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Biographies of 7th Marylanders


Charles E. Phelps

Brigadier General, Congressman, Supreme Bench of Baltimore, City Associate Judge, and Congressional

Medal of Honor recipient.

Adjutant and later commanding officer of the 7th Maryland Volunteers, U.S. Army, Civil War; Member of the

City Council City of Baltimore,;  Graduate, Harvard University School of Law; Congressman for two terms from the City of Baltimore; Commander of the Eighth Regiment; Professor of Equity Law at the University of Maryland School of Law; and President of the Maryland Association of Union Veterans.

Transcript of his letter to his half-brother Wolcott regarding the action at The Wilderness, near Spotsylvania, VA, May 1864;


No. 369 Eutaw Pl. Balto.

21 May 1864

Dear Wolcott,

Your timely and welcome letter of the 14th was duly recd. Ad altho’ I write with

some difficulty, shall not delay in acknowledging my thanks. I can not enter into

particulars, not being in a condition to write much. In fact, this is the second letter I

have attempted to write without an amanuesis. You may remember that in 1855 after

my narrow escape from death by a railroad accident you wrote me fro Texs that I

was doubtless preserv'd for some good purpose. The preservation seems no less

marked in the recent instance, and in its incidents much more strange and unlooked

for. “Of hair breadth scapes in the [missing], deadly march — Of being taken by the

insolent foe and sold to slavery — of my redemption thence” [refers to being taken

prisoner during battle]. The narration if if should be of any interest to you, must be

reserved until our next meeting. Meantimes, I hardly know whether to congratulate

myself more upon my escape from Richmond captivity, than upon the opportunity I

was afforded of participating in the grandest and most successful cavalry enterprise

of the war. This part of my experiences would alone, if properly narrated, be as full

of incident and romance as the Anabasis of Xenophon. While with the rebel lines, I

saw the vaunted “Jeb. Stuart” with plumed hat, at the head of his [cavalry]. Little

did I dream, that two days after I should be present at his last fight. This was

“Yellow Tavern,” within a few miles of Richmond, but after he had penned his last

bragging dispatch to the Confederate authorities. I saw our cavalry fight every day

for nearly a week — both on foot an on horseback—and can testify that for steadiness

and intrepidity they can not be excelled by any mounted troops in the world. The

hardest fight was in forcing the passage of the Chicka [missing] at Shadow Bridge.

From thence, our line of march was over the field of the 7 days battle of the P—

[missing] ...fighting all those battles over again in succession, tho’ in [miniature?].

The “strange, eventful history” closed at Malvern Hill, when we were shelled by our

own gunboats.

I had a splendid horse shot under me the first day o {battle of] “Wilderness”. His

model would have served for a bas relief in the frieze of the Parthenon. The poor

fellow became frantic with fear when the firing became close, and was shot in the

head, while walking upon his hind legs. His cost was $375. and I would not have

sold him for twice that sum.

This was Thursday the 5th of May. The same day, my Adjutant was crippled, and

the regt. lost many valuable officers & men. In the next day’s fight we lost but

slightly. Sunday the 8th, was Spotsylvania C.H. [Court House]. Our brigade assaulted

a line of breastworks. It was here that I had a second horse shot under me

(being at the time in command of the Brigade), and while struggling to extricate

myself from him as he lay upon my leg, recd. A rifle [missing] ball thro’ the left elbow

and joint, splintering the lower c [missing]. The brigade recoiled from the withering

fire which was [received?] until they came up to close range , being at the same

time enfiladed from both flanks. It Genl. Robinson had his leg fractured. I was too

near the rebel works to make good my escape, and was consequently captures, with

two other officers, & some half dozen more of my Regt. When hit, I was within 10

paces of the breastwork. The rebels had done me the honor to single me out as a target,

as they told me when I was within their lines. My wound was dressed by a rebel

surgeon, from Balto., formerly a schoolmate and intimate friend, Dr. Murray. You

met his brother several times in my office. They treated me very well, after they

found out who I was, but rather shabbily at first as they robbed me of everything I had.

[Nephew] Lawrence [Tower] has t thro’ so far uninjured. He behaved with conspicuous

gallantry throughout.

Very truly Your Bro.

Charles E. Phelps














Images and information courtesy of C. Deidre Phelps.


Last Letters

of
Pvt. James W. Shelton


Submitted by Glenn L. Chrisman

This is the third from last letter Pvt. James Shelton wrote before he was killed on Apr 1, 1865 at Five Forks, VA. following letter is rather significant because it refers to General Warren's (some would say infamous) raid of Dec 7-12, 1864 south from Petersburg, VA along the Weldon RR almost to the N. Carolina border to sever the Confederacy's supply lifeline to Petersburg. was also known as the "Apple Jack Raid". The weather was wet but relatively mild when the Union force left their positions near Petersburg and headed south.

Unfortunately, many of the soldiers discarded their overcoats and other heavy garments along the way early in the march. the weather turned to a very cold rain and even snow, making things miserable for the under-provisioned and war-weary soldiers. number of sick, fatigued, and probably wounded soldiers dropped by the wayside on the way south.

Let us remember that at this point the 7th MD had been on duty for about 28 months and had seen a great deal of combat. , the main force accomplished their mission and tore up miles of the Weldon rail line, thus severing the all-important supply line to Petersburg which had been under siege for almost seven months.

Union foragers had been busy supplementing their slim rations on the way south, but were especially busy on the way back. of course served to further embitter the beleaguered residents of the area who resented their presence and the privations and destruction of the long war. the way back, Union soldiers discovered an ample hidden store of hard cider, Apple Jack, indulged themselves fully. , they also discovered that many of their bone-weary comrades who had fallen out on the march south had been captured and murdered by residents and Confederate bushwhackers. of the bodies had been mutilated. in turn triggered an outrage of destruction, looting, and burning by some of the Union troops.

Little has been written about this episode and other similar incidents during the war for understandable reasons.
Dec 29th, 1864
Camp on the Weldon Railroad

My Dear Wife:


I received your affectionate and welcome letter and I now take this present opportunity inform you that I am well at present and I hope these few lines may find you all enjoying the Blessing. have been on Raid almost to North Carolina and destroyed about 30-35 miles of Railroad for the Rebbles which will doubtless make it very unhandy for the Rebs to get supplies to their Army but we had a very hard time of it while we were gone for we were scarce of rations and marched a day and a night with out any thing to eat.

We were only gone six days and the rained all the time and so we had plenty of mud to travel through and when we returned we had to build houses to stay in. are now lying in the rear line and the Rebs are not very close to us. are gettying the Rebs in a very close place as they have but one Railroad to get supplies to Petersburg and Richmond and I think we will soon get that one and then I think the war will soon be over. Haines is well and sends his love to you all. will get a Furlough as soon as possible for I would like very much to see you all. had a very dull Christmas down here. must bring my letter to a close no more but remain you true husband.

James W.



[Eds. notes: W. Haines, Pvt. to V.R.C. date unknown. had enlisted on
Dec 1, 1862. Also, other references say that less than ten miles of the rail line was destroyed, but it must have felt like 30-35 miles to James Shelton and his comrades.]


