information on Correcting Errors on the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg

What Was the Middle Name of John G. Keihner?

Events of the World: August 1864



Monuments at Gettysburg – 28th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on September 3, 2014

028thPA-Inquirer-1889-09-11-001aA monument at Gettysburg to the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry is located on North Slocum Avenue near Culp’s Hill.  It was originally dedicated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1885.  A second memorial to this regiment, the Rock Creek Monument, was erected in 1904 and is located off Confederate Avenue.  The drawing (above) was part of a feature on the dedication and re-dedication of the Gettysburg battlefield monuments that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1889.

The picture of the monument can be seen on Steven Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry.  The other monument is found on a different web page.

A full description of the monument, its GPS coordinates, a picture, and some of the history of the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site. There is also information about the second monument.

According to both of the above-mentioned web sites, the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry was commanded at Gettysburg by Captain John H. Flynn.  Additionally, the Stone Sentinels site notes that Lieutenant John P. Nicholson of this regiment became the Chairman of the Gettysburg National Park Commission and has a monument and plaque on the battlefield.


The Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889 contained the following information about the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry:

The 28th was organized in June 1861 by Colonel John W. Geary at Oxford Park, Philadelphia.  The regiment of fifteen companies was equipped and armed at his own expense.  Connected with command was Beck’s Philadelphia Brass Band.  The colonels of the regiment during the war were John W. Geary, Gabriel DeKorponay, Thomas J. Awl, John Flynn; Lieutenant Colonels Hector Tyndale and James Fitzpatrick; Majors Ario Pardee Jr., William Raphail, Robert Warden, Sans’d F. Chapman, Jacob D. Arner; Adjutants Samuel Goodman and Henry Cheesman.  The regiment first entered service immediately after the Bull Run disaster, its first duty and many fights being on the frontier from Nolan’s Ferry to Antietam Aqueduct.  During its four years’ service it served in twelve different states and was engaged in as many different skirmishes and battles as any regiment of the United States Army.  It produced one Major General and three Brigadier Generals, viz. Hector Tyndale, Ario Pardee Jr. and John Flynn.

From surplus recruits for the 28th Regiment, Knap’s Battery was formed and attached to the regiment.  Mr. Charles Knap of Pittsburgh furnished this company with four steel guns which were subsequently exchanged for six ten-pounder Parrots….

The programme of the 28th… will begin with a business meeting at the Gettysburg Court House at 12:30.  Then under command of Brevet Brigadier General Ario Pardee Jr., [this] organization will proceed to Culp’s Hill…. Battle songs and other exercises will be given.




John H. Flynn (1819-1875)

John Hornbuckle Flynn was born 10 March 1819 in Ireland, emigrated to the United States in the 1840s, and lived in Philadelphia where he was a merchant at the time of his enrollment in the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, 28 June 1861.  His original rank was 1st Lieutenant but was promoted to Captain of Company I on 12 December 1861, the rank he held at the Battle of Gettysburg.  On 12 December 1864 there was another promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, to Colonel on 9 June 1864, and Brevet Brigadier General on 3 July 1863.  The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card from the Pennsylvania Archives notes that he was wounded in the hip at Gettysburg on 3 July.  At North Edisto River, South Carolina, 12 February 1865, he was wounded in the foot.


The Pension Index Card available at Fold3 (below) gives the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry as his only Civil War service.


John Hornbuckle Flynn died in Arkansas on 25 December 1875 and he is buried at Little Rock National Cemetery.  More information about him can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.  A full portrait of Flynn can be obtained from the MOLLUS Collection.


Around the base of the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg are a series of plaques which, by regiment and company, note the names of every soldier who was present at the Battle of Gettysburg. Previously on this blog, the plaque for the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry was featured.  See:  28th Pennsylvania Infantry – Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg.


The drawing of the monument and the information from the 1889 Inquirer were obtained from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

A Guide to Georgia’s Civil War Heritage

Posted By on September 1, 2014


The Georgia Department of Economic Development has produced an interesting and informative guide to the Civil War-related sites in that state.

An earlier version of this brochure was presented on this blog in the post entitled:  Marching Through Georgia.

The current web site describing activities related to the 150th Anniversary Commemoration of Civil War events that took place in Georgia can be found at www.gacivilwar.org.  The site contains many stories, announcements of special events, and a blog.

