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Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Death of Isaac P. Messner – Kicked Overboard by a Horse

| November 17, 2014

An entry in a 9th Pennsylvania Cavalryman’s diary read as follows: Saturday 30th [November 1861] – In the morning about 4 A.M. another excitement On board the Arago owing to a report that Isaac Messner was kicked over board by one of the Horses on board the Anglo Saxon… one of Co. B…. Both sides […]

Obituary of Thomas W. Hoffman – Medal of Honor Recipient

| August 11, 2014

Thomas William Hoffman was born in Berrysburg, Dauphin County, on 21 July 1839, the son of Amos A. Hoffman (1809-1897) and Amanda [Harper] Hoffman (1815-1897).  Through the paternal line, he was a direct descendant of Johann Peter Hoffman (1709-1797) and his son, John Nicholas Hoffman (1749-1814), pioneer settlers of the Lykens Valley.  Thomas served two […]

Capt. Jacob F. Hoffman – Merchant

| November 26, 2013

Capt. Jacob F. Hoffman was the brother of Medal of Honor recipient Thomas W. Hoffman.  He was born in Lykens Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania on 25 December 1841, and was one of six Hoffman brothers who served in the Civil War.  For a time, he was a merchant in Pillow and Berrysburg in Dauphin County.  […]

The Curious Case of Dr. Charles H. Miller

| May 29, 2013

A rare thing is to hear the Civil War years as described through the eyes of a child who grew up in the shadow of the war. Dr. Charles H. Miller, originally of Lykens, gives us that exact thing in a book he published as a young college graduate of the University of Pennsylvania medical […]

John W. Hoffman – Teacher, Farmer, and Stockman of Gratz and Lykens Township

| January 12, 2013

John W. Hoffman had two enlistments during the Civil War.  In the first, he served as a Musician in Company D of the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry, and in the second, he was a Private in the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company G, serving on Roanoke Island, eventually being discharged at New Bern, North Carolina, 25 June […]