Welcome to "Remembering the 142nd PVI". The purpose of this site is post pictures, information, and the final resting places of this regiment of the American Civil War. It seeks to tell a "bottom up" history, straight from the common soldiers themselves. If you have any information concerning the 142nd, please email me at bmonticue@gmail.com. Thank you and enjoy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

1st Sgt. John J. Hoffman, Co. C

John J. Hoffman was born around 1838 in Somerset County, PA to John and Nancy Hoffman. His childhood was spent with his family in Jenner Crossroads, Somerset County, where his father was a farmer.

John was mustered into Co. C 142nd PVI on Aug 25, 1862 as his company's 1st Sergeant. He was discharged on Dec 28, 1863. The 1890 Veterans Schedule states that he was wounded in the left forearm.

After the war, John returned to Somerset County and worked at various jobs, including as a printer and as a vocal teacher. He and his wife Amanda had at least nine children.

Eventually, John found himself living across the state from his home county, in Philadelphia. By this point, he was widowed and living with his son George.

John J. Hoffman passed away on Dec. 3, 1909 and was laid to rest in Somerset Union Cemetery, Somerset, PA.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pvt. John S. Heinbaugh, Co. C

John S. Heinbaugh was born in 1841 in Somerset County, PA to Jacob and Eliza (Snyder) Heinbaugh. John spent his childhood with the family in Upper Turkeyfoot Twp, PA, where his father worked as a farmer, like so many others in that locale.

In 1858 John was married to Catharine Nicola by E.K. Haines, a Justice of the Peace. The two would go on to have eight children. Catharine's brother, Simon, was also a member of Co. C 142nd PVI.

John became Pvt. Heinbaugh on Aug. 26, 1862 and was one of the fortunate ones that mustered out with his company at the end of the war, on May 29, 1865.

After the war, John and his family moved to Rockwood, PA where he was a blacksmith, before settling in Westmoreland County, PA. In 1890, John applied for an invalid pension due to "total loss of left hand that occured while coupling cars at the Buck Eye Coke Works..." This injury occurred in Stauffer, PA in July of 1888.

John S. Heinbaugh passed away on June 4, 1896 in Mt. Pleasant, PA and was laid to rest in Greenlick Cemetery, Bullskin Twp, Fayette County, PA.

A special THANK YOU to Donna D'Agostino for information about Pvt. Heinbaugh

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sgt. Benjamin F. Harcomb, Co. C

Sgt. Benjamin F. Harcomb/Harkcom was a member of both the 142nd and the 211th PA Infantries. He enlisted in the 142nd on Aug. 25, 1862 and was discharged on Feb 25, 1863. He would later join the 211th and left their service on Sept 12, 1864.

He is buried in Bakersville Cemetery, Somerset County, PA.

Pvt. Peter Growall, Co. C

Peter Growall, brother of Pvt. Anthony Growall, was born in 1829 to John and Elizabeth (Johnson) Growall. The family lived in Milford Twp. Somerset County, PA.

By 1850 Peter was married to Elizabeth (Betsy) Rugg and  worked as a laborer. The couple had six children. In the early 1860s, Betsy's parents died, and the couple moved to their house on the Upper Turkeyfoot Twp/Lower Turkeyfoot Twp line.

Above is a picture of the house where Betsy Growall lived while Peter was in the 142nd.

Peter was mustered into Co. C 142nd PA Infantry on Aug. 26, 1862. He passed away on Dec. 16, 1862 in Fredericksburg, VA of typhoid fever. He was laid to rest in Fredericksburg National Cemetery among thousands of other Civil War veterans.

A special thanks to Samuel Miller.  Some great information for this post was taken from his book, A Place Called Hexie, which can be purchased by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pvt. Anthony Growall, Co. C

Anthony Growall was born in 1825 in Somerset County, PA to John and Elizabeth (Johnson) Growall, one of at least a dozen children born to this couple.

On Aug 26, 1862 Anthony was mustered into Co. C 142nd PA Infantry at Camp Curtin. He transferred to  160th Company, 2nd Battery of the Veteran Reserve Corps on February 15, 1864. He stayed with this unit until his discharge on July 3, 1865.

Anthony was a carpenter by trade and owned a sawmill in Rockwood, Somerset County. His first wife, Sarah, was tragically killed in a sawmill accident in March of 1880.

Above is a report on the accident in the March 31, 1880 edition of The Indiana Weekly Messenger. 

Anthony would later remarry Annie Cooper.

 Photo of a boiler explosion at J.P. Growall's planing mill in Rockwood in 1900. Anthony is the man on the far left.

Anthony Growall passed away on March 15, 1902 in Rockwood, PA and is buried in the Hauger Cemetery a few miles outside of town in Black Twp.