Many soldiers from the Lykens Valley area of Pennsylvania fought in the battles that took place in Georgia including the Atlanta Campaign and Sherman’s March to the Sea.  Prior blog post articles described some of those men and how these events affected their lives.

In addition to the major events, the brochure contains some interesting vignettes including one on Melvina Shields, the 3rd great grandmother of First Lady Michelle Obama.  Shields was a young slave girl owned by a South Carolinian who bequeathed her to a Clayton County, Georgia, farmer, Henry Shields in 1850.  After giving birth to her first child in 1860 by Charles Shields, the white son of the farmer, she remained with the family for the duration of the Civil War.  The farm was close to the Battle of Jonesboro.  After the war, she remained on the Shields Farm and raised several children who were listed in the census as mulatto.  Later she took the name of Mattie McGruder and lived the remainder of her life in Kingston, Georgia, where she died at age 94 and is buried at the Queen Chapel Methodist Churchyard at Kingston.

In July 2012, a monument was dedicated to Melvinia Shields (1844-1938) in Rex, Clayton County, Georgia.  A news report on this event can be found at Clayton Neighbor.  Speaking at the unveiling was Rachel Swarms, author of American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multicultural Ancestors of Michelle Obama.  She noted that “This is a story of going from slavery to the White House in just five generations.”

There is no way of knowing whether any soldiers from the Lykens Valley area actually encountered Melvinia Shields in their campaigns in Georgia.  But, undoubtedly, they did meet others in the same condition and their view on slavery had to be shaped by what they encountered.

For the calendar of events of the Georgia Civil War Commission, click here.

Unfortunately, the brochure, “Georgia’s Guide to the Civil War,” cannot be located on line in “pdf” form.  It is available in print form at most tourist information centers in and around Georgia and probably can be obtained by contact through the web site of the Georgia Civil War Commission.

Events of the World: August 1864

Posted By on August 31, 2014

August 1. The National Watch Company was formed in Chicago, Illinois. This company would become known as the Elgin Watch Company and would remain in business from 1864-1968. For nearly 100 years the company’s manufacturing complex in Elgin, IL was the largest site dedicated to watchmaking in the world. Though Elgin-branded watches are still produced today by a company in China, watches made since 1968 have no relation to the original company. 



August 10. The Uruguayan War (August 1864 – February 1865) was fought between Uruguay‘s governing Blanco Party and an alliance consisting of the Empire of Brazil and the Uruguayan Colorado Party, covertly supported by Argentina. Since its independence, Uruguay had been ravaged by intermittent struggles between the Colorado and Blanco factions, each attempting to seize and maintain power in turn. On 10 August, after a Brazilian ultimatum was refused, Saraiva declared that Brazil’s military would begin exacting reprisals. Brazil declined to acknowledge a formal state of war, and for most of its duration, the Uruguayan–Brazilian armed conflict was an undeclared war.

 August 20. John Newlands  was the first person to devise a periodic table of elements arranged in order of their relative atomic weights.  In 1865 he published  his ‘Law of octaves’, which stated that “any given element will exhibit analogous behavior to the eighth element following it in the table.” Newlands arranged all of the known elements into seven groups, which he likened to the octaves of music. In Newlands’ table, the elements were ordered by the atomic weights that were known at the time and were numbered sequentially to show their order. Periods were shown going down the table, with groups going across – the opposite from the modern form of the periodic table. The incompleteness of the table alluded to the possible existence of additional, undiscovered elements, such as the element germanium, which was predicted by Newlands. At the time, his ‘Law of octaves’ was ridiculed by his contemporaries. The Society of Chemists did not accept his work for publication. After Dmitri Mendeleev and Lothar Meyer received the Davy Medal from the Royal Society for their later ‘discovery’ of the Periodic table, Newlands fought for recognition of his earlier work and eventually received the Davy medal in 1887.

August 22.  The First Geneva Convention, for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field, is one of four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. It defines “the basis on which rest the rules of international law for the protection of the victims of armed conflicts.”The Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field was adopted in 1864. It was significantly revised and replaced by the 1906 version, the 1929 version, and later the First Geneva Convention of 1949. It is inextricably linked to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is both the instigator for the inception and enforcer of the articles in these conventions.