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Elk County
Chapter VII


Military Affairs


JAMES L. GILLIS was the first regularly discharged soldier of the war of 1812 who settled in Elk county. Isaac Coleman entered the militia in 1812, when but sixteen years old, and served until the English were routed from the lake and land. In 1824 he came to Elk county from New York, and died at Brandy Camp, in September, 1879. David Langdon, a veteran of 1812, resided at Brockway in 1884. He was then ninety years old, and declared he never felt tired in his life except once - during his march home from Sackett's Harbor, after muster out. Other defenders of the young Republic came hither, while the children or grandchildren of Revolutionary heroes find a home here to-day.

Scarcely had the echoes of the Confederate guns at Fort Sumter died away, when the telegraph wire bore a message from Thomas L. Kane to Gov. Curtin asking permission to raise a regiment. The permit was granted at once, and going into Elk county he enlisted Hiram Woodruff * at the old tavern in Williamsville Hollow, placed a bucktail in the recruit's hat, and went forth to enlist the Forty-second Rifle Regiment.


Company C., of the Forty-second Regiment (better known as the Bucktails, or Kane's Rifle Regiment), was recruited in Elk county, in April, and mustered May 29, 1861, when Hugh McDonald was commissioned captain. He served until muster out, June 11, 1864, and was brevetted major in March, 1865. Jesse B. Doan, the first first lieutenant, resigned January 11, 1862; Thomas

B. Winslow was promoted from private to first lieutenant on the same date, and served until the close. A. J. Sparks, second lieutenant, resigned in April, 1862; John A. Wolf rose from sergeant to first lieutenant, February 1, 1863; John L. Luther was promoted to second lieutenant, March 11, 1863, and was discharged March 12, 1865; Sergt. Seth Keys was mustered out in June, 1864; Sergt. J. B. Thompson was transferred to the One Hundred and Ninetieth, May 31, 1864, also Sergts. James McCoy, Charles G. Sharer, and B. E. Looker, the transfer of the latter being made twenty days after receiving wounds; Sergt. John C. Cole died of wounds, June 11, 1862; Sergt. Dennis Fuller was killed at Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862; sergeant Charles B. Wright deserted October 11, and Sergt. Norman C. Bundy was missing August 11, 1861, but the latter returning in May, was honorably discharged May 12. Corps.. Arnold B. Lucore and Thomas J. Stephenson were mustered out with the company June 11, 1864; Corps. Elijah S. Brookins and John McNeil were transferred to the One Hundred and Ninetieth Regiment, and Samuel S. Caldwell to the V. B. C. Corp. John H. Evans died at Harrisburg, July 1, 1861; John Looney was killed at Fredericksburg, and John C. Wray died at Harrisburg.

Among the private troops killed on the field or who died from the effects of wounds were W. W. Barr and Joseph N. Hoffman, killed at Spottsylvania, May 9, 1864; Martin Kelly, Cyrus Marginson, Willard Aylin, at Harrisonburg. June 6, 1862; John Wenrick and John A. Spencer, at Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862; Hiram Woodruff, at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, while A. S. Davis died of wounds received there; W. P. Watkins was accidentally killed at Alexandria; D. Nolin committed suicide; Charles K. Coleman, James Cassiday, Ben Fuller, Alanson Holly, Jerry Sullivan, Ezra P. Tillson, and John Imes died in service; John Miller was killed while drawing the attention of the enemy; John P. Arts and Allen C. DeBeck, were missing after the affair of May 30, 1864, at Bethesda Church. Among the wounded discharged were Clinton Bundy, W. H. Chase, G. C. De Beck, John F. Dailey, James H. Elder, Ben Ireland, J. A. Lehman, Allen Mahlen, John Reinhart, August. Rhanewalt and Jackson Stewart.

The private troops discharged on surgeon's certificates are named as follows: Simon B. Benson, Lafayette Bingham, A. C. Carpenter, Orlando Davis, William Daniels, G. W. English, A. J. Graham, J. J. Garrison, Thomas A. Gross, James H. Hollis, C. Lukens, R. W. Lenish, T. Montgomery, James. McDonald, Ben Sparks, Edward D. Sawyer, George Shaffer, John Sheeley, W. L. Stark, N. H. Tubbs and Jesse P. Varner. The troopers sentenced by court-martial to be discharged were P. M. Henderson and Michael McCoy.

