“My People” at Gettysburg… a top 10… ummmm… well, just a list

Posted on July 2, 2009 by


Since we are in the midst of “Gettysburg days”… and there is an effort afoot for bloggers to list their top ten Gettysburg books, I figured I’d do a little something different. I’m such a non-conformist… 🙂

Ever since my first visit to Gettysburg, when I was mere lad of 11, I’ve made it a point to return often. In previous years, I only knew it from the vantage point of one looking for traces of his Confederate ancestors and their experience in the battle. In the last ten years however, I’ve come to appreciate it from a different angle, now aware of my Union people who were present in the battle… and my family roots that are actually a part of Gettysburg’s (and Adams County’s) history.

So, let me flip a coin to see which side I present first. Heads for Confederate, tails for Union… and here’s the flip… it’s heads…

By the way, most of the hyperlinks connect to historic markers for the respective units courtesy of The Historical Markers Database.


1) Purcell Artillery – Distant uncles… all from Page County, Virginia… Pvt. Abraham Strole (killed in action on April 2, 1865) and Pvt. James Gideon Nauman. Nauman was wounded in the foot and lost a toe at Chancellorsville, but was present at Gettysburg and wounded in the shoulder. He was left behind by the Confederate army, nursed back to health by a Pennsylvania family, and subsequently deserted from the Confederate army (by 1/25/1864).

2) 7th Virginia Cavalry (Company D, aka the “Massanutten Rangers”… all from Page County) of “Grumble” Jones’ Brigade – bummer that it isn’t on the main battlefield, but a few miles to the west near Fairfield (not exactly one of the 7th’s best days, by the way). Two of my three direct ancestors (great-great grandfathers) with this unit were here… Pvt. James Harvey Mayes and Pvt. Henry K. Emerson. Then again, I’m not too terribly certain that Mayes was present, his horse being shot from under him at Upperville, Va. on June 21, 1863. Distant uncles… (all privates) Reuben Franklin Koontz, Jacob F. Hilliard, Thaddeus Wellington Mayes, John N. Offenbacker were on the muster rolls covering the timeframe of Gettysburg, so I’m guessing they may have been present.

3) 10th Virginia Infantry (Company K, the “Page Volunteers” from Page County) – Steuart’s Brigade at Culp’s Hill… One distant uncle didn’t quite make it here… Henry Philip Good was killed near Hazel Grove at Chancellorsville. I have a number of cousins who were with the 10th.

4) 33rd Virginia Infantry (Company H, the “Page Grays” of Page County) – Walker’s Brigade at Culp’s Hill… Distant uncles Capt. Michael Shuler, Pvt. Ambrose C. Huffman, Pvt. Joel Knight, Pvt. James Joseph Emerson (Emerson was a member of Company E… the Emerald Grays, a company primarily from Shenandoah County).

5) 35th Bttn. Va. Cavalry (Company E from Page & Shenandoah counties) of Jones’ Brigade – certainly, many who look at the monument to the 26th Pennsylvania Emergency Regiment (also see this marker) don’t fully grasp the irony behind this monument and the story of their skedaddle in the face of the 35th Battalion. However, my kin (third great grandfather Joseph Richards and his brother Howard) with the 35th didn’t join until 1865… and then, I also think they were conscripts. Company E of the 35th being mostly from my home county, the unit and it’s experiences still hold my interest.

6) 2nd Maryland Infantry (Company B) – Culp’s Hill. Pvt. Warren Francis Moore (2nd cousin, 4 times removed) was killed here. W.F. Moore was from my eastern Md. Moore kin… those that opted for the Confederacy, while my more direct western Maryland Moore kin sided with the Union (see James Draper Moore, a second cousin to Warren Moore, listed below with Cole’s Maryland Cavalry, USA). It’s interesting that I purchased Don Troiani’s “Band of Brothers” print a number of years before I learned about cousin Warren Moore… the print means a little more now.

7) 62nd Virginia Infantry – well, I’m not so much interested in the 62nd Virginia in the battle. In truth, two of my people (both of them direct ancestors) didn’t link up to the 62nd until May 1864… and I feel almost certain that they were conscripts. Nonetheless, one (Siram W. Offenbacker… a g-g-grandfather) of the two men did make a trek with the Rosser-Gibbon Camp, U.C.V. to Gettysburg in 1913 (this is a NPS link) to participate in the huge reunion there.