Here is the next to last letter my great-great-grandfather wrote before his death. I've made some corrections in spelling, punctuation, etc simply for ease of reading.

The action he refers to was the intense firefight at Dabney's Mill. Accounts that I've read indicate there was a great deal of confusion, units out of position, close quarters fighting against a very determined Confederate force, etc, etc.The "fog of war" must have been pretty thick.However, it's downright inspiring to read the "Maryland pride" and esprit de corps reflected in his letter.


From 138 years ago:

Camp Hatchers Run Va
16th 65

Dear Wife

Yours of the 1st inst was received by me & kindly appreciated after being carefully read.I am glad that you have written to Washington in my behalf as Lt Harn will not give me a Furlough under any considerations.I am enjoying good health except cold we are now engaged in putting up new winter quarters & they are the 3rd we have gone into this season.The fight we were in on the 6th inst was the severest in musketry of the Campaign. Although our loss was small as usual we were compelled to bare the brunt & then get no credit.But there is a day coming when the old Md Line will stand out in bold relief in the rebellion as it did in 76 and 1812-13-&14.We are but few in number but formidable.Outside of this I have no news except a matter of curiosity to many, it is the work of Beavers in cutting off timber adjoining our camp.They cut off trees a foot through as smooth as if it had been cut with an axe.This is the 6th fight I have been in.We made the charge & fought the Enemy until our ammunition gave out then fixed our Bayonets before we were relieved by the 6th Corps and they fired into us but thank God they done but little injury to our line.I think we have the Enemy in a close place if they do not sue for mercy we will drive them to it.Tell Mrs Bowers that the last I heard of Christ was that he was in Andersonville, Georgia.He was well.One of our boys was just from there who saw him. I must close on account of time and news.

I remain your affectionate
until Death

Jas W Shelton
Co. B. 7th Md. Vol
2 Brig - 2 Div5th Corps
Army of Potomoc


Ed Notes:
1. The Lt Harn referred to was 1st Lt Thomas W. Harn the second in command of Co. B under Capt John McKechney.Lt Harn was wounded at Five Forks, Apr 1, 1865, the same day Pvt. Shelton was killed.

2.Pvt. Christian Bowers was captured at the Wilderness, May 5, 1864. He survived his imprisonment at Andersonville, GA and was mustered out on June 9, 1865.He had enlisted in the 7th Md. at Frederick, MD on Aug 16, 1862, the same day as Pvt. James Shelton.

 

 

 138 yrs ago March 3rd, Pvt. James W. Shelton of Unionville, Md. wrote what is believed to be his last letter home.Three weeks later this grandson of an English emigrant gave the last full measure of devotion to his country during an attack on the Confederate defensive position at Five Forks.He was the only member of the 7th Md. killed that day and one of only about 115 Union soldiers killed out of a combined Union force of perhaps 15,000 troops under the command of Gen Philip "Little Phil" Sheridan.It was at the right angle turn, "the Return", in the Confederate line where Gen Sheridan jumped his famous dapple grey horse, Rienzi, over the revetment into a Confederate artillery position and demanded their surrender.

One poignant line in this letter which reflects a soldier's yearning for peace always gives me pause (and a lump in my throat) to reflect on the loss of nearly 620,000 lives in the great conflict which defined us as the nation we are today.Their suffering and that of their families is simply incalculable.

Near Hatcher's RunVa
March 3rd 1865


MyDear Wife,

To give you a hearing of my health situation & I will once try and send you a few lines.

In the first place I must tell you that I am in a very good state of health and we now are encamped close to Hatcher's Run and have got up very good quarters but I do not think that we will be left here very long to enjoy the comfort of them.

We were paid off last Sunday and I sent you forty five dollars which I guess will reach you before this does.I hope that you may get it safely.It was expressed to Frederick City and sent from there by Mail.

I hope that this letter may find you all well and doing well.There is no news for me to write to you of any importance.

There is a great many rebels coming into our lines every day and I hope that they may all soon come over that peace may rest upon us again.

It has been very rainy and disagreeable for the past week and it has not altogether cleared off yet.

Nothing more at present but my love to you all.

James W Shelton
Co B 7th Md.
Vol.

Washington,  DC

Some time in May 1865 my great grandmother, Rachel Shelton, received the following letter from a family friend, D. Danner, concerning her husband.She had previously received word from someone that James Shelton was missing and had written to Mr. Danner seeking information.What a terrible time that must have been for Mrs. Shelton and her eight children.

Unionville,  April 22 '65

Mrs. Shelton

I have not heard anything from Edward since the last Great Battles that have taken place.All I know about your husband is from your own letter.No one else has written anything about it as far as I have heard.I would be very glad indeed to hear the correct news from the Army. If I should hear anything from them I will let you know.Perhaps he was wounded and left behind if so the other boys do not know anything about him.If he is dead it is strange the papers do not say anything about him. Be contented a few days perhaps we may hear something.

Yours,  D. Danner

(postscript on reverse side of letter)

Mr. Harn has just come in the store and states that Luther wrote that Mr. Shelton was badly wounded in the Breast.But did not know what was done with him.He was wounded the same day Thos. Harn was --- this is all I know.
Yours
D D


Eds. Notes:  "Edward" was probably Mr. Danner's son who was mustered out June 12, 1865.
"Mr. Harn" would probably have been the father of Lt Thomas Harn, second in command of Co B, who was wounded at Five Forks."Luther" was likely Cpl Luther E. Harn, brother of
Lt. Harn.  Luther Harn was mustered out May 31, 1865 as was Pvt. John A. Harn, possibly another brother.  Luther and John Harn had both enlisted on Aug 16, 1862, as had James Shelton.  Thomas Harn
enlisted Aug 20, 1862.

It is believed that James W. Shelton may be buried at Poplar Grove National Military Cemetery, just a few miles from Five Forks.Poplar Grove contains the remains of 4,039 unknown Union soldiers plus a small number of Confederate soldiers.It is a very humbling experience to visit Poplar Grove. In the summers of 1865 and 1866, search parties combed over a very wide area of"southside" Virginia looking for remains of fallen soldiers, both Union and Confederate.A large number of the recovered remains of Union soldiers were interred atPoplar Grove.Manyremains of Confederate soldiers were interred in the Revolutionary War era Blandford Church cemetery in Petersburg, VA .

After her husband was killed at Five Forks, Rachel Shelton was left to care for their eight children in Unionville, Md. On June 29, 1865 she applied for a widow’s pension. For some reason, payments were not forthcoming. She applied again and submitted affidavits on Feb. 26, 1867. At some point her patience wore thin with government bureaucracy and, attempting to take matters into her own hands, she traveled to Washington, D.C. She then went directly to the White House, pounded on the front door, demanding to see President Andrew Johnson. While there’s no record that she was successful in seeing the President, she finally did begin collecting her meager pension. In 1871, Rachel Shelton and her children moved to Marion Township, Marshall Co., Iowa.Her homestead is still open farm land directly across from the Iowa River Church of the Brethren Cemetery.She never remarried and passed away on Dec 27, 1902 at age 74 years, 11 months.Rachel’s last pension check was sent on Oct. 4, 1902. It was for $12.