A special THANK YOU to Joe Growall for the picture of the mill explosion.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pvt. Michael A. Firestone, Co. C

Michael A. Firestone was born on March 2, 1834 in Upper Turkeyfoot Twp, Somerset County, PA to Michael and Elizabeth (Ansell) Firestone. He was one of ten brothers and sisters.

Michael was mustered into Co. C 142nd PA Infantry on Aug 25, 1862 and was wouded by a minie ball in the right thigh during the Battle of Fredericksburg on Dec. 13, 1862. After he was discharged from the hospital, he was transferred to the 95th Company, 2nd battalion of the Veteran Reserve Corps on December 17, 1863, and  discharged by General Order August 24, 1865.

Michael was married to Lavina Nicola in 1860, and after the war the couple moved westward by one county and settled in Springfield Twp, Fayette County, PA and had three children.

Michael A. Firestone passed away on July 8, 1919 in Snydertown, Fayette County, a town he had moved to five years before. His funeral, held on July 11th in his home, was reported by The Daily Courier (Connellsville, PA) being one of the largest in Snydertown in recent memory. He was laid to rest in Hill Grove Cemetery in Connellsville, PA.

The following are clippings from The Daily Courier the week that Michael died. The obituary incorrectly names his parents.

More information on Michael Firestone's life and family can be found by clicking here: minerd.com

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pvt. William Faith, Co. C

William Faith was born on Aug 17, 1839 in Pennsylvania, and his childhood was spent in Somerset County. William enlisted in Co. C 142nd PVI on Aug 25, 1862 and was discharged on Feb 26, 1863. His obituary, which errently states that he was in the cavalry during the war, mentions him having war wounds.

William Faith obituary from The Daily Courier (Connellsville, PA)

In 1866, William was married to Tryphena Cable and the couple had eight children together.

Pension index, listing Tryphena as his widow

As an adult, census records show that William and his family moved to different parts of Fayette and Westmoreland Counties until his death in 1910. He and Tryphena are buried together in Mt. Olive Brethern Cemetery, Bullskin Twp, Fayette County, PA.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Corp. Samuel Gerhart, Co. C

Samuel Gerhart was born in 1841 in Somerset County, PA to Jacob and Catherine (Brougher) Gerhart. Samuel's father, a German immigrant, was a farmer and the family lived in the Paddytown section of Upper Turkeyfoot Twp.

Samuel was mustered into Co. C 142nd PVI on August 25, 1862 in Camp Curtin, near Harrisburg, PA. He was captured by Confederate forces at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864 and was taken to the Confederate POW camp at Andersonville, GA. It was here that Samuel Gerhart died and was buried on Sept 17, 1864.

The 142nd PA's position on May 5, 1864, when Samuel was captured. Please click on the map to see a larger version. Position is to the left of "WARREN."  Map courtesy of The Civil War Trust. Please click here and check out their preservation efforts.

Image of Andersonville Prison taken in 1864

Sgt. Augustus Davis, Co. C

Augustus C. Davis was born around 1845 in Somerset County, PA to John and Mary (Braillier) Davis. He was mustered into Co. C 142nd PVI on August 25, 1862 at Camp Curtin, near Harrisburg, PA. Sgt. Davis was wounded during the 142nd's actions at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863 and was discharged due to these wounds.

After the war, Davis married Mary Gaither and held a variety of jobs: speculator, hardware merchant, and postmaster.

Augustus C. Davis passed away in 1923 and is buried in Somerset Union Cemetery.

Sgt. Samuel H. Brougher, Co. C

Samuel H. Brougher was born in Upper Turkeyfoot Twp, Somerset County, PA in 1844. He was one of nine children born to Peter and Elizabeth (Hauger) Brougher. Samuel enlisted as a sergeant in Co. C 142nd PA Infantry on Aug 25, 1862, and died in a hospital in Philadelphia on April 4, 1865, mere days before the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. He was laid to rest at Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia.

Thank you very much to John at mtmoriah.info for the picture of Sgt. Brougher's grave. Check out their great page on the Mt. Moriah Cemetery at http://mountmoriah.info/index.php?title=Main_Page

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pvt. Benjamin A. Boyts, Co.C

Benjamin A. Boyts was born around 1844 in Pennsylvania. In 1860, just before the war, Benjamin was farming and living in the home of his parents, John and Mary A. Boyts in Upper Turkeyfoot Twp, Somerset County, PA.

He enlisted in Co. C of the 142nd PVI on August 25, 1862 and was mustered out at the end of the war on May 29, 1865.

Eventually, Benjamin would marry his wife Maggie and move westward, settling in Kansas City, MO. On March 21, 1912, a 68 year old Benjamin Boyts moved into the National Home for Disabled Veterans in Leavenworth, KS. At the time of his admission, his disablities were labeled as asthma, an old gunshot wound to the ankle, and myalgia.