The transfers to the One Hundred and Ninetieth Regiment, May 31, 1864, were Clinton Bandy, Levi Bateman, Napoleon Burnett, James C. Cummings, F. G. Cordes, Marcus Kline, Joseph Farley, Floyd Holly, J. A. Hollingshead, Reuben Keller, W. Kreecht, J. W. Miller, Marshal Quay, Cyrus Bobbins, James Rawley, F. H. Robinson, A. J. Simers, Elhannan Stephens, J. W. Strubble, Robert L. Sharer, C. Wansall and Lawrence Willey.

The private troops mustered out with company, June 11, 1864, were John F. Parley, G. C. DeBeck, Tartulas J. Garrison, T. B. Johnston, John W. Leeman, Thomas H. Ryan, G. W. Scott, J. W. Wharton and Joseph Waishe. Among the men transferred to other regiments were Thomas Furlong and John Imes to the V. R. C., and James Gross and George H. Price to the Sixth U. S. Cavalry; A. Kearns, L. Lewis and B. C. Winslow were not on roll at this date; William Warner and J. H. Whitehead were on detached service; Edward Doan was reported as missing in June. John Showers and James A. Graham in August, and George R. Norwood in May, 1861; Rufus Padget and W. P. Warner in June, 1863; Solomon King was a soldier in Company I. Among the soldiers of the Forty-second residing here belonging to the regimental association are Levi Bateman, L. W. Gifford, T. B. Johnson, William Kreecht, Reuben Keller and L. Lucore.

Capt. Anthony A. Clay, of Rasselas, served in the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, and has been a resident of Elk county for over twenty-three years. He was born at Vienna, Austria, in 1839.

Among other soldiers from this county are the following named from St. Mary's and neighborhood: James Phelan, 58th; Anthony Schauer, 10th; Jeremiah Sullivan, 58th; Louis Garner; George Krellner, 6th; Sebastian Met.zgar, 6th; George Kingsley; Charles Scheider; M. Stevich; Thomas Zimmett, 111th; Jacob Schubert, 111th; George Smith, .111th; Capt. Charles Yolk, 111th; Frank Bieberger, 111th; Frank Weidenboerner; Charles Harpstritt 111th; Andrew Dippold, 111th; Frank Weis, 111th; George Nissell, 111th; Stauffer, Sr., 111th; Stauffer, Jr., 111th; Stephen Henry; Frank Sosenheimer, 105th; John Langenfeld; Nissell; A. Brahm; John E.

Weidenboerner, 105th; John Fischer, 105th; Wendel Lion; Philip Wilhelm, U. S. Cavalry; William Krackle, 10th; John Kries; John Miller; Jacob Miller; John Oyster; Reuben Kellar; Nicholas Brockway; Henry Largay; John Wellendorf; Peter Albel, 105th, (killed), and a few others.

Dr. Bardwell was appointed local surgeon of the invalid corps January 1, 1865, on which date there were fifty-six invalid soldiers placed in the old courthouse, now the Bogert House, under Capt. Short. Two months later another detachment arrived and were quartered in the old school-house across the river. All the men recovered and were discharged.

R. W. Petrikin, born in Benezette township in 1843, was killed by Indians in Mexico, October 15, 1882, while acting as chief of construction on the Mexican International Railroad. He entered West Point in 1861, and in 1866 was assigned duty as lieutenant at Baltimore.

The Elk County Guards organized in August, 1854, with B. Maginniss, captain; Harvey Henry, first lieutenant; W. N. Whitney, second lieutenant; J. F. Dill, ensign; W. C. Healy, first sergeant; Crawford, second; Wilcox, third, and H. Souther, fourth; H. A. Parsons, first corporal; P. T. Brooks, second; L. Brigham, third, and C. Mead, fourth.