She and several of her children and grandchildren are buried in that cemetery.Rachel Wilhelmina Sauermann had emigrated to this country with her parents from Hanover, Germany in 1841.She married James W. Shelton in Frederick Co., Md. on Feb 27, 1846.

It has been a very great pleasure to share this family history with the members of the 7th Maryland, Co. A.  I hope the Shelton letters and the supplementary information I've provided have been enjoyable to read and has given everyone a little insight to what life was like for a Civil War infantryman. We owe them all an enormous debt of gratitude, respect, and honor.

 

 



The photo above shows Rachel, her daughter Mary, granddaughter Laura and an unnamed grandchild. 
Pvt. Shelton would have been very proud.

 

 

Daniel Mowen
Myersville, Md.

The following is from a manuscript printed in The Globe newspaper, found in the Middletown (MD) Valley Historical Society. Incorrect spelling and sentence structure have been left intact.

Daniel H. Mowen, Myersville, a native of Washington County, a member of the Seventh Maryland Regiment, U.S. Volunteers, written especially for the readers of The Globe by Daniel H. Mowen [Co. "I"] who was one of the boys in blue during the Civil War, and who is now a resident of Myersville, Frederick County [Md.].

 

1863
Like all organizations, we had men that were not true to the colors. On the night of the 5th of February the sentinel on duty at the stables deserted, appropriating Major Dallam’s horse to help him on his way. On February 24th a mule took offense at me passing somewhere within fifty feet of his rear, kicked me on the leg, but missed his mark so far as to not break any bones. Considering the source from which it came, all that we could do was to pass on the best we could. We were not in a very moveable condition for several days.

On the 28th of February we had the pleasure of witnessing the presentation of a flag from California to the brave boys of the First Maryland Regiment, who had already gained considerable distinction.

The 4th of April was cloudy and cold. We broke camp on Maryland Heights and moved our camp

to Bolivar Heights, on the Virginia side of the Potomac. We pitched our tents upon the wet ground. It began to snow in the evening and the next morning there was a wet snow of about eight inches. We had nothing but a narrow board to lie upon the wet ground for a board (bed?) with wet ground below, wet snow above. I lay down cold and shivered to sleep. But that sleep was of short duration. I awoke with the most severe pains through my shoulder and breast that I thought a mortal could experience. But fortunately by calling upon the surgeon, I got relief.

Owing to raids by Imboden and Jones, on April 27th we left Harpers Ferry, on the B&O Railroad, reaching Cumberland in the evening and Oakland the next morning. We left Oakland on the morning of the 29th on foot through rain and mud for Cranberry Summit. Here the auctioneer of Company I, Joseph Boward, put up at public auction one of the Sixth Virginia home guards. He was reported to have aided the enemy at plunder, and killed a citizen’s cow, was arrested and afterward turned over to the civil authorities. After pleading for a bid, he was knocked off to Jeff Davis for three cents. Thinking it was too good of a bargain to let his uniform go with the man, his clothes were put up, soon reaching twenty-five dollars. They were knocked off to Uncle Sam. It was rather humiliating, but he had to stand it.

We left Cranberry Summit at about seven o’clock that evening. We marched through rain and the most slippery mud I ever put my foot in. The roads were cut up and uneven. Being very dark, we could not see where to put our feet, and would be slipping to one side or the other, forward or backward, which was very fatiguing. We got within about four miles of Roolsburg at two o’clock in the morning. Just before the regiment made a halt for the night, the front was slo getting up an embankment of the railroad. Being we [ary] and worn out, I perched upon a stump close by me and propped my head in my hands. That was the lost that I knew until some stragglers came up, shook me and inquired where the regiment was. It was gone.

Having an aversion to straggling, I picked up courage and struck out in the direction we were going and was highly gratified at finding that it was putting up for the night. Wet and chilly, I crawled into a stable. Pulling up some hay in the dark, I stuck myself under as far as possible for cover. Someone threw themselves across me, packing it even more closely and I was asleep again, and sufficiently recuperated to take the advance guard to Roolsburg, which we reached about noon. Here we had a fairly good time, mostly fine spring weather, eating maple sugar, smoking Virginia cheroots, hunting young snakes for pastime, which were easier to catch than the fine trout in the Cheat River.

Capt. Anderson was left back sick in the hospital and did not join us until the 13th of May. One of the peculiar feature of the stone at this place, was their bursting qualities when made hot. One of the oldest men of our company had built up two parallel walls. Then procuring a large flat stone for the top to serve as a frying pan, after building a fire underneath, pointing a stick for a flesh fork, he layed his nice slice of meat upon the stone. The meat began to fry nicely . He was leaning over the stone turning the meat and speculating upon what a fine meal he would have, when suddenly the stone burst with the report of a gun, throwing the meat around his head, much to the merriment of his comrades.

On another occasion, whilst picketing on the mountain, my relief being on duty at night, the balance of the post lying around a log fire, I threw a good sized stone into the hottest place and passed time waiting to see what the result would be. Finally it burst with the report of a gun, bringing the whole post to their feet, thinking that an alarm had been fired.

PART II
Click here to download the complete Globe article about
Daniel Mowen

             
    
A Field Musician in

the 7th Maryland

Joshua Morfoot, Drummer,
Co. D

and his father

Cpl. Robert Morfoot, Co. D

by Chris Oler and Holly Oler


The town of Warren was flooded when the Loch Raven Reservoir (North of Baltimore) was created in the 1920s. The outskirts and elevated parts of the town remain as foundations of buildings in the Gun Powder Park or as homes absorbed into the surrounding communities. The Morfoot home is a 1 ½ acre property on Warren Road, Cockeysville and is still in use.

The Morfoot family consisted of Father Robert, mother Elizabeth, 2 years younger brother William, and 6 years younger sister Millie.

Robert Morfoot, a stone mason, enlisted in the 7th MD August 20, 1862 at the age of 42. His service and pension records do not detail much until a little less than a year after enlistment when his health took a downturn.

On the march between Williamsport, MD and Warrenton, VA., July of 1863, while carrying a cartridge box without shoulder straps he "contracted a rupture in the groin". He was treated for this in a convalescent camp on the Virginia side of Washington DC. Then came Rappahannock Station, VA. (There is recurring correlation in the service records of the musicians between this location and Typhoid Fever or its symptoms). In October, 1863 Robert was sick in Division Hospital; November 1863 to February, 1864 he was moved to another hospital and listed as sick in Washington (this may be the Madison Mansion he referred to in his pension testimony); March, 1864 until his discharge in July of 1865 he was at Finley Hospital. (Finley Hospital was located in Northeast East Washington on Bladensburg Rd.) He was treated for chronic diarrhea, as well as for the hernia. His service record shows a "stop" for transportation to Cockeysville in the Sept/Oct 1864 record. He was also granted a short furlough home in February, 1865. In the spring of 1865, he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve (INVALID) Corps at Finley Hospital. He was discharged July 26 1865

Robert returned to his trade as stone mason after his discharge. He had not recovered from his hernia or chronic diarrhea. His work remained light (i.e. small chimneys, cultivating potatoes in his home garden). With his son, William, as witness, he applied for an INVALID, pension on the grounds that his condition was contracted while in the service of this country and that since his discharge he was not able to work more than on third of the time. This pension was granted. Robert died July 24, 1903 and is buried in Jessops Cemetery on York Road, Hunt Valley. Also in Jessops are his wife Elizabeth, son William and daughter-in-law Mary.