Three months after his admission to the Home, Benjamin Boyts passed away on June 20, 1912. The cause of death was listed as mitral stenosis, a type of heart disease. He was laid to rest in Leavenworth National Cemetery the following day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sgt. Benjamin Franklin Boyts, Co. C

Benjamin Franklin Boyts was born in 1840 in Somerset, PA to Jonathan and Elizabeth Boyts. He was a brother to Capt. John H. Boyts.

His early life was spent farming and he then worked as a clerk in Frostburg, MD.

Sgt. Boyts enlisted in Co. C 142nd PVI on August 25, 1862. On May 5, 1864, he was wounded at the Wilderness. This wound kept him hospitalized for the remainder of the war, and he was in the hospital when his company was mustered out a year later.

He was married to Ceclia M. Reid sometime between 1870 and 1880.

After the war, B.F. Boyts lived in Pittsburgh before he moved to Connellsville, Fayette County, PA where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a partner in a pump manufacturing plant in Connellsville and was very involved in the financial, civic, and spiritual life of that city. He was one of the founders of the Trinity English Lutheran Church and made sure the bills were paid during its early days.

The above picture is taken from the Nov. 27, 1911 evening edition of The Daily Courier (Connellsville, PA).

On Nov. 27, 1911, after years of failing health, B.F. Boyts passed away in Connellsville, and is buried there in Hill Grove Cemetery. His pastor, Rev. Ellis B. Burgess ended his eulogy with these words:

"Farewell my brother and my friend. You and I have been very close together in the Kingdom here below; we will not be separated very widely in the kingdom above."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Capt. John H. Boyts, Co. C

Capt. John H. Boyts was born on March 9, 1838 in Somerset, PA to Jonathan and Elizabeth Boyts. By 1860, John was listed as a clerk in the Federal Census records. He was commissioned Captain of Company C on August 27, 1862 and was mustered out six months later on February 22, 1863.

In 1865, John was married to Emily Scull.

Capt. Boyts passed away on Jan. 8, 1900 and is buried, with Emily, in Union Cemetery, Somerset, PA.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Corp. Joseph Bitner, Co. C

Corp. Joseph H. Bitner was mustered into Co. C 142nd PA Infantry on August 25, 1862. He was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. His wife, Rebecca's,  tombstone is located in the New Centerville Lutheran Cemetery in Somerset County, PA and contains a memorial to him as well.

The inscription is very worn, but reads that Joseph H Bittner was:

"Killed July 1, 1863 at Gettysburg
Aged 26y 11m 23d
Buried on the battlefield"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pvt. Frederick Dumbauld, Co. C

Frederick Dumbauld was born on June 25, 1837 in Upper Turkeyfoot Twp, Somerset County, PA to Jonathan Cable and Elizabeth (Dull) Dumbauld. He was one of at least eight children born into this family.

Frederick joined Company C of the 142nd PVI on Aug 25, 1862 and was mustered out with his unit on May 29, 1865.

By 1870, Frederick was married to Jane McNeill. At the time of the Federal Census, the couple had an eight month old son named Harvey and Frederick was listed as a farmer. A decade later, the couple is living in the town of Milford, Davis County, KS, and has five children. Tragically, their first son, Harvey only lived to be ten months old and was buried in Pennsylvania.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Sechler

Above is a picture of Frederick Dumbauld and all his siblings. Frederick is the 2nd man from the right. Below is just him.

Frederick died on Oct. 30, 1917. According to the 1910 Federal Census, Frederick and Jane were still living in Kansas, so he may have died there. He is, however, buried in the Old Bethel Church Cemetery in Upper Turkeyfoot Twp, Somerset County, PA, the same cemetery that his ten month old son is buried in. His wife Jane stayed in Kansas, which is where she filed for a widow's pension and is buried.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Those Who Still Remember, Part I

On Sunday May 14, 2011, several men of the 142nd were remembered by an SUV Camp in Upper Turkeyfoot Twp, Somerset County, PA. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Mt Union Church Camp 502 and its Auxiliary held a memorial program in the Kingwood Church of God. They were unable to be outside at the cemetery due to poor weather. The camp laid wreaths on the graves of the Civil War veterans buried at the Kingwood Church of God and Lutheran Cemeteries.

Three of these men were members of Co. C 142nd PA Infantry:

For more information on Jacob Kreger, click here

For more information on Jonas Meyers, click here

For more information on Jacob Phillipi, click here

As previously stated, the memorial service was held inside the Kingwood Church of God. The land for this church was donated by Pvt. Jacob Kreger, and a set of stained glass windows in the sanctuary still bear witness to his generosity.

