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Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Civil War Nurse – Martha Armstrong Wiestling

Posted By on March 24, 2015

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The following obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot, 6 Feb 1906:

DEATH OF MRS. WIESTLING, NOTED CIVIL WAR NURSE

Mrs. Martha Wiestling, who during the Civil War was matron of several of the impoverished hospitals in this city, died yesterday morning at age eighty-three years.  She had been a resident for many years of this city [Harrisburg], but of recent years had made her home with her niece, Mrs. Elmer Erb, West Fairview, where her death occurred.

The deceased was the daughter of Cornelius Armstrong, one of the earliest settlers in this vicinity and the captain of a packet boat on the old Pennsylvania Canal.  Joseph Wiestling, who married her prior to the Civil War, was identified with the Pennsylvania Railroad as an inspector.  He died eight years ago.

When Harrisburg people volunteered to care for the wounded soldiers of the Civil War, the city possessed no hospital and after the Battle of Gettysburg schools and churches here were thrown open for such use.  A camp hospital was in existence at Camp Curtin in the locality of what is now Maclay Street and another hospital was afterward opened in the old Mulberry Street School House which in 1878, became the Harrisburg Hospital.  Mrs. Wiestling was the matron of both of these hospitals.

Mrs. Wiestling is survived by the following children:  Valentine H. Wiestling and William B. Wiestling and Mrs. Jane Dibley, Harrisburg, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She was a charter member of the Order of Female Druids and a past Commander of the Ladies Auxiliary of the G.A.R. of Pennsylvania.  Delegations of these bodies will attend the funeral services which will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock at the residence of her niece in West Fairview.  Rev. Mr. Woldemuth, pastor of the West Fairview Lutheran Church, of which she was a member, and Rev. Dr. Ellis N. Kremer, pastor of the Reformed Salem Church, this city, where she formerly was a member, will conduct the services.  The interment will take place at the Harrisburg Cemetery.

Martha E. [Armstrong] Wiestling was the great-granddaughter of Benjamin Buffington (1730-1814) one of the pioneer settlers of the Lykens Valley area, and a Revolutionary War soldier.  Martha’s mother was Jane Buffington (1788-1851) who married Cornelius Armstrong (1791-1827) who is mentioned in the obituary.

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The grave marker in Harrisburg Cemetery notes that Martha E. Wiestling was born on 21 April 1823 and died on 5 February 1906.  However, as of this writing, her date of death is incorrectly stated on the Findagrave Memorial as 5 February 1908 (see below).

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The death certificate of Mrs. Wiestling is shown below:

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Additional information is sought on this important Civil War nurse who had family roots in the Lykens Valley area of Pennsylvania.  Are there any known pictures of her that could be shared?  or additional stories?

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The news clipping is from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  The Pennsylvania Death Certificate is from Ancestry.com.

Monuments at Gettysburg – 116th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on March 23, 2015

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The 116th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at Gettysburg is located south of the town of Gettysburg on Sickles Avenue.  It was dedicated in 1889 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The drawing of the monument pictured above is from a Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889.

A picture of the monument can be seen on Stephen Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of the second monument, its GPS Coordinates, additional photographs, and some of the history of the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry, can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer of 11 September 1889 reported the following about the regiment:

The Programme of the 116th.

The 116th Regiment, composed of Philadelphians and those of neighboring counties, was formed 11 June 1862, Colonels Dennis Heenan, St. Clair A. Mulholland; Lieutenant Colonels, Richard C. Dale, David Megraw; Major, George W. Bardwell.  It was in service three years and participated in the battles of Fredericksburg, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Five Forks, Gettysburg, and many others.

The ceremonies will include, first, a reunion of the survivors of the 116th Regiment P. V., at the McClellan Hotel at 12 M.  At 4 P.M., 11 September 1889, the survivors will march out of the Emmittsburg Road to the Rose farm and cross over to the wooded farm between the Rose barn and little Round Top, to the spot on which they fought, between 5 and 6 o’clock P.M. on 2 July 1863.