Joshua enlisted in June of 1863 at the age of 16. He was discharged in July of 1865.

Joshua is the only musician to have received a "special notice for gallantry in sounding the assembly, at the battle of Dabney’s Mill, Va., " Joshua’s service record does make a note of him sick on the May/June and July/August, 1864 reports. His service record shows him transferred to Co. C, 1st MD in Feb of 1865. There are no muster out roll or discharge papers in his copy of the service record. An investigation was made into service record during his pension hearings. It also notes a lack of discharge papers and muster out rolls and his lack of service records in the 1st MD.

After his discharge, Joshua worked as a stone mason for a short time. He then went West, mostly around Nebraska, to work as a ranch hand for 15 years. When he returned home, he resumed work as a farm laborer. He remained unmarried.

In the Act of June 27, 1890, the declaration for INVALID pension changed. It required: 1) an honorable discharge, 2) a minimum of 90 days of service, and 3) a permanent disability "not due to vicious habits". Pensions under prior laws had to show that the claimant was

was disabled at the time he left service and that it continued to disable him. This new act allowed for compensation even if the disability was not war related.

Joshua's pension record shows him applying in 1892 and every year after until his death in 1899. Joshua's claim was that he contracted measles while in the service (noted as "sick" in his service record). This disease had affected his eyes. His was also claiming rheumatism, heart disease, Piles, disease of the liver, kidneys, and digestion. These various ailments were "such as to incapacitate him to normal labor about one third of the time". His claims were continuously denied on the examiners grounds "resubmitted for rejection, subject to the opinion of the medical referee on the grounds of not being disabled in a reasonable degree". (The italic words are a guess on the translation of cursive writing)

Joshua's testimony in the Pension record had many contradictions with the rest of his record. He did not have a copy of his discharge records, but swears he was never transferred out of the 7th to the 1st. He states he was discharged as part of the 7th MD at Camp Bradford, near Baltimore in June of 1865. Sometimes, his pension claim records name him as Josiah Morfoot, or Joshua Morfeit or Morfeet. This name changing caused a problem with the pension filings. In 1894 he made a testimony that states he only made one claim, in 1892, that he did not know of the subsequent claims nor did he know the people shown as his witnesses; however the signatures looked like his. Then he had to say "I sometimes drink a little too much, I get among friends and I may have signed ------ sworn to that paper sometime." The claims continued until his death - never granted.

Joshua retired to the Soldier's Home in Elizabeth City, VA in 1898 and died June 16, 1899. He is buried in Hampton National Cemetery.

Sources: Service and Pension Records, Census records, Baltimore Co. Historical Maps, Jessops Cemetery and National Cemetery listings.

 

 

 

 

 

Field Musician

Frederick C. Whattler, Co. G

by Holly Oler


Frederick enlisted April 17 and was mustered at Bolivar Heights May 3, 1863. He was in Harper's Ferry according to his service records for April. The roster in the Maryland archives shows him as a deserter, May 20, 1863. On May 31 he was dishonorably discharged.

The Surgeon of a Convalescent Camp in Virginia best tells Frederick's story with a letter written October 23, 1863.

(The italized words are where we could not translate the cursive writing)

"Colonel, In the case of drummer Frederick C. Whattler, Co. G 7th MD ordered discharged May 19th and "reported on rolls for May and June, 1863 deserted date not given" I have the honor to report:

Whattler is a child 13 years old and small of his age and hardly to be considered morally responsible. He says that he left his regiment at Harpers Ferry without leave, in May last,

to visit an officer in Charlestown expecting to return the same day. When taken prisoner, carried to Richmond and after drifting about in military custody until his exchange two months since, Came to this camp October 1st.

I know of the youth and irresponsibility of this child, I respectfully recommend that the charge of desertion by removed.

Very Resp. ----, Stanford B. Hunt Surgeon, USA"

His service records contain his prisoner of war record. It also contains a disability discharge on the grounds that 13 years old makes one unfit for duty.

His service records contain his prisoner of war record. It also contains a disability discharge on the grounds that 13 years old makes one unfit for duty.

We do not know where in Virginia this camp was. Dr. Hunt was recorded as being in Newport News Convalescent Camp in May of 1862. However we are not sure he was still in that location a year later.

We know from his discharge papers that Frederick came from England but we could not find any records of Frederick before or after the war (US or England, census or other). There are no Whattler's recorded in Maryland or Virginia. There was a Frederick C Whattler we found and it was a christening record from Kent for February 24, 1850. The parents of that child, the father a laborer and the mother a laundress were recorded as living in Kent in an 1881 census.

This 5 month ordeal is all we really know of our Frederick.

Sources: Service and Pension Records, Census records, New Jersey Historical Society Website


Pvt. Benjamin Franklin Beall
Company "C"



Benjamin Franklin Beall was born in 1844 and died in 1928.

He was married to Brunelda V. (Beall) who was born 1851 and died  before him, in 1920.

 

 On draft eligibility documents, dated about 1862, he was listed as a farmer near Baltimore, Md. 

 

  Benjamin served in Company C, Maryland 7th Infantry Regiment 1862- 1865. (Some records show he went in as a corporal and came out as a private. I expect that information has been transposed or wrongly entered.)

 

   He was stationed on South Mountain (about 10 miles from where we now live) during 1863. Later fought in Battle of Wilderness and at Petersburg, VA.

Wounded (shot with a Minié ball through both legs) at Petersburg, VA. He was transported to Washington, DC for medical treatment and recovery.

 

   In 1873, he was given a pension of $3.00 per month.  After the Civil War and his subsequent recovery, he walked (yes, walked)  to Kansas where he obtained a farm and built a house made of sod. There he married his wife Brunelda, and raised a family.

 

   During the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889, he rode a horse to a lot near Nash, Oklahoma and staked a claim to a 160 acre plot of land. He lived and farmed in Nash until the end of his life. 

Reports were that he was last seen near a stream where he had gone to fish.



  Jesse W. Hyder
   Johnsville, Md.

  
I
n the end, good detective work always pays off. For Don Wiles, it meant finding the gravesite of his Great, Great, Grandfather.

Jesse W. Hyder, a painter and carpenter by trade, was born December 19, 1839 in small town of Johnsville, in Frederick County, Md. Rising to the call to defend the Union, 22-year-old Jesse enlisted at Baltimore in the 7th Maryland, Company B, along with his two brothers James, 21, and Daniel Hyder, 30, on August 16, 1862.

The men had not been issued tents, and conditions were harsh during the campaign. In July of 1863, Jesse suffered deafness when he contracted a fever due to exposure while along the Rappahannock river.

In October of that same year, while at Haymarket, Virginia, Jesse suffered a gunshot to the left arm, above the elbow, the bullet exiting at the shoulder. He was sent to Lincoln General Hospital in Washington, DC, to recover.

