Civil War

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

6 Responses

  1. Kathi Wertman Says:

    Hi Jim
    I have pictures of 2 of the 7th Pa Cavalry’s reunions held in watsontown, and transcripts of the newspaper accounts, and 2 Watsontown reunion ribbons.

    Three of John Bly’s sons fought in the war, and William Bly was in the 7th Pa Cavalry. I have a picture of the Bly bros.

    I also have pictures of the Watson boys who fought in the Civil War and a few other local CW veteran pictures. You are welcome to use them on your site-let me know.
    There are over 100 Civil War veterans buried at Watsontown and I am researching them as I identify them.

    Comment by James Robison: That would be awesome. I am actually in Watsontown this evening, but heading back to Allentown very early in the morning. I would be grateful to scan the pictures and put them up on the website as I am trying to make it more interesting for the Watsontonian Lovers out there, and pictures seem to draw more interest.
    Any suggestions to the pages and corrections you see, please don’t hesitate to share and hopefully what is posted will help you in your research.

  2. john foster leach Says:

    My GGrandmother was Mary C. Wertman. She married Thomas Leech 1864-1866. He was a Sargent in the Union army serving under General Baxter in the 90th Reg. Would you have any pictures of Thomas? If so, could you contact me about them.
    Thank you.

  3. Bill Dentler Says:

    I have the original commission for Dr H.D. Hunter as well as some letters he wrote to his wife from Point Comfort, VA, and near Wilmington, NC. He served with the 203rd RegPa Volunteers, 2nd brigade. I would like to find a relative of HD Hunter that would like to have these documents.

  4. Willoughby Lloyd Says:

    for Wllouby Shollenberger It should be Willoughby

  5. Willoughby Lloyd Says:

    I m the great great son of Willoughby Shollemberger how could I get his picture?

  6. john Leach Says:

    I have a correction for my post of May 23, 2012. My Great Grandfather Thomas Leech was drafted into the 172nd drafted militia. He served as a private in the Yorktown area of Virginia and in 1863 in Warrington, Virginia to chase the southern army. He served 9 months.

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