AbrahamW. Sharra

Company F
28th Pennsylvania 

Submitted by hisgreat-great-grandson, Lee Fredric Sharra


Abraham W. Sharra was born in Huntingdon County , Pennsylvania in 1820 or 1826.  The date of his birth is somewhat uncertain because Abraham indicates that he was somewhat older than the date of birth on the Sharra family grave monument in Gallitzin , PA indicates.  Abraham had grey eyes, dark hair and sandy complexion, and was about 5 feet 4 3/4 inches tall.  Abraham by profession was a carpenter/cooper and he had worked at Nutter’s Cooper Shop in Gallitzin around 1860.   

Abraham Sharra married Emeline Gensinger on the 12th day of November 1848.  Emily was born in 1831 in Pennsylvania .  She states that her father was born in Prussia/Germany and that her mother was born in Pennsylvania .  The wedding took place in the Village of Summit (at the Summit ), Cambria County, Pennsylvania .  Squire James McGlehan (McGeehan, Magehan, Magihon), a justice of the peace, officiated.  In attendance were guests including: Samuel Galbraith, John Sharbough, Mary McHugh and George McMickle (the presence of these individuals is based on their declarations in Emily Sharra’s Application for Widow’s Benefits). 

Abraham and Emily lived at the Foot of 8. The Foot of Eight was located at Mule Shoe in Blair's Gap, the foot of the No. 8 plane of the old Portage Railroad.  In about 1851 they lived in Gallitzin and for 3 years after Civil War, until 1868.  In about 1869 the family moved to Bennington Furnace, Blair County , PA where Abraham died on August 29, 1874.   

Records indicate that Abraham and Emily had at least nine children.  Their first child was named Elizabeth and was born in 1850.  It is interesting to note that a woman named Elizabeth Reese lived with Abraham and Emily for at least 25 years (she appears in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses).  Elizabeth Reese was born in Pennsylvania in 1793 and died in 1876.  She is buried in the Sharra family plot at the Union Cemetery in Gallitzin , Pennsylvania and her name appears on the Sharra family monument.  Based on the naming of the first-born daughter and the close association with the family, it is highly likely that Elizabeth Reese is Emily’s mother or some other close relative such as aunt.   

Abraham and Emily’s second child is James A. Sharra, born 1851.  Based on naming conventions of the time it is possible that Abraham’s father was named James.  John J. Sharra was then born in 1854, he died in 1898 and is buried with the Sharras in Union Cemetery .  Joseph P. Sharra was born in 1857 and died in 1916.  He too is buried in the Union Cemetery .  Anna M. Sharra was born in 1860 but passed away in 1863.  On 11 Feb 1862 Abraham G. Sharra was born.  After Abraham returned from the Civil War, they had three more children.  Margaret Estella Sharra was born 29 Jun 1866 but died 29 Aug 1867; William David Sharra was born 29 Jul 1869 and died in Pittsburgh , PA in 1828; and finally, Mary Amanda “Molly” Sharra was born 22 Oct 1870.   

Abraham W. Sharra fought for the Union in the American Civil War.  He enlisted as a Private on 01 July 1861 in Company F, 28th Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania , at Elizabeth , Allegheny County , Pennsylvania . Abraham mustered-in as a Private on 06 July 1861 at Philadelphia , Pennsylvania for a period of three years.  Abraham was promoted to Corporal 01 October 1863. On 26 December 1863 Abraham was mustered out and discharged by virtue of re-enlistment as a veteran volunteer for three years under Prov. of General Order No. 191 of 1863 from the War Dept.  Under the Provisions of General Order 191, War Department, Adjutant General's Office, Washington D.C., June 25, 1863, members re-enlisted in the field as a Veteran Volunteer for three more years, or for the duration of the war.   Abraham was promoted from Corporal to Full Sergeant on 13 June 1865. He mustered out Company F, 28th Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania on 18 July 1865 in Washington , DC .   

Abraham was wounded at least three times during the Civil War.  He was first wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg in his mouth, knocking out two teeth.  He was then wounded with buckshot at White Plains , VA. (From Syberts Depo: Slightly wounded in Chancellorsville , VA. ) May 24, 1863 (Medical Records: Wounded May 3, 1863 in head.) Finally, he was wounded in the right knee and left thigh in Pine Knob, Georgia, on June 15, 1864 (June 6, to July 4, 1864).   

After returning home from the Civil War, Abraham’s health declined rapidly.  Although initially ok, the harsh winters and lingering effects of the embedded shrapnel adversely affected his health.  Abraham initially tried to take up his old trade as a carpenter and laborer but found the work too difficult.  By the time of his death, Abraham had been hired as a foreman for the Cambria Iron & Coal CO.  In August of 1874, Abraham’s disabilities had become so great that he applied for his Civil War pension; by August 29, 1874 Abraham had passed away.   

Emily Sharra, faced with the death of her mother (Elizabeth Reese) in 1876 moved the family to Pittsburgh , PA by 1880.  The 1880 census shows that Emily Sharra, Abraham G. Sharra, Joseph P. Sharra, William David Sharra and Mary “Molly” Sharra were living at Mulberry Avenue , in Pittsburgh .  Joseph P. and Abraham G. were working as laborers while William David and Molly attended school.  By 1890 the Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania Directory indicates that Abraham G., John J. and Joseph P. Sharra were working as conductors.  James A. Sharra had a grocery on Mulberry Alley and William David Sharra was working as teamster, he would eventually own his own delivery/trucking company (he had a horse and cart). 

 This information is based on Abraham Sharra’s Civil War Service Records, Emily Sharra’s Application for Widow’s Benefits, both available from the National Archives the United States Federal Censuses from 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900 as well as the 1888 to 1892 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Directories and family history. 

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