Jesse and younger brother James were severely wounded during the Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-8th, 1864.

James was shot in the left foot, losing a middle toe, with two others being split. He also sustained a concussion from an artillery shell in which he, too, lost his hearing. Knocked unconscious by a falling tree, he was left for dead overnight on the battlefield. Like his brother, Jesse suffered a gunshot to the left foot also resulting in the loss of a middle toe. Both brothers were sent to Emory US Hospital to recover from their wounds.

James Hyder returned to his regiment in August 1864, but he was captured on August 31st, while on picket duty, due to the loss of his hearing. He was initially confined to Libby Prison, was transferred to Bell Island, Va., then to Salisbury Prison, in North Carolina. James was paroled on March 10, 1865.

Jesse was wounded yet again, on March 31, 1865 at Hatcher’s Run, Virginia. He was sent to DeCamp General Hospital, then discharged on May 31, 1865.

Don Wiles discovered that Jesse had been married four times, losing his first wife in 1889, and marrying three more times before his death at the age of 74.

Jesse died February 25, 1914, at 322 Corbett St. in Hagerstown, from pneumonia and cardiac failure. He was buried in Lot 23, Section, 15, Range D of Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown. Through the years, the stone marker may have been moved, or may have never been placed. Due to the efforts of Mr. Wiles, Jesse Hyder will finally get his recognition. Mr. Wiles tracked down the correct plot number of the burial site with the help of old cemetery records, and in doing so, found that the cemetery still had an outstanding debt for Jesse’s interment. 

The 7th Maryland Regiment was honored to participate in the replacement and unveiling ceremonies on Sunday, June 13th, 2004 for Jesse Hyder’s headstone. The company placed a wreath and fired a salute to honor the long-lost veteran of the original 7th Maryland.

 


 
The 7th Maryland Ceremony for Jesse Hyder
at Rose Hill Cemetery

 

                             

Ephraim Foster Anderson

Broad Top Mountain,
Bedford County, Pa.

Biography by Bill Hart


EARLY YEARS

Ephraim Foster Anderson was born in 1839 as the ninth of ten children to James and Mary (Horton) Anderson on Broad Top Mountain, in Bedford County Pennsylvania. [Now Fulton County, created from the eastern section of Bedford County in 1851] As a young student, it was determined that he was "one of the brightest students on Broad Top" and so was sent to Hagerstown, Maryland where he was privately educated. He then taught school in Hagerstown, in a building which housed the Junior Fire Company. Young Anderson was active in this organization and may have resided at the fire company. During this time, he also studied for the law in the Hagerstown law office of Andrew Kershner Syester, one-time Attorney General of Maryland.

 

 

                                     THE CIVIL WAR
On 25 August 1862, not long after the outset of the Civil War, the 23-year-old Ephraim Anderson enlisted at Hagerstown as a Federal volunteer and raised a company of largely Western Marylanders which became Company "I" of the 7th Regiment, Maryland Volunteers (U.S.). The members of the company elected him as its commander with the rank of Captain. Quoting from a contemporary newspaper article of August 20, 1862, "Mr. E. F. Anderson, a young student at law, in Hagerstown, made a spirited war speech in this place on Monday evening. Animated by that love of country which should characterize every patriot at this crisis in our nation’s destiny, he is energetically engaged in recruiting a company for the war. He made a stirring appeal to the young men to come forward to the defense of our country’s flag and we hope that it will not have been made in vain."

Little information is known of Captain Anderson’s military career. We can be sure that he drilled, that he wrote and read orders, reports, requisitions, receipts, vouchers and an overabundance of other documents in duplicate, triplicate and quadruplicate. He conducted and was subjected to inspections, participated in dress parades and reviews, he detailed men for guard, picket, police duties, fatigue and working parties and drilled. He meted out punishment, provided rewards and promotions, granted or denied leave, approved or disapproved applications, and in the midst of it all, he drilled. He drilled his company, he drilled with the battalion, with the regiment, with the brigade and with the division. Skirmish drill, target practice, and "rally on the colors" were standard exercises. He was required to be knowledgeable in tactics and army regulations.

Most of his army time was routine and in many ways tedious. His schedule was dictated by bugle and drum and was much the same every day. Reveille at daybreak, police call 15 minutes later, surgeons’ call, breakfast, guard-mount, drill, recall, dinner, drill again, recall again, first call for parade and company inspection, second call and dress parade with retreat at sunset, tattoo about 9 p.m. and taps some 20 minutes later. However, there must certainly also have been many good and enjoyable times. Time spent socializing with his fellow officers and enjoying the unique comradeship developed while living in the field with a collection of men engaged in a common goal.

As with his official duties, we do not know the specifics of how he passed his off-duty time. We can know that he very likely did participate in some of the variety of pastimes soldiers found for their amusement during those times when the army had exhausted its call on them. Captain Anderson may have played cards, pitched horseshoes, performed readings from the plays of Shakespeare or the poetry of Robert Burns, joined in song with his fellows. He likely read and wrote letters, could have drunk wine or hard liquor, engaged in debates and discussions of the issues of the day, played chess or checkers. He could have enjoyed amateur theatrics put on by enlisted men, whittled, participated in bible readings, played base ball. It is possible that he continued his legal studies, enjoyed band concerts, read the poetry of Wordsworth or the novels of Walter Scott, perhaps wrote poetry himself or made pencil sketches. He may or may not have done them all, but like all soldiers, he most certainly did at least some.

We do know that on April 25, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Phelps of the 7th preferred court martial charges against Captain Anderson arising out of an incident that occurred on April 19th, 1863 while Anderson’s company was stationed at Bolivar Heights on the outskirts of Harpers Ferry. Captain Anderson was charged with a) neglect of duty, b) disobedience of an order, and c) in three separate specifications, insubordinate conduct. The substance of the incident was that Captain Anderson refused an order to furnish a detail of three enlisted men from his company "for police duty". In the presence of Colonel Phelps, Captain Anderson respectfully admitted his disobedience of the order. All other details of this incident seem to have disappeared from the record. According to the regimental history compiled by Colonel Phelps for the History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-5, "There had not been a single officer court-martialed down to this period of its history [1898]", so it seems that the charges were dismissed as some point. Whatever the disposition and outcome of the accusations, Captain Anderson continued to command his company and was apparently not disciplined.

While in the army, Captain Anderson was taken into the Masonic Lodge. The records of the Office of the Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Maryland Masons show that Captain Anderson was initiated on May 6, 1863 and was a member of Friendship Lodge No. 84 in Hagerstown. He was suspended for non-payment of dues on April 15, 1874.

It is stated in "Seventh Regiment Infantry", contained in the History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-5 that during the skirmish at Funkstown on July 12, 1863, as Lee was being pursued from Gettysburg, "The Seventh being called on for a company to relieve the skirmishers of the Sixth Corps in its front, it happened to be the turn of Company I to go on that duty. This company (Captain E. F. Anderson) was raised in the neighborhood, and most of the men had harvested or hunted over the ground. Ridges of limestone cropping out here and there furnished accidents of position of which the skirmishers of both sides made it a point to avail themselves quite liberally. . . . the work of our skirmishers went on prosperously and they advanced gradually, pressing back the enemy’s skirmishers. The next morning Company I, with a loss of only one man wounded (Scoffin), was relieved on the skirmish line by Captain Bennett, Company E."