The dedicatory ceremonies will consist of prayer by Chaplain Sayers of the G.A.R.  Lieutenant Emsley on behalf of the Monument Committee, will turn over the monument to the Survivors’ Association.  Colonel Edmund Randall will deliver the address upon the presentation of the monument to the Gettysburg Battlefield Association, and Colonel Chil Hazard will receive it on behalf of the association.

 

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Major St. Clair A. Mulholland was the commander of the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg.

Mulholland, who is also found as Mulhollen in the records, was born in Ireland in 1839 and was living in Philadelphia when he enrolled in the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry on 1 September 1862. In early February 1863, he was re-mustered as Major of the regiment, the rank he held at the Battle of Gettysburg.

In 1895 he received the Medal of Honor for his action at Chancellorsville, May 1883, where he was wounded:  “In command of the picket line held the enemy in check all night to cover the retreat of the Army.”  After Gettysburg, he was wounded three times in 1864 battles including the Wilderness and Po River.

Mulholland was discharged by Special Order on 3 June 1865 and on 11 July 1865, he applied for a disability pension which he received.  In 1869 the U.S. Senate approved his brevet rank of Major General, the last such Civil War honor bestowed on any commander from that war.  In his later years he served as Pension Agent at Philadelphia, was active as a Catholic layman, and chaired the commission to erect the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg.  He died in Philadelphia on 17 February 1910 and is buried in the Old Cathedral Cemetery there.  His widow continued receiving pension benefits until her death.

More information about St. Clair A. Mulholland can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.  A excellent biographical sketch of him appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on 18 February 1910 as part of his obituary.  See also a prior post on this blog entitled Pennsylvanians in the Irish Brigade.

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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.  The plaque for the 116th 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 116th Pennsylvania Infantry, but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg.  There could also be errors on the plaque.

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Monuments at Gettysburg – 115th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on March 20, 2015

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The 115th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at Gettysburg is located south of the town of Gettysburg on DeTrobriand Avenue.  It was dedicated in 1889 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The drawing of the monument pictured above is from a Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889.

A picture of the monument can be seen on Stephen Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 115th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of the second monument, its GPS Coordinates, additional photographs, and some of the history of the 115th Pennsylvania Infantryy, can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889 told of the “falling back” of the regiment from its original position on the battlefield and gave the the point of meeting of the survivors for the monument dedication day:

Where the 115th Didn’t Stay.

Robert E. Patterson‘s regiment, the 115th, was engaged in provost duty at Taneytown, 29 June 1863, and at Emmittsburg the next day.  In command of Major John P. Dunne it rejoined its brigade in front of Round Top in an untenable position.  The enemy shelled it out and it took another position along a wooded eminence to the southeast of the wheat field, under cover of a low stone wall, and by the side of the 8th New Jersey [8th New Jersey Infantry].  The regiment here held on intact while the lines on both sides were broken away, and not until flanked did it fall back.  It retired to the Union battery’s position and with another charge checked the onset until the guns could escape.  The men knelt in the tall wheat and drove the swarming rebels back into the woods.  On the morning of the 3rd it was brought early to the front and at 3 P.M. was huried away at a double quick to support the Irish Brigade on the left centre, but did not reach that point in time to render any assistance.  After the work of this regiment at Petersburg it had but 7 officers and 84 men present for duty, so it was consolidated with the 110th [110th Pennsylvania Infantry], with which it served until the close of the war.

The Survivors’ Association of the 115th will rendezvous on the field of Gettysburg at Meade Post Headquarters, on Cemetery Hill.

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The commander of the 115th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg was Major John P. Dunne of Philadelphia.

Dunne joined the 24th Pennsylvania Infantry on 1 May 1861 as 1st Lieutenant of Company E.  After completing the 3-month service he received an honorable discharge on 9 August 1861.  He then enrolled in the 115th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company B as Captain in January 1862.  Several months prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, he was promoted to Major at headquarters.  As Major, he assumed command of the regiment at the death of Colonel Francis Lancaster at Chancellorsville.  After the Battle of Gettysburg, he was again promoted on 27 October 1863 to Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment.  John P. Dunne was discharged from the service on 22 January 1864.