Stained glass windows from the Kingwood Church of God, Upper Turkeyfoot Twp, Somerset County, PA

Close up of the name panel located in the bottom right of the picture above

Keeping alive the memory of these veterans is an everyday occurence for some. Joshua Sechler, current SUV member and descendent of Pvt. Jonas Meyers, stated:

“Fortunately when I was young my family instilled in me a deep rooted love for our great nation.  I am very proud of my ancestor and all the men and women who fought to decide the fate of our nation during the American Civil War.  It is of the highest importance that we always remember their sacrifices not only on specific holidays, but everyday as we live our lives.”

For more information about what the Sons of Union Veterans are doing in Somerset County, PA, please visit their website at www.mtunion.org/Civil_War.html

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pvt. Samuel Nicola, Co. C

Samuel A. Nicola was born around 1827 in Pennsylvania to Samuel and Margaret (Jennings) Nicola.  He was married to Margaret Firestone in her parents' home in Draketown. The couple had four children: William, Elisha, Sabina, and Mary.

Samuel was mustered into Company C of the 142nd PVI on Aug 25, 1862 at Camp Curtin, near Harrisburg, PA. He was absent and in the hospital at the time that his company was mustered out.

According to one of Pvt. Nicola's descendents, Samuel had a lot of pain in one of his eyes. The pain was so severe that during his time in the service, he had to wear a kerchief over that eye, and eventually he lost sight in it. The poor vision also led an accident that hospitalized him. One night, Samuel was pouring himself some coffee, and the combination of poor eye sight and night time led him to spill it down into his shoe, severely burning his foot. This accident led to his walking with a limp for the rest of his life.

After the war, Samuel, Margaret, and their family lived in Lower Turkeyfoot Twp, Somerset County, PA, near the town of Ursina. The 1870 Census lists the family's surname as "Nicklow", a change that most of their descendents would later make.

Samuel passed away on Oct 24, 1893 and is buried in the Ursina Cemetery in Lower Turkeyfoot Twp.

A very special THANK YOU to Florence (Nicklow) Elliott, great-granddaughter of Pvt. Nicola.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Those Who Still Remember, Part II

This site aspires to one day be the central online location for information on the 142nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, but it is by no means the only place that still remembers the men and deeds of this fine regiment. Two reenacting units, portraying Companies F & G, respectively, are very active in the living history community.

Plaque for the 142nd on the base of the Pennsylvania State Monument at Gettysburg

142nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company F is a family reenacting unit headquartered administratively in Middletown, MD and has reenactors from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey.
Please see their company's website at http://tcb1863.com/17101.html

Close up of the 142nd Monument in Somerset, PA.

142d Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Co. G is headquartered in Stroudsburg, Monroe County, PA. The original Co. G was raised in that same locale. They have a very substantial website with some great information on the original unit at http://www.142pvi.org/.  

Base of the 142nd Monument at Gettysburg with flags and flowers from those who still remember

Friday, July 1, 2011

148th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

Today marks the Battle of Gettysburg's 148th Anniversary. This battle has become the quintessential talking point for anyone who reads about the American Civil War, who wants to visit a Civil War battlefield, or for armchair historians who believe that their 20/20 hindsight should have been the glasses through which every General looked across the field.

Most popular histories of the 20th and 21st Centuries focus on the July 2nd battle for Little Round Top and the July 3rd Confederate assault, the poorly named "Pickett's Charge".

The 142nd PVI was not a player in either of these struggles, although they did have a front row seat to Pickett's Charge from their July 3 position, and even had a few casualties via the artillery barrage that preceded this assault.

The 142nd made their battlefield appearance in the July 1st battle for Seminary Ridge.  At that point during the war, the 142nd was part of General John Reynold's First Corps. As Union Calvary kept the Confederate forces at bay at Seminary Ridge (so named for the Lutheran Seminary located there), General Reynolds brought his troops up from the south.

During the ensuing battle, a Confederate bullet felled General Reynolds, leading General Abner Doubleday to take over the command of his Corps.

As the 142nd came on the field, it formed its line of battle to the left of where Gen. Reynolds was killed. Morning turned to afternoon, and  the Confederates, having superior numbers, pushed the 142nd's brigade back, and its lines began crumble after it was flanked. The regiment fell back toward the Seminary, and then back through town. On the field in front of the Seminary, the 142nd's commanding officer, Col. Robert P. Cummins was mortally wounded. Col. Cummins was captured by Confederate forces and held as a prisoner in the Lutheran Seminary, where he died the next day.

Above is a battle map of the July 1, 1863 action at Gettysburg. The 142nd was part of Biddle's Brigade. 

The regiment saw no action on July 2nd and was held in reserve on Cemetery Ridge and was moved into its final position of the battle near Gen. Meade's headquarters on July 3rd.

Total losses for the 142nd during the battle of Gettysburg were 15 killed, 126 wounded, and 84 missing or taken prisoner.