In November, 1863, Colonel Edwin W. Webster, the original commanding officer of the 7th and a member of the U.S. Congress was re-elected to that body and resigned his commission to fulfill his duties in Washington. Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. Phelps was elected to take his place as Colonel of the 7th by the officers of the regiment.

The 7th was heavily engaged in the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5 and 6, 1864. Casualties in the regiment were high with 11 killed, 46 wounded and 17 missing. The specifics of Captain Anderson’s actions during this battle are not known, but he was commended for gallantry for his services on this field of battle.

At the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse on May 8, 1864, the division commander, General Robinson, was shot from his horse and borne from the field with the loss of a leg. At about the same time, the Maryland Brigade commander, Colonel Denison was also shot from his horse and assisted to the rear with the loss of his right arm.

The following two paragraphs are extracted from the "Seventh Regiment Infantry", contained in the History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-5.

"Upon the fall of these two ranking officers [Robinson and Denison], the command of the division, or what there was of it in sight (the two left brigades having been repulsed or mingled with the Maryland brigade), was promptly assumed by the Colonel of the Seventh Maryland. The situation at that moment, was very plainly that of a forlorn hope, calling for nothing but quick and reckless work. What remained of the movement was no longer a column, but a bunched and ragged line. At points where the enemy’s fire was most concentrated, the drone of bullets blended into a throbbing wail, like that of a sonorous telegraph wire pulsing in a strong wind, punctuated by the pert zip of the closer shots. The din and racket were such that but few could have heard the commands: ‘Hold your fire! Dou-ble quick!’ What was plainly seen the in the front, was the sudden appearance of the new commander, pointing with sabre to the breastworks, and trotting up towards them, until horse and rider came down. Following closely, was Captain Anderson, of the Seventh, and when he fell, or possibly before he fell, all was over.

"The unordered retreat left these two officers lying within ten paces of the works, Anderson having stopped three bullets while taking a step forward, just after an unsuccessful attempt to extricate Phelps from the weight of his dying horse. Anderson was well in the lead of everything when he fell, and [was commended] for his conspicuous gallantry on this occasion, and in the Wilderness . . . He commanded one of the Washington County companies (Co. I)."

In a November 30, 1866 pension record entry, [Colonel] Charles E. Phelps, late commanding officer of the 7th [and at least somewhat ironically, the charging officer for Captain Anderson’s court martial offenses] recorded, "I hereby certify and depose that [Captain] Ephraim F. Anderson . . . was wounded while in the line of his duty and in command of Co. I, 7th Regt. Md. Inf. at the Battle of Spotsylvania C.H. on the 8th day of May, 1864, under the following circumstances:

"While in the act of charging upon a line of breastworks held by the enemy, and while leading his company, and when within a very short distance of the works, Capt. Anderson was wounded in the left wrist joint, also in the right hand, losing the index finger of the same by amputation, also in the right thigh, upper third injuring the bone and paralyzing the limb, shortly after which he was made prisoner, together with myself. . . . Capt. Anderson fell having just made an unsuccessful effort to release me from my horse which had been shot and had fallen upon me, and that he was wounded within a distance of eight paces from where I lay, and while moving forward in obedience to my express order to push on, given immediately before he was struck."

After being severely wounded in this instance, Captain Anderson was captured on the field. He was ultimately transported to Richmond’s notorious Libby Prison where he arrived on May 22, 1864. Like other prisoners at this facility, he endured many brutal privations during his imprisonment. Additionally and more importantly for his future, he contracted tuberculosis before finally being exchanged. On September 3, 1864 he was admitted to a Union hospital in or near Annapolis, Maryland.

He sufficiently recovered that on September 23rd, he was given a thirty-day leave of absence. He tendered his resignation from the army effective October 31, 1864. His honorable discharge "on account of wounds received in action" is dated November 30, 1864 with a pension of $15.00 per month. On March 13, 1865, He was brevetted to Major for "Gallantry at the Battle of the Wilderness" and to Lieutenant Colonel "for conspicuous gallantry" at Spotsylvania. His name was on the Company muster-out roll at Arlington Heights, Virginia on May 31, 1865.

                                   

                                     POST-WAR CAREER
After his release from active duty, Colonel Anderson resumed residence in Hagerstown. He was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates from Washington County as a Unionist-Republican. This brought him to Annapolis where he served until 1865 when he received a Federal Treasury Department appointment as the Customs Appraiser of the Port of Baltimore. He held offices with the U.S. Department of the Treasury in both Baltimore and Washington, D.C. until within a very few years of his death on April 5, 1877.

He was selected as a Delegate from Maryland to the Republican National Convention of 1868 which selected General Ulysses S. Grant to be its nominee for President and who was subsequently elected to that office.

He delivered the memorial address for the annual Decoration Day [now celebrated as Memorial Day] commemoration at the Antietam Battlefield National Cemetery on May 30, 1870. The speech embraces history, honor, poetry, biblical quotations, morality, duty, politics; all of the elements that went into the stirring oratory of the day. He even speaks of the, ". . . dear flag which our fathers bore over Saratoga and Yorktown", a line most certainly inspired by a popular wartime play.

On October 15, 1870, for the price of $4,000, Colonel Anderson purchased 31 acres of land along the main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad adjacent to a railroad station in what is today Hanover, Maryland. He laid out a town site, created lots and leased them to various individual for modest yearly rentals, starting at $12 a year or sold them for $200 each. This town was named Anderson and a post office existed under that name between January 15, 1874 and December 5, 1885.

Less than a year later, on August 10, 1871, he was described as being "feeble in health because of his suffering from his wounds, and because of his suffering and cruel treatment while lying with his wounds in Libby Prison as a prisoner of war in and during the summer of 1864, that his wounded limbs . . . have not recovered in strength but still render him wholly incapable of performing manual labor [in addition to suffering from the effects of the tuberculosis he contracted during his imprisonment]; that he is compelled to find a man servant to perform the household and other duties requiring manual exertion."

Colonel Anderson had a church built in this town in 1873 at his own expense and which became a Presbyterian Church known as the Anderson Church or Chapel. An 1874 newspaper item states that, "Last summer Colonel Anderson built a handsome church near the railroad station which has been turned over to the Baltimore Presbytery, and services have been held therein each Sunday afternoon for some months, conducted by the Presbyterian clergymen of Baltimore." Colonel Anderson not only paid for the construction, but also bore the cost of furnishing it, its upkeep and the expenses of maintaining services.

By November 15, 1876, likely due to failing health, Colonel Anderson sold the last of his holdings in Anderson Village and spent part, if not all, of the winter of 1876-77 in Florida for relief from his pains.