On 15 March 1889, he applied for a disability pension, which he received and collected until his death which occurred at Norristown, Pennsylvania, on 23 December 1891.  His wife survived him and she collected pension benefits until her death.  Dunne is buried in the Old Cathedral Cemetery, Philadelphia.

More information about John P. Dunne can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.

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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.  The plaque for the 115th 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 115th Pennsylvania Infantry, but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg.  There could also be errors on the plaque.

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Monuments at Gettysburg – 114th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on March 19, 2015

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The 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at Gettysburg is located south of the town of Gettysburg on Emmitsburg Road at the Sherfy farmhouse.  It was dedicated in 1886 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the statue on top was added in 1888.

The drawing of the monument pictured above is from a Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889.

A picture of the monument can be seen on Stephen Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of the second monument, its GPS Coordinates, additional photographs, and some of the history of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry, can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer of 11 September 1889 reported some of the history of the regiment and some of the activities on monument dedication day:

The Zouaves d’Afrique.

The first company of the 114th Regiment, known by the caption title, was recruited by C. H. T. Collis, who had served in the 18th Regiment [18th Pennsylvania Infantry] for three months.  It was raised at the insistence of General Banks.  Its other officers were S. A Barthoulot, 1st Lieutenant and George Heimach, 2nd Lieutenant.  Its uniform material was purchased from the French Government.  After the Zouaves covered General Bank’s rear in his retreat from Winchester, Colonel Collis was complimented for gallantry and directed to recruit a whole regiment of Zouaves.  The regimental officers were Colonel Collis, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick F. Cavada, Major Joseph S. Chandler.  The regiment suffered severely in the fight below Fredericksburg, where the groans of the wounded on that stubbornly contested ground were heard all night long.  In Burnside’s campaign the Zouaves manned the pontoons and laid the bridge across the Rappahannock.  At Gettysburg, on the 2nd, the 114th held the centre of the brigade line, resting on the Emmittsburg Pike, opposite Sherfy’s house.  An artillery and infantry attack drove the brigade back in the afternoon, when Lieutenant Colonel Cavada was captured and Major Bowen succeeded to his position.

The members of the 114th Regiment Association will assemble at the Eagle Hotel, under the command of Robert C. Kretchmar, president.  They will proceed to the monument on Sherfy farm on the Emmittsburg Pike.  The oration will be delivered by Colonel Edward R. Bowen, who commanded the regiment in that engagement.  About 150 members are expected to be present.

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The commander of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg was Lieutenant Colonel Frederick F. Cavada.  After he was taken prisoner on the 2nd day of the battle, Captain Edward R. Bowen took over the leadership of the regiment.

Frederick F. Cavada

Frederick F. Cavada was born in Cuba in 1831 and was one of two brothers who were officers in the Union Army during the Civil War.  On 6 August 1861, at Philadelphia where he was then living, Cavada joined the 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry as Captain of Company K.  While serving as Captain, he was offered a commission as Lieutenant Colonel of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry.  In order to accept the commission, he had to resign from the 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry, which he did on 20 July 1862.  A copy of that resignation letter is available on Fold3 (2 pages).  Cavada took his new command and led in the field at Gettysburg until his capture.  He was sent to Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia, where he remained until exchanged.  In returning he resigned on 19 June 1864 and was discharged by General Order of 20 June 1864.

In 1865, he wrote a book describing his life in prison, Libby Life: Experiences of a Prisoner of War in Richmond, Virginia, 1863-64, but soon thereafter he pursued a second military career in the Cuban War of Independence which began in 1868.  In 1871 he was captured and executed by Spanish authorities.

More information about Frederick F. Cavada can be found on another blog.  His book about life in Libby Prison is available as a free download from the Internet Archive.

