February 13th, 2012
CIVIL WAR (1861-65)
The American Civil War, also known as The War Between the States, precipitated when eleven southern states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America following the election of Abraham Lincoln as the sixteenth president of the United States. Lincoln had campaigned against the expansion of slavery beyond the states in which it already existed. On April 12, 1861 hostilities broke out when the Confederates attacked the US military instillation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Over the next four years, the deadliest war in American history took place resulting in the death of 620,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties. The conflict ceased on April 9, 1865 with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House.
As in any conflict, recruitment began immediately and the men from central Pennsylvania mustered into the 131st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers organizing into companies according to communities, viz: A: Lewisburg, Mifflinburg and vicinity; B: Watsontown and vicinity; C: Shamokin, Sunbury and vicinity; D: Lewistown and vicinity; E: Milton and vicinity; F: Selinsgrove, Middleburg and vicinity; G: Williamsport; H: Muncy and vicinity; I: Williamsport and Jersey Shore; and K: Lewistown and vicinity. The recruitment of men from Watsontown was not limited to the 131st Regiment, Pennsylvania Company B. Also, individuals relocating following their service to their country added to the number of veterans from Watsontown according to the 1890 Veterans Schedule. According to that Schedule, the following Civil War soldiers listed Watsontown as their post office address:
Stewart Averill was a corporal in Company F, Reg. 13 PA Cav. He enlisted on August 19, 1862 and was discharged on July 14, 1865 having served 2 years, 10 months, and 25 days.
James Batdorf was a private in Company H, Reg. 48 PA Inf. He enlisted on March 2, 1864 and was discharged July 17, 1865 having served 1 year, 4 months, and 15 days.
Phineas Leiser was a private in Company B, Reg. 131 PA Inf. He enlisted August 1, 1862 and was discharged May 23, 1863 having served 9 months and 23 days.
John F. Meckley was a corporal in Company D, Reg. 202 PA Inf. He enlisted on August 16, 1864 and was discharged on August 3, 1865 having served 11 months and 17 days.
Joel R. Messinger was a private in Company J, Reg. 37 PA Inf. He enlisted on June 2, 1863 and was discharged on August 3, 1863 having served 2 months and 1 day.
Samuel B. Morgan was a private in Company B, Reg. 194 PA Inf. He enlisted on July 12, 1864 and was discharged on November 5, 1864 serving 4 months and 23 days. He reenlisted on February 28, 1865 as a musician in Company E, Reg. 74 PA Inf. and was discharged on August 29, 1865 having served 6 months and 1 day.
Henry A. Pardoe was a private in Company F, Reg. 195 PA Inf. He enlisted on July 14, 1864 and was discharged on November 4, 1864 having served 3 months and 20 days.
Daniel P. Raup was a private in Company B, Reg. 131 PA Inf. He enlisted on August 1, 1862 and was discharged on May 23, 1863 having served 9 months and 22 days.
Benjamin Troup was a private in Company B, Reg. 131 PA Inf. He enlisted on August 1, 1862 and was discharged on May 23, 1863 having served 9 months and 22 days. He reenlisted on February 25, 1864 as a private in Company F, Reg. 3 PA HA and was discharged on November 9, 1865 having served 1 year, 8 months and 14 days.
Jessie Watkins was a private in Company D, Reg. 202 PA Inf. He enlisted on August 16, 1864 and discharged August 3, 1865 having served 11 months and 17 days.
Robert M. Wertman was a private in Company D, Reg. 202 PA Inf. He enlisted on August 16, 1864 and was discharged on August 3, 1865 having served 11 months and 17 days.
John P. Zimmerman was a corporal in Company T, Reg. 2 PA Inf. He enlisted on January 5, 1864 and was discharged on January 29, 1866 having served 2 years and 24 days.
The majority of those from the Watsontown area who served their country during this Civil War however had enlisted in Company B of the 131st Regiment. David Bly was captain of Company B. Serving under Capt. Bly were his first lieutenant Jos. G. Hutchison and second lieutenant Joseph M. Irwin, second lieutenant. The company fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg in Virginia on December 13, 1862 where a number of soldiers were wounded. John Conley was killed on December 13, 1862 at Fredericksburg. Jacob E. Truckenmiller died December 15, 1862 and James L. Durham died on December 31, 1862 both from wounds they received at Fredericksburg. Joseph Moore died on February 18, 1863 and John F. Moore died at Salisbury, NC on January 11, 1865. According to a roster, the following men from Company B were wounded as follows: Lieut. Jos. M. Irvine, head; Corporal J.L. Durham, knee; Corporal J. Heckel, disabled by shell; Corporal Daniel J. Reader, shoulder; Privates Wm. H. Hennes, shoulder; J.W. Dougherty, breast, severe; G.W. Haag, bowels, severe; R.A. Guffy, head, severe; J. Lodge, foot; Chas. Starr, foot; G. Wertz, shoulder, severe; J. Williver, arm.
On December 13, 1874, a number of the comrades met at Sunbury and organized the 131st Regiment Association, which met annually until 1902. Watsontown hosted the members of the association at their fourth gathering on December 13, 1877; twelfth gathering on December 15, 1885; and twenty-seventh gathering on September 18 and 19, 1900.
The following individuals were members of Company B:
Joseph Albright Richard Guffey Joseph Lodge Willoby Shellinberger
George Anderson George W. Haag Joseph K. Long John H. Shuler
W.W. Armstrong Benjamin F. Harman Elias Lynn Mark Slaght
George W. Bechtel Jonathan Hartman Edward L. Matchin Peter M. Smith
Enos Bennage Jeff. C. Hartranft James McKee Chas. E. Stadtler
David Bly U. Silsby Hayes David D. McWilliams Tilghman F. Stadtler
James C. Bly John Heckle John Meadowcroft Chas. E. Starr
Joseph Bly William Hester Isaac N. Messenger Emanuel H. Stenninger
William R. Bly George E. Hill J. Hunter Miles William Stitzel
Elias Boush Israel L. Hill William Miller Benjamin Troup
James Pollock Boush Robert Hill John F. Moore* James P. Troxel
John F. Casselberry Joseph L. Hilliard Joseph Moore* Jacob E. Truckenmiller*
Henry Claudfelter Daniel C. Hogue J. Hunter Morrison Valentine S. Truckenmiller
John Conley* Jos. G. Hutchison James Harvey Nye John Ulrich
Thomas Conner Robert C. Hutchison James A. Patton Philip H. Waldron
John R. Cooner Ellis L. Irwin George T. Piper William W. Watson
D. Webster Dennius Joseph M. Irwin Edward Powers Jeremiah Welliver
H. Clay Dentler Robert F. Jarrett Daniel P. Raup Thomas P. Wendell
John M. Dentler William Keener Daniel J. Reader Wellington Wenrich
George W. Dixon Ambrose S. Lamm Junius Reminsnyder George Wertz
James Dougherty Daniel S. Leinbach David P. Rimert Daniel G. Westley
James L. Durham* William S. Leinbach James Rodarmel Thomas A. Worrell
William D. Eckerd Russell Levan William Sanders Samuel Wykoff
Elias Fry George Lilly Robert Sees Zachariah Yagle
David Frymire John F. Lindauer Harmon A. Sevison Theodore F. Young
[History of the 131st Pennsylvania Volunteers, War of 1861-5. By Captain Joseph R. Orwig, published 1902, page 250-252; 1890 Veteran Schedule for Watsontown, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania]
Last Modified: 01.28.12