The Ridgway Rifles, Company H, of the Sixteenth P. V. I., was organized in 1874, with Frederick Schoening, captain. Among the first members were J. 0. W. Bailey, T. W. Benson, W. S. Horton, J. W. Morgester, M. S. Kline, P. R. Prindle, C. W. Barrett, C. Bowers, Harry Wilson, Henry J. Iloff, Michael Luly, Joseph Holseybooth, W. S. McVeigh, W. A. Cummings, H. A. Parsons4 Jr., J. D. Fullerton, L. W. Ely, Henry Warner, Joseph Metts, L. Luther, C. H. Rhines and C. F. Howe. The total enrollment up to July 31, 1887, was 209, of which number 54 were discharged, 4 re-enlisted, and 3 died. All the volunteers enrolled up to July 31, 1887, were residents of Ridgway. Of the original members, Will. S. Horton and H. A. Parsons, Jr., are still members of this company, the former succeeding Fred. Schoening as captain, and the latter succeeding Joseph Bailey as first lieutenant, who succeeded G. B. Woodward. This Joseph Bailey was commissioned vice J. O. W. Bailey, who died in 1878 at Camp Chautauqua. C. H. Rhines was the pioneer second lieutenant, followed by George R. Woodward, Joseph Bailey came next, followed by Charles F. Geary, the present second lieutenant. The company was called out during the riots of 1887 - 88, and has been present at all State drills since 1874. The present strength of the command is 61, of whom 50 were at Camp Kane, Warren, in July, 1889.

In. 1888 Company H won the regimental trophy for rifle shooting, and claims twenty-nine sharpshooters' badges, having lost in 1887 by only two points. O. T. Miner, a soldier of 1861 - 65, was a member of this command until recently. The State decoration is awarded all guardsmen who at the 200 and 500 yard ranges, five shots at each range, possible 50, make at least 25. Those who make 42, and upward, are designated as "sharpshooters," and get a silver bar. Following is the list for 1888, giving points and years of service:

Sharpshooters - W. S. Horton, 50, 6; Joseph A. Lewis, 46, 2; William B. Shean, 46, 2; Henry A. Parsons, Jr., 45, 6; C. A. Olmsted, 45, 6; F. E. Nichols, 45, 6; L. B. Elliott, 45, 6; A. F. Beman, 45, 3; Horace Huston, 45, 1; George R. Woodward, 44, 6; Charles F. Geary, 44, 2; William Collom, 44, 4: James L. Henry, 44, 2; A. S. Motter, 44, 2; Charles Moore, 44, 1; P. E. Moore, 44, 2; James P. White, 43, 6; A. E. Ross, 43, 2; William Cunningham, 43, 1; George McFarlin, 43, 3; David Lobaugh, 43, 2; W. B. McCormick, 42, 6; Isaac N. Benton, 42, 2; Milton Sleight, 42, 6; Claud Kime, 42, 1; Amos DeVoge, 42, 1; 0. S. Winslow, 42, 1; A. M. Ent, 42, 2; II. Ellinger, 43; Clyde Kime, 43.

Ordinary marksmen - W. M. Elliott, 40, 6; Joseph Cassidy, 40, 1; Martin Mitchell, 40, 2; Jack E. Barrett, 38, 1; W. T. Moore, 36, 1; True Gilman, 35,1: James A. Neill, 35, 1; P. W. Healy, 34, 1; John Cunningham, 32, 2; John Wallgren, 32, 1; J. W. Curry, 32, 1; Fred. Hartley, 31, 1; Mack Lewis, 31, 1; John Davis, 30, 2; C. E. Luther, 30, 1; Harry Ellinger, 30, 1;

F. S. Tinthoff, 30, 1; P. A. Meilus, 29, 1; John Meicht, 29, 1; 0. T. Minor, 28. 1; W. C. Beman, 27, 1; W. E. Horton, 27, 1; George Barrett, 27, 1; J. P. Keys, 26, 1; Charles Quinn, 26, 1.

In 1889 the silver bar honor was won by the same members, with one or two exceptions.

Source: Page(s) 620-625, History of Counties of McKean, Elk and Forest, Pennsylvania. Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co., 1890.
Transcribed December 2006 by Nathan Zipfel for the Elk County Genealogy Project
Published 2006 by the Elk County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project

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