Edward R. Bowen

Edward Roscoe Bowen joined the 75th Pennsylvania Infantry as Captain of Company D on 21 August 1861 and 6 days later was transferred to the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry as Captain of Company B.  He was reportedly wounded at Chancellorsville, Virginia, on 3 May 1863.  After the battle of Gettysburg and his taking over of command of the regiment, Captain Bowen was awarded a promotion to Major at headquarters on 1 September 1863.  His promotion to Lieutenant Colonel came on 15 November 1864 and he served in that position until discharged on 29 May 1865.

While Bowen was Captain of Company B, a Corporal in his charge, John Bell, was accidentally shot by a comrade and Bowen had to submit a report on the accident.  That report is available at Fold3 (1 page) and is part of the application for pension benefits by Bell’s widow.

Edward R. Bowen died on 6 April 1908 of pneumonia in Haverford and is buried at Church of the Redeemer Cemetery, Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. More information about him can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.

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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.  The plaque for the 114th 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 114th Pennsylvania Infantry, but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg.  There could also be errors on the plaque.

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The Last Tango in Carlisle

Posted By on March 18, 2015

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On 1 March 1905, the Harrisburg Patriot reported the marriage of a “grizzled” Civil War veteran and the sweetheart of his youth:

JOINED AT ALTAR AFTER MANY YEARS

Romantic Ending of Love affair of T. S. Kaufman, a Grizzled Veteran, and Mrs. Scheaffer

A love affair that started many years ago, before the Civil War, and furnished a romance fraught with such monstrous difficulties that a gallant soldier boy of the Union and his loving school girl sweetheart had many time ceased hoping would terminate in happy marriage, ended in Harrisburg yesterday in just that way.

Theodore S. Kaufman, a grizzled veteran and a widower, claimed as his bride, his first love, Mrs. Anna D. Scheaffer, who herself had married before, when she thought she would never again see her soldier beau, at the parsonage of the Fourth Reformed Church, 1508 Market Street, at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon.

In the year 1861, the time of the opening of the Civil War, when Kaufman and his young sweetheart, who was Miss Anna Kaufman and a third cousin, were still attending school at their home in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County, he went to war, telling her that he would return with honor and epaulets and claim her as his wife.

Upon returning he found her married to another man,  Soon after he left home and married and became a resident of Steelton, at which place he kept a general store.  From there he went to Philadelphia, where he has resided for years.  Some years since his wife died.

Mrs. Scheaffer’s husband died some years ago, and several summers ago when Kaufman was visiting his old home in Boiling Springs, he met his former sweetheart and both learning the circumstances of each other’s life, the broken strings of a one-time love were again tied together.

Kaufman is sixty-one years of age and his bride is a few years younger.  They are both well known throughout Cumberland County, she being a daughter of the late Daniel Kaufman, who was an agent of the Underground Railroad.

The newly-married couple left last evening for the East on a week’s wedding trip and will be at home to their friends at the old Kaufman homestead in Boiling Springs.

Fact checking this story is relatively easy with the on-line resources that are now readily available.

First, there is no record that Theodore S. Kauffman went to war in 1861 as is stated in the wedding story. The military and pension records confirm that he had only one company and regiment of service – the 209th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, where he served as a Private from 6 September 1864 through 31 May 1865, and that he was 20 years old at the time he went to war.  Other sources confirm that his birth year was 1844, which matches the military record.

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The Pension Index Card, shown above from Fold3, gives the same dates of service as found in other military sources.  Also on that card is his date of death of 7 December 1908 and the fact that he first applied for a pension on 16 August 1887.

At the time of the 1890 Census of Steelton, Dauphin County, Theodore Kauffman reported his service in the 209th Pennsylvania Infantry, with the years 1864-1865 as the time of service.