8 ) 14th Va. Cav. (Company I) of Jenkins’ Brigade – distant uncle, Pvt. John H. Roudabush (of Churchville, Augusta County, Va.). The “Gettysburg trip” wasn’t “Uncle John’s” only trip into Pennsylvania. It appears he may have also been present during the “Chambersburg trip” (and burning) a year later. I have to appreciate a little irony here as well since the Roudabush family lived in York and in Adams County in the 1700s, prior to relocating to a little place in Rockingham County, Virginia known as “Cross Keys”… you know, the site of the battle in June 1862…

9) … and then there are the really distant kin… 3rd cousin, 5 times removed… Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill; 3rd cousin, 6 times removed… Gen. Robert E. Lee; and 3rd cousin, 7 times removed… Gen. George E. Pickett

Union: Not quite as many kin in blue, but still an interesting bunch…

1) Cole’s 1st Maryland Volunteer Cavalry (1st Potomac Home Brigade) – (there isn’t actually a monument to Cole’s regiment at Gettysburg, but the above link is to an image of the Gettysburg GAR monument that focuses on the Gettysburg men in Cole’s Cavalry)… Third great granduncle Pvt. Joseph Lake McKinney and 1st cousin, 4 times removed Pvt. James Draper Moore (J.D. Moore was a 2nd cousin to the Warren Moore listed above with the 2nd Md. Infantry, CSA. To my understanding, Henry Cole’s men served during the campaign mostly as couriers and scouts.

2) 11th Pa. Cavalry, Company D… Pvt. Andrew Jackson Foltz (a Virginian… from Page County, Virginia). Second cousin, 5 times removed. As in the case of Siram W. Offenbacker, Foltz didn’t don a uniform until 1864… and unlike Offenbacker, he wasn’t conscripted, but evaded conscription and joined the Union army. The connection with Gettysburg isn’t through the battle or the 1913 reunion, but he was at the 1938 reunion (75th anniversary).

3) 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company D… Captain David McKinney Gilmore, (by the way, this isn’t a link to HMDB… Hey Craig, can you give me the link? Thanks!), 2nd cousin, 5 times removed…

4) 1st Pa. Reserves/30th Pa. Infantry… Col. William Warren Stewart (later brevet brigadier general) & his brother David McKinney Stewart, 2nd cousins, 5 times removed. Of William Warren Stewart… “At Gettysburg, Stewart with his command came on the battle-ground early in the morning of the second day, having marched thirty-five miles the day previous. The command occupied Little Round Top, and charged with their brigade, which recovered the ground lost by the First and Second Divisions of the Fifth Army Corps. He had charge of the skirmishers that afternoon and night, and continued to do duty until the charge of his brigade on the third day, which was personally ordered by Gen. Meade. In the charge, some eighty or ninety prisoners were captured, two battle-flags and from 2,200 to 3,500 stand of muskets. The brigade lay on the field that night, making forty-two hours they had been without rest.” By the way, if I were to make a list of my top ten favorite books on the Battle of Gettysburg, I’d be sure to include History of Company K, 1st (Inft.) Penn’a Reserves by H.N. Minnigh. While not completely dedicated to the Battle of Gettysburg, the book focuses on Company K which was originally from Gettysburg. Some great stories about the fellas returning home and fighting on familiar turf.

5) 14th US Inf., Lt. Col. George Keyports Brady (he attained that rank sometime after Gettysburg), (hyperlink from “Stone Sentinels”), 3rd cousin, 5 times removed.

6) Battery G, 4th US Artillery (aka Lt. Bayard Wilkeson’s Battery), Sgt. Chauncey Thomas Quintard – while Quintard isn’t a blood relative, he was married (in 1911) to my third great grand aunt, Josephine Delaplane Moore. He seems a bit young to have made it to Gettysburg, but he may have been there… just need a chance to see his service record. Quintard was a New York policeman in years after the war. In 1922, he was Adjutant of Lloyd Aspinwell Post 600, G.A.R., New York City.

So there you have it… these were “my people” (blue and gray/gray and blue) at Gettysburg in July 1863… and in 1913 & 1938.

Hey, but speaking of top ten books list, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone list The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg’s Forgotten History (Margaret S. Creighton). Definately a good read! In fact, I’ve been reading parts of it since yesterday.