Colonel Anderson passed away on April 5, 1877 at the age of 38 at Providence Hospital, Washington, D.C. as a consequence of the tuberculosis he contracted as a prisoner of war in Richmond. His funeral was held in Washington and he was temporarily interred in a public vault in Congressional Cemetery in Washington before being removed for permanent burial in Anderson on April 12. An itemized bill for his funeral expenses dated May 17, 1877 totaling $161.40 includes an "imitation of Rosewood casket with silver molding and satin head lining." He died unmarried and without children.

He was put to rest near the front entrance to the Anderson Presbyterian Church at Anderson which is now a part of Hanover, Howard County, Maryland. The church has since been demolished, but it occupied a vacant tract of land that today sits opposite the residential address of 6413 Ryan Avenue, Hanover, Maryland.

                                            
                                     REDISCOVERY
The Presbyterian Association of Baltimore sold the church on August 3, 1918. It then became known as the Sweeten Church after its new owner and apparently services continued at least intermittently into the 1930’s or 1940’s. A local resident stated that in the early 1950’s, "the church was still in fairly good condition and that the pews still had hymnals. The church appeared to be vacant. It was like the congregation just one day got up and left never to return. . . . it seems that one day the church was there and the next day it was gone."

A 2004 visitor to the site of the by then demolished Anderson Presbyterian Church was told that Colonel Anderson’s grave site at Anderson was destroyed when the building was torn down and that his grave marker had been covered over. Mr. Marvin Anderson believes that a reasonable estimate of the time this process occurred would be sometime during the 1960s.

A group of persons and organizations interested in locating and possibly restoring Colonel Anderson’s gravesite received permission from the property developer that owns the former Anderson Church location to search for the grave. They met on the lot on Sunday morning, July 8, 2007. This group performed some preliminary searching and probing of the ground but little was achieved due to the heavy summer woods growth. A more systematic "grid-type" of search with appropriate equipment was planned for the winter of 2007-2008.

During the winter, Anderson family members and volunteers from the Elkridge Community Association spent weeks bagging leaves and clearing the site. This task completed, the family members, local historian Ms. Joetta Cramm, members of the Upper Patuxent Archaeology Club, and other interested parties gathered to renew the search in late March, 2008. A most important member of the team was general manager of nearby Meadowridge Memorial Park, Mr. Mike Bennett who volunteered his services by paying a team of five groundskeepers.

And now, from a description by Mrs. Gretchen Anderson, wife of Bruce Anderson a great-great nephew of Ephraim with extra details from The Howard County Times, the events as the investigation recommenced on Saturday, March 29, 2008. After a couple of hours of probing the area with long metal rods, cemetery employees centered in on what they considered to be a "soft spot", suggesting that there was a lot of dirt with no stones, evidence that this spot had been dug and refilled at some time in the past. This ground on the south side of the remaining church foundation was found to be, even after more than 100 years, not as compact as the surrounding earth. Mike Bennett said, "We felt air seep out of the ground." Probes struck a solid surface 56 inches down that caused the ground to vibrate providing evidence of a large, solid buried object.

The workers dug at the indicated place for three hours straight and began to uncover pieces of plaster that coated the outside of a burial vault or crypt. By the end of the day, they had cleared the dirt outlining the edges of the six-foot deep crypt. It was constructed of stacked mortared brick with four stone slabs on top. The four slabs had split lengthwise to the crypt and collapsed downward. Because of historical records concerning the placement of the grave, the searchers were 99% sure they had located their objective. However further evidence was required if the monument the family wished to have erected was to be accomplished and the area, hopefully, donated to the Howard County Park Service. At this point, the arrival of nightfall halted the work for the day.

The cemetery director, his children Lauren, 14 and Brian, 12 with four of his cemetery employees volunteered to stay the night to keep curiosity seekers away. It was rumored that Colonel Anderson was buried in his uniform with a sword and so souvenir hunters were a possibility. The Anderson family returned to their home, but the volunteers camped out in the chilly night air.

The family arrived back at the gravesite at 9:30 the next morning, Sunday the 30th, to learn that a group of teens had come at 12:00 midnight armed with shovels and another similarly equipped group at 2 a.m. Both groups were chased off by the volunteer watchers. The excavation recommenced with the removal of the stone slabs from the top of the crypt. Digging in the area of where the chest would be revealed pieces of wood thought to be from the coffin. At that point all digging stopped. The memorial park manager said that going further without the State’s Attorney’s approval would be considered desecration of the grave. So, late Sunday afternoon, four 850-pound concrete slabs and a 400-pound metal sheet were brought in to cover the grave.

Mike Bennett was on the phone first thing Monday morning to seek approval for further excavation. This was duly obtained and permission to proceed on Wednesday morning was approved.

On April 2, 2008, the entire grave was exposed. Human remains consisted of two thigh bones, one damaged as noted in Colonel Anderson’s war records, a piece of cheek bone, a piece of skull, and a piece of jaw. Also excavated were three silver coffin handles, the hinges of which still worked, together with several pieces of decorative metal, two white buttons, much cloth, pieces of a Rosewood-stained coffin, and a quantity of glass, apparently from a viewing pane at the head of the coffin.

Although no scientific tests were conducted, the evidence of the damaged thigh bone, the original funeral home records describing the coffin and the location of the grave satisfied the historians and forensics experts at the site that they had positive evidence that the gravesite of Colonel Ephraim F. Anderson has been located. After viewing the artifacts, 22-year-old Eric Anderson, son of Gretchen and Bruce, climbed down into the grave and replaced the items. Finally, he and several cemetery employees filled the grave back in.

POSTCRIPT
According to Mrs. Gretchen Anderson, "Anderson’s descendants are interested in holding a reenactment burial ceremony and converting the wooded area into a memorial of some kind." She has promised to keep Colonel Henson informed as to any ceremony the family will hold. We hope to complete this story when members of the 7th Maryland Volunteer Infantry reenactment organization gather to help dedicate a new monument to Colonel Ephraim F. Anderson, one of the members of the original 7th Maryland who inspires us to recreate and honor the admirable lives they led.

Sources:

Anderson, Gretchen, email message to Mr. Jay Henson of April 3, 2008.

Anderson, Marvin H., A Biography of the Colonel, 1 December, 2007. An unpublished biography written after the author encountered his relative Ephraim while surfing the web in 2007 in the process of doing genealogic research.

Blakely, Andrei, "Descendants seek grave of Civil War hero", The Howard County Times, week of March 6, 2008.

Blakely, Andrei, "Family digs up its history, Civil War officer’s remains recovered", The Howard County Times, week of April 3, 2008.

Wilmer, L. Allison, J. H. Jarrett, and Geo. W. F. Vernon, History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-5. Baltimore: Guggenheimer, Weil, & Co., 1898.



The gravesite of Col. Ephraim F. Anderson



Casket hardware discovered within the vault.


Corporal St Clair Abraham Lancaster

7th Maryland Regiment, Volunteer Infantry, Company “I”


Born November 19, 1833 in Chesapeake city (old Bohemia Manor), Cecil County, Maryland.

 The son of William and Harriet T. Lucas Lancaster, and brother to Malinda Ann Lancaster Snyder Jackson, Benjamin Franklin Lancaster, Jacob Henry Lancaster and William Henry Lancaster.  The parents, daughter and two sons, Benjamin and St Clair, moved from Cecil County in the latter part of 1830s to Washington County when word was received that William’s father, Abraham, was sick and dying. Two other sons, Jacob and William were born in 1851.  