Theodore Kauffman‘s first wife’s name was “Sally A.” but a maiden name has not yet been located, nor has her date of death.  The last census entry for Sally was in 1880, when she was living in Steelton with Theodore; two sons were in the family. Theodore appears in the 1900 census for Philadelphia as a widower.  Thus, Sally died some time between 1880 and 1900.  The news article suggests that Sally, the first wife, was from Steelton, not from Boiling Springs, and that the marriage to Theodore occurred after his discharge from the army which was on 31 May 1865.

According to the article describing the second marriage of Theodore, Anna D. Kaufman, was first married to a man named Scheaffer, and that the marriage occurred while Theodore was at war.  Because the dates of Theodore’s service have now been narrowed to a nine month period from 6 September through 31 May 1865, the marriage of Anna to Mr. Schaeffer had to occur during that time period in order for the news story to be true.

Genealogical records show that Anna’s first husband was James Fortney Schaeffer, born 12 December 1840 and died 1894.  He is buried in Mount Zion Cemetery, Churchtown, Cumberland County, and, according to the grave stone, Anna is also buried there with him – as Anna D. Kaufman (1844-1918).  His Findagrave Memorial, which is maintained by researcher Dennis Brandt, states the following:

The error-prone Pennsylvania Veterans’ Burial Card file claims that he was a Civil War veteran who served as captain of Company A, 105th Pennsylvania Infantry. That is false. None of the captains of that unit was named James Schaeffer or anything close to it. 

Brandt was correct in asserting that James Fortney Schaeffer did not serve in the 105th Pennsylvania Infantry.  The actual veteran who served in that regiment was James K. Shaffer.  He was from the Pittsburgh area and served from 23 October 1861 to the date of his transfer to the Veteran Reserve Corps, 16 February 1864.  He went to Ohio after the war where he died in 1894.  His widow, whose name was Deborah, collected his pension after he died.  No Civil War service has been located for James Fortney Schaeffer and therefore, he was not collecting a pension at the time of his death.

Daniel Kaufman (1818-1902)

Anna D. Kaufman was the daughter of Daniel Kaufman of Underground Railroad fame in Cumberland County.  After James Fortney Schaeffer died in 1894, she went to live with her parents in Boiling Springs (per 1900 census).  In 1905, she re-connected with and married an old schoolmate-sweetheart, Theodore S. Kauffman, who the news article states was her third cousin.  Theodore was a Civil War veteran of the 209th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, Private, who served from 6 September 1864 to 31 May 1865.  When he returned to Boiling Springs after his war service, his sweetheart, Anna D. Kaufman, who was supposed to wait for him to return from the war, had married James Fortney Schaeffer.  So, Theodore moved to Steelton and married a woman named Sally and had at least two children with her.  After Sally died, Theodore moved to Philadelphia and is found in the 1900 census of Philadelphia as a widower.  It was on a return trip to Boiling Springs that Theodore re-discovered Anna and they got married in 1905.

A historical marker in Boiling Springs, describes the activities of Daniel Kaufman as an agent of the Underground Railroad.  More information about him can be found at the ExplorePAHistory web site.  The interesting story of how in the late 1840s he was brought to trial for violating the Fugitive Slave Laws is partially described there.  Kaufman eventually lost the case and had to pay a large fine. This all occurred while his daughter Anna was a young child.  See also Cumberland Civil War and House Divided – Dickinson.

Anna’s mother was Catherine Fortenbaugh (1824-1907).  Catherine was a member of the Fortenbaugh family who were pioneer settlers in the Susquehanna River valley.  Catherine’s father was Andrew Fortenbaugh and her mother was Christiana [Kauffman] Fortenbaugh.  One of Anna’s cousins was Abraham Fortenbaugh, who became a prominent banker and was one of the charter members of the Halifax National Bank in the early 20th century.

Theodore S. Kauffman was collecting a Civil War pension when he married Anna.  Unfortunately, Theodore died on 7 December 1908, but fortunately for Anna, she was married to him so she was able to collect a widow’s pension – but she didn’t apply until 1916 and then she died at the end of 1918.

Theodore S. Kauffman is buried at Paxtang Cemetery, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

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