St Clair Lancaster married Margaret Ann Miller and soon after started his family of five children. Mary Ellen Lancaster Franks born in 1852, Elizabeth Lancaster Ardinger in 1858, Josephine Catherine Lancaster Breidinger in 1859, Isabella Elizabeth Lancaster born 1861 (died 1864), and William Henry Lancaster, in 1868. All were born in Williamsport, Washington County, Maryland.   St Clair labored as a canal boatman very early in life, then as a farmer, even working as a toll gate keeper on the Greencastle turnpike. In December, 1861, he was elected as Washington County Road supervisor with a salary of $1800.00 for two years beginning in January,1862.

With war and civil unrest in the air, he and brothers Jacob and Benjamin volunteered in the Federal  army.  Jacob and St Clair would muster in on August 28th 1862 in the 7th Regiment of Maryland Volunteers, Company “I”, with a promise of a Government Bounty.  E. F. Anderson was elected Captain of this company.

After two months and nearly a week, on November 4th, the paymaster missed St Clair and Jacob along with several others of Washington County.  The missed wages stirred up trouble for the brothers, as St Clair walked five miles from his picket post near McCoy’s Ferry, making his way to Captain Anderson, to ask about the money that was owed him.  Upon being ordered back to his post, St Clair remarked to his Captain that he “…would DO NO more service unless the Government bounty was paid, or he and the others would do time on the works at Harpers Ferry”.  When Captain Anderson told him he could not pay them their bounty, St Clair told him that “He was Cheated and Defrauded into the belief of this bounty and with such conditions, the government could not hold ME !”  That was the last Captain E. F. Anderson saw of St Clair Lancaster.

On November 5, 1862, while St Clair was passing time with Sergeant William Welch, the paymaster arrived and issued St Clair Lancaster the $100.00 Washington County bounty. He did not receive the government bounty and upon learning that it had expired, and with several others within ear-shot, he exclaimed to Sgt. Welch “…all that’s going to Harpers Ferry let’s go, ‘cause I’m going home!”  He smiled at Welch and took off for home, which was then the toll house on the Greencastle turnpike.  On November 14th, when a detachment of guards arrived for him, he strolled out onto the toll-house porch and asked how all was doing back at camp. The reply was “just fine”. The detail then asked St Clair, and his brother Jacob, if they knew why they were there.  St Clair said yes, but asked who had sent for him, [and] if it was [Captain E.F.] Anderson.  The reply was that no, Colonel [Edwin H.] Webster had sent for him.  St Clair exclaimed with a very loud and excited voice, “Good! [because] if E. F. Anderson had sent for him, he would not have gone, as E. F. Anderson was a DRUNKEN Captain!”.  St Clair and Jacob were arrested on the spot, taken back and held for court-martial.  St Clair was charged with “Exciting a Mutiny”, and “Desertion”.  He was found guilty by two-thirds of the court and was ordered to be shot to death. By the grace of God, he was pardoned by President Abraham Lincoln on April 16, 1863, and the sentence was commuted to imprisonment for one month.  Finally, on May 11th 1863 St Clair received his land bounty and finished his time with the 7th Maryland, mustering out in May 1865.  Questioned about Lancaster’s conduct as a soldier, Captain E. F. Anderson’s reply was “…that he was a very good soldier up to the last months before the court martial, where he became very headstrong and disobedient.”      

I do not believe St Clair ever meant any disrespect to the government but, a man’s word was his only bond even if it meant standing his ground to the death.  

St Clair’s family service in the military was important to him. His grandfather, Abraham Lancaster, fought to protect Baltimore in the War of 1812, and his first great-grandfather, Samuel Sinclair Lancaster, was the Captain of the 18th Battalion for Cecil County during the Revolutionary War along with other family names such as Ford and Hyland.

St Clair moved to Ohio after the war and had three more sons. One was Benjamin Franklin Lancaster, my great-grandfather, who passed of this life at the age of 91 at a military hospital in Ohio. He is buried at the Dayton National Cemetery. Jacob Lancaster moved to Kansas and passed away in 1907. He is buried at the McPherson City Cemetery. Their oldest brother, Benjamin Franklin Lancaster, fought with the 1st Maryland Calvary, Company “M”. Benjamin also moved to Ohio with his brother St Clair, and died while felling a tree in December 1885.

Submitted by Don Lancaster of Mountain View, Missouri.






Pvt. Thomas J. McCann
7th Maryland Regiment, Volunteer Infantry, Company "C"

Thomas J. McCann (April 22, 1830-Oct. 1, 1888) and Mary Caroline Simms (June 2, 1832-Feb. 10, 1917) were married at Peach Bottom, Pa. on June 27, 1854.

Thomas J. McCann, was born on April. 22, 1830, in Peach Bottom, York County, Pennsylvania. Mary Caroline Simms was born on June 27, 1837, in Shanes, Harford County, Md. Their graves are in the West Liberty Cemetery, White Hall, Baltimore County, Md.

Mary Caroline Simms was the daughter of Andrew Simms. Andrew was born on July 22, 1788 in Maryland, near Dear Creek, Baltimore County, Md. Andrew died on June 27, 1855. He was a veteran of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.

Thomas J. McCann served from Sept. 1, 1862 to May 31, 1865 with the 7th Regiment, Company C, of the Maryland Infantry during the Civil War.

Records show that on Aug. 7, 1879, Thomas J. McCann applied for (Application No. 302455, Certificate No. 479086) and received an Invalid Pension based on his duty with Company C of the 7th Maryland Infantry.

Thomas J. and Mary Caroline Simms McCann had 12 children, including Charles W. McCann, who was born Oct. 7, 1860, grandfather of Charles Howard McCann.

Charles W. McCann and Virginia Ayres (Virginia was from The Rocks, Harford Co., Md.) had the following children: Grace McCann, born Feb. 10, 1886, John W. McCann, born Feb. 25, 1888, Florence McCann, born August 23, 1890, Agnes M. McCann, born Aug. 9, 1892 and Charles Howard McCann, born Sept. 23, 1894, father of Charles Howard McCann (Jr.).

About the descendant;

Charles Howard McCann (Jr.)
, was born and raised in Texas, and first met and visited the McCann family in Maryland in 1960, when stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Va.

My father's mother died when he was a baby and he was sent to live with
his grandmother Mary Caroline Simms McCann, the widow of Thomas J. McCann,
at her home near Rayville, Md. I think it's especially interesting that
her husband Thomas J. McCann served during the Civil War, and that her
father Andrew Simms served in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of
1812.


Pvt. John Henry Linton

Company “E”




At the gravesite of my great grandfather, John Henry Linton (1844 - 1920) who enlisted
with the 7th Maryland Volunteer Infantry Regiment Co. E August 20, 1962 at Frederick, Maryland;
wounded in action May 11, 1864 at Laurel Hill, Virginia; discharged May 31, 1865
at Arlington Heights, Virginia.

Submitted by Al Linton,  at Old Hogan Cemetery, Botetourt County